This axis fulfils the continuous endeavour to identify, disseminate and evaluate good educational practice amongst all schools within the network, by providing spaces to share experiences, solutions and materials and to promote collaborative learning practices, as well as the possibility to test projects and to disseminate their results.
A. GOOD PRACTICE SEMINARS
From the beginning, ESCXEL Network promotes three seminars each year , organized by partner municipalities, reaching the 21st edition in 2016. These meetings have been crucial to develop trust among all the network members from different schools and municipalities, which favours the establishment of a privileged place to debate, exchange and create ideas between researchers and professionals from all schools and municipalities. This discussion space was enlarged in 2015, with the organization of an international conference organized through a partnership between CICS.NOVA and Concelho Nacional de Educação.
B. EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS TEMPLATES
After the publication of the brochure Projetos Educativos: Para um modelo da sua elaboração, researchers started working on certified teacher training courses, all of which were so far provided at the schools’ request, where they transfer part of their knowledge and skills that schools can mobilize to improve self-assessment and reflection processes and schools’ educational practices. These courses also proved spaces for sharing and for the discussion of possible solutions, strategies, actions and materials among teachers of all schools and municipalities.
C. EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION
The network is also engaged in testing innovative educational projects, both pedagogical and organizational, designed in collaboration with some of the network’s schools. Following reflections on some existing practice discussed in seminars, we are currently supporting an ongoing experiment with “profile classes”, since 2012, which aims to organise classes and the definition of pedagogical strategies in order to improve students’ achievement in core disciplines while avoiding problems inherent to full “level” or “track classes” (Check the Profile Classes Project).
I: ESCXEL Network presentation (Oeiras, January 2009)
II: Cultural diversity and teaching strategies (Loulé, June 2009)
III: School-family relationship (Castelo Branco, November 2009)
IV: Information and communication technologies in school (Batalha, February 2010)
V: The school and the elaboration of the educational Project (Constância, April 2010)
Workshop Work practices and dissemination of ESCXEL reports in schools (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, October 2010)
VI: Leadership systems in schools (Oeiras, February 2011)
VII: Policies and practices of students’ learning evaluation (Castelo Branco, December 2011)
VIII: School results evaluation in primary and secondary grades (Batalha, October 2011)
IX: Strategies to promote students’ success in schools (Loulé, February 2012)
X: Estratégias de diagnóstico precoce e atuação preventiva do insucesso escolar (Constância, May 2012)
XI: Alternative school paths: opportunities, problems and strategies (Oeiras, October 2012)
XII: Territorial planning in education (Castelo Branco, April 2013)
XIII: Literacy, knowledge and skills: learning processes between practices and benchmarks (Batalha, October 2013)
XIV: Educational projects facing the new challenges of schools’ reconfiguration in Portugal (Mação, March 2014)
XV: Organizing and evaluating learning processes in lower primary education (Loulé, October 2014)
XVI: Class Organization, how to organize to pedagogical differentiation (Vila de Rei, February 2015)
XVII: Decentralization in education: from the strategic planning to action (Amadora, April 2015, organized by researchers)
XVIII: Practices and strategies to promote success (Amadora, November 2015)
XIX: Vertical organizational articulation (Constância, March 2016)
XX: Curricular development (Sardoal, June 2016)
XXI: The role of evaluation in pedagogical differentiation (Castelo Branco, November 2016)
ESCXEL INTERNACIONAL CONFERENCE
First ESCXEL International Conference: Networks, Communities and Partnerships in Education: Actors, Goals and Results [Inserir hiperligação para o livro de atas] (Lisboa, November de 2014, Oeganization from CICS.NOVa in partnership with Conselho Nacional da Educação)
CERTIFIED TEACHER TRAINING COURSES
ESCXEL Project has three certified teacher training courses that were implemented in partner municipalities, and also in the Autonomous region of Madeira under the protocol with the secretary of educational of the local government.
Educational projects: for a template of its elaboration (25 hours in class + 25 hours of autonomous work), certified by the Conselho Científico-Pedagógico de Formação Contínua, of Universidade do Minho – CCPFC/ACC 72702/12
Collection and systematization of information in the school context (27 hours in class), certified by the Conselho Científico-Pedagógico de Formação Contínua, of Universidade do Minho – CCPCC/ACC – 78774/14
Self-assessement in schools: from the planning to the improvement measures (25 horas em sala/25 horas de trabalho autónomo), certified by the Conselho Científico da Região Autónoma da Madeira - CCPFC/ACC-84540/15
PROFILE CLASSES PROJECT
This project started in 2012 in the school unit Aquilino Ribeiro, by the initiative of the former director, Professor Teresa Rodrigues. After an experimentation phase, we began to build a new organizational and pedagogical model, with the support from the current director, Professora Isabel Marques.
The main objective of this Project is to improve students’ performance and results through a better definition of organizational and pedagogical processes. Therefore, the model has two interconnected axes:
A. Organizational, which implies: i) grouping students that show the same difficulties in their learning process through an analysis of their performance in the disciplines of Portuguese and Mathematics (global grade and grades in each skill), regardless of their final grades; ii) reorganizing schedules to guarantee that different classes in the same school year have Portuguese and Mathematics at the same hour; iii) redistributing service amongst the teachers to improve the allocation of internal resources.
B. Pedagogical, which implies: i) applying diagnosis tests at the beginning of the school year and results monitoring (global and for each skill in each discipline) throughout the year; ii) defining pedagogical strategies for each discipline, class, school year and/or school grade, fit to the students’ performance; iii) redistributing students by dynamic groups in the disciplines of Portuguese and Mathematics according the need to recuperation of the learning process (grades from 1 to 2), to consolidation (grades of 3), or to potentiation (grades from 4 to 5), thus improving internal resources allocation (teachers, advisors, and others).