Empowering Youth through Decision Education: The KLUGentscheiden! Initiative in Germany

November 21st, 2023

As part of its work as a field builder, the Alliance for Decision Education brings together individuals and organizations, within the United States and across the globe, with the common goal of advancing the field of Decision Education and making it a part of every student’s learning experience.

One member of the Alliance for Decision Education’s Advisory Council, Professor Johannes Siebert of the Management Center Innsbruck, is currently spearheading an initiative to help German high school students make decisions about their careers and educational paths after graduation. The project “KLUGentscheiden!”—which translates to “Choose Wisely!”—was initiated by Siebert at the University of Bayreuth. Over the past three years, more than 350 teachers and educational professionals, as well as more than 30 career counselors, have received one-day training to become advocates to multiply the impact of KLUGentscheiden!

According to Professor Siebert, KLUG effectively addresses three critical challenges Germany is facing currently: youth unemployment, a shortage of skilled workers, and social inequality. He states, “Whether continuing their education or entering the workforce, we believe that educating adolescents in decision-making will improve the quality of their decisions, and, in the long term, help mitigate these pressing issues.”

Professor Siebert has conducted research to substantiate the program’s effectiveness, including a scientific evaluation of the intervention and implementing student surveys to measure growth in proactive cognitive skills in decision-making. Siebert and his partners published a paper based on this research in the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education. The journal named it the Best Research Paper of 2023 during a ceremony at the Annual Meeting of the Decision Science Institute.

Professor Siebert acknowledges that the challenges KLUG confronts are not unique to Germany and, with these promising initial results and positive feedback from teachers and students engaged in the training, he is committed to expanding and promoting the KLUG program on a larger scale. Siebert is actively collaborating with employment and education entities in Germany to make this initiative more widespread across all German-speaking countries. In 2021, he also delivered a TED Talk, in which he shared his findings and extended his outreach to the broader public.

As a member of the Alliance’s Advisory Council, Professor Siebert has personally experienced support and collaboration through the exchange of ideas, information, and opportunities within the Alliance’s network. Given the program’s alignment with the Alliance’s mission, as well as the research supporting it, its success can be seen as an excellent example of the type of initiative that the Alliance seeks to encourage from researchers and organizations in the US as it continues to build the field of Decision Education.

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