Transferencia de la formación docente universitaria : un estudio en los docentes de las facultades de ingeniería de la Universidad Católica del Norte (Chile)

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2017

Numerous studies, most of them from English-speaking and European universities, have examined the issue of how to measure the impact of teacher training (Guskey, 2002; Gibbs & Coffey, 2004; Postareff, Lindblom-Ylänne & Nevgi, 2007; Hanbury, Prosser & Rickinson, 2008; Stes, Min-Leliveld, Gijbels & Van Petegem, 2010; Feixas, Duran, Fernández, Fernández, García San Pedro, Márquez et al. , 2013). However, the lack of systematic evaluation is still a concern in Latin American universities. Assessment of training is a complex but a necessary task to detect the effects of training actions and to take decisions to optimise the quality of future training. There is a wide array of models to evaluate teacher training (Kirkpatrick, 1998; Guskey, 2002; Kreber & Brook, 2001; Stes et al. , 2010; Gairín, 2010; Biencinto & Carballo, 2004; Parsons, Hill, Holland & Willis, 2012; De Rijdt, Stes, Van der Vleuten & Dochy. , 2013; Feixas et al. , 2013) yet there is no consensus on the optimal model. Thus, it largely depends on the research objectives and the available resources (Chalmers, 2012). In Chile, institutions of higher education have begun a process of evaluation of their programs and curriculum redesign in competencies. Specifically the Catholic University of the North, has developed the Project "Reinventing the Engineering in the UCN" (Plan of Institutional Improvement UCN, 1204) whose main objective is to train engineers to respond effectively to the demands of the 21st century, strengthening technical and organizational capacities based on the CDIO model (Concevoir-Design-Implement-Operate) by Crawley (2015) through a profound reform of the curriculum, the learning methodologies and the student admission and promotion systems.

A fundamental element of the Project is a training program focused on the acquisition of pedagogical skills for engineering teachers. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the transfer of the learning obtained by the teachers participating in the teacher training program to the teaching practice. The study is carried out from a mixed perspective (Creswell, 2014). To this purpose, different quantitative and qualitative instruments are used. The research contemplates a general study that considers a sample of 66 teachers and a specific study by means of a case study approach of 10 teachers who are monitored over time, through the application of a semi-structured interview and classroom observations. Specifically, we examine the initial motivation to participate in the training program and we analyze the changes in conceptions and approaches to teaching before and after the training. The transfer of learning into the teaching practice is evaluated directly through the observations and interviews and also indirectly through the study of the factors that facilitate or limit the transfer (Feixas et al 2013). Regarding the results obtained, it is possible to point out that at the beginning of the training process, a high percentage of teachers had high expectations and felt motivated to apply the pedagogical skills developed in the training program to their classroom practice. As for the teaching approaches of teachers, no significant global changes are seen after training. The results allow us to affirm the existence of different ways of expressing and representing university teaching, each of them product of the beliefs, conceptions, personal and professional experience, and of the academic and disciplinary environment in which they develop. Although there are no changes at the group level, there are significant changes at the individual level, as shown by the results of the case studies. Regarding the factors that facilitate or hinder the transfer of training, the study highlights the absence of barriers. The obstacle to transfer lies in the personal organizational capacity and in the institutional recognition factors. A highly facilitating factor is the design of training and acquired learning.

This research is limited to a context and a given moment, the engineering faculties at the Universidad Católica del Norte, are in a process of profound reform of the curriculum, of learning methodologies and systems of admission and promotion of students. Although the results are not generalizable, they provide important insights about the acquired learning, after participation in the training program. Due to the lack of studies in Chile and Latin America, the present research aims to be a contribution to the debate, reflection and future challenges on the importance of academic development in Engineering careers in particular and in university teaching in general.

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