The main target groups of the project are vocational training institutions, students and other actors in Europe. The aim of the project is to strengthen and develop knowledge-based vocational education and training in Europe. The project promotes student mobility and vocational training in Europe. It represents an opportunity to acquire international vocational skills and facilitates the internationalisation of companies. This project strengthens the quality of competence-based vocational training in Europe. The project collects information about companies, their workplaces and learning environments on the platform.
The competitiveness of EU countries and regions will be strengthened by supporting student mobility and the development of competence-based vocational training in Europe. The project anticipates future skills needs and changes in working life in Europe. It is linked to national, regional and local strategies for the development of vocational training for cooperative institutions as well as to national strategies. In a global environment, the achievement of project objectives requires cross-border cooperation between VET providers.
Formal, Informal and Non-Formal Learning
In the field of education policy, there is a frequent distinction between formal, informal and non-formal learning. The difference between these categories is not always clear and is prone to confusion, but if we go back to the origin of the distinction it is possible to understand things better. According to the classical definitions, formal learning is given in schools, colleges and institutions of education; the non-formal is associated with community, society groups and organizations, while the informal covers everything else (interaction with friends, family and co-workers).
In practice, and due to the very nature of the educational phenomenon, the boundaries between categories are easily blurred. This tripartite distinction was also associated with a new concept: lifelong learning or learning throughout life.
The concept of lifelong learning has now come to occupy a prominent place in the field of education, and the EU is paying special attention to it.
Learning normally offered by an education or training center, with a structured character, organized, planned and regulated, guided by a formal curriculum and leads to a formally recognized credential that is often recognized by government at some level. Formal learning is intentional from the student’s perspective. Teachers are usually trained as professionals in some way. Is known as compulsory schooling. It has different degrees of compulsory nature according to the education system of each country.
Learning that is obtained in activities of daily life related to work, family or leisure, that occurs unintentionally and unplanned. The teacher is simply someone with more experience such as a parent, grandparent or a friend. It is not structured (in didactic objectives, duration or support) and usually does not lead to certification, formal curriculum or credits earned. Informal learning may be intentional, but, in most cases, it is not (it is random), informal learning is the diffuse and unplanned action exerted by environmental influences, and usually it is not susceptible of being planned. It is and unorganized, individual educational action, often cause by interaction with the environment in areas such as family life, work and information received by the media. A father teaching his child to play catch or a babysitter teaching a child their ABCs is an example of informal education, where the learner is an active part of it.
This refers to learning processes that are systematic and planned, but do not aim at a degree or certificate. Examples are in-company continuing education, private language learning courses, political continuing education or continuing education in the hobby sector. Non-formal learning is intended from the student’s point of view and is often seen as more committed, as the learner’s interest is a driving force behind their participation. Non-formal learning has a very broad meaning. We call non-formal learning all those educational and learning measures that take place in an extracurricular context
Competence based learning paths
Competence-based education defines the mastery of knowledge and skills that are considered essential for success in school, university, work and adult life. It refers to teaching, assessment, grading and academic reporting based on evidence that students have learned the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn in the course of their education.
Since grades can be calculated differently from school to school or from teacher to teacher and can be based on different learning expectations, students may be able to pass their courses, earn the required number of credits and obtain a diploma without having acquired the essential knowledge and skills. In extreme cases, students may have obtained a high school degree but may not be able to read, write or calculate at a basic level. A “competence-based diploma” would be a diploma awarded to students only if they have met the expected learning standards.
As a learning method, competence-based learning is learning-focused and cooperates with self-study and the trainer in the role of moderator. Learners often find different individual skills more difficult than others, so this learning method allows a student to learn the individual skills they can challenge, practice and refine at their own pace as much as they want.
The pupil/student is assessed on the basis of individual competence and can only switch to other competences once he has mastered the competence he is currently learning. Another common component of competence-based learning is the ability to skip learning modules completely if the learner can demonstrate that he or she has mastered them. This can be established by a prior learning assessment or by formative tests. If the expected learning standards are not met, students usually receive additional practice time, instructions or academic support. Many educational institutions are evaluating ways of incorporating competence-based learning methods into many different types of programmes in order to maintain learning success at a constant level, while students’ pace may vary.