The GRIT project aims at developing interaction practices during the work placements / work-based learning periods between all the three parties (the student, the school and the work place). The goal of the more frequent and better interaction is to improve both the learning outcomes as well as to support the personal growth and competences of the participants. For the educational institutions it is extremely important to stay in touch with changing needs on job markets as the schools should develop education accordingly, in line with the trends.
The GRIT project is both cross-sectoral and cross-cultural: the project members represent both higher education as well as vocational education institutes and come from Finland, Belgium, Estonia and Spain. We will experiment different kinds of digital communication tools inside the work placement triangle. Service Design Thinking as a development tool brings new insights and contents into the interaction between people and organizations.
Coordinator: Haaga-Helia (Finland)
Project manager: Päivi Karjalainen
Duration: 1.9.2016 – 31.8.2018
Partners: Omnia (Finland), HoGent (Belgium), Tartu Kutsehariduskeskus (Estonia) Ikaslan Gipuzkoa (Basque Country).
GRIT started as a dream of one teacher in Finland some years back. She had noticed that the work placement in her educational unit was very important and mainly very successful from all the three parties (the student, the school and the employer) viewpoints. However, the communication between the parties seemed to activate mostly when some problems occurred.
The teacher also had the feeling that all the parties could benefit much more of the work placement, if there were more interaction between them during the actual work based learning period.
In the student reports there was information on issues that they had found very useful in their education and could be straight applied in the work life – and sometimes the students wrote about issues that should be considered anew.
The employers were very pleased with the skills of their interns, but sometimes they thought that the attitude of their intern could be better. Many students got a summer job or were employed to their first professional related to their educational field at the workplace where they had their internships.
However, from the school’s viewpoint more frequent and comprehensive feedback would help the school to better keep up with the rhythm of the rapidly changing work life. The education should not just meet the employability needs of today but aim at teaching employees of the future. How could the schools equip the students with skills that would meet the needs of the future employers?
The teacher started to dream of continuous and open communication between all the three work based learning partners, who share a common interest to learn and develop (= grow) in the work based learning framework and possibilities offered by the common context.
A little later the dreamer took part in a teacher exchange program of ERASMUS+ mobility and visited an organization where work based learning was adapted to higher education needs using the methods of Service Design. This was when the GRIT (GRowth In the Work based learning Triangle) project started to form.
During several steps and a couple of years the GRIT idea matured and developed into a cross sectoral and cross cultural Erasmus+ application, which got funding in the 2016 round. .
Now the dreaming teacher has partners that have developed their visions further and a two-year-GRIT project is alive and has enthusiastic partners from four countries: two higher education institutions (from Finland and Belgium) and three vocational training institutions (from Finland, Estonia and Basque-country, Spain).
See a short video about the GRIT project here
See our Estonian partners tell about the challenges and possibilities in WBL