The legal basis of launching the Dobbantó Programme – and implementing it under the leadership of the Public Foundation for the Equal Opportunities of Persons with Disabilities (FSZK) – was the 2007 amendment of the Public Education Act. The programme began in 2008 with 15 participating schools – 5 from the capital city and 10 from other regions – selected from applicants across Hungary. The participating vocational schools implement the Dobbantó Programme in one or more groups of 12 to 16 students who complete a “preparatory ninth year of education”. The students joining the Dobbantó groups are 15-to-24-year-old young people who have already dropped out of education and training or are about to leave the system, and do not have any secondary or vocational qualification. The Programme offers them an additional year of education to understand and overcome their earlier failures at school, in learning or in their personal lives, and to find the best way to move on, i.e. to return to the school system or to enter vocational training or the world of work.

The Dobbantó (Springboard) Programme began in January 2008 and ended as a project in November 2011. It has two main strands of activities:

a) Developing teaching and learning materials for the additional year of education made possible by the law. The purpose of these materials is to support the development and reintegration of students based on their individual needs, in other words to create new, complex (innovative) learning environments that can help to change the views the participating students have about school as a result of their earlier school failures. These ILEs are different from the traditional learning environments in terms of

  • the physical learning environment;
  • the organisation of learning;
  • the learning content;
  • the instruction methods;
  • the pedagogical approach and practice (pedagogical paradigm).

b) Providing training and support to the teachers working with the students and the heads of their schools. Here, the objective is to help the replacement of the so-called traditional focus on the teaching of subjects by approaches and practices that focus on the individual progress of students, and to enable teachers to securely navigate in the new complex learning environments that reflect the pedagogical paradigm of the Dobbantó Programme.

The programme itself still runs in 12 Hungarian schools after the project period. The programme leader is Ms Mária Bognar –

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