Institute for Productive
Learning in Europe (IPLE e.V.)
Foundation, Objectives and Legal Structure of the IPLE e.V. (registered association)
The IPLE was founded in 1991 by Dipl.-Päd. Ingrid Böhm and Prof. Dr. Jens Schneider as an Affiliated Institute of the Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin. The charitable registered association IPLE promotes Productive Learning as well as education in school and outside of school. This education is based on important principles of Productive Learning such as the individualisation of education, the connection between experiences of activity and learning, and/or the utilisation of knowledge and culture as a tool. Its board consist of the Alice Salomon University’s Vice Chancellor and of up to five further members elected by the general assembly (cf. Impressum).
Main activities of the IPLE
Since its foundation the IPLE has been involved in school development and in the professional development of teachers.
Over the past 20 years the IPLE has been developing concepts for school education and for education outside of school which have the following objectives: the individualisation of learning processes, that learning is taking place within real-life situations, and connecting practical experiences with the learning in school. All concepts are piloted, evaluated and developed in various federal states, in different types of schools and with different target groups in co-operation with the IPLE’s partners (ministries, providers, schools, municipalities and districts, educational projects outside of school).
One specific form of education is Productive Learning. In co-operation with the Ministries of Education and Culture the IPLE has set up ESF-promoted pilot projects in altogether 84 schools in Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Pomerania, in Saxony and in Saxony-Anhalt. Pupils with special educational needs are also members of the learning groups. The IPLE has been assisting Special Educational Needs Centres for a number of years through the project Productive Learning in Berlin Schools – providing advice in areas such as concept development and implementation, as well as staff training.
In particular, the IPLE concerns itself with the following aspects:
Project Development and Monitoring
Core activities of the IPLE include:
||Erasmus+ / project PROVED, EU-Fonds to implement productive learning in the vocastional training system, participating countries: Germany, Finland, Greece, Lithuania
The ESF-project: Productive Learning in Saxony: The IPLE assists the introduction of Productive Learning in altogether eight secondary schools. In order to do so, the IPLE is running a professional development programme for educators and project advisors. It also monitors those schools in terms of concept design, advice for schools, further professional development and advanced training, quality assurance, and evaluation.
||Supporting dual learning programmes – federal state financed (continuation of ESF-project Practice Related and Vocation Oriented Learning in Berlin Schools).
||Productive Learning in Berlin Schools (PLEBS) – federal state financed
Successfully completed ESF projects of the IPLE since 1992:
||ESF-project: Productive Learning in Mecklenburg-Pomerania: The IPLE monitored the introduction of Productive Learning in altogether 27 schools. In order to do so, the IPLE ran a professional development programme for educators and project advisors. It also monitored those schools in terms of concept design, advice for schools, further professional development and advanced training, quality assurance, and evaluation.
‘Acting Discovering and Exploring (HEE) in year 7 in Mecklenburg-Pomerania: The IPLE monitored the introduction of the weekly project learning day ‘HEE‘ by offering professional development training and advice for participating schools and teaching staff.
||ESF-project: Practice Related and Vocation Oriented Learning (PBL) in Berlin: Supporting approximately 25 Berlin schools in terms of planning, establishing and realisation of suitable forms of education by providing professional development, study days and advice.
||ESF-project: Productive Learning in Saxony-Anhalt: The IPLE monitored the introduction of Productive Learning in altogether 21 schools. In order to do so, the IPLE ran a professional development programme for educators and project advisors. It also monitored those schools in terms of concept design, advice for schools, further professional development and advanced training, and evaluation.
||ESF-project: Productive Learning in Thuringia: Professional development of 17 educators from 7 secondary schools in Thuringia.
||ESF-project: Productive Learning in Berlin Schools (PLEBS): The IPLE monitored the introduction of Productive Learning in Berlin schools. In order to do so, the IPLE ran a professional development programme for educators and project advisors. It also monitored those schools in terms of concept design, advice for schools, further professional development and advanced training, quality assurance, and evaluation.
Conceptual and curricular development
for the realisation of projects in schools and educational institutions
The IPLE supports both schools in their development tasks and educational projects outside of school in their educational work by offering advice and further training. This applies to forms of education which have a curricular connection between theory and practice as their aim, which integrate individual vocational orientation into general education, and/or endeavour to strengthen the individualisation of the learning process. Examples for this are the projects ‘Civil Society Involvement’ and the development group ‘Physical City – Nature and Technology in the City’ in Berlin Schools, and also the school project ‚Acting Discovering and Exploring’ (HEE) in year 7 in Mecklenburg-Pomerania.
