22 SES 08 B, Reflections on Teaching and Research Methods
The establishment of the European Higher Education Area involved the recognition of teaching as a relevant professional task, making necessary train teachers in specific competences. Although some universities were already providing a teaching training for their teachers –particularly, this has been happening for more than 40 years in English speaking countries, according to Chalmers & Gardiner, 2015–, most of the European institutions started to do it after the signature of the Bologna Declaration in 1999, going on in this direction under the suggestions of politicians and experts (McAleese, 2013). Spain is taking part in this movement, planning and implementing initial and continuing university teacher training programmes aimed at promoting innovation in teaching and at progressively improving the quality of teaching and learning.
In this framework, one of the innovative teaching methodologies that are being introduced in academic staff training in higher education is service-learning (Jacoby, 2009, 2013). This is also happening in Spain, where Rectors have called for the institutionalization of this methodology –an initiative associated to the social responsibility of higher education institutions, and to the need of a sustainable curriculum (CRUE, 2014). Universities are social actors and, in this role, they have a civic mission (Santos-Rego, Sotelino-Losada & Lorenzo-Moledo, 2015). So, after some years training their teachers, Spanish universities are apparently starting to adopt, still in an initial stage, a critical orientation when designing training plans and programmes, assuming some degree of ethical and social commitment. The concurrent development of professional competences and the service given to the community is an expression of their social engagement.
The socio-critical orientation and, particularly, service-learning, are implemented by means of the expansion of training to non-academic, community contexts that interact with the academic environments, producing effects on the professional development of teachers. This fact could be understood under the concept of learning ecologies, which assumes that different types of contexts, goals, processes, and relations interact in the production of professional learning (Barron, 2006; Jackson, 2013). Service-learning methodology fits in with this systemic view, since a great amount of elements are involved in the final goal: the improvement of the teaching capacity of the academic staff (e.g., the relation is not only limited to the dyad teacher-student, but it is expanded to the social bonds between an academic institution that serves students and a community agency that serves citizens and, from here on out, complex interactions start to occur).
Although the importance attributed to service-learning is increasing in the rhetoric of higher education institutions, there is no evidence about the quantitative and qualitative use of service-learning in Spanish universities (i.e., the starting point is unknown), and, for that reason, a national R+D project is being implemented (Ref. EDU2013-41687-R), aimed, in a first phase, at diagnosing the use of this methodology in institutional strategies, teaching methods, and academic staff training. The project, in a second phase, has the intention of testing a model of institutionalization of service-learning methodology.
As a part of the first phase of the project, a study was carried out to explore the level and the characteristics of the presence of service-learning in training plans, programmes, and individual actions implemented in Spanish universities, public and private.
Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A Learning Ecology Perspective. Human Development, 49 (4), 193–224. Retrieved from http://life-slc.org/docs/barron-self-sustainedlearning.pdf Chalmers, D., & Gardiner, D. (2015). An evaluation framework for identifying the effectiveness and impact of academic teacher development programmes. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 46 (3), 81-91. CRUE (2014). El Aprendizaje-Servicio como estrategia docente dentro del marco de la Responsabilidad Social Universitaria para la promoción de la Sostenibilidad en la Universidad. Propuesta del Grupo de Sostenibilidad Curricular. Retrieved from http://www.crue.org/Sostenibilidad/CADEP/Documents/Documentos/APROBADA%20INSTITUCIONALIZACION%20ApS.pdf Jacoby, B. (2009). Civic engagement in today’s higher education. An overview. In B. Jacoby (Ed.), Civic engagement in higher education. Concepts and practices (pp. 5-30). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Jacoby, B. (2013). Democratic dilemmas of teaching service-learning: Curricular strategies for success. Journal of College Student Development, 54 (3), 336-338. Jackson, N. J. (2013). The concept of learning ecologies. In N. J. Jackson & G. B. Cooper (Eds.), Lifewide learning, education and personal development. Retrieved from http://www.lifewideebook.co.uk/uploads/1/0/8/4/10842717/chapter_a5.pdf McAleese, M. (Coor.) (2013). Report to the European Commission on ‘Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions’. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/library/reports/modernisation_en.pdf Santos-Rego, M. A., Sotelino-Losada, A. y Lorenzo-Moledo, M. (2015) Aprendizaje-servicio y misión cívica de la universidad. Una propuesta de desarrollo. Barcelona: Octaedro. Warren, J. L. (2012) Does service-learning increase student learning? A meta-analysis. Michigan Journal of Community Service-Learning, Spring Issue, 56-61. Acknowledgment This research comes from some results that are being obtained in a R+D project, which is in progress. It is entitled "Service-Learning and Educational Innovation in the University. A programme centered in the improvement of academic performance and social capital of students" (Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, State Plan for R+D, Reference EDU2013-41687-R).
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.