The project started in the academic year 1996/1997. Our school was one of two schools being involved in the so-called “PLEBS”-project what means “Productive Learning at Berlin Schools”. It was accompanied by the “Institute of Productive Learning in Europe (IPLE)”.
The clients of “Productive Learning at Berlin Schools” are students:
· between the age of 15 to 18 years who mainly failed in regular school system,
· who want to learn in real life situations,
· who want to work on their own topics,
· who like to train their own professional career.
The aims of the 2-years-termed project are to provide new methods of learning. Students start to learn for their own using their practical experience for their individual curricula. More and more they accept the necessity of background and of general knowledge to articulate their training needs. They get motivated to realise their individual tasks.
How does it work?
Each academic year is divided in three parts called “trimester”. In each trimester the 40 students choose a practical placement of their interests by their own. There they learn 17 hours a week in real life situations supported by their tutors and their 3 teachers.
They report about their learning experience in the frame of the “Communication group” (five hours a week). In this important educational part of Productive Learning students learn from each other. They develop and evaluate their individual curricula.
Eight hours a week students learn English, Math and other subjects depending on their individual interests. After each trimester the young people get an educational report, after each academic year a certificate. If they were successful in Productive Learning these certificates give them the right to start an apprenticeship.
Productive Learning is a very successful method. Each year there are more
applicants for this different route to success. Meanwhile there are 7 schools in Berlin who offer it. Also in other parts of Germany they started similar projects. This development is an encouragement of our work.