We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the first strand of the three-year explorative study titled 'The Shift to Learning Outcomes; Rhetoric or Reality' commissioned by Cedefop. The study aims to identify and analyse factors influencing the take-up of learning outcomes and the transformation of intended learning outcomes into achieved ones. The focus is on initial vocational education and training in schools and apprenticeships.
Throughout 2023, PPMI, in collaboration with esteemed partners and national experts, delved into how the learning outcomes approach is integrated into mainstream pedagogical theories and presented to VET teachers and trainers across selected countries. These countries, including Bulgaria, Finland, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and the Netherlands, served as the focus for extensive fieldwork. This involved comprehensive desk research, numerous interviews with VET authorities, social partners, and providers of training to VET teachers and trainers, alongside other key stakeholders. Additionally, a survey of VET practitioners was conducted, providing valuable insights into the perceptions and readiness of professionals working with learning outcomes in VET.
The findings unveiled a nuanced reality: VET teachers and trainers are frequently exposed to diverse pedagogical theories, but these theories are seldom explicitly linked with the learning outcomes approach. In most countries, future practitioners are introduced to learning outcomes in a practical context, often referring to their use in standards underpinning qualifications and VET curricula.
Surprisingly, only half of the surveyed practitioners expressed confidence in their readiness to work effectively with learning outcomes, highlighting a gap in training and preparedness. While providers of training for VET teachers and trainers generally endorse the learning outcomes approach, some report weaknesses in its implementation within the VET sector.
As we navigate the findings of this insightful study, it becomes evident that bridging the gap between theory and practice in VET is crucial. For further details on the study and its implications, stay tuned for upcoming publications and insights from Cedefop!