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Schools 4.0-Innovation in Vocational Education – Schools 4.0-Innovation in Vocational Education

About The Project

This project results from the need to give the European dimension to the work carried out by the cooperation network of Schools 4.0 , a network created by a group of five pioneering professional schools in Portugal, some of which already have the EQAVET compliance seal and others in the conformity verification process, supported and guided by the scientific consultant Professor Dr. Luísa Orvalho, researcher of the CEDH – Center for Human Development Studies, a unit of the Portuguese Catholic University, integrated in the Faculty of Education and Psychology, created the “Network of Schools 4.0” in the field of Vocational Education, subscribing the “Manifesto of Schools 4.0” in November of 2017, to promote processes of reflection and action over what should be school and vocational education and training for the twentieth century, facing the great challenges encountered, inspired by OECD’s education 2030.

  • What are these challenges?
  • What profile of citizen and worker do we want to help building?
  • What does the labor market of the 4th industrial revolution need to receive?
  • How to guarantee the quality of the qualifications’ production, based on learning outcomes?
  • How to interpret and walk towards Vocational Education (VET) quality certification lined with the EQAVET Framework?
  • How and with which strategic partnerships one can develop this profile?

Innovation, autonomy and curricular flexibility are fundamental tools to promote this new educational ecosystem, Collaborative research-action, on the one hand, aims at the evolution in the operationalization of its methods and strategies of teaching, learning and evaluation, on the other, the acceptance of a necessary disruption, in some dimensions of the anchor reference that was in the genesis of the creation of the vocational schools europeannes in the 90s, that grants more coherence between the pedagogical practices and the profile of the student to live and to work in the society of the XXI century, characterized by the 4th revolution, whose profile is listed in the Europe 2020 Strategy. It only makes sense for the national partners to be these 4 plus 1 associated partner, (as if they were only one) as each one represents the typology of EU, VET .

After some studies and projects with international partners, it was agreed that are very similar to those in most European partners, and are still very embryonic. The sharing of good practices we have been doing in the network “School 4.0” for about a year, with those that will be shared and co-built through a transnational partnership, will reinforce the validity and quality of the final product (IO). building at European level. After some reflections in the so-called “Reflection Workshops”, there was an urgent need to codify a Pedagogical Innovation Framework for the XXI Century, with the methodologies and tools, designed according to national and European policies, in order to operate a School based on learning, rather than teaching, where the student is constructor of his life project; a School as research and development center in action, promoter of a global learning community; a school where digital competences are transversal and where the student is a user/ producer of technology and where intentionality is the hallmark of all learning processes.

This theme was approached with some international partners, either through digital communication (skype, email, messenger) and telephone, either through visiting similar partners with very consolidated relations as result of the cooperation in previous projects that are implementing this change ( Denmark’s case) and other innovative experiences already progressing, and the participation of the partners in Denmark, Greece and the European Association of Vocational Schools has proved to be of great interest in the construction of the product and implementation of this process, not only by the outputs that they bring in global terms, but for the dissemination and training networks that they can develop with the Referential.

A new paradigm in which scientific knowledge and traditional pedagogical knowledge are no longer enough; the teacher of vocational education will have to add new skills allied to other knowledges: technological knowledge and pedagogical-technological knowledge, to develop the curriculum autonomously, flexible and in different pedagogical contexts, based on project based learning, and not in ready-to-wear programs (modules and ucfd), working collaboratively in pedagogical teams with intelligent and transformational leaderships that helps to develop the learner’s skills, ensuring the quality of qualifications based on learning outcomes .