DA Open Company
- Denmark, Denmark - national level
When children and young people discover how STEM qualifications become acquired by learning and training at school and become used by companies “in real life”, it makes more sense to learn. This can motivate students and affect their future choice of career. Ultimately, the initiative “Open Company” has the purpose of influencing choice of education and career and thereby enhance the work force with Vocational Education and Training (VET) or higher STEM education.
When children and young people discover how STEM qualifications become acquired by learning and training at school and become used by companies “in real life”, it makes more sense to learn. This can motivate students and affect their future choice of career. Ultimately, this initiative has the purpose of influencing choice of education and career and thereby enhance the work force with Vocational Education and Training (VET) or higher STEM education
All Åben Virksomhed courses contain central elements of the compulsory STEM curriculum within the Danish schooling system. This ensures that participating is not placing extra burdens on teachers but rather something that helps them reach curriculum goals. For every course, DA Åben Virksomhed has created a teacher guide, a guide for companies, and student materials. At the website www.aabenvirksomhed.dk teachers can find companies all over the country, contact persons in the companies, and download all relevant course materials. The teachers appreciate that it is free, companies are nearby and everything is easy to access, and ready to use.
The collaboration between the teacher and the local company is based on a didactical methodology that aims to qualify the visit from the school class so it lives up to the competences and learning outcomes teachers and pupils are evaluating on. The local company does not have pedagogical staff and therefore, there has been a developed generic visit and teaching manuals fitting to the specific company-type in order to qualify the meeting between the pupil and the representative of the company. How the visit is used in the learning plans for the school class is very much up to the teacher and how it is incorporated into a broader context.
It is funded by the Confederation of Danish employers and the local companies opening their doors for the school classes.
The results and outcomes are still scarce since the programme has not been running for a long time. The first evaluation points towards the systematic availability of company visits and collaborations on a national scale are of great value to the teachers.
It is an inspiring practice, because there is an approach to make collaborations happen with private companies on a systemic level and on a national scale. Experience from the past shows that it can be very difficult for companies and schools no matter how close they are geographically, when it comes to understand how they could work together or use each other in the context of a local educational landscape. The open company is a very strong initiative to overcome this massive barrier.
A company visit can contain practical methods. Some will be hands-on visits. Other will be of different character.
|Level of Schools|
|Type of Schools|
|Number of Schools involved|
|Number of Schoolheads involved|
|Number of Teachers involved|
|Number of Students involved|
|Number of Parents involved|
|Number of External Partners involved|
Visiting a company - mostly focusing on STEM, will often lead to applied science and engineering methods. This will not always be the case since 320 local sites are involved.
The companies have research, development, sales, marketing and production. There are many possibilities for addressing math, science, creative processes, demographic analysis, etc.
The cooperation has a great potential and is yet to be exploited to its full, since the project is still very young.
For each DA Åben Virksomhed course DA has made agreements nationwide with a number of companies within a sector, which have all agreed on participating in the course. They are provided with a short and clear company guide and their contribution to the courses is pre-defined in times of content as well as resources. The companies in general find it attractive to engage in this initiative. It gives them an opportunity to be an active part of their local education system and in a very direct way, take responsibility for their industry’s future access to skilled employees-