Byron's Babbles

Learning to Do, Doing to Learn!

Today, while in Berlin, Germany, I was reminded that what I always say, “Once an Agriculture Science teacher and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, always a CTE guy. As I visited with Yorck Sievers of The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, I was reminded just how engrained the FFA motto of, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve” is to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. This is also engrained in my core values of how to educate young scholars. The Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag, DIHK) is the central organisation for 79 Chambers of Commerce and Industry, CCI (Industrie- und Handelskammern, IHKs) in Germany. All German companies registered in Germany, with the exception of handicraft businesses, the free professions and farms, are required by law to join a chamber.

The FFA motto gives members 12 short words to live by as they experience the opportunities in the organization. Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve. Learning by doing is also a cornerstone of the German education system. Whether someone wants to become a carpenter or a hotel concierge, she has probably gone though what is known as the dual education system. This system combines time spent in the classroom with work at a company. During our education research trip with Horizon Education Alliance, we learned about how Germany’s vocational education system pairs hands-on learning with classroom learning to give young people a leg up in the workforce. Most students graduate not only with a degree, but also with job experience and a deep knowledge of their trade. This vocational training offers a high degree of job security. The professional certifications issued to students at the end of their programs are well respected within their fields, and more than half of apprentices stay on as full-time employees at the businesses where they trained. They even get paid during their studies.

Check out a few slides from our meeting with Sievers:

During this time with Sievers we also learned that schools follow the companies and not the other way around. This training model is all about the future of the company, but the companies are not left alone. The companies need support. This is competency based education. The Chambers in Germany provide:

  1. Organization
  2. Registration
  3. Examination
  4. Certifications on a national level

In this German model there are courses that cover more than 350 different occupations that are approved by the businesses and federal bodies overseeing the program. In Germany, they are truly walking the talk by facilitating students for “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve.”

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  1. […] Learning to Do, Doing to Learn! […]

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