Rational & Objectives
The second QALLL (quality assurance in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Adult Education ,(AE) conference 28th November 2011 in Berlin, gathered education professionals and experts, project contractors of the European Lifelong Learning Programmes Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig, policy makers, national authorities, social partner representatives and other stakeholders interested in quality assurance in VET and AE.
The result of workshops at the conference showed that independent of what quality model a provider use, it will not improve the quality of learning and organisation unless the staff are informed, motivated and engaged in the planning, implementation, evaluation and review process of Quality Management. The reason behind this vital conclusion by practitioners, policy makers and researchers at the conference, is that there seem to be two cultures present:
1. A ‘rationalist bureaucratic culture’, which is hierarchical, structured in time and activity. Accountability is achieved through detailed job descriptions, performance indicators, supervision, line management and performance-based contracts.
2. An ‘autonomous professional culture’: selforganized, self- and peer-assessed, collegial decisionmaking. This is culture embraced by teaching staff in VET.
Many teachers were also of the opinion that none of the institute quality initiatives was directed at the process of teaching and learning and result is not reaching the classroom and the learners.
If one considers knowledge in Quality models, indicators and evaluation methodology as the “HARD” skill, the guidelines for VET-leaders can be considered as the necessary and needed “SOFT” skill in quality initiatives.
The objective of the project “Expanding the quality ‘SPIRIT’ of VET“ is to develop a set of guidelines which enable and support the leadership in a VET-provider organisation to motivate and engage teaching staff in quality assurance initiatives.
The guidelines on institutional preparations which promote the participatory approach to ensure wide involvement of the teaching staff will consist of guidelines-manuals covering following questions:
- How to create awareness of quality assurance ideology and benefits
- How to engage staff in selection of Quality assurance model
- How to involve the staff in the planning of the Quality initiative
- How to keep the engagement of the teaching staff during the QA implementation
- How to plan the evaluation process of QA finding with the teaching staff
- How to review and plan for improvement of the VET-activities
- How to translate this to leadership style and promotion of a shared vision on VET-education
The above guidelines will be complemented with practical advices and best practises from participating countries and other EU-experiences.