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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy
Global Citizenship Education
Year of posting: 2005
1. THE ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IN NUEVO LEON, MEXICO
School Projects are made in all the 5 332 basic education schools from Nuevo León, México (preschool, primary and secondary). However, there are only three primary schools from Nuevo León, México participating on this action research project:
· Primary School: “Profesor Simón Salazar Mora”
· Primary School: “Ingeniero Leopoldo García Naranjo”
· Primary School: “Antonio Martínez de Castro”
All Projects from basic education schools focus on aspects like School Organization, Classroom Work and Teaching Methods, and Community Participation. School Projects try to solve the problems related with the three aspects mentioned before, but taking as a base the teaching and learning problems.
After realizing a diagnostic, it was detected that the students from the three schools have the same learning problems: Reading and Writing.
Therefore, the purposes of this action research project in Nuevo León, Mexico are:
· To fortify the teaching and learning process about reading and learning; but guide it to the construction of knowledge, collaborative classroom work, diversity respect and the ICT use to develop a moral, intellectual and physical autonomy in our students and at the same time to influence in the community transformation.
· To build family and community participation frames in our schools to make stronger our School Projects and results.
To transform the schools into a formation and participation place for the community, providing elements to answer and solve the challenges and social problems about the citizenship concept.
2. THE WORK PLAN
The three primary schools involve on this action research try to develop a Global Citizenship Education. The strategies to follow are related with three aspects:
· School Organization
· Classroom Work and Teaching Methods
· Community Participation
In addition, school teachers involve are going to develop their own Practice Based Research.
3. PRACTICE BASED RESEARCH FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL: “PROF. SIMÓN SALAZAR MORA”
3.1. SCHOOL CONTEXT
The primary school “Profesor Simón Salazar Mora” is located in García, Nuevo León, a small town in the northwest from Nuevo León. García is fifty minutes far away from Monterrey city centre.
The primary school is located in a marginal area that now is growing up. The houses around the school are made of different materials. There are small businesses and shops nearby like drugstores, gift stores, and grocery stores. There are new neighbourhoods around the school.
García is an important town because it has some important touristy places: García Caves and a museum.
3.1.2. Physical characteristics of the school
The building school was built around six or nine years ago. It has 14 classrooms, a head teacher’s office, toilets for girls and toilets for boys, and 1 room to keep the cleaner tools. It has a big yard and a football pitch. The school also has the basic public services: water, electricity and telephone line.
There are two classrooms made of wood and four classrooms called “mobile rooms”, they are made of concrete and they have metal roof. The rest of the rooms are made of concrete. Each classroom has a blackboard, a desk and chair for the teacher and chairs for the students. In general, the classroom space is good, but in some groups there are a lot of students and the space looks too small. The students are very close to each other.
Now three classrooms have an interactive whiteboard and their computer to work on it. On the head teacher’s office, there are two computers and one printer machine.
3.1.3. The students
Our students live on the neighbourhoods around the school. The houses where they live are made of different materials (wood, concrete, metal) and sizes.
The children wear school uniform, but some of them do not dress it. Other students do not bring all their school materials because they do not have enough money to buy them.
After checking and analysing the last information, it was diagnosed that the students live in a poor social area or community. The school administration has administered questionnaires to the parents in order to collect information about their life style.
3.1.4. The parents
In the teaching and learning process it is very important the parents participation. It really affects the students’ success or problems. Unfortunately, the parents of this community do not participate or they are not involved enough in the students learning process.
Economic problems, divorces, unemployment are situations that catch the parents’ attention.
Some parents do not read and write. They just studied primary school; others did not finish this. They did not study a profession, so they work on factories or in small businesses. They are employees.
3.1.5. The school staff
There are a head teacher, a sub head teacher, a secretary, a cleaner and fourteen group teachers. Therefore, this school has a complete organization.
During years, the school has had a big problem: “the teachers’ migration”. The school year starts in August and the end is until June next year. New teachers arrive during the school year. In August, there were new teachers, then in February, they left the school and other teachers arrived. The same happens with the school authorities. Now since March there are new teachers. The teacher from fifth level and I are the only ones that still stay working on the school since August.
3.2. THE USE OF ICT TO IMPROVE THE TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCESS OF THE HISTORY
On my teacher experience, I have noticed that students and teachers get bored with history classes. The students express boring feelings and attitudes during the history classes. Moreover, the teachers say that it is difficult to plan and teach this subject. The teachers consider more important other subjects like maths or Spanish.
One of the objectives proposed in our Mexican Curriculum is that our students must develop the necessary skills to get an autonomy and permanent learning. It is supposed that they get this during the maths and Spanish teaching learning process.
On the Spanish subject, the students learn intellectual skills like reading, writing and oral expression. In addition, on the subject of maths the students learn how to solve problems or situations about their real life.
Maybe the history subject does not have the same relevance like maths and Spanish subject, but it is included in our curriculum. The approach of the history subject is “formative”: It tries to help on the students’ formation so that that they become better on information research skills as well as in their autonomy and constant study.
The formative approach consists on the development of intellectual skills like valuing, organising and interpreting information, to make hypothesis, to compare and to be reflective. It is supposed that when students develop the previous skills, they study and learn in an independent way. In addition, the formative process refers to the moral and civic values. Through learning history, it is expected to fortify the national identity and to awake on the students feelings and values of justice, peace, equality, solidarity, democracy and love to the nation. At the same time to stimulate attitudes of interest, disposition, research, reflection, cooperation, respect and participation.
Thus, if we want to develop a global citizenship education, it is important to take into account the value and importance of the subject of history. If the students do not know their country history, their difficulty is going to develop a global education.
“We study history to know the past, to understand the present and to change the future”. In this way, we can change our teaching methods and to develop a global citizenship education.
3.2.2. The aims of the research
· To investigate why students are interested and why not on the history subject.
· To analyse what ICT activities improve the teaching and learning process of history.
· To analyse what ICT activities improve the reading and writing skills of the students.
· To change the view of the teaching and learning process of the history subject.
3.2.3. The work plan
In order to achieve the aims of this research, it is important to consider and follow some strategies.
- TEACHER TRAINING. As a new teacher on the use of ICT, I constantly need to practice how to use them.
- LESSON PLANS. It is important to plan our classes. It is necessary to look for relevant activities where ICT are used.
- HOW TO COLLECT INFORMATION. It is very useful to have students’ diaries. On it, they can practice and develop their writing and reading skills. They express their feelings and ideas about the school life. We can also get relevant information from it. Another way to collect information is the students’ writings about specific topics, but before it is important to specify what to analyse from them (writing style, information included, orthography, etc.). In addition, the parents and students interviews are useful. It is necessary to organise and plan good questionnaires.
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