Reality-Based Learning And The Oliver Twist School: Towards A New Approach In VET

Recent debate on VET, at both institutional and academic levels, points out the need for new approaches able to face the current and future challenges: (technical and social) innovation, attitude to lifelong learning, internationalization, literacy, among the others (Dato, 2017). A stronger partnership between the industrial and the educational systems is increasingly suggested (WEF, 2016). However, it is clear that rather than rooted only on work-based learning, the needed competences for the “unknown future” (Mulder, 2017) depend on new approaches able to stimulate in the students/apprentices a lifelong learning attitude (Pouliakas, 2017). This research, based on a case study analysis, aims at outlining the main elements of originality of a new approach called “reality-based learning” developed by Cometa Formazione-Oliver Twist School and measuring a set of KPIs to evaluate outcomes and social impacts of the approach. In this approach, both the professional training and the general education are integrated in a learning process based on involving students in the design and production of real products for real customers in school’s workshops. The analysis outlines mainly positive results in terms of human and relational growth; cultural and professional growth; school dropout reduction and public system savings; employment increase.

(Article by Paolo Nardi and, from Politecnico di Milano, Irene Bengo and Debora Caloni, presented at ECER 2018 and published on the Special Issue of IJRVET)

L’Approccio Educativo di Cometa. Un Rapporto sulla Scuola Oliver Twist

Lo scorso 20 febbraio 2018, Cometa Formazione e Cometa Research hanno organizzato la conferenza “L’approccio educativo di Cometa. Rapporto sulla Scuola Oliver Twist”. Nel corso della conferenza è stato presentato ufficialmente il rapporto promosso da Fondazione Agnelli e curato da Gaia Banzi (Università di Milano Bicocca) con la supervisione scientifica di Susanna Mantovani (Università di Milano Bicocca) sulla originalità pedagogica e la trasferibilità dell’approccio di Cometa. Tra i relatori, hanno partecipato Shyamal Majumdar (Direttore di UNESCO-UNEVOC) e Mariavittoria Garlappi (ETF Foundation).  

Condividiamo le conclusioni del rapporto in questo blog. La versione completa in italiano e inglese è disponibile a questo link.

The Pedagogic Function of Reality in Progressive Vocational Education: the Case of Cometa Formazione

In May 2017 I had the privilege to be a guest of Cometa Formazione in Como, Italy. I learned that this organization employs a set of philosophical, pedagogical and educational design principles which makes it quite unique in the world of vocational education within the European Union and beyond. Started as a fostering association of a group of families, it evolved in an organization for vocational education for both foster and regular students. Beauty is seen as an essential driver of respect and attraction, which influences behaviour and learning. The set of principles on which the practices of Cometa Formazione are based will be shortly described below. The principles go very well together with notions of progressive education, which is an educational philosophy developed by Dewey. He stated that discovery learning and applying acquired knowledge to the world around children was the right pedagogical approach for all education. Experiential learning thus became an essential ingredient of progressive education.