This publication introduces the reader to six examples of good practice at the basic level of the Danish vocational and training (VET) system. Each of the six examples deals with the implementation of a central aspect of the 2000 VET Reform.
Good practice is not achieved straight away; it changes during a process starting with the context of the school and continuously and critically reviewing the quality of the good practice, and on this background, the school in question initiates the continuous development of the good practice.
The survey and the description of the good practice deals with the following six themes that we perceive as central to the implementation of the reform:
In connection with the six themes, this publication places special emphasis on the teachers' work and cooperation.
The publication comprises six cases and an overall evaluation:
The first case: "More small teams in the class - Good practice for continuous intake during the basic course " deals with how to implement continuous intake. The case describes a construction industry course. Over an 18-month period, the school has implemented regular new intake into two parallel classes. During this time, the school experimented with admitting small and large groups into the already established class. On the background of the experiences acquired by the school, the school has qualified the visitation and the integration interviews and thus the intake. The model for continuous intake has established the possibility of taking supplementary courses, just as it is possible for the students with credits from, for instance, basic subjects, to design special courses. In principle, this means that the class can have students doing different projects at different levels and with different degrees of difficulty. A continuous development of the project deals with formulating different projects that the students can solve together even though they have started doing the course at different times.
In the second case "Flexible modules in a fixed structure", we describe an example of good practice in connection with the organisation of teaching in modules within a structuring framework. The framework consists of a division of a basic course into three subcourses:
During the three sub-courses, the students participate in compulsory classes, and they choose modules consisting of small limited projects where they work at individual pace. Each module finishes with passing a test as a condition for the students being able to do a final test and then continue doing the sub-courses until the basic course is finished. The balance between freedom of choice and need for a framework and supervision works well. The department continues to work with the idea by establishing a common knowledge centre for the main course, supplementary training and commercial services rendered by public institutions.
The third case: "Between means and ends" describes good practice for planning basic courses. The basic courses are centralised in a "Study centre". By gathering all students within a course or students from different courses, it becomes possible to offer the students the basic course at three levels: "ante level", "post ante level" and "post level". The study centre has strengthened the basic courses by making the content of the basic subjects the "end" of the lessons. However, this happens at the cost of holistic courses, where the basic course in a wider sense is seen as the means to reach the end of developing the students' professional qualifications. In the continuous development of good practice, the school is working at bringing together the idea about ends and means, as it is being considered whether parts of the basic courses can be carried out in connection with or be integrated into subjectrelated projects in the courses.
In the fourth case: "Sharing responsibility for own learning", we describe an example of good practice with an organisational division of two very different groups of students in a service course. The idea is to make allowances for and develop sharing responsibility for own learning in a differentiated manner. This is done through flexible course organisation with different course offers, situational support and demands to the students' independent choices as well as a consistent evaluation practice. The idea appears to be working according to the intentions as well as giving room for differences. It means that in the continuous development of the idea the school will continue to have two different courses. Sharing responsibility for own learning will become part of the teachers' didactical considerations for both groups of students, but will have different effects and appear differently - also in the future.
The fifth case: "Contact and contract" deals with good practice in connection with the contact teacher interview and the portfolio method. The idea is to give the contact teacher interview a proper content partly by entering into contracts with the students on how they should work the next fortnight, and partly with basis in the student's handbook in which the student explains what he or she has worked with in the fortnight preceding interview. The contact teacher interview as well as the portfolio method works according to the intention. In a continuous development of the idea, the teacher needs further qualifications to be able to carry out the interviews, not least in connection with qualifying the teacher to teach the students to reflect.
The sixth and final case: "Health and social anchoring" is an example of good practice in connection with prevention of dropout. The students are taken out of the basic courses for a 5-week period to participate in a so-called EAH-project, which stands for exercise, activity and health. Physical and mental health is in focus, and part of the course therefore deals with sports and diet. Moreover, it is ensured that the students can accumulate points for the course they are doing during the five weeks. The project places specific emphasis on establishing a firm social base, as it is characteristic of these students that they are finding it difficult to adjust to the ever-changing social networks during the basic course. The EAH-project appears to have a positive effect on the dropout rate. A continuous development of the project deals with easing the transition from the EAH-project to the ordinary courses.
'Overall Evaluation' gathers the assumptions and conditions for implementing good practice that have turned out to apply to all six cases.
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