Bildungsunternehmen-Zukunftsschule 4.0

  •  Austria, South Burgenland/Bezirk Oberwart (district)
  •   2017
Short Description

The project “Bildungsunternehmen-Zukunftsschule 4.0” tries to close the gap between demand and reality. Young people get more insight into the economics in their home region, into many diverse opportunities of future professions and into which of them are needed in their region - they learn and develop more targeted towards the actual needs. All types of schools and representatives of the economy and companies in the district work together on a regional level in a participatory manner in the interest of the children's future. This counteracts against the level of non-employment and poverty in a region but also migration away from a region.

Objectives

The network combines the knowledge of the regional potentials in economic terms with the know-how of how to use the possibilities of school autonomy to develop competencies for pupils that are in demand in the international and regional context in the future: The education network sees itself as a prototype of a project initiated by the BMBWF that will serve as "good practice" for other regions in Burgenland and beyond. The autonomy package in the Education Reform Act 2017 is intended to ensure that the respective educational support can be individually and autonomously adapted to regional challenges by the autonomous school administrations. The aim of the network is to take a future-oriented look at what is needed for a successful life in 2030 and later. This includes learning and practicing relevant and needed profession with a distinct regional focus. This includes that educational and economic interests search for intersections in order to prepare young people in the respective region for the future together. This future should be given to most of the adolescents in the region, and the right profession should be learned and practiced in the region.

Methodology

The child in the region and his or her personal and career-oriented future is placed at the centre of joint considerations and support. All types of schools and representatives of the economy and companies in the district work together on a regional level in a participatory manner in the interest of the children's future.
Networking at all levels is one of the most important processes, especially the cross-sectoral networking between education and business. Schools develop pedagogical concepts on their own responsibility and autonomously and continue to develop to meet the needs of the pupils, the training and the strengths of pedagogues and the special features of the region. In this way, the school can prepare for a further educational career, for living together in society and for the future profession. The network will discuss and decide on the formation of focal points, the duration of teaching units, learning settings and group formations. Structure and procedure are then adapted accordingly at the school. The transition processes between the different educational institutions are particularly important for the individual support of the children. A strengthening personality development can take place by coordinating and passing on the talent-centered abilities to the next educational institution.

Funding

No funding needed; schools integrate their activities in lessons/activities are part of education.

Outcomes

At the moment no significant and measurable results and outcomes are available because the project started just in 2017. But obviously, all schools which participate in this collaborative approach are using the opportunity for introducing their pupils/students in schools into different economy and workforce related topics together with local companies and organizations in a continuous way.
Results shall be: students know which professions can be obtained, which professions are really needed in their region, get to know companies and their fields of activity and orientate towards these regional needs of economy.

Justification

Young people get more insight into the economics in their home region, into many diverse opportunities of future professions and into which of them are needed in their region - they learn and develop more targeted towards the actual needs. We often have the feeling that schools do not prepare pupils/students for their future employment. They are often missing necessary soft skills and special know-how which companies in rural areas are looking for. That is why many young people are leaving from these remote regions and in return, there is a lack of professionals which are needed. This project tries to close the gap between demand and reality. Young people get more insight into the economics in their home region, into many diverse opportunities of future professions and into which of them are needed in their region - they learn and develop more targeted towards the actual needs. This counteracts against the level of non-employment and poverty in a region but also migration away from a region.

Didactical Concept

Every partner school uses different didactical concepts – most of them are targeted to practice and hands on experience. Teachers particularly promote project work in groups and classes, arrange workshops in classes in collaboration with other schools or companies or organizations. They use training firms to practice the knowledge gained so far and similar concepts of practical learning. The acquisition of skills which also include an economic benefit with respect to a future labor market is integrated in different school lessons and multidisciplinary.
Schools/school classes organize project days for other school level classes of the near surrounding to show educational opportunities and to enable school changes and transitions between school types and levels in a smooth and fluent way. Companies and other accompanying organizations try to impart schools
/teachers what skills will be prosperous and demanded in economy/companies and underline this with company visits or workshops in schools.

Innovation

Collaboration and cooperation of companies, authorities and schools often does not take place in a well concerted manner with a distinctive focus on a region. Students/young people decide on a profession without knowing the regional needs. Therefore, they are often unemployed or must leave their hometowns for work. This innovative collaboration tries to avoid unemployment in this region and to get more skilled workers for their companies.

Practice Orientation

Use of hands on practice, workshops, trainings, training firms, project work over weeks or semesters, experiments. Educational support adapted to regional conditions via formation of focal points, duration of teaching units, learning settings and group formations, introduction of one's own ideas into the development of the school, attendance of further education and training corresponding to the requirements of the location. The school development measures are developed and reflected upon in the regional education networks in cooperation with headmasters and teachers at the locations and implemented at the location. Schools can strengthen each other in the education networks, learn from and with each other and gain confidence in their actions.

