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AN INTERCULTURAL COOPERATIVE ACTION-RESEARCH ABOUT TEACHERS AND TRAINERS TRAINING WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL MODERN SCHOOL MOVEMENT

Florence Saint-Luc
Teacher and doctor in Sciences of Education (France)
Mohamed Id Babou
Teacher trainer in Tiznit (Morroco)
Flor Zaldumbilde Ceceña 
Teacher trainer in Querétaro (Mexico)
Mamadou Demba 
FIMEM  BD member  (Senegal)
Risto Patrikainen 
Teacher trainer in the faculty of Education of Joensuu - Finland
Ramon Torres, teacher and teacher trainer in Spain
Lupe Palau - teacher trainer in Spain
July 2012
 
 
The international Modern School Movement has got experiences of education and training in various contexts. The plurality of situations and glances creates the bases of a network of very rich interactions.
The different movements (on local or national scales), the diversity of education, training and meeting places, and the cooperative spirit constitute an experimental space in genuine and real situation offering a strong interest for a research.
The validation is given by recursive loops between theory and practice, in a research of coherence. It doesn’t exclude contradictory aspects : flexibility and rigour, organization and uncertainty, personalization and creation of “patrimoines communs de proximité” (“common inheritances of proximity”) for the groups (Carra C. and Reuter Y., 2005, p. 50), rooting in the local and opening to otherness ; projects, giving sense to learning, allow creation, experimentation ; the meaning given by implication,  leading to abstraction,  helps to discover universality and build an earth identity (Morin, 1999) based on democratic values.   
The questioning, practiced with children as well as with adult groups, is the basis of an experienced pedagogy, close to action-research. Common values underlie interactions and practices within Co-operative networks :
- construction of a scientific process from observation of reality, questioning and experimentation, starting during childhood.
- research, computing information and production of knowledge
- stress on democracy
- increasing of creativity,
- the dialogical principle (alternating between opposite aspects) and “recursivity (strange loops)” between the individual and the collective, the taking in account of local contexts and the search for universality.
Creativity, expression, communication, co-operation, formative status of error, allow the development of self-confidence, the rise of collective intelligence [2] within the frame of a democratic scientific humanism : it gives to everyone the status of author (Ardoino, 2000).
The process of professionalization is long and original, because the complexity of practices requires a high level of qualification.
 
What could bring the elucidation of this process in different contexts, thanks to the implementation of an international co-operation within a research ? Could this collective researcher work found a status of practitioner-researcher which could be transferred within the teacher training field ? Could the work of this collective researcher produce professional didactics, coherent with Freinet pedagogy ? Could the intercultural dialog be the base of a co-operative confrontation able to disclose blind spots, to generate an international collective intelligence and knowledge which can be operated in various contexts ? Would it be possible to define the bases of a co-operative self-training, connecting theory and practice ? Could this work of theorization and communication be used internally, for the modern school movement which need to interest in a practical way of the problem of training ? Could it present the Modern School movement as a social actor, generating possible transformations within the educational systems ?
This questioning was the basis of a research work for a ph-D thesis in Sciences of Education (presented in December 2011), in order to constitute an intercultural co-operative research within the frame of the international Modern School movement. The main chronological stages are described in 4 parts in this document :
-an exploratory survey,
- stays in different European educational systems to trigger the implication of teachers and trainers to take part in this co-operative action-research,
- the constitution of an international collective researcher,
- then effects of this work, in terms of transformative learning and transference or reinvestment in local contexts.
Prospects are presented in the conclusion.
  
 
1.     An exploratory survey about the needs in training
 
In July 2007, a travel in Portugal, and a one-day participation in the congress of the Portuguese Modern School movement in Porto is organized, in order to try to understand, in a first approach, why this movement is so successful with regards to number of members (more than 2000). Two interviews were made within this frame : one with a pensioned teacher, Manuela Castro-Neves, who is the last link between the Portuguese MEM, Sérgio Niza, and the FIMEM.
 
