The classroom can be anything. I've seen teachers here teaching in a bus

In the 33rd episode of the podcast Isto Não é Pera Doce, we welcome Sérgio Lino, President of the Board of Directors of ALFACOOP - a co-operative where a public school and a vocational school coexist - which is implementing the Education 5.0 model.

The classroom can be anything. I've seen teachers here teaching in a bus
Fígura de ondas técnologicas azul

While there are those who believe that technology takes students out of school, this project goes against this theory, as it puts the student at the centre of the teaching process and prioritises the integration of new technologies into the school environment. Watch the talk in full:


Education 5.0: What is it?

Technology, Space, Pedagogy, Involvement and Emotion. These are the five words that, in the voice of Sérgio Lino, define the dimensions that make up the Education 5.0 model. A teaching methodology that aims to put the student at the centre of the teaching-learning process through the integration of new technologies.

This project has five dimensions. And in this project with five dimensions, we try to be inclusive, because it's not just about technology. The project is also about emotions, involvement and pedagogy, where all the teachers are constantly trained throughout the year by an external trainer. At the same time, we want to develop the socio-emotional skills of the students. [And then there are the spaces.

It was the desire to create a different educational project in Braga, where students would be motivated to go to school and at the same time learn and acquire tools for adult life, that gave birth to ALFACOOP's Education 5.0 model. 

Technology works in a hybrid way in the classroom. Technology supports books and notebooks. There are computers in every classroom, one for each pupil, so that learning can be integrated with what they hear and see in the books and with the research they do on digital media at the same time.   

For example, let's talk about the heart: they see the heart working and they can understand what [the teacher] is talking about and then they can go to the book. Here they manage to make a transition of knowledge, research and they manage to develop and realise what they have to learn. And that's the fundamental part.

The idea is to stimulate students' learning and make them more independent. In addition to the technology, the classrooms are different from traditional ones.

The classroom is completely different, we have different tables, oval tables, where they can put their computers, their books... The chairs themselves are set up for the students. The students work in teams, in groups of four, three or two. [...] They don't face the front of the classroom, which is how we learn, they're also there to think about what they're learning. Because that's the big question: not just acquiring knowledge, but thinking about why things work.

Teachers have to realise that we can't teach the way we did 20, 30 years ago.

The Education 5.0 model, which applies from pre-school to secondary school and will be extended to grade 9 next year, sees learning as a different process from the traditional one. However, the curriculum must be taught, even if there is 75 per cent pedagogical flexibility.

We have to give the curriculum. We still have 75% pedagogical flexibility, but we have the curriculum... because then you get to grade 12, you get to grade 9, you have to do the national exams and the students have to acquire that knowledge. And that's fine.

Organising the scripts and subjects is not easy at first. Sérgio Lino explains that the teachers themselves get together, have a portfolio and start to realise how they are going to teach. There may be some initial discomfort, but Sérgio says he's lucky because he has teachers who are looking to the future.

I've been lucky here, I've got teachers who are looking to the future. [Teachers have to realise that we can't teach the way we did 20, 30 years ago. We have to change, we have to motivate our students to learn so that we can be successful and our success is the students' success.

Do families believe in this model at a time when so many people are focused on exams and school results, especially the ones that give access to higher education? Sérgio Lino answers this question with facts.

I'll answer that with facts. We started this project in 2018 with 250 students, today I have 1050 students who attend the school here. That's the best answer. It's the most enlightening answer I have. We are in demand.

Because decorating is one thing, thinking is another

Convinced by the parents' trust in his methodology and the satisfaction of the teachers he works with, Sérgio explains that it's the whole that counts. The whole, not the parts. And that's what we're looking for.

What I believe is that you have to work on the whole child. The whole, not the parts. What I've been talking about in the national exams are the parts, we're talking about memorisation. The pupil who has the best ability to memorise the subject is the pupil who will get the best results. Better results. Because memorising is one thing, thinking is another. What we are actually doing here is getting students to think about the model, to think about the problem, to think about how you can solve this problem, to get to the solution faster and not just focus on the problem. Because in fact what we learned and what I learned was to memorise.

They must not only be good students, but also good people, says Sérgio. Children should have values because he believes that a good person goes further than a bad person. And that's what he tries to pass on to his students. And for that to happen, it's important that the student is at the centre of the process, with an education that involves individualisation.

You've touched on an excellent issue, which is actually this. We've also managed to use technology, there are some students who learn at a certain speed - a very fast speed - and these students are actually able to think about this situation. These students are already further ahead and can go on. And we have other students who are slower but at the same time we can monitor them.

This school has had several lives

Technology is used as a means to an end, without forgetting the other four dimensions that make up this model. But in fact there is a relevance that is applied to this dimension.

It's important that they learn how to use technology so that they don't have to give it 100% of their attention. And that's what our teachers are doing: helping them to use technology.

This model also includes socio-emotional components.

These are fundamental components for students to understand the world, to understand their colleagues, to understand that they have to solve problems, to understand that they are in this world to make it better.

Nicknamed "crazy" when he started the project in the first cycle - because he had only 34 students and opened four classes - Sérgio Lino is proud of the journey he has made in a school that has already had several lives.

We are a teachers' cooperative. It's made up of teachers. I'm currently the president and I have 24 members of the cooperative, which I'm very proud of. Because in 2018, when all the association contracts were completely lost, all the funding we had, we had to live off private education. We lived on private tuition and two professional courses that we had, with almost no students. With some difficulty, because they stopped believing in the project. We had to revive the whole project. We worked hard to revitalise it, we changed the educational project, we changed the way we operate in the market and we tried to be different here in Braga. Today things are going well and we're all happy here.

Watch the full episode on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes or Google Podcasts.


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