22 SES 05 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Tutorship is an action-relationship between teacher and student which has been linked to the university from its origins, though it has been interpreted with different nuances depending on the development context. In Europe, the constitution of a common space as is the European Higher Education Area (Bologna Declaration, 1999) provides a new opportunity to reflect and research on this action. The University of Alicante has pledged itself to the design of a tutorial relationship seeking to create a collaborative space for the personalisation of learning in which dialogue, commitment and reflection prevail. Within this framework, this research takes the opinions and assessments of tutors-teachers as a reference to analyse the results obtained after the implementation of the institutional Tutorial Action programme in its first year (the 2006-2007 academic year). The metaphor which best reflects the project’s philosophy could be summarised as a network. The same as the universe is an interwoven network riddled with galaxies and stars which shape a filament-like structure of dark and visible matter, the social cosmos is a complex network of human relationships. We live suspended on those meaning-studded social networks that we keep weaving day after day. We progressively model our brain and our mind among the pressures derived from negotiating the meanings and understandings (Geertz, 1973; Voss & Coontz, 2008). The foundation of this metaphor stems from the scientific studies developed in the field of biology, which highlight the crucial effect that the social dimension has on the evolution of human beings. At first, the research focuses on the critical interpretation of the participants’ assessing narratives. In addition to the qualitative study, the paper offers an analysis of the quantitative data which permit to draw comparisons between analysis categories. This research thus benefits from the integration and synergy resulting from the combination of both methodologies (Day, Sammons & Gu, 2008; Desimone, 2009; Ercikan & Roth, 2006). The population selected for this study includes all the Alicante University teaching staff involved in the Tutorial Action Programme implemented during the 2006-2007 academic year. This cohort is formed by 202 first-year tutors-teachers belonging to each and every centre of this university.
In short, this research work falls within a situated perspective of learning in a natural context (Barab & Roth, 2006; Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Greeno & Moore, 1993). The findings allow us to argue that Tutorial Action provides a space where tutors place themselves for the purpose of accompanying students along their educational process, within a high-quality emphatic communication and interaction process. Therefore, this programme can be defined as an organised environment –which forms part of a context that Carol Lee (2009) describes as pathway relational– where, starting from the commitment to build communities, an effort is made to examine the cognitive, emotional and professional dimensions of university students, encouraging their autonomy and social commitment, taking as our basis the principle according to which interdependence is as necessary as independence.
Barab, S. & Roth, W. (2006). Curriculum-based ecosystems: supporting knowing from an ecological perspective. Educational Researcher, 35(5), 3-13. Bologna Declaration (1999). Joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education.http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/Docs/00-Main_doc/990719BOLOGNA_DECLARATION.PDF, recuperado el 22 de julio de 2008. Brown, J. S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32-42. Darling-Hammond, L. (2007). The flat earth and education: how America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. Educational Researcher, 36(6), 318-334. Day, C., Sammons, P. & Gu Q. (2008). Combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies in research on teachers’ lives, work, and effectiveness: from integration to synergy. Educational Researcher, 37(6), 330-342. Desimone, L. (2009). Improving impact studies of teachers’ professional development: toward better conceptualizations and measures. Educational Researcher, 38(3), 181-199. Ercikan, K. & Roth, W. M. (2006). What good is polarizing research into qualitative and quantitative? Educational Researcher, 35(5), 14-23. Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of culture. NY: Basic Books. Greeno, J. G. & Moore, J. L. (1993). Situativity and symbols: Response to Vera and Simon. Cognitive Science, 17, 49–61. Huber, G. & Gürter, L. (2003). AQUAD Seis para WINDOWS. Manual del Programa de análisis de datos cualitativos. Tübingen: Ingeborg Huber Verlag. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Lee, C. D. (2009). Historical evolution of risk and equity: interdisciplinary issues and critiques. Review of research in education, 33, 63-100. Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4–13. Voos, S. R. y Coontz, R. (2008). Warp and woof. Science, 318, 46.
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