PROGRESS Need Analysis

As one of the first steps in the project partners started to work on a need analysis based on the Whole School Approach to Sustainable Development. A Need Analysis Model, which was developed by our partner INTREEGUE, helped them to start thinking about their needs.   This model can be found here.

The first results of this need analysis was presented and discussed during an online meeting in April. These results will be used as our starting point for collecting Good Practices.

Summary of issues addressed in the need analysis

Students & Characteristics

  • Needs of (new) students:  drives, needs, beliefs, expectations (realistic?) , motives, interests.
  • Needs of specific target groups like migrants, international, older students, ..
  • Focus on how to attract “stronger” students in the future. Decrease of drop outs.
  • Needs and awareness of students to become more sustainable.
  • Students interests and expectations to the school portfolio of degrees.

Communication & Marketing

  • Showing the right picture when recruiting students.
  • Innovative recruiting and marketing methods.
  • Promotion of the VET institutions and companies. VET campaign.
  • Involvement of companies in recruitment.
  • Students as ambassadors.
  • Sharing good stories.
  • Market research to get insight into the drives and needs of students.

Curriculum & Didactics

  • We need proper pedagogical tools and skills for online teaching and web based learning. There should be more interactivity in teaching. We should also find new ways how to teach practical skills online or in a digital way. Also how to facilitate guidance online.
  • Renewal of the curriculum, to develop something unique to attract new students.
  • Future scenario where students support students.
  • Better help for students (mentors, role models etc.).
  • Companies’ active participation in competition open to public (skills).
  • Sustainability is not really integrated in our programmes. Teachers want to incorporate it in social science program.
  • Social inclusion issues.
  • We need more resources and new didactic methodologies.

School Environment & Cooperation

Cooperation with other schools

  • Cooperation with other school levels to increase the inflow of students.
  • What can we learn from the strategies of higher education and universities?
  • Increase the cooperation with primary schools e.g. use VET teachers in primary school, making more projects together, making open courses (for example about biodiversity) and inviting pupils from local primary schools to take the course together with our basic course students (boundary crossing). We should involve the companies in this context as well.
  • More cooperation and coordination, also within our own school.

Cooperation with companies

  • How to follow the changes in the society and work life.
  • Improving cooperation with companies.
  • Far more involvement of the companies in the different offers/courses that we provide to the elementary schools.
  • Limited skills and knowledge exchange among teachers/companies/advisers. Teachers should visit companies more often.
  • Until what point is sustainability a reality of society? The labor market are at the starting point of this future society.

Professional development

  • Courses for the teachers about new technologies in Education.
  • Teacher´s participation in innovative projects.
  • Teachers should be more open minded to a broader view of their profession and teaching methods (crossover project).
  • Some of our personnel is not really into sustainability. They are not driven by it.
  • Professional development of teachers towards a more open minded attitude.
  • Training of new didactic methodologies.

Overall Conclusions Need Analysis

By looking at this summary we can abstract some overall conclusions that can guide us in our search for Good Practices and will help us to define the focus of the Good Practices we want to collect as inspiration for attracting more students and new target groups through the development and innovation of the school towards more sustainable schools.  

  1. It is remarkable that business operations doesn’t seem to be a big issue for the partners although this is an important factor if you take into account that schools need “to practice what they preach”. Otherwise they will not be very credible for new students. For example when a school is incorporating all kinds of sustainable or innovative principals and skills in their programs like circular skills it is also important that the school is incorporating these kind of principles in their own business operations related to for example food and  raw materials.  The same should be taking into account related to renewal of energy supplies, water supplies, mobility, biodiversity etc…
  2. All partners have questions about the drives and interests of their students and potential target groups. Their seems to be a great need for Good practices of research to get more insight into the needs of of students (both for initial programs, lifelong learning programs and international programs).
  3. Partners are also interested in new marketing and recruiting methods to reach out for new target groups on national and international level.
  4. All partners are working on the renewal of their school programs to fit the actual needs of the job market and society and new target groups and are searching for inspirational examples of other schools to help them with this renewal. Good practices are needed related to both the new skills and content as the resources for the programs and innovative didactic an pedagogic methods and tools.
  5. All partners are also aware of the need to strengthen their relationship with companies and educational institutes in their school environment. This is important for the schools to adapt their school programs and methodologies and to attract more students that will not drop out.  
  6. Professional development is also an issue, but is directly connected with renewal the program and cooperation with the school environment. Developing towards a more open minded and outward facing flexible attitude and mindset seems to be a major starting point for this professional development of teachers.
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