One specific educational form is Productive Learning. In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture the IPLE prepared, implemented and evaluated ESF-funded school- and pilot projects in Productive Learning in 84 schools in Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Pomerania, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. Pupils with specific educational needs are also taking part in the learning groups. As part of the project Productive Learning in Berlin Schools, the IPLE has assisted Special Educational Needs Centres in the areas of concept development and implementation and staff development.
Monitoring for Schools, Teachers, and Independent Educational Institutions
Monitoring is a central element of our activities whilst introducing and realising new forms of education and projects. During advisory sessions educators, colleagues, schools or educational institutions are supported in the following aspects:
- Concept development and implementation into pedagogical practice
- Evaluation of pedagogical work
- Team work and Team development
Our approach for monitoring is person-centred, systematic and non-directive. We emphasise trust, respect and positive collaboration. Objectives are determined collaboratively and, if necessary, moderated.
As a specific form of monitoring we also offer supervision and coaching for individuals and teams. This form of advice is especially suitable when dealing with case studies, for team development, for the moderation of role development, and for a better understanding of current challenges.
Training and Further Development for Teachers and Multipliers:
What we offer in terms of professional development and training partially depends on projects (e.g. introduction of Productive Learning) and serves the purpose of qualifying teachers or multipliers for a specific project. Such as:
- Certified further study programme ‘Productive Learning in Europe’ (2 or 3 years)
- Certified further study programme ‘Mentoring Productive Learning Projects’ (2,5 years)
- Further education for Productive Learning educators and Dual Learning teachers
Other professional development programmes are open programmes for teachers within a specific region such as:
- Further education for Productive Learning project mentors and moderators (facilitators)
- Supervision of Productive Learning educators in Saxony-Anhalt
In addition, we offer further training in various formats. For example, we gained positive experiences with the following:
- Study day for colleagues on a range of themes e.g. on school programme development
- Workshops on specific topics e.g. concept development for vocational orientation
- Working groups for the ongoing development of a key area e.g. ‘Civil Society Involvement‘ for teachers in Berlin
- Professional development days on specific topics e.g. ‘Dealing with Conflict Situations‘
- Supervision and Coaching
The following materials are available to educators who take part in the further training programme Productive Learning in Europe.
- Framework Curriculum for Productive Learning
- Tool Box: German, Mathematics, and English in Productive Learning, Learning at Places of Practice & Communication Groups in Productive Learning
- Mathematical Learning Blocks
- Reader: The Orientation Phase in Productive Learning, English in Productive Learning
International Networking, International Congresses and Seminars
The IPLE was founded in 1991 as a European institute: for the institute, school development was and is not only a national but a universal topic. This manifests itself through the continuous co-operation with educators from different European countries and the USA.
The International Network of Productive Learning Projects and Schools (INEPS) – founded in 1991 – consists today of 50 members (the majority of which are institutions and schools) from 15 European countries and the USA (cf. www.ineps.org).
Our international work pursues the following objectives:
- Specialist communication and methodological development of Productive Learning during regular work congresses
- Implementation of joint development projects
- Thematic youth congresses
- International exchange projects for young people and educators
- Preparation for ‘Learning at Practice Abroad’ for young people who take part in Productive Learning
- Training of educators during International Seminars
Evaluation of Projects
Monitoring of schools during the evaluation process of their educational work
- Process Mentoring
- Advice on Evaluation Methods
- Development of Good Evaluation Practice
Key areas of Evaluation and Surveys of the IPLE
- Secondary evaluation of annual evaluations of schools participating in projects
- Survey of pupils in Berlin about their ‘school biography’ and about their educational development in Productive Learning by means of narrative interviews
- Educational processes in Mecklenburg-Pomerania by means of qualitative interviews (longitudinal section)
- Participants’ consultation in Mecklenburg-Pomerania at the end of their two-year education programme for the implementation of the Productive Learning curriculum and methodology
- Parents’ consultation in Mecklenburg-Pomerania, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt on whether or not they are satisfied with the educational form of Productive Learning and the development of their children by means of questionnaires, with additional qualitative interviews in Saxony
- Mentor consultation in Mecklenburg-Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt in order to assess the Productive Learning participants’ willingness and ability to undergo training (by means of questionnaires)
- Educators’ consultation on role development in Productive Learning (part-structured interviews) and on specialist assistance of the IPLE (questionnaire)
- Annual statistics of participants (Transfers, School Leaving Certificates and Prospects after leaving school)
- Destination survey of all Productive Learning pupils six months after they left Productive Learning to ascertain the stability of post-PL prospects
- Case studies of pupils of Productive Learning in Saxony in co-operation with Productive Learning educators
External Evaluation of Productive Learning
The projects ‘Productive Learning in Saxony’ and ‘Productive Learning in Mecklenburg-Pomerania are evaluated by the University of Rostock