In call of March 2017 in the Educational field of the Program Erasmus Plus, it was granted by the Spanish National Agency – SEPIE the project CRİTİCAL THİNCKİNG AS TO STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATİON: VET students immersed in high technology teams.
VET education offers a technical and specialized learning, aimed at successful labor insertion or the access to the labor market. However, although the VET students can continue with higher studies, this is rarely achieved due to the methodological gap between the two educational levels. In the case of students with fewer needs, these barriers are almost always insurmountable.
For those VET students, the CRITICAL THINKING AS A STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATION project has been developed over two years. Through the joint work of an intersectoral strategic association formed by research centers, technology-based companies and VET centers, high quality materials were created. These results are able to promote the critical thinking and competencies of the students in VET education necessary for them to work in high-tech centers. But also, offering an orientation to the technological centers so that they are able to welcome and take advantage of people with this degree. The future perspective is to implement a system of work practices in high-performance centers abroad for students with difficulties in social inclusion or labor inclusion in the future.
The system developed, based on the various results generated (especially intellectual results), is significantly promoting the employability of participating students, especially those with fewer opportunities, providing them with experience in a demanding work environment and improving their plans for study.
Although the project was granted in the extraordinary resolution of December 2017. In 21 months a very participatory and effective international network has been generated, where four transnational meetings (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic) and many and various performances have been made. The partners have been seven prestigious entities: IKASIA TECHNOLOGIES and UPV of Spain, SOMATICA and UNIVERSIDAD DO MINHO of Portugal, EKATI and TEI of Crete of Greece and CHARLES UNIVERSITY of the Czech Republic. Together with them, a large network of collaborating entities such as IES ENRIQUE TIERNO GALVÁN, IES POLITÉCNICO DE CARTAGENA, I.E.S. ALMIRANTE BASTARRECHE and CE JUSTE.
All of them have generated two high quality intellectual results such as:
– O1. METHODOLOGICAL GUIDE FOR HIGH TECHNOLOGY CENTERS TO WELCOME PRACTICE OF VET STUDENTS. A guide aimed at high-tech centers participating in the TRAINING PROGRAM FOR TRAINING IN HIGH TECHNOLOGY CENTERS (FCT) for FP students. The result shows how students will learn and develop typical job functions within high-tech projects, and at the same time they will develop the critical thinking and STEM skills of FP students.
– O2. CURRICULAR DEVELOPMENT FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION IN VET CENTERS THROUGH THE SECTOR TRANSVERSAL COOPERATION. A result aimed at VET Centers that allows establishing «critical thinking» as an innovative methodology for VET learning through collaboration between VET centers, research centers and companies.
Together with various tangible results such as example laboratory notebooks, dissemination materials, a training program for internships in high-tech centers and protocols, educational materials and scientific publications in the field of pedagogical innovation.
In this project we have carried out a powerful dissemination phase that has included, in addition to the two proposed multiplier events (which had a great success of participation of media multiplier agents, political authorities, teachers …), 3 Large Dissemination Activities and More than 25 dissemination activities of the project in 7 countries where more than 40 entities and federations have participated, covering more than one hundred educational centers and companies.
The impact has been very high, thanks to the edited materials that are already being implemented in more than 10 educational centers and technology centers in Europe. Actually, the project has resulted in the first contracts of these students in technology-based companies, as well as the signing of agreements for the realization of the first practices in technological centers during the next course.
In addition, this impact will continue to grow and expand as the THINKING 4 VET CRITICAL NETWORK has been consolidated, which in addition to exploiting the results generated, is promoting new projects and spreading among new entities and countries. Our network has achieved direct impact in more than 20 countries and three new FP centers (VET centers) and 5 new high-tech centers are already part of it.
Date: July 11th and 12th, 2018
Place: Valencia (SPAIN)
It took place in Valencia (Spain) on July 11 and 12, 2018. In this meeting the topics of preparation, the agreements, the formation of the Committees and the assignment of tasks and responsibilities were discussed. The Preparation Stage was also evaluated.
The participants in this meeting were the project coordinators of each participating entity, which allowed us to make easy decisions, to close the latest management and economic agreements in accordance with the approved funding. During the first day of the meeting we finalize the two intellectual results and define their contents. We also show the facilities of IKASIA and those jobs or functions that could be done by the VET students in practice.
During the second day of activity we visited the Center for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (CBIT) of the Universitat Politècnica València (UPV) where the partners were shown the teams and jobs that the future VET students could play.
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Date: October 29th and 30th, 2018
Place: Braga (PORTUGAL)
It was held in Braga (Portugal) in October 2018. They were held at the SOMATICA HEADQUARTERS in IB-S BUILDING facilities at the Gualtar Campus of the UMINHO University.
It has focused on the first intellectual result, the assignment of pending tasks and the supervision of the work created to establish a solid network formed by research centers and companies to which the vocational training centers can turn. Specifically, the METHODOLOGICAL GUIDE FOR HIGH-TECH CENTERS TO SPEAK TO THE VET STUDENT AGREEMENTS was prepared.
