32 SES 02 A, Universities as Learning Organizations
The aim of this paper is to present a research strategy within the paradigm of participatory research based on "university-school research teams".
This strategy has been developed as a part of the " Aprenem del SUMMEM " (Learning from what we add up to) Research Project and aims to analyse the impact of the Project`s impact. This project is an initiative of the Escola Pia de Catalunya, an educational institution that has, among other entities, twenty educational centers for infant, primary and secondary education, located in different cities and villages in Catalonia, six of which are located in the city of Barcelona. The initiative called “SUMMEM”, as explained below, aims to improve the teaching-learning processes in schools from two main focuses: “cooperative learning” and “learning itineraries”, two strategies for improving classroom work and teaching in which the teaching staff of the centres receive training simultaneously with the development of research.
At the beginning of the "SUMMEM" innovation project in all twenty schools, the project's coordinating team considers the need to carry out simultaneously and in parallel, research into the impact of the changes that occur. Therefore, the main purpose of the research is to collect data that promotes learning - from the innovation process itself to improving and evaluating its impact on teaching practice and student learning. This research is called " Aprenem del SUMMEM ".
First, we will present the theoretical framework and the relevance of these "university-school research teams" in relation to other research. The following is the context in which the "Aprenem del SUMMEM" research project was developed, the aims, objectives, phases, instruments and results and conclusions. The central and broadest part is the description of the teams, and their objectives, composition, constitution processes, functions and tasks.
In this context, it seems appropriate to take as a reference for research, contributions on participatory action research (Chevalier and Bucless, 2013), the use of inquiry to guide innovation processes (Lieberman and Millar 2003). , proposals for how to target "communities of practice" (Wenger, 2003), and the strategy of learning cooperatively to teach cooperation (Lago, et. al) 2011 in order to configure the criteria for developing a process of collaborative research in line with the inclusive research of Parrilla and Serra (2015).
In the analysis of participatory research carried out by Parrilla, Raposo, Martínez (2016), the role of the participants is highlighted (Walmsey, 2004). Likewise, in this type of research, the transformative function of educational practice is developed from the joint construction of the knowledge of all participants (Nind, 2014) with the purpose and potential to generate changes in the individuals, groups and institutions in which participatory research is embedded.
According to the characteristics proposed from this research model, the research design of the "Aprenem del SUMMEM" was carried out, in which the "university-school research teams" presented in this communication.
The objectives of the research were grouped around five axes: I. Collect and document changes and improvements from the voices of students, teachers, families and the institution. II. Analyse the impact of innovations on learning and results. III. Analyse the impact of improvements on cohesion, equity and inclusion IV. Identify changes in the planning of classroom management processes. V. Identify changes in institutional management in the centres and in the institution. Phases and instruments of data collection. In the first phase, the data collection tool was a set of semi-structured interviews in focus groups aimed at different groups in the educational community. In the second phase, digital collection aimed at collecting and ordering the evidence of teaching and learning processes with written self-reports, written documents, audios and videos of planning processes, development and evaluation of learning processes, accompanied by self-reports of the faculty. In the third phase, oriented in this last phase, to collect data of the processes of evaluation of the learnings of the students and of the reports of evaluation. The constitution of the mixed university-school teams From a general call into the Escola Pia institution, the teachers who would be part of the research teams were selected, looking for researchers from the different educational stages. Participation is voluntary but the institution takes care of the diets and generates resources for the substitution of teaching tasks while the research is carried out. Thus, a structure of different mixed research teams was set up, made up of researchers from the University, professors at the Pia School. In total, eighteen people were divided into zone teams with one or two members of the university and two teachers from the schools. These area teams distributed the schools in which it was necessary to intervene (visits, interviews, collection of documentation, filming, focus groups ...). Obviously, the professors of the Pia School who acted in the research teams carried out the research tasks in a geographical area different from that of the educational centre where they usually teach. Three years later, questionnaires and focus groups were conducted to members of the research teams to evaluate the entire research process.
