SOLE Spain has just come into the world, with the aim of creating a new way of training teachers in the future.
Javier Bronchalo, who is the brainchild behind this project, took inspiration from Sugata’s self organised learning environments (SOLEs) to come up with the idea of bringing people together who are interested in disruptive education processes.
SOLE Spain’s goal is to bring the country’s teacher training universities together to create better self-management processes and help empower students to take control of their own learning, SOLE-style.
“The training of future teachers needs restructuring due to learners having different needs now in our ever-changing society,” says Javier. “We’re inviting everyone interested in disruptive processes in education to join us, where they will experience first-hand the creation and implementation of an educational project based on Prof Sugata Mitra’s work.”
SOLE Spain is using the global School in the Cloud project as a basis for its activities, which anyone can participate in anywhere in the world.
Javier told me that trainee teachers and individuals from other relevant careers will be coming together all over Spain to join in the experience of creating the SOLE Spain project. “We will be working out a methodology together based on Big Questions in primary and secondary schools,” he explains. “The process of how students approach self-regulated learning will be also observed as part of teacher training.”
The team is currently looking to set up a pilot project in different universities in Madrid and possibly Barcelona, to use as a basis to scale up this project with other universities across Spain in September 2016.
Between October and December last year, SOLE Spain’s initial work was in collaboration with trainee teachers at three universities in Madrid: Autonomous University, Complutense University and Francisco de Vitoria University, who were all ‘eager and enthusiastic’ about their SOLE workshops.
They carried out the same hands-on research with students from different specialties related to education and teacher training. These subjects were as diverse as nursery and primary ICT and pedagogy to didactics of fine arts and sport.
Students and trainee teachers divided into groups of four of five and used the Big Questions section of the School in the Cloud website to investigate the SOLE process.
Once their investigations were complete, they presented their thoughts and possible answers to the other students, which prompted interesting discussions. These students were also introduced to the SOLE Spain concept and invited to participate in its co-creation.
So what’s next for SOLE Spain? They have already received in-kind support from Newcastle University’s SOLE Central to help and advise them set up but they are now looking for means to make it financially sustainable and have plans over the next few months to help spread the idea across the country.
The plan is to run a pilot project in Spain, from January to June 2016, where they will:
- Carry out SOLE sessions in the teacher training universities to show students how it works and to invite them to play an active role in the project
- Train future teachers how to run a SOLE session, so they will be ready to put this into practice in schools as part of their training
- Contact different primary and secondary schools to carry out SOLE sessions with the trainee teachers as part of their training
- Analyse all the data from this pilot project