MULTIDIMENSIONAL FORMATION PROGRAM FOR TEACHING IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A BRAZILIAN EXPERIENCE
The recruitment process of higher education teachers are usually based on their technical competence, namely, their specific area of expertise. Although the university is the locus of new professionals’ formation in different areas of knowledge, teachers’ mediators in general, do not have specific knowledge of pedagogical strategies. The regular offer of teaching development activities are a tradition at University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR). However, there was a greater investment between 2008 and 2012, from the Health Sciences Centre (CCS), since there was need to prepare their teachers for the implementation of a competence-based curriculum in all its 12 graduation courses. Given that, CCS identified the need to create a formation program of pedagogical skills for higher education teachers. The University of Fortaleza is a private, non-profit, Brazilian institution stablished since 1973 in the city of Fortaleza and located in the northeast region of the country; Ceará State. The new curriculum design used a collaborative strategy, with participation of teachers throughout the process. When considering the innovative design of the curriculum and the way the change occurred, CCS identified the need to expand the training actions already in course. In no time, demands emerged from the curriculum in action, such as strategies to include active learning in the new curriculum, evaluation in a problem-based/ active context, educational technologies development, the teacher role in a problem-based teaching and learning context among others. This context gave opportunity to offer diverse opportunities of teacher training at the CCS through the implementation of the Training Course on Education for Health Professionals. CCS has been offering the Training Course since 2013, and have structured it in six mandatory training modules (each one with 20h) and six optional ones (from 16h to 20h). In the last one, the teacher should choose two of the optional modules, to complete the training course. A requirement to the teacher receive the training course certificate is to submit and present a scientific paper at the University´s Meeting of Teaching Practices. Initially, the training took place during the “week of teacher development”, a time at the end of each semester reserved by CCS for this purpose. However, one of the requests of the participating teachers was that the formation offer to be more flexible, during the semester and in smaller classes, such as workshops. Other demands emerged throughout the development process of this new curriculum, which, in turn, led to the creation of new training modules to CCS teachers. Currently, the Training Course offers four formation dimensions with mandatory and optional modules: institutional, pedagogical, relational and professional. These modules have different pedagogical strategies: courses, lectures and workshops, at different days and times, during the school year. This experience and the respective strategies are subject of this report that has also the intention to describe and analyse the technology created for a teacher-training program and its evolution over four years. The main sources of data to support this analysis are CCS documents and evaluations carried out with participants at the end of each formation activity.