The information gathered from the questionnaires and the focus groups carried out with the teachers who joined the mixed research teams from the schools, highlights different types of contributions made by this type of qualitative research: With regard to the implications for their institution, the teachers consider that research of this nature has introduced them to the need to evaluate innovations in educational practice. In this case, those that are part of a defined educational project of change via a rigorous research process with an external perspective that enables contrast and debate about that which is being implemented. This external contribution is useful to all sectors of the educational community. This collaboration with researchers from the university allows the teachers to identify a diverse range of educational situations in the institution’s centres in order to identify what they have in common and where they diverge, to move forward, as far as possible, towards a unification of criteria that allows for greater coordination within that diversity. In terms of the implications for their own schools, this research has challenged the teachers and made clear the need for evidence and the need to document the different ways in which they are innovating. The research has promoted an evaluation of their own centre, pushing in the direction of better coordinating the time different projects take to develop and, in short, has forced a streamlining of the improvement project. It has also helped them become more aware of the fact that other centres have similar problems, such as the complexity and validity of the innovation process. In this sense, they especially value the possibility of incorporating strategic models from the institution´s other centres into their own centre.
Chevalier, J. M. and Bucless, D. (2013). Participatory action Research. Theory and methods for Engaged enquiry. New York: Routledge. Coll, C. (2013). La educación formal en la nueva ecología del aprendizaje: tendencias, retos y agenda de investigación. In: Rodríguez Illera, J.L. (Comp.) (2013). Aprendizaje y educación en la sociedad digital. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. DOI: 10.1344/106.000002060 Greany, T.; Brown, C. (2015). Partnerships between teaching schools and universities: research report. London Centre for Leadership in Learning. UCL Institute of Education. Hernández-Hernández, F. (2017). “Afavorir innovacions que canviin la gramàtica de l’escola i les relacions pedagògiques, i que qüestionin la creació d’un subjecte neoliberal.” Revista Catalana de Pedagogia, 12, 17-37. DOI: 10.2436/20.3007.01.93 Lago, J.R., Pujolàs, P. y Naranjo, M. (2011). Aprender cooperando para enseñar a cooperar: procesos de formación/asesoramiento para el desarrollo del Programa CA/AC. Aula. Revista de Pedagogía de la Universidad de Salamanca. 17, 89-99. Lieberman, A. y Millers (eds) (2001). Teachers caught in the action. New York Teachers College Press. Martínez, M.; Jolonch, A. (2019). Las paradojas de la innovación educativa. Barcelona: Horsori. Mauri, T., Onrubia,J., Colomina, R., & Clarà, M. (2015). “Espacios de formación compartida escuela-universidad en el prácticum.” Aula de Innovación educativa, 256, 12-16. Mctaggart, R. (2006). “Participatory Action Research: Issues in theory and practice.” Educational Action Research Vol. 2. Nº 3: 313-337. Nind, M. (2014). What is inclusive research? Bloomsbury Academic. London (Reino Unido). Parrilla Latas, Á.; Raposo-Rivas, M.; Martínez-Figueira, Mª E. (2016). “Procesos de movilización y comunicación del conocimiento en la investigación participativa”. Opción, vol. 32, núm. 12, 2016, pp. 2066-2087. Disponible en https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/310/31048903056.pdf Parrilla, Á. y Sierra, S. (2015). “Construyendo una investigación inclusiva en torno a las distintas transiciones educatives”. Revista Electrónica Interuniversitaria de Formación del Profesorado. Vol. 18. Nº 1: 161-175. Sennett, R. (2012). Together. The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. Yale University Press. Tort, A. “Escuelas, territorio, trabajo en red e innovación en educación.” En: Martínez, M.; Jolonch, A. (2019). Las paradojas de la innovación educativa. Barcelona: Horsori. Pàgines 197-214. Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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