Competences of vocational Matura holders: Evaluation of lower professional education. A regional study with a comparison between the professional and the academic Matura
This article presents major results from a regional study that was conducted between 2001 and 2005 in upper secondary schools and universities of applied science in the Swiss Canton Ticino. A first phase primarily aimed at evaluating the existing quantitative and qualitative potentials of Matura holders form lower vocational education and from grammar schools in view of introducing a faculty of information technology at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI). The second phase focused on the professional Matura and included a comparison with the academic Matura: based on a total population survey, questions related to the competence profile of Matura holders and differences according to their field of study were enquired. In addition to qualitative interviews with teachers, questionnaires as well as performance and intelligence test, a specific instrument was developed to capture cultural competences. The results for professional Matura holders are ambivalent: on the one hand, they demonstrate in some fields of competences resources that are comparable with those of academic Matura holders, e.g. their cognitive, “language related” intelligence potential. On the other hand, their language and cultural resources show notable shortcomings. Professional Matura holders from commercial tracks show most difficulties compared to other vocational fields.
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