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)

Dall’Alternanza all’Integrazione Scuola-Lavoro. La scuola nel XXI secolo

I sistemi di alternanza scuola-lavoro, il work-based learning in generale, sono oggi proposti come una delle strade maestre per il necessario cambiamento del sistema educativo. Se da una parte ciò sembra portare effettivamente risultati incoraggianti, restano alcuni limiti che maggiormente emergono nei Paesi dove i modelli work-based sono da più tempo sperimentati: in particolare la giustapposizione tra apprendimento a scuola e apprendimento professionale. Rispondere in maniera efficace a queste criticità, salvaguardando il valore di un approccio complementare tra scuola e lavoro, ha portato Cometa Formazione a implementare un modello didattico nuovo, la Scuola-Impresa, che genera una effettiva integrazione scuola-lavoro grazie a un processo di apprendimento transdisciplinare: il reality-based learning.
(Articolo a cura di Laureen De Palma, Paolo Nardi, Marianna Nicotra e Barbara Robbiani, per la terza edizione de “La Via Italiana alla Social Innovation. L’Integrazione Scuola-Lavoro)

The steps toward excellence in VET: an overview on recent policies

“Making VET a first choice”: this is one of the main goals the recent EU New Skills Agenda (20161) has set for next years. Few months before, the so-called Riga Conclusions (20152) were approved during the EU Latvian Presidency by the Ministers of Education from the European Union Member States, candidate countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, endorsing the new medium-term deliverables for vocational education and training. During this meeting, the ministers, supported by the associations of the European VET schools, aimed at stressing their efforts “in raising the overall quality and status of VET in the context of the Copenhagen process”. What declared in Riga and promoted one year later in the EU Skills Agenda, represents a new crucial step towards a set of new priorities and actions which will affect in particular the VET system at European level.