Back in November 2014 we started the first transnational meeting with our AHENE partners in Maasland, the Netherlands. “AHENE” stands for Animal Husbandry Exchanges in Northwest Europe. The aim of our AHENE project is to investigate if we can organise exchanges of European students to follow their school lessons about Animal Husbandry abroad at one of the partner schools.
We offer 8 learning modules of 4 weeks each to MBO students in Wales, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland (our 4 AHENE partner countries). This is a 3-year pilot to see if what we are offering will be good practice for the future.
The 4-week AHENE modules all include 2 weeks of theory and 2 weeks of practical on-the-job learning. Everything is based on the ECVET principles (recognition of learning outcomes obtained abroad). We have been learning by doing and are enthusiastic about the student exchanges! Each partner has identified learning outcomes, knowledge, skills and competences for their own 2 modules. The topics chosen per country combine the partner’s expertise within its own country with interesting animal husbandry matter. In this way we hope to interest as many students as possible to take part in one of the courses abroad.
The modules are:
- Dairy Cows in Finland
- Sledge Dogs in Sweden
- Sheep Husbandry in Wales
- Husbandry of Reptiles in The Netherlands
- First Aid for (small) animals in The Netherlands
- Nordic Animals in Sweden
- Dogs in Finland
- Beef Cattle in Wales.
During each project meeting, a part of the programme has included visiting a practical training activity or lesson at one of the partner-schools. In this way all partners involved are able to get a good impression of teaching styles and methods used in each partner country. Each partner has been practicing teaching in English to its own students. The reactions have been very encouraging – students are eager to help the teachers with their English vocabulary (!)
The main goal of our project is to offer new educational materials to students and to do so according to the principles of ECVET. We have exchanged 79 students and 22 teachers between the partner schools and hosted all of the 8 modules that we have developed for the very first time. All experiences have been collected and evaluated. On returning to the home school, we ultimately wanted the home school to recognise and validate what the students have learned abroad. This means that the students do not have to take part in the same lessons back at their home school again. This has proved to be quite a challenge!
We have launched a working environment to share project documents between the partners and we have also already launched a project website (framework) that we are using to share project results (www.lentiz.org/ahene). All of the participating students and teachers have become members of our Facebook page AHENE – for students and teachers (closed group). Please feel free to take a look at this!
If you would like to have any more information, please look at this short video (start at 2 min 50 sec) or contact Gail Wright, AHENE project manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).