A COLLABORATIVE SCHOOL-TEACHER TRAINING CENTRE-UNIVERSITY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT
In this paper we will present an innovative teaching project that focuses on establishing an Infant Education learning network (henceforth RIECU, Spanish acronym for Infant School-Teacher Training Centre-University Network). The focus of shared interest for the various parties that make up RIECU is the method known as Work Projects. This experience aims to build bridges between initial and continuing education, theory and the practice, the school and the university.
Since the 2004/05 academic year, the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Córdoba (Spain) has been working on an innovative teaching project that focuses on establishing an Infant Education learning network.
The innovational experiment reported here was designed and implemented under the auspices of the Teaching Quality Improvement Project entitled ‘Construyendo la Red Infantil ECU (Escuela-Centro de Profesorado-Universidad) through the work projects with code 114007 [‘Building the ECU (School-Teaching Centre-University) Infant Network through Work Projects’, code 114007]. It was funded through a competitive call for projects by the Vice-Chancellor’s Office for Teaching Quality and Innovation, at the University of Córdoba (Spain) during the 2011/12 academic year.
RIECU’s ultimate goal is to consolidate professional relationships and forge organisational links that will bring preschool educational scenarios into the domain of the university and of centres devoted to the ongoing professional development of infant school teachers.
The intention is to build up a professional network connecting infant school teachers, experts in the application of the WP method, faculty staff and student teachers interested in discovering and applying the WP method, as well as specialists at the Teacher Training Centre, who are extremely interested in extending and raising awareness of this methodology.
The overarching aim is to achieve an interweaving of initial and ongoing teacher training, and bridge the gap between education theory and practice with a view to enhancing the training processes of all stakeholders. A symmetrical, dialogic, circular learning is sought, one that will benefit all the parties concerned.
As university lecturers, the authors’ major goal is that the students should acquire professional teaching skills, and at the same time develop their professional initiative and creativity using WPs that are contextualised and adapted to the interests of preschool children.
This paper reports on an experiment in educational innovation implemented during the academic year, 2011/12.