ERG SES B 04, Parallel Session B 04
The number of the European working population will be decreasing significantly due to demographical reasons; and at the same time less unskilled workers will be needed in production processes (Zimmermann 2009: 4). Alongside the often cited solution using migration processes to specifically choose qualified personnel in the long run (ibid: 5), in the medium term it seems to be more important to reduce unemployment rates by means of education investments. European countries are especially giving up valuable economic potential in youth employment. In 2008 about 15 percent of the European population (EU27) younger than 25 years were unemployed (Netherlands 5.3%, Estonia 24.6%, Germany 10%) (Eurostat 2009: 110 f.). To use and develop this potential is an opportunity to escape the gap of skilled workers.
On the example of Germany a possibility will be presented to support this group more efficiently. Hence, this paper is focused on one of the preparation measures at the first threshold of school-to-work transition, the year of vocational preparation (Berufsvorbereitungsjahr). It is a one-year scholastic measure with very little proportions of practical in-company learning. It addresses adolescents with special educational needs who lack a school degree and did not succeed in finding a placement in vocational education. The transition rate into a qualifying vocational education after this preparing school year, however, does not even amount to 50 percent (Schroeder/Thielen 2009: 22). This research project is therefore primarily concerned with didactical innovations for this school type.
Thus, the main objective of the research process is to model a didactically more efficient curriculum for the Berufsvorbereitungsjahr which allows integrating the young people faster into vocational education. The practical testing of the developed alternatives will be carried out subsequent to the doctoral thesis. Given the effects on youth unemployment a well-formed didactical model may also serve the European discussion.
The theoretical framework is primarily built around the Berlin school of didactics (Heimann et al. 1979) and Jongebloed’s (1998) theory of complementary education. According to Heimann a didactical model demands knowledge of the sociocultural and anthropospecific preconditions. In order to find out about those factors, references to neighbour disciplines of pedagogy are essential. With regard to Bourdieu’s (1998) habitus concept the social background of the target group will be examined. An analysis of the social background of the target group may explain why there are more problem cases in urban than in rural areas. Psychological theories as McClelland’s (1953) achievement motive, Atkinson’s (1957) risk-taking model, and Super’s (1955, 1974) theory of vocational maturity are consulted for the analysis of the individual development and maturity.
Jongebloed’s approach describes the necessity of both cognition and experience concerning one subject in order to speak of Bildung (ability of self-determination). In the case of vocational education the field of cognition usually takes place at a vocational school or in systematically prepared educational environments. The field of experience requires a systemic environment, e.g. a specific company. As the Berufsvorbereitungsjahr mostly lacks ample systemic learning, the model primarily suggests changes in the duration of in-company work.
Atkinson, John W. (1957): Motivational Determinants of Risk-Taking Behavior, Psychological Review, Vol. 64, No. 6, pp. 359-372. Bourdieu, Pierre (1998): Praktische Vernunft: Zur Theorie des Handelns, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Eurostat (ed.) (2009): EU economic data pocketbook 4-2008, quarterly, Luxembourg: European Communities. Heimann, Paul/ Gunter Otto/ Wolfgang Schulz (1979): Unterricht: Analyse und Planung, 10th edition, Hannover: Schroedel. Jongebloed, Hans-Carl (1998): Komplementarität als Verhältnis: Lernen in dualer Struktur, in: Jongebloed, Hans-Carl (ed.): Wirtschaftspädagogik als Wissenschaft und Praxis – oder: Auf dem Wege zur Komplementarität als Prinzip, Kiel: bajOsch, pp. 259-286. McClelland, David/ John W. Atkinson/ Russel A. Clark/ Edgar L. Lowell (1953): The Achievement Motive, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Schroeder, Joachim/ Marc Thielen (2009): Das Berufsvorbereitungsjahr. Eine Einführung, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Super, Donald E. (1955): The Dimensions and Measurement of Vocational Maturity, Teachers College Record, Vol. 57, pp. 151-163. Super, Donald E. (1974): Measuring Vocational Maturity for Counseling and Evaluation, Washington: National Vocational Guidance Association. Zimmermann, Klaus (2009): Mobilitätspolitik in Europa, in: IZA Standpunkte Nr.7, Bonn: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), [URL: ftp://repec.iza.org/dps/sp7.pdf, 7 January 2011].
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