New didactic skills for vocational teachers in Colombia

Training scene
Festo Didactic prepares vocational teachers of the Colombian National Training Service, SENA (Servicio National del Aprendizaje), to develop effectively the job skills of their students in a dramatically changing industrial environment.

iMOVE Interview with Yvonne Salazar, Project Manager Educational Consulting, Festo Didactic SE, February 2017.

iMOVE: What is the name and background of your organisation?

Salazar: I work for Festo Didactic that belongs to the Festo Group. Festo is a leading global supplier of automation technology and solution provider for industrial and technical training. The headquarters of the independent family company, founded in 1925, is located in Esslingen, Germany. Thanks to its innovations and problem-solving competence, the company has become the performance leader in its industry. Today, 18,700 employees provide pneumatic and electric drive technology for over 300,000 customers world-wide, achieving a turnover of € 2.64 billion in 2015.

iMOVE: Which services do you offer in the field of vocational education and training?

Salazar: In 1965, Festo established Festo Didactic in order to satisfy the great demand of the industrial and educational sectors for technical trainings especially regarding the newly introduced automation technologies. Nowadays Festo Didactic is the globally leading provider of industrial education. We design and implement learning centres and laboratories, training equipment and programmes that enable people to perform in highly dynamic and complex industrial environments. Our goal is to maximise learning success in educational institutions and industrial companies around the globe.

Our product and service portfolio offers solutions for effective learning in a broad spectrum of technologies, but also in fields like lean production, quality management and safety. Based on the longstanding experience in the didactic design and implementation of training courses, the training of teachers and instructors has lately become a major focus.

Training scene

iMOVE: Which key service do you provide for Colombian vocational teachers?

Salazar: In 2014 SENA founded the national academy 'Rodolfo Martinez Tono' for the qualification of around 30,000 vocational teachers. In order to provide them with the skills needed to prepare their students for the requirements of today's industry, Festo Didactic was entrusted the task to develop the methodical and didactic skills of 108 pedagogical trainers. The ongoing "National Programme for the Training of Vocational Teachers" follows a multiplier approach. It qualifies trainers and master trainers who then transfer the new methods and skills to their colleagues. The high acceptance and satisfaction with the national Train-the-Trainer programme led to the training of another 48 trainers in 2016.

The 20 best of each group are selected to participate in an international transfer programme and are qualified as "Master Trainers" by Festo Didactic and the Landesakademie Esslingen (State Academy Esslingen). In the region of Stuttgart they experience modern educational practices in colleges and companies and analyse these experiences in workshops and seminars.

Over 3,000 vocational teachers of SENA have already been trained by their colleagues and are now applying the new skills in their lessons.

iMOVE: What characterises the training programme and the didactic methods?

Salazar: Festo Didactic supports vocational teachers on their way to an enlarged didactic approach. In order to prepare students for the requirements of global economy, vocational teachers must act as facilitators and coaches. To be able to perform this new role they need to apply methods that are learner-centred, design learning processes that foster practical and autonomous learning and use manifold activating learning methods as well as formative evaluation. They are required to introduce phases of reflection and feedback and create an interactive learning environment. The modular T-t-T programme focusses the sustainable development of these skills. Three face-to-face modules cover the roles of a trainer and communication, learning processes, evaluation and learning transfer. Digital media, like web-based trainings (WBTs) support self-learning phases and the self-directed compe-tence development of the pedagogical trainers.

Yvonne Salazar,
Project Manager Educational Consulting, Festo Didactic SE
two participants in a trainings scene
Men and women hold balls in their hands

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Logo, Text: Festo
Festo Didactic SE
Rechbergstraße 3
73770 Denkendorf
Telefon: +49 711 3467 4989

Contact Person:
Yvonne Salazar
group picture
Master trainers from Columbia at the State Academy Esslingen