The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has just approved the research project “Academia de Cidadania Digital”, proposed by the Cooperativa de Ensino Universitário/Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa for the Academies of Knowledge 2019 competition. years and foresees a global investment of around 100 thousand euros.
Autónoma has as partners the Union of Parishes of Ramada and Caneças (UFRC) and the Caneças School Group, in the municipality of Odivelas. The project aims to measure the effects of an intervention methodology on the development of social and emotional competences in preschool and 1st cycle children. For this, it assumes an action-research logic in a community context, generating continuities between the formal and informal learning contexts.
In terms of the terrain, which will be characterized by the researchers, STEAM (English acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities are planned, in a space called Makers, to be created, as well as Media and Information Literacy activities, among these include the design, production and production of newscasts in video format, as well as the provision of content in online format.
The project will be developed by a group of professors and researchers from the Department of Communication Sciences, namely Vitor Tomé (coordinator), Paula Lopes, Bruno Reis and Carlos Pedro Dias. “This is a unique opportunity, as we are committed to pre-school and 1st cycle, following international guidelines and models, adapted to the specific characteristics of the community”, says the project coordinator, according to which “the results and practices developed they should then contribute to replicating the project in other schools, Portuguese and not only”.
For Reginaldo Rodrigues Almeida, administrator at the Cooperativa de Ensino Universitário, the founding entity of the Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, the project “is a living example of the combination of knowledge, where high university skills intersect with the ability to learn, in a useful way, transversal and coherent, which should guide the entire teaching/learning process”.
The president of the Parish Union of Ramada e Caneças, Manuel Varela, considers this partnership “an asset for the educational territory, insofar as the current challenges related to the promotion of social and emotional skills among children are central to the development of citizens and consequently for the sustainability of the territory”.
The director of the Caneças School Group, Fernando Costa, also says that the project will be “very important for the group’s teaching staff”, especially considering that “the work developed by the teachers, in collaboration with Professor Vitor Tomé, has been very important for the development of new skills in children, particularly in terms of communication, collaborative work, language development, argumentative skills and the development of an awareness of responsible and interventionist citizenship”.
He emphasizes that the project now approved by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation “provides for the diversification of activities to be carried out with children” and, underlines, is “in perfect harmony with the programs and learning of the different areas of study of Preschool and 1st Cycle ”, which provides for “the best receptivity and involvement of the entire school community, particularly families in this project, similar to what has been seen in previous projects”.