The EKT project aims to improve European higher education and, in particular, the development and experimentation of collaborative educational methodologies and Smart technological framework that aims to impact on a more effective, scalable, sustainable system which is closely linked to the professional contexts for which we train. To do this, we rely on a strategic triangle configured by educational centres (schools and teachers), universities (Faculties of Education and researchers) and technology-based companies and technological institutions (specifically those that offer services and e-learning resources). We propose to work in an articulated way from these three contexts to establish a dynamics of knowledge development based on teaching innovation, educational research and technological development.
The project is contextualized in the Faculties of Educational Sciences and in particular in the official studies of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in kindergarten, Primary and Secondary Education. With the implementation of the European Higher Education Area, ITE in Europe converges in the incorporation of a significant period of school teaching practice (in-school placement) that in some cases constitutes up to 25% of the prospective teacher training. EU Commission, in its report “The Teaching Profession in Europe” (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice,2015), highlights “real classroom experience” as one of the 3 key elements of ITE, emphasizing the importance of “in-school placement” at the same level of the “academic knowledge of their subject” and “teaching approaches”. A proper teacher training requires to be trained in these three elements. Surprisingly, academic policies do not generally value these three equally, and frequently, in-school placement is less valued, understanding that prospective teachers learn these skills naturally just by being placed in a school. This way, key processes to promote reflective learning of the teaching profession, such as collaboration, interaction, monitoring, and counselling processes are neglected.
In-school placement co-participated by university lecturers and non-university teaching tutors has a strategic character in the training of prospective teachers and sets a favourable scenario to promote the interaction between theory and practice, exercise professional skills and experiment proposals for educational innovation monitored by experienced professionals and analysed by educational researchers. However, the experience and the studies carried out on teaching practice show that, despite being a strategic scenario for student teachers training, the training experience can be improved, and this improvement can be implemented through the application of resources and services, delivered through e-learning. We therefore intend to address the needs for improving the training of student teachers during the implementation of in-school placements and therefore develop methodologies and e-learning solutions that have a real impact on the following aspects that clearly need to be improved:
• Dynamics to coordinate work between university and non-university teachers who supervise and accompany the student during the in-school placement period.
• Individualized follow-up of students in practice and their continued monitoring.
• An intelligent system that helps to support the self-learning process that every prospective teacher must record during the period of in-school teaching practice.