The Education Officers within the National School Support Services organised a Peer Learning activity for career guidance practitioners who work within State Colleges. The main aim behind this activity was to enhance team-building skills which career guidance practitioners, namely, career advisors, trainee career advisors and career guidance teachers, need in order to work together in view of the My Journey vocational pathways* which is underway within the educational system in Malta.
As part of the My Journey preparations, respective State Colleges were grouped as clusters i.e. the nine colleges were grouped into 3 clusters: southern, central and northern. This entails that practitioners of the three colleges have to work together as a cluster/team, hence, team-building had to be strengthened. In order to enhance team-building skills of our practitioners, this peer learning activity was organised whereby practitioners were divided in five groups and each group had to ‘build a bus’. Each group was also assessed on a number of criteria, such as, communication, decision-making, creativity, leadership, etc.
Through this peer learning activity, the following outcomes were reached:
- Practitioners could get to know more each other
- The criteria they were assessed on are essential criteria which they have to possess and master in order to organise the respective cluster preparations for ‘My Journey’, both for students and parents
- National activities are also planned, for example, a national fair whereby all the academic, vocational and applied subjects will be presented whereby our practitioners will need to work as a team to guide groups of students. A smaller group of the same participants was also selected to attend Training on a career web portal which will soon be launched in relation to My Journey
- Practitioners could feel a ‘sense of belonging’ despite the ongoing changes and new instructions which come into force from time to time as part of the My Journey process
- Practitioners took the opportunity to share their College good practices and learn from one another
At the end of the session, all practitioners passed on positive feedback and suggested that similar peer learning and team-building activities should take place among career guidance personnel.
*The My Journey is an initiative launched on a national level whereby Year 8 students (12-year olds) will have more option subjects to choose from than those usually offered. The Maltese Educational system allows year 8 students to choose two (2) option subjects and these subjects will be taught for the remaining three years (year 9, 10 and 11). Through My Journey, in addition to a number of academic subjects which students can choose from, four (4) new vocational subjects will be introduced apart from the five existing vocational ones and moreover, all vocational subjects, nine (9) in total, will be offered also as ‘Applied’ subjects. Both the vocational and applied subjects include a hands-on approach.