ESCXEL PROJECT – SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE NETWORK, A PIONEER EDUCATIONAL PROJECT FROM PORTUGAL
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The ESCXEL Project, Schools of Excellence Network began from the initiative of a group of investigators from CesNova, centre of sociological studies of the New University of Lisbon, after their interpretation of the tendencies and challenges that the Portuguese education system is facing. It works like a Network with several partners: five municipalities and all the schools belonging to those municipalities who freely wanted to be partners. It’s a pioneer project in Portugal and an innovative one since all actors from the education community are present on the investigation and changing processes of schools. Taking advantage of the scientific and technical competences of CesNova’s investigators the main objectives are to capacitate schools and communities (students, teachers, parents, citizens, policy agents) to promote educational excellence; to capacitate and support the municipalities to adopt local educational development strategies; to identify, disseminate, monitor the “good scholar practices”; to develop self evaluation processes and finally to produce scientific knowledge about the local educational, social and cultural dynamics. To achieve those aims, investigators mobilize scientific competencies so others may benefit from analysis, diagnostic, intervention instruments, sustained in methodologies accordingly with local contexts and problems. They also have the responsibility to produce and disseminate scientific studies, articles, reports and training actions. Municipalities contribute with mobilization and coordination of the necessary resources. Schools offer their competencies, experience, innovation and qualification capacities to allow dissemination of the good educational and organizational practices. We are now able to share some of our results and instruments that are being implemented. The most regular instruments are analysis reports like the ones that characterize the economic and educational status of the five municipalities; and those that analyze the results of each educational cycle exams (4.º, 6.º, 9.º and 12.º) since 2000 until 2010. These serve the purpose of indentifying what is eventually falling in the educational process and to promote the necessary actions to correct what is wrong and also to serve as help in internal and external evaluation processes of each scholar unit. It’s a project aim, to organize about four seminars a year in order to gather all professionals from all the schools and also their educational communities plus the investigators from CesNova, to promote communication, experience sharing and the team work among all partners. The schools that belong to the Network also serve as a laboratory and a study object so that investigators may use that field and it’s information to apply a set of interviews and inquiries on several themes, a work that ends with the production of analysis reports to be disseminated through the schools, for their own benefits, and that also serve the production of scientific thesis. The analysis of one of the strategic documents of schools – the educational project – is also taking place and a model of that document, more concise and adequate to the school strategic organization that is being used today, is being built. With the purpose of developing and improving the scholar and pedagogic organization procedures the Network is also experimenting new ways of teaching sciences and a new form of organizing classes, through the constitution of profile classes.
Keywords: Network, Schools, Communities, Competencies, Experiences.