Sérgio Niza and Assunção Folque, president of the portuguese Modern School Movement in February 2010, in Lisbon
 
Twenty minutes only from the ninety minutes of this interview could be written down, because it was recorded on two digitalized dictaphones, and the best recorder was stolen in a rucksack in Lisbon.
During the ICEM congress in Paris (august 2007), an interview was made with Marleen Vermassen, from Ghent : the collected datas gave an orientation to a serial of contacts, in order to understand why this town has got 10 primary and 2 secondary Freinet schools (which triggered a questioning). These contacts were useful then during the development of the research.
 
In July 2008, during the RIDEF in Mexico, the organization of a workshop “international co-operation and training” confirmed a real need about training.
 
 
Socorro Cruz, Spanish teacher and teacher trainer close to Mexico, Fernando Jimenez, academics in the university of Mexico, Ingrid Dietrich, academics, teacher or general and intercultural pedagogy in the university of Heidelberg (Germany) during the long worskshop international cooperation and training (RIDEF Metepec - July 2008)
 
It allowed conceiving a project of international co-operative research, showing certain difficulties connected with the multicultural context. The analyzed errors were the basis of the international co-animation, bringing elements favoring the second undertaken action.
 
 
Alzira Quiroga, teacher trainer in the university of Campinas (Brasil), Gitta Kovermann, teacher trainer in the university of Dortmund (Germany), Kaisa Lange, Finnish teacher and teacher trainer in the application secondary school  of the Helsinki university of Education, Socorro Cruz and Fernando Jimenez
 
It is during the 2008 RIDEF that the intuition leaded to the necessity of visiting, in their own country, in their own conditions of life and work, the persons who could be involved in this co-operative research. In this meeting, Flor Zaldumbide Ceceña integrated this group. She founded the Freinet movement in Querétaro in 1978 (she opened a basic school this year). Since this moment, she has been promoting co-operative learning, she has been extending this alternative pedagogy in various school in her country, collaborating in the teacher training for more than 10 years ; she animated workshops in the RIDEF in 2008, 2010, and during the RADEF (Freinet meeting in Latin America) in Brasil in 2011.
 
2.     Stays in different European educational systems

The research started in Ghent, in September 2008 : there’s a project because of a very important need of training for the teachers of the Freinet schools. The qualitative systemic approach reveals positive points in the system, but also blind spots, and at the same time the necessity to develop a methodology adapted to the international context. In October 2008, a participating observation, with video records, in Helsinki, results in filming the pre-service training for subject teachers (teachers in secondary schools) in the  “Normaalilyseo”[3], since the point of view of a ground trainer, Kaisa Lange.
 
Kaisa Lange, Finnish teacher and teacher trainer in the secondary school of Helsinki university of education in her classroom, in novembre 2008.
 
This first approach of the Finnish educational system shows the important role the Finnish Freinet movement, Elämankoulu, played in the reforms of the educational system during the nineties, and the essential role of co-operation in the official texts and in the practices of the trainer, Finnish teacher in the Normaalilyseo (www.dailymotion.com/video/k41XA09Krm53Ll31FZi).
In January 2009, in Liege, I could attend and film the training for alternative pedagogies organized for the teachers of the 3 Freinet schools, managed by the local “organizational power”. 
 
Henry Landroit (here in the room of Education Populaire, in Brussels, with Chantal and Claudine), organized my first stay in Belgium in january 2009
 
In Brussels, a whole day in a classroom is filmed in a 9/10 years old class group[4] in a small private school, founded by Henry Landroit, and in a 5/8 years old class group[5] in a huge public Freinet school.
In Germany, thanks to Gitta Kovermann, a 4 days meeting, during the “Freinet certificate”  is filmed.
 
 
Gitta Kovermann animating the final point of the Freinet certificate in Kassel in April 2009
 
It reveals the articulation with university of Kassel : one of the teacher, working in pre-service training, Herbert Hagsted, presents a lecture, and organizes practices of printing work in the “werkstatt”, a huge room where a very rich didactic equipment is proposed to the pupils of a whole class group, their teacher, and the students.
 
