These two weeks have been busy as we had a teaching session also in last week and again on Tuesday this of this week. The session of this week was a bit different as we were asked to choose a current theme related to Vocational education. Besides that, we were instructed to pick a particular teaching method.
First we talked about digitalization in vocational training. This session was given by Terhi from blue group. Fist we got few minutes to draw our own mind map of the subject. I like it, it was good way to begin to think about the digitalization. After and during drawing our mind maps we had lively good discussion about topic. In my opinion digitalization is not anymore own specific subject. I think digitalization is happening in all aspect of life no matter do we talk about working life related issues or our free time. Many of us pointed out that nowadays and in the future teachers will need really positive attitude and skills to adopt new method and tools, which are constantly changing. I like also Satu´s definitions about digitalization in vocational training, she writes in her blog that a role of digital media is to facilitate. It should facilitate teaching, it should facilitate learning and it should facilitate communication. I thing that’s a quite clever definition, it reminds that anyway content and learning outcomes are priority number one also in the world of digitalization.
After digitalization Timo from red group started to talk about lifelong learning. This is a term that is faced quite often nowadays. It was good to get a short introduction to the topic, it helped me to get better understanding and the big picture of this theme. Most interesting part of the session was case problems. We were given two example person, first one was a teacher who need some studies in order to become senior lecturer, second was an unemployment foreign in Turku who is trying to get a job. We were asked to think about barriers if lifelong learning related to them. Most of all we were discussing about attitude and motivation, as group we thought those are true base for learning. Other common barriers were lack of time, finance, lack of confidence and lack of information. The session was concluded by this video about steps to cultivate lifelong learning. Nice and compact session after all, well done.
After break it was my turn for 30 minutes teaching. With yellow group we made a session plan based on step by step discussion method. Our topic was employability and vocational education. Our plan was to ask questions and give statements to students to facilitate discussion. Before that we gave them the link to watch a short video and to get familiar with different aspect of employability.
Slides of our session can be found here: employability-in-vocational-education
One thing that we found interesting was a quality of vocational education in Finland. Based on the second article general quality of vocational education in Finland seems to be very good. This aspect has not get visibility in mainstream media, which quite often concentrates on negative issues. Also we talked about short and long term goals of vocational education. Short and long term goals are not totally opposite with each other but there is a clear difference based on research. If vocational education concentrates on really specific skills needed in working life instead of too general issues students will get a job faster after graduation. On the other hand, students with more general skills have better employment rate after 50 years old as they have better skills to learn and adapt new skills and tools. I think it is important to get a job as fast as possible but it is good to keep in mind too that some general skills are important too, as everything is changing so fast and many current skills become obsolete in the future.
Last session was given by Virpi from the green group. This session was about reform in vocational education. During this session I learnt most, because I had really limited knowledge about the subject. Virpi has prepared really nice prezi-presentation of key elements of the reform.
- Working life oriented education (individual learning paths, work place as a learning environment
- Legislation: one law is going to regulate vocational education and training, number of qualifications will be reduced 351-> 166
- Financing, one financing, basic funding, result based,
- Vet providers and authorities
- Education export
After 10 minutes presentation we moved to GroupZap board and started to work and discuss about strengths and weaknesses of combining adult and youth education and increasing learning in work places.