Mutual Learning

Educational networks are long-term regional development, learning and information platforms of about 5-10 schools, in order to implement reform projects - among others in the field of school autonomy - in a region and to promote school development.
Pupils/students share their knowledge in projects with others and work together on special topics. They learn about needs of economy and the companies learn about the needs of their future employees.

Intergenerationality

Students from 10 to 19 years.

Institutional Learning

Starting from the mission to develop into an autonomous school, the educational network offers the opportunity to reflect, plan and implement the associated changes and developments together with schools from the regional environment, to learn from each other and to gain confidence in their actions. As a school, you are thus involved in the network's development towards an autonomous school from the very beginning, receive up-to-date information and have access to specific networking events. In addition to the topic of school autonomy, this naturally also applies to other reform topics.
Working together with other schools/pupils/students and organizations/companies leads to a big enhancement in the everyday needs of education. On the long run everybody has a benefit of these collaborations.

Time frame
  • Continuous programme during the school year
Categories
  • Collaborative Learning
Lead Organisations
  • Governmental Organization
Level of Schools
  • Lower Secondary School
  • Upper Secondary School
External Partners
  • NGO
  • Public Authority
  • Other
Type of Schools
  • Vocational colleges, higher secondary schools (special kind of schools in Austria)
Number of Schools involved
  • 12
Number of Schoolheads involved
  • 12
Number of Teachers involved
Number of Students involved
  • 3000
Number of Parents involved
  • 0
Number of External Partners involved
  • 13
Inclusivity

The autonomous school and the educational network support pupils to follow their individual best educational path to become self-determined young people regardless of social background, gender, language, ethnic/cultural origin, religious affiliation and impairment.
All pupils/students of classes must take part and have to work together in groups; nobody is left alone.

Ethical Aspects

The region where this project is located is characterized by a very multicultural and diverse society. It is located next to the border of Hungary with a substantial ratio of governmental approved minorities who live here. As one of the consequences, children from minority groups attend school in this region regularly and schools have to take aspects of culture, language, ethnicity and more into account - and have been doing so since years.

Transdisciplinarity

Different types of knowledge are part of this project. The school types are very different and range from business schools or technical college to social work schools.

Cooperation

In organisational terms, the education network works partly in subject-specific groups and partly in plenary sessions. Together with the network manager, the University of Education Burgenland is responsible for the moderation as well as the consolidation of the content.
Educational networks are long-term regional development, learning and information platforms of about 5-10 schools, in order to implement reform projects - among others in the field of school autonomy - in a region and to promote school development.
Based on the mission to develop into an autonomous school, the educational network offers the opportunity to reflect, plan and implement the associated changes and developments together with schools from the regional environment, to learn from each other and to gain confidence in their actions. As a school, you are thus involved in the network's development towards an autonomous school from the very beginning, receive up-to-date information and have access to specific networking events. In addition to the topic of school autonomy, this naturally also applies to other reform topics.
Different school types and different age groups have and want to work together in workshops, project days etc. as well as regional companies. Every partner (pupils/companies etc.) has many advantages of this collaboration.

Qualitative assessment Inclusiveness

It is focused on regional characteristics of the school sector, regional demands in economy, local companies and workforce and on the regional diversity of society.

Democracy

In organizational terms, the education network works partly in subject-specific groups and partly in plenary sessions. Together with the network manager, the University of Education Burgenland is responsible for the moderation as well as the consolidation of the content.
Educational networks are long-term regional development, learning and information platforms of about 5 - 10 schools, in order to implement reform projects - among others in the field of school autonomy - in a region and to promote school development.
A participating school agrees with the network partners on annual development priorities, for example on the topic of school autonomy: [teaching organization and teaching development (including class and group formation, teaching time - school time autonomy), personnel selection and development (including selection of teachers, school-centered further education and training), individualized teaching development, organizational development]. The structures and processes are subsequently adapted accordingly at the own school. Essential is the acceptance of the binding nature of the participation and the compliance with the agreements with the network partners.
All schools, companies and organizations are part of the workgroup and can share their thoughts in meetings. How they design workshops, project days etc. is in the responsibility of every single school.

Digital Citizenship

Globalization, digitalization and urbanization force us to rethink and reorient ourselves. Therefore, one of the most important processes is networking at all levels, already in the first educational institution, the kindergarten, as well as cross-sector networking, as in this case between education and business.
That´s why some participating schools have a focus on digitalization, but not all.

Cooperation Quality

The collaboration between schools, companies, NGOs and regional governmental organizations is very important, especially for rural areas. Besides, in Austria these areas have a huge problem with migration of citizens to cities because of not fitting workplaces. This project tries to counteract that conditions, to show young people future opportunities in work, tries to impart skills that are needed in this area. Therefore, many young people may find their dream job in their surrounding and do not need to move to other regions. The project run time is not very long at the moment, but it seems a good approach to reach this goal.

Role of External Partners

External partners work together with schools to provide input about necessary skills in economy; schools are invited to visit companies to get an insight into everyday professional life; company employees visit schools for workshops on different topics and as role models.