3. Case Study Denmark 2009: 3rd Sector involvement in preparing for VPL- training of â€śsparring partnersâ€ť
Evidence, material, content
The Danish Ministry of Education has provided tools for clarification and The tools are available at the internet in three versions for respectively : non-formal adult education, association work or voluntary work and are documentation of competences acquired in 3rd sector activities. free of charge. The background was a wish to facilitate cross sector transfer of competences and help the individual in providing evidence for prior learning from the 3rd http://www.realkompetence-folkeoplysning.dk/ sector within the new possibilities for VPL at the formal educational http://www.realkompetence-forening.dk/ institutions. http://www.realkompetence-frivillig.dk/ The tools were developed in 2006/2007 by Knowledge Lab at the University The tools are questionnaires on the following general 3. sector relevant of Southern Denmark. competences: A steering committee with representatives from the 3rd sector organisations, the formal educational institutions and the social partners was established. â€˘ Social competences â€˘ Learning competences The task was: â€˘ Communicative competences â€˘ â€śA standard without standardisingâ€ť â€˘ Creative-innovative competences â€˘ A systematic reflection, description and documentation â€˘ ICT competences of non-formal and informal competencies â€˘ Self management competences â€˘ No specific or formal standards of levels â€˘ Intercultural competences - since the learning is non-formal and informal â€˘ Organizational competences - and is supposed to remain so!
The last one â€“ organizational competences â€“ is omitted in relation to nonformal adult education as learning here is intentional and facilitated/ â€śThe prior learning instrument now allows you to describe and document the organized by teachers. unique skills and competencies you have developed in adult education , e.g. at an evening school, folk high school, home economics school, handcrafts Each competence is described with key words and examples. school, day folk high school, production college or continuation school. Social competence is for example defined this way: You do so by filling out the questionnaire specifically dealing with what you â€śHaving social competences means that you can be a part of social contexts have learned in adult education. You can either fill out the questionnaire on in a constructive way. your own or together with a sparring partner. Keywords are - Openness The end result is a description of your prior learning. This description can be - Personal relations used when you apply for work or when applying for admission to an - Empathy education programme. - Problem solving Prior learning includes everything you are able to do, regardless of how you - Interplayâ€ť have learned it. Some of your abilities are certified, others are just things that you are able to do. This description of prior learning is a contribution to cast light on your total prior learning and therefore becomes a supplement to your The questionnaire consists of 10 statements pr. competence. The individual rates him- or herself on a 5-step scale going from to a very high degree to a CV.â€ť lesser degree. This is how the tool was presented when launched: The aim was to provide a tool for self assessment that would be recognized by both the formal educational institutions and [the] enterprises. In the work process of the steering committee it became clear that a function of â€śsparringâ€ť was desirable to improve the reliability and the quality of the clarification of the individual. The tools could scaffold a reflection that was better supported via a dialogue with a sparring partner. The statements are intended to be easily understood e.g. â€śI contribute to everybody feeling at easeâ€ť, I like working with other peopleâ€ť or â€śI am a part of groups with people with a different back ground than my ownâ€ť. In relation to each competence the individual is asked to give some examples of how he or she has demonstrated the competence, eg social competence or intercultural competence.
