Productive Learning - Information for
"I've been working for five years as an educator in Productive
Learning. I can certainly confirm that it's a completely different
concept of learning; it's demanding but also extremely fulfilling."
As a Productive Learning educator I assume
a completely new role; I'm no longer a specialist teacher but a
learning advisor. Working with a young person, I develop an individual
learning programme for him or her. This learning programme is centred
around their experiences in their practice placement, which they
choose for themselves, and where they are supported by a practice
The learning tasks which the students have to
complete during the school year are developed from their experiences
in the practice placements. In performing these tasks, they make
use of several disciplines and cultural traditions from across the
range of school subjects to answer questions and work on topics
'which life throws at them'. So, the kinds of 'normal' lesson material
like doing fractions, learning foreign vocabulary or studying the
grammar of their own language, become relevant in real-life applications.
In this way, most students manage to earn a secondary school diploma.
I'm always fascinated to see how most of the
young people flourish in the Productive Learnig environment.
Many of them have had a very difficult time in school before that
and have lost all confidence in themselves. When they then manage
to rekindle their lost motivation for learning we see it as a great
At the end of the 9th or 10th grade in Productive
Learning most young people manage to make the transition into
woring life. They have gained self-confidence and have learned how
to make decisions independently and how to articulate their training
needs. They can set goals for themselves and motivate themselves
to attain these goals. They know what they want and they know what
they can do.
Thieme, Master gardener, practice placement mentor:
"We offer practice placements in our horticultural buisiness
to young people who come from Productive Learnuing schools."
The young people from Productive Learning
schools get involved in a broad variety of activities here.
At first I was surprised how intensely they applied themselves
to their practical experience, even in school. They´re
always looking for new tasks and topics that they can work on independently.
This way of learning certainly lays a good foundation for success
in their professional lives; these young people have particulary
good chances of getting into vocational training in the future.
It has proven advantageous for the young people
to spend an average of three months on their practice placement.
That gives them time to become thoroughly familiar with the business,
get to know their colleagues and take responsibility for what they
The young people are not working towards specialist
qualifications at this stage but rather are expanding their general
knowledge, e.g. about the environment and nature, in biology, economics
I see my involvement as a placement mentor as
a useful contribution within a social system in which one generation
supports another. I'm getting involved in the education of young
people to help them to understand the concrete relationship between
learnig and work.