Gradia had the pleasure of hosting staff from Lycee Nadar/ Academie Versailles at the end of January. We asked them some questions regarding their visit and the impressions they got.
What did you find were the similaries/ differences in VET education in Finland and France? Did something surprise you?
It was a real pleasure to get to know Gradia and it was very enriching to talk with you about your school system.
The similarities with the Finnish system and the French system are few. In fact, in broad terms, we find (in common) the idea of learning a trade but the implementation is completely different. The state of mind is totally different. And we can imagine that the result is too.
There are several points which can be highlighted and which were quite surprising in relation to our system :
- the first is the mix between young people and adults
- the second is the learning of entrepreneurship but also the implementation of the learning that we were able to discover in the visual merchandising – to put n condition the students and thus allow them already to confront the reality of a project: it’s just great
- the third is always in this state of mind where you allow e.g. the electro-technical and mechanical sector to produce for companies and thus already participate in this economy, but also to feel useful, and in the end collect money for their project
- the fourth is focused on the cafeteria: the diversity of dishes while paying attention to everyone’s allergies but also the food shop system which allows the sale of food that has not been consumed at noon
- the fifth is the teaching method which is presented in the form of modules and allows the student to reveal himself throughout his schooling and thus continue his studies while having the possibility of completing or reorienting his training
What would you like to take with you back to France? What would you like to happen next?
The previous list could be even longer. The Finnish system is really very interesting and a model of its kind. We could say that the French system, in itself, presents similarities but only when one begins the higher studies (studies after the baccalaureate). Which is a shame because many of our students stop school after the baccalaureate and do not pursue higher education and it would have been interesting to have given them all these skills before starting their professional life. Students who continue their studies would also be better prepared for the required academic level of higher education. Many drop out because they are still too academic. Let’s say it: the Finnish system is trying to make the child responsible and the French system is not.
We don’t feel it is really possible to change the French system because it depends on a lot of things. Many things would have to change at the top, namely the Ministry of Education and the French mentality. Meanwhile, we think it is still possible for the teachers to make a change and follow the path that is imposed on us, while at the same time conveying a pedagogy that will allow the student to have deep reflections on their future and their studies.
And finally, the visitors would like to thank everyone they met at Gradia for the warm welcome received. All interventions were very interesting and appreciated.