The answers are accumulated automatically in a graphic format that presents a competence profile also featuring the examples of the individual. The challenge: an infrastructure for 3rd sector support to VPL How could one establish a network of local sparring partners all over the country? And who should be responsible for and finance the establishing of a The individual prints the format out and signs it. If a sparring partner has body of sparring partners in the 3rd sector? been involved he or she signs as well. In Denmark we have one of the highest ratios for voluntary association pr. habitant. Conceptually the developers of the tools made a point that the clarification
and documentation should be related to a specific context, e.g. a sports organisation or an educational programme at a day folk high school. So one needed in effect a â€śsparring partnerâ€ť available in each and every association As a part of the international â€śHopkins Comparative Non profit Sector in DK. Projectâ€ť, (see: For the associations the challenge is that they have no professional http://www.ccss.jhu.edu/index.php?section=content&view=9&sub=3) experience in counselling and guidance in a more formalized way. DGI (The figures from 2004 state that we in Denmark have 83.000 voluntary national Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations) establishes short organisation in the 3. Sector â€“ State and market being the other two introductory courses of local leaders and board members to prepare them for sectors. We are 5,5 millions inhabitants in DK. supporting their members in using the tools. The Danish part of the research project is described in Danish at :http://www.frivillighedsus.dk/ The voluntary work sector has been very hesitant in accepting the tools and the whole concept of documenting competences developed via voluntary Homepage in English on DGI work. No training of sparring partners has been established yet. The same is http://www.dgi.dk/English.aspx the case for DUF (the Danish Youth Council) though they have VPL on their agenda. Homepage in English on the voluntary sector: http://www.frivillighed.dk/Webnodes/English/296 One of the ways to meet the challenge is to encourage local cooperation between the various types of organisations in the 3rd sector, e.g. having counsellors from the schools providing non-formal adult education assist the associations with no experience in working with the tools and with no explicit pedagogical and learning approach to their activities. One answer to the challenge is to educate VPL-guides for sparring partners.
Homepage in English on DUF http://www.duf.dk/home/ The homepage of DAEA in an English version: http://www.dfs.dk/inenglish.aspx
The case: Training of guides for sparring partners in the non-formal adult education The Danish Association of Adult Education (DAEA) has made training courses available for teachers and counsellors from the non-formal adult educational schools to become sparring partners themselves and VPL-guides for future sparring partners across 3rd sector.
DAEA is the national umbrella organisation for non-formal adult learning in Denmark. The 33 members are national organisations representing a broad variety of interests and providing lifelong learning via a broad range of activities, themes and subject matters. DAEA advocates politically the common interests of the members, and has chosen VPL to be high priority in the funding and consultative support of development projects. A high profiled forum for updating on legislation, research and exchange of experience has been a core activity.
The first course was established in 2007, and will be repeated as long as there The training of sparring partners is partly financed by DAEA, partly by participantâ€™s fees. is a demand. The participants in the DAEA courses are from the local schools and the English version of DAEAâ€™s homepage on validation: national organisations for the above mentioned schools, e.g.: day folk high http://www.dfs.dk/inenglish/priorlearning.aspx schools, folk high schools, adult education associations and University extensions. Number of student pr. course: 25-27 The announcement of the training course in 2009/2010: http://www.dfs.dk/netavisen/undervisningoguddannelse/blivfrontloeberfo The format of the course is 3 modules: 2 x 1 day and 1 x 2 days. rarbejdetmedrealkompetence.aspx In between the modules the participants must try out working with the tools and concepts. First in their own organisation, next in relation to other local 3rd sector organizations. The participants are divided into working groups based Course materials available in Danish: on geography â€“ it must be possible for them to meet in between the http://www.dfs.dk/realkompetence/materialertilsparringspartnere.aspx modules. The courses are taught with a mix of presentations, critical reflections, exercises and role playing under the supervision of a professional actor. The Main source: Interview with Randi Jensen, Head of The national instructors are experts in their field from organisations, university colleges organisation of Day folk High Schools in Denmark and universities. Contact info: +45 33 33 06 66 Special educational material has been developed for the courses, as well as firstname.lastname@example.org materials for the guides to use when they are going to train future sparring partners The outcome A group of very competent people are ready to act as ambassadors for the VPL-possibilities at local level, and the local 3rd sector associations become aware of the tools and the advantages of using them. The tools of the Ministry of education are used in a more competent and reliable way. The associations become more aware of the learning taking place in their daily activities â€“ and can promote the ideas of their work. A little step is better than no step â€“ and the training courses work as ripples spread across the water.