THE PROFESSIONAL TEACHER DEVELOPMENT OF THREE EXPERIENCED TEACHERS THROUGH CONTINUOUS ON-LINE TRAINING M. da C. C. Rodrigues1, A. M. de M. R. Reali2 1Federal University of São Carlos (BRAZIL) 2Federal University of São Carlos (BRAZIL ) firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
objective The objective is to analyze the contributions made by a continuous on-line training project for teachers of the first grade of primary school, for the teachers’ database.
methodology The methodology adopted is based on a constructive/collaborative model of teacher-researcher interaction focusing on the construction of intervention/investigation strategies and the promotion of professional development processes. The training strategies used were carried out by distance learning mode using the Moodle platform of the Teachers Portal of the university (UFSCar) as a tool to access the virtual learning environment.
The intervention The intervention consists of an extension course for teachers that work in the initial school years of Fundamental Education with the aim of:Contributing to teachers’ professional development enabling reflection on teaching and learning experiences in their work contexts, using as references the indicators for the construction of a student knowledge base articulated on the basis of teaching practice. The course provided 120 hours of training and was held between September 2010 and May 2011.
Researchcollaborators The teachers collaborating in the research and subjects of this investigation are three teachers from the state of São Paulo. They are considered to be experienced teachers according to the literature on teacher training. • Teacher P1 is 53 years old, has 27 year of experience, 23 of which are in the São Paulo municipal school network and has worked for 10 years at the same school where he/she worked in 2010 and for 6 months in the first year. Initial training is in pedagogy specialized in School management. • Teacher P2 is 45 years of age, has 24 years of experience and has always worked in the São Paulo municipal school network and worked for 2 years in the school where she was when the data was collected in 2010 and has worked with the 1st year for one year. In the year the data were collected, the teacher worked full time with the same class. Initial training was in Pedagogy and later in School Management. • Lastly, teacher P13 is 38 years old, has worked for 12 years as a teacher, 10 of which are in the São Paulo municipal network, 8 years at the school where she worked in 2010 and has 9 year of experience working with the first years of Fundamental Education. And in the year the data were collected the teacher worked full time with the same class but with different students (1st year and Infant Education). She is qualified in teaching and history with a specialization in Psycho-pedagogy.
Results In relation to the results of the investigation, we point out some aspects found by the teachers as elements highlighted by the contributors to the teacher professional development process: • training content set in the teaching context of the initial learning years; • feedback during the training/devolution process; • sharing experiences on literacy teaching with teachers from different Brazilian states as a possible way of rethinking the unique way of teaching that each teaching professional has; • revisiting the inherent exercise of teaching in the first year of Fundamental Education within the process of permanent study and discussion of the knowledge that composes the teaching base and needs of teachers.
Results However, the adoption of a guide to define syllabus actions in schools means that the teacher knowledge base has many elements provided by the references established by the Read and Write Project, but this does not soften the will to learn shown by the teachers because this base is permeated by the teacher and not just by the content necessary to be a teacher. Also, as experienced teachers, who already have a consolidated knowledge base, they ended up adopting the material in benefit of the children’s learning.
Results We understand, also, that the professional development process is unique to each teacher and the degree of influence depends on the knowledge base that has already been consolidated and career length amongst other things. Therefore, we can see the syllabus as a teacher training instrument that can widen or reduce teachers’ autonomy in their work.
Results The limits found refer to the difficulties of effective participation by all the participants during the course as a whole and to the challenges related to the organization of dynamic and flexible Virtual Learning Environments that mobilized the group to participate through to the end of the training course and to build up a support network where the training relationship was one of trust and openness in their communication.
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