TOOLS FOR GENERATING TEACHING TEAMS BY TAKING INTO ACCOUNT CONCRETE NEEDS OF THE UNIVERSITY DEGREE
The mission of a teaching team can be summarized as: Given the new curriculum challenged by any EHEA/ECTS-based learning-teaching process and given the peculiar characteristics of the type of students entering the university, educational strategies require to be rethought when implemented, along with the interactions that must be established "in a forced manner" to move towards the significant (i.e., meaningful) learning of the student, evaluating critical processes, while being reflective and interactive.
In fact, an action-oriented research approach is being developed in the Project for Educational Innovation P.I.E. UPV/EHU 2007-2008/27, whose primary objective is to analyze the strengths and areas for improvement in a technical engineering degree in Mechanics to identify those zones of proximal development ZPD (in the sense of Vigotsky), which can help students build a generative curriculum, providing creative and interactive transformations between the teacher and the student or among students themselves, using a constructivist approach of the learning –teaching process. The project consists of the following steps: (1) the relationships between the degree subjects are organized by studying the so-called “environment matrix” from the data provided by all teachers (70); (2) the characteristics of those relations are analyzed; namely, duplicate contents, isolated subjects, off-shored contents, priorities, prerequisites and so on; (3) to establish a Strategic Plan for Improvement SPI (strengths, areas for improvement (4) from an assessment prioritized in terms of urgency, importance and responsibility, (5) which must be contrasted with the degree students through an interview, being monitored in terms of the graduate competences leading to qualification and in terms of the student’s current experience (whether of first, second or third grade)), (6) the discriminant groups of subjects (that are related) are detected, by crossing the information of the students (10+20+40 = 70) with that provided by the environment matrix (7) so that when defining the relevant teaching modules to develop (8) either teaching teams for a course (horizontal teams) and for the degree (vertical teams).
In this way, there is a protocol for analyzing the detection of the necessity of teaching teams, rather than to rely on the tastes and desires of a particular group of professors (which may be the most natural way to proceed). The benefits and problems associated with this type of approach are discussed when compared to other policies for teaching team generation. Basically, this methodology shows the kind of alliances that should be established within the teaching team, if the aforementioned "mission" is looked for. Finally, a simple process of reflection on the results themselves is performed to address the analysis of the characteristics that would define any teaching team.