Thursday, July 10, 2014

Decoding the Germany System of Workforce Education

Dr. Michael Gessler, ITB Director
July 7, 2014 - Bremen, Germany. The CWE crew got introduced to the German workforce education system as part of the program supported by staff of the Institute of Technology and Education (ITB acronym in German) at the University of Bremen. Dr. Michael Gessler, Director of the ITB, welcome the group and got the program started with an overview of the German vocational and training system with an emphasis on the origins of the current architecture. In his introduction, Dr. Gessler provided some comparative indicators of economic development and the connection to vocational education and training. He then talked about the historical roots of the workforce education system to provide context for the current model. He closed with a description of the model in place today including the nuances involved by complex partnerships including federal, state, industry, and worker union parties.

Drs. Falk Howe and Michael Gessler.
The group took a break for lunch at a University cafe where we socialized with ITB staff and graduate students, and continued our conversation about the vocational system in Germany. In the afternoon, Dr. Falk Howe provided an overview of his work on about developing profiles of work process and producing multi-media learning materials for use in vocational education and training. His presentation triggered a lively discussion connecting the use of technology, the development of pedagogical tools, and issues around the identification of work processes. Dr. Howe is Director of the Department of Work-Oriented Educational Processes at the ITB.

Dr. Ludger Deitmer.
The first day of the program at the University of Bremen's ITB concluded with a presentation on strategies for supporting transfer of learning in companies conducted by Dr. Ludger Deitmer, Senior Research Fellow at ITB, and Deputy Director of the Department of International VET Research, Innovation and Industrial Culture. Dr. Deitmer described some examples of good practice on what constitutes a high-performance work organization, strategies to promote skilled workers, the management of training, and factors associated with the quality of training. In his concluding remarks he emphasized the cooperation of schools and companies as one of the keys to the success of the dual system of vocational education and training in Germany.

The first day of the program set the background context for understanding the basic architecture of the vocational education and training system in Germany including different options, its organization, and implementation issues.

See other pictures of the day below.

At the ITB

At Cafe Unique