The participants of this meeting were responsible for the project of the research centers and the companies that prepared methodologies, defined the objectives and managed the work of the VET students who will participate in future practices.
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Date: March 30, 2019
Place: Prague, Czech Rep.
It was held in Prague (Czech Rep.) On March 29, 2019. In this meeting the intellectual outputs were discussed. On the one hand, the final design of the METHODOLOGICAL GUIDE FOR HIGH TECH CENTERS TO HOST VET STUDENT INTERNSHIPS (O1) was presented. On the other hand, responsibilities for finishing the CURRICULAR DEVELOPMENT FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION IN VET CENTERS THROUGH CROSS-SECTORAL CO-OPERATION (O2) were defined.
The participants of this meeting were the results responsibles of each participating entity, which allowed us to make easy decisions. During the afternoon we met the facilities and leading projects carried out at the Macromolecular Chemistry Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the University of Charles. The IMC is an academic institution of the CHARLES UNIVERSITY focused on macromolecular science (polymers). His research aims at the synthesis of polymers and new polymeric materials, the physics of polymers and the physical chemistry of polymers.
Date: July 1, 2019
Place: Chania, Crete, Greece
It was held in Chania (Crete, Greece) on July 1, 2019 at the TEI OF CRETE (Educational Technology Institute of Crete) facilities. In this meeting the final evaluation of the intellectual outputs (and the tangibel results) of the project was carried out, as well as the presentation of the dissemination activities and the multiplier events carried out by each entity. On the other hand, we discussed how to continue disseminating the project thanks to the use of the materials created in it and the realization of future dissemination activities.
The participants of this meeting were the project coordinators of each participating entity, which allowed us to make easy decisions to close the last issues to be addressed within the Erasmus + project.
E1 – CROSS-SECTORAL CONFERENCES TO IMPLENT A HIGH INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES IN VET EDUCATION -SPAIN
On May 27, 2019 at the IES Isaac Peral of Cartagena, a multiplier event was organized by Ikasia Technologies SL, in which it was presented the Erasmus + project “CRİTİCAL THİNKİNG AS A STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATİON: VET students immersed in high technology teams ”. The event included a conference presented by Professor José Luis Gómez Ribelles from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Besides presenting the intellectual results of the project, he explained the practices carried out as a pilot test of the project with a VET student in the Center for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (CBIT) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where the methodology created in the project could be carried out and demonstrated the opportunity for both the student and the high-tech center. On the other hand, centers interested in the use of methodological guides and participating in work practices in research centers were sought.
This multiplier event was attended by 151 multiplying agents, including teaching staff of the IES Isaac Peral of Cartagena, political leaders and teachers of VET centers. It was presented and promoted the implementation of the Erasmus + project “CRİTİCAL THİNKİNG AS A STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATİON: VET students immersed in high technology teams”, encouraging the creation of networks between companies, research centers and VET centers to inspire intersectorial professional training. Also it provided the opportunity to show the possibilities and opportunities that the project entails both for VET students and for Technology Centers.
E2 – CROSS-SECTORAL CONFERENCES TO IMPLENT A HIGH INNOVATIVE METHODOLOGIES IN VET EDUCATION -GREECE
The week from 20 to 24 of May 2019 the University of Chania has held a multiplier event, organized by the TEI of Crete (Crete Institute of Educational Technology), in which the results of the Erasmus + project “CRİTİCAL THİNKİNG AS A STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATİON: VET students immersed in high technology teams ”were featured. The event included two conferences, one given by Professor Yiannis Kaliakatsos who had the opportunity to present the project, as well as its objectives and results, especially the guides «METHODOLOGICAL GUIDE FOR HIGH TECH CENTERS TO HOST VET STUDENT INTERNSHIPS» and «CURRICULAR DEVELOPMENT FOR QUALITY AND INNOVATION IN VET CENTERS THROUGH CROSS-SECTORAL CO-OPERATION ”, and another presented by Dr. Omar Arabeyyat, Vice-Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the Applied University of Jordan Al-Balqa, who is an expert in critical thinking in education. After each of these conferences, the listeners were able to attend an open discussion, based on a participatory methodology in which they had the opportunity to learn to use the new methodology to adapt it to their needs, in accordance with a philosophy of self-learning.
Thanks to this multiplier event, which was attended by numerous multiplying agents from both the Chania region and abroad, including staff from the University of Chania, researchers, technology entrepreneurs, policy makers and teachers from VET centers, it could be not only presented and promoted the implementation of the Erasmus + project “CRİTİCAL THİNKİNG AS A STEP FORWARD İN VET EDUCATİON: VET students immersed in high technology teams”, encouraging the creation of networks between companies, research centers and VET centers to inspire intersectoral professional training, but it was also shown the possibilities and opportunities that this entails for both VET students and the Technology Centers.