FUTURE CLASSROOMS: ANALYSIS OF EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES DEVELOPED BY TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
Following the ‘Future Classroom Lab' initiative, developed by European Schoolnet in 2012, 28 ‘Future Classrooms’ have been created in the Portuguese educational context, which are presented as ‘Innovative educational environments’. These learning spaces, in a reconfigurable layout and multifunctional structure, intend to be incubators of new classroom dynamics, through the articulation between active learning methodologies and the innovative use of digital technologies. Through the proliferation of these new educational spaces in primary and secondary schools, and in order to analyze how they are being used, a research project was developed with the aim of analyzing the educational activities that are currently being developed in these Future Classrooms. Specifically, the project aims to gather knowledge about their characteristics, their underlying pedagogical projects and their daily practices. It is also intended to verify the main differences between the educational activities that take place in these spaces and the one that are established in regular classrooms.
Following a mixed methodological approach, where quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection are combined, this study adopts a longitudinal format and collects data through two school years, 2016/17 and 2017/18, in order to identify the level of sustainability/volability of the differences found between the future classrooms and the regular classrooms.
The project involves two main stages. The first stage a web survey was implemented and applied to 67.9% of the Portuguese Future Classrooms. Data related to the i) configuration of these classrooms, including the layout, furniture and technological equipment, as well as to the ii) pedagogical project underlying the creation of theses spaces was collected. This data was used to selected the spaces that were going under a deeper analysis, at the project second stage.
In this, qualitative and quantitative data will be collected:
i) Lesson plans of the classes that are being developed in these innovative educational environments;
(ii) Video recordings of 3-4 classes held in the innovative educational environments and of 1-2 classes held in regular classrooms (with same teachers and students);
(iv) records of students learning assessment;
v) interview with the teacher(s), and
vi) questionnaire to the students.
All this data was collected in the 2016/17 school year and will be again collected in the 2017/18. Data will be analysed through individual and combinatory analysis procedures. With this study, it is hoped to obtain data that contribute to the reflection about the potentiality/risks that such spaces may represent in the change of the pedagogical practices in classroom context both from students and teachers perspective.