Teacher of Physics and Chemistry at a secondary school in Chaves, trainer at the Training Centre and collaborator of the UTAD Science and Technology Didactics Laboratory. 12 years ago he founded, at the Fernão de Magalhães Secondary School, the Experimental Science Teaching Club (CEEC), in order to reconcile both formal and non-formal learning. The articulation of formal education with CEEC activities unequivocally shows that there is a significant improvement in students' progress and learning. The main purpose of the Experimental Science Teaching Club (CEEC) is to make available to secondary school students a place to debate and experiment with ideas about science and technology or other topics of interest to them. The CEEC is a place of non-formal education, outside the learner component of the discipline, which goes hand-in-hand with formal education, held weekly, open to all students and of an optional nature, where teaching and learning are focused on the student, and the teacher has the role of supervisor and driving force of this space. It is open to the community, to the initiatives of the students and / or teachers; is low-cost to run, and makes the most of school materials. It is interdisciplinary, transversal and helps students find their vocation.
As stipulated in the GTP regulations, the winner is awarded a prize of 30 thousand euros and is automatically selected for the next world edition of the prize.
But the debut in Portugal of the GTP also has another particularity that falls to the Galp Foundation, which, in recognition of the teachers' work, attributes an extra prize, an Honourable Mention. And the distinguished work is that of Maria Francisca Macedo, Primary school teacher in private education, in Lisbon.
She has written The Scientists Club adventure books collection and develops an approach that stems from the Fusion between Science and Creativity: It all starts by adopting an attitude, independent of students or context, which values the ability to create unexpected relationships between different content. It involves the creation of an almost utopian classroom environment, based on respect and freedom, encouraging students to propose hypotheses, to experiment with theories, to debate ideas, to invent solutions. It merges the sciences with literature and the arts, in an emotional, creative and passionate learning where imagination and the ability to engage with multidisciplinary subjects prevail.
She believes that it is increasingly important to speak the same language, to break down the walls of pre-defined contents. We cannot talk about mathematics and ignore its connections with biology, language and even with emotion. If on the one hand we should use technological tools when they are available (blogs, interactive whiteboards, etc.), on the other hand we should take a step back and look at how learning was approached in the Age of Enlightenment: polymathy as a broad domain (and not watertight) spanning several areas of knowledge, even if apparently unrelated, will become increasingly present. In addition, encouraging autonomy, the ability to question and to undertake, and using emotional tools and practical intelligence. To summarise in a few words what she believes the future of education will be, she says:
Polymathy; creativity; emotional and practical intelligence; entrepreneurship; fascination; love; respect. The results of her work are broad and highly acclaimed.
It should be recalled that the main winners this year were chosen from 110 applications validated by the auditors of the PWC, and in a second phase, the jury of the debut edition of the Global Teacher Prize Portugal chose 10 finalists. It was from this shortlist that we whittled it down to the winners.
These 110 validated applications came from 16 mainland districts and the two autonomous regions, with all levels of education being represented over the following distribution; 6% were pre-school applications, 19%, 16% and 30% from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles, respectively, 26% from Secondary schooling and 3% from special education.
Gender-wise there was also a good balance, with 58% of validated applications being from projects led by female teachers and 42% from projects led by male teachers.
The 2019 edition of the Global Teacher Prize Portugal is already confirmed, and the application details will be announced shortly.