06 SES 03, Environments and Cultures of Expression and Documentation
This paper builds on the results of the first phase of a research about blogs produced by primary and secondary school teachers to share globalized learning experiences in their schools. This activity is part of a large teacher education program focused on creating conditions for transforming the school life. Specifically, we pay attention on a set of learning concepts which are implicit on teachers’ pedagogical practices narrated in the blogs.
Research about how learning takes place (Hargreaves, Earl, Ryan, 1998; Boekaerts, 2002; Stoll, Fink, Earl, 2003; Sharpe, Beethan, De Freitas, 2010; Thomas, Brown, 2011; Arnseth; Silseth, 2013; Carey, 2014) confirm that learning through integrated inquiry projects is a proposal that contributes to what Atkinson (2011) calls a “real” learning. It is characterized by fostering an active and situated learning as well as promoting inquiry, imagination and inclusiveness, and contributes to breaking down the walls inside-outside the schools (Anguita, Hernández & Ventura, 2010; Hernández & Ventura, 1992; Martín, 2018; Hernández-Hernandez, 2016).
Since 2015 an initiative called “working through projects, real learning” is being carried out in Catalonia by the Xarxa de Competències Bàsiques (XBC) (Core Competencies Network), an action, promoted from the Department of Education that promotes teachers’ development among equals. Its goal consists of improving students’ quality of learning and teachers’ collegiality. It also fosters the creation of pedagogical spaces for teachers and the exchange of experiences. Nowadays 550 schools and 6000 teachers are members of this network.
The research we present in this paper takes places in this context. Its objective is to generate evidences that allows to assess how the XCB is contributing to the transformation of schools. To do so, as Hernández (2017, p.19) points out, it seems necessary to “situate, define and qualify what we are talking about when such terms as innovation and innovator are used”.
We know that educational changes at school can’t easily take place in a rapid way by implementing a “recipe”. For this reason, it seems a complicated to activate a conceptual change in the teachers’ role and schools’ practice without considering their characteristics and conceptions about issues such us learning, knowledge, collaboration, assessment, and so on, and on what a student and teacher could be (Stoll & Fink, 1999).
Considering this background, the XCB is aware of the important role that information and communication technologies have in the creation of new learning nets (Gros, 2008). Therefore, during the last years, teachers have been sharing integrated projects implemented their classrooms in a blog/web. There is a total amount of 300 examples that give accounts of the processes they have followed are included in the blogs.
Based on the hypothesis that teaching and learning through a integrated learning process facilitates changes in the conceptions and practices of teachers and students, this material has a special value. Specifically, it helps understand how they interact with aspects such as the curriculum, evaluation, pedagogical relationships, connections between inside and outside of the schools, and the organization of time and spaces. All these aspects contribute to the transformation of school’s life. It also allows us to highlight the adaptations, resistances and transformations unleashed by teachers and students when they develop these integrated projects. In this context, blogs are presented as an exchanging space where trajectories and achievements are shown.
As it was not possible to analyze all the blogs, an intentional selection of them was carried out according to a) the school trajectory as member of the XCB; b) the impact and influence these blogs have on the network’s members and c) the notion of curriculum knowledge, learning and the student’s role they reveal. Altogether 30 blogs, from 12 secondary and 18 primary schools, were analyzed through an inductive process. A set of 10 categories and 40 indicators emerged from the information provided in the blogs. Exempla of these categories are: collaboration with other institutions, interated project, assessment, the learning and knowledge notions, teacher’s and student’s roles, person in charge of the project, teacher’s opinions and visions, student’s opinions and visions, etc. Based on the data collected we developed two ways of analysis. On the one hand, what shows the general results, presented in the form of graphics. On the other hand, the conclusions of each category, which help to give an approximate idea of the impact that it has had, in the different schools, which are part of the Network of Basic Competencies.
Based on the presence of a good amount of hybrid globalized learning projects in which diverse learning conceptions are found, the products of the blogs show that: • Reflection about learning consists basically of narrating what is new and the results of the project, not to question what is already known. • We could also notice other ways of learning, which imply taking risks, face tensions and have to avoid controlled zones. • In several cases, the roles of participants (teachers, students, partners and visitors as well) are considered as a source of experience and knowledge. • An increase of ways of inquiry which set relationships between what is already known and what is not. This analytic process also let us to explore the role of blogs as digital resources for exploring ways of telling and sharing thoughts, which allow other people to think about and make explicit their learning processes and doubts. Even though this analysis lets us represent a portray to think about the pedagogical relationships in the following terms: teachers appear as a part of the learning process by performing different roles (mediator, counsellor, problem maker), some other questions remain open for following project’s phases: • What conception of integrated learning do teachers have? • What is the meaning of “improving” learning? We are taking now these questions into a second research project, where a series of ethnographic cases are been implemented to deeper explore the place of these initial findings in the schools’ lives.
Anguita, M., Hernández, F., Ventura, M. (2010). Los proyectos, tejidos de relaciones y saberes. Cuadernos de pedagogía, 400, 77-80. Atkinson, D. (2011). Art, Equity and Learning. Pedagogies Against the State. Rotterdam: Sense. Boekarts, M. (2002). Motivation to learn: Education Practices, Series 10. International Academy of Education. Carey, B. (2014). How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens. London: Random House. Erstad, O., Gilje, O., Arnesth, H. (2013). Learning Lives Connected: Digital Youth across School and Community Spaces. Revista Científica de Comunicación y Educación, 40 (20), 89-98. Gros, B. (2008). Las comunidades virtuales para la formación permanente del profesorado. Revista d’Innovació i Recerca en Educació, 1 (1), 1-10. Hargreaves, A., Earl, L., Jim, R. (1998). Una Educación para el Cambio: Reinventar la Educación de los Adolescentes. Barcelona: Octaedro. Hernández, F. (2017). Encouraging innovations that change schools’ grammar and educational relationships and that question the creation of neoliberal subjects. Revista Catalana de Pedagogia, 12, 17-37. DOI: 10.2436/20.3007.01.93 Hernández-Hernández, F., & Sancho-Gil, J. M. (eds.) ¡Y luego dicen que la escuela pública no funciona! Investigar con los jóvenes sobre.cómo transitan y aprenden dentro y fuera de los centros de Secundaria. Barcelona: Octaedro Hernández, F., Ventura, M. (1992). La organización del currículum por proyectos de trabajo. Barcelona: Graó. Martín, M. (2018). El trabajo por proyectos: una vía para el aprendizaje activo. Barcelona: Santillana. Sharpe, R., Beetham, H., De Freitas, S. (2010). Rethinking learning for a digital age: how learners are shaping their own experiences. Abingdon: Routledge. Stoll, L., Fink, D., Earl, L. (2003). It’s About Learning (and it’s About Time): What’s in it for schools? London: RoutledgeFalmer. Stoll, L., Fink, D. (1999). Para cambiar nuestras escuelas: Reunir la eficacia y la mejora. Barcelona: Octaedro. Thomas, D., Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace.
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