This paper is the result of the joint development of two projects: the first being ‘Innovation networks for social and educational inclusion’, R+ D+ i Project founded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (EDU2011-29928- C03-03), and the second ‘Images through dialogue. Innovation in Higher Education’, approved in the 3rd Call for Innovation in Teaching at the University of Cantabria (Spain).
This paper is concerned with the commitment we do have in order to mantain and feed significant links between our teaching practice and the research we carry out in schools or other social entities. In both, research and teaching, the promotion of improvement processes according inclusive education are at the core of our activity (Sapon-Shevin, 2013). More specifically, in this paper we aim to extract and analyse how both, our innovative proposal for teaching and our research practices are committed and also can be considered “levers for inclusion”. We describe here a teacher training innovative experience in which various lecturers and final-year students of an Education Bachelor Degree participated. More precisely, we will develop in this paper two research questions.
Firstly, What aspects of the innovation developed in our teacher training favour real models of inclusion? Our teaching proposal hinges on three fundamental aspects which allow us to try out new ways of relating to knowledge and participating students within the context of university classrooms. We investigate (1) the type of relations that we establish with students, (2) the possibilities for curriculum co-construction processes between teachers and students (Bovill, 2013) and (3) the introduction of new forms of support and opportunities of communication which act as innovative social research methodologies. The collective creation of images enable in this experience to expand the traditional formats of communication, amplify student voice opportunities and reveal barriers and supports for inclusion (Banks, 2001).
Secondly, the teaching innovation proposal provides an opportunity for teachers and students to try out more inclusive research practices. In order for this to happen we need to ask a new question, What makes educational research more inclusive? In this regard, the classroom becomes a research space from which valuable learning can be extracted enabling us to establish links with non-university contexts where our research is carried out. The research together with the named innovation itself allows us to understand in greater depth and gives us some clues on how to practice inclusive and collaborative research (Rojas, Susinos y Calvo, 2013). Specifically, it allows us to practice more horizontal ways of relating to participants. The way the research is designed, the mixed composition of the work team, the identification of needs and decision making throughout the deliberative dialogue constitutes an opportunity for testing (1) authentic inclusive participation strategies (2) promoting safe spaces for deliberation and (3) recognising the possibilities for transformation and impact that the research generates in the participants and their social contexts.
Banks, M. (2001). Visual Methods in Social Research. London: Sage. Bovill, C. (2013). Students and staff co-creating curricula: an example of good practice in higher education? En Dunne, E. y Owen, D. (Eds.) The student engagement handbook. Practice in higher education. (pp. 461-476). Bingley: Emerald. Contreras, J. & Pérez de Lara, N. (2010). Investigar la experiencia educativa. Madrid: Morata. Mannay, D. (2016). Visual, narrative and creative research methods. Routledge: New York. O’Donoghue, D. (2011). Doing and disseminating visual research: visual arts-based approaches. Margolis, E. & Pauwels, L. (Ed), The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods (pp. 638-650). Sage Publications: London. Pauwels, L. (2010). Visual sociology reframed: an analytical synthesis and discussion of visual methods in social and cultural research. Sociological Methods & Research, 38 (4), 545-581. Rojas, S., Susinos, T. y Calvo, A. (2013). ‘Giving voice’ in research processes: an inclusive methodology for researching into social exclusion in Spain. International Journal of Inclusive Education , 17 (2) , 156-173. Sapon-Shevin, M. (2013). La inclusión real: una perspectiva de justicia social. Revista de investigación en Educación, 11 (3), 71-85. Zeichner, K.M. (2015): Democratizing Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 66 (2), 122-135.
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