Herbert Hagsted in the werkstatt, during the first meeting of the second session of the Freinet certificat in Kassel (april 2009)
 
The production of a photo book and a video montage show the effect “reification process” <-> product. The self-confrontation[6], appeared as necessary because of the linguistic obstacles, is used in Belgium.
A work of “autoscopy”, with the trainer of Liege, Danièle Massoz, with Marleen Vermassen, trainer in Ghent, makes emerge the isomorphism education/ training, starting from a dilemma connected to the sudden appearance of the “unforeseen”.
 
Danièle Massoz, teacher trainer in Liege, and Marleen Vermassen, teacher trainer in Ghent, in april 2009 (Liege)
 
The crossed self-confrontation (auto-confrontation croisée) with Chantal Meuleman and Alain Buekenhoudt, the teacher of the two Freinet schools, followed by an assessment, highlights the interest of the confrontation with a foreign researcher, for them, on the basis of a co-operation, respecting ethic rules.

 

 
Two workshops, for a duration of 1h30 min, organized in August 2009, during the ICEM congress in Strasburg, favour the meeting of the Belgian (French and Dutch-speaking), German, and Spanish trainers.
 
Workshop Freinet practitioner, researcher-practitioner in the ICEM congress os Strasburg in August, 2009
 
 
The self –confrontation appears as a professional development process, in its dimension of international co-operative confrontation, and of interest of the work on dilemmas. The group of collaborative (and co-operative) research is officially created.
 
 
Ramon Torres, Lupe Palau, Armand De Meyer, Gitta Kovermann, Carine Dick and Marleen Vermassen at the end of the workshop "Teacher training in Europe" during the ICEM congress of Strasburg (August 2009) when the co-operative (collaborative) international researcher was created
 
 
An interview with Herbert  Hagsted shows that the training of teacher trainers in the university was made within the frame of the axes selected for the whole project :
-          Internationalization (the teacher trainers went to different European countries to see practices of education and training)
-          Innovation
-          interdisciplinarity.
 
During the same congress, our participation in a workshop, organized by Sylvain Connac, about co-operative learning, trigger a serial of vicarious and co-operative effects, theorized by the responsible of the workshop. One of the two men who founded the Freinet schools in Ghent, Armand De Meyer, took part in the workshop, as well as me.
 
 
Armand de Meyer, Alain Buekenhoudt and me, we participated in the workshop animated by Sylvain Connac, during the ICEM congress of Strasburg.
 
He appreciated the pedagogical organization of this workshop, but he saw the interest of improving it by the use of the metaplanning technique.
 
 
In February 2010, a stay in Valencia is organized by Ramon Torres and Lupe Palau, teachers trainers. Ramon Torres is responsible of teacher training in el STEPV (Sindicat de treballadores i treballadors del ensenyament del País Valencià). He organizes the Freinet seminar, aiming the pedagogical renovation for teachers and especially beginners. In Spain, the pedagogical renovation supports mainly on Freinet, but also on the Spanish pedagogues of the XXth century : Gimeno Sacristan, Flecha, Santos Guerra, etc. Within the frame of the beginning of a session of the Freinet meeting, Ramon asked me to animate two hours about “Cooperation and learning” (the video in available on line www.dailymotion.com/video/xmayeo_cooperation-et-apprentissagevp_webcam )  : it is an opportunity to implement an innovation, inspired by the previous intercultural interactions. Its effects on the “learners” can be analyzed thanks to the transcription of the video, and thanks to the moodle. This experimentation leads to a matrix of cooperative self-training, presented below :

 


 
The Portuguese Modern School movement doesn’t refer any more only to Freinet. It supports on Bruner and post-Vigotskian researchers. It theorized training inside it. Sérgio Niza founded it, with a woman. He works in the “Upper Council of Education”.
Manuela Castro-Neves, teacher in primary school, retired, is the only connection with remains with the portuguese Modern School Movement. She organized my coming in a first meeting in February 2010 in Lisbon, where I could attend to an opened meeting of training of the Modern School Movement. She introduced me to Assunção Folque, who was the chairwoman of the MEM.
 
The initial training of nursery school “teachers – or educators” is filmed in the university of Education in Evora, thanks to Assunção Folque.
 
 
 
Assunção Folque trains the teachers (educators) for the Nursery School in the university of Evora - April 2010
 
 
The in-service training process within the Modern School movement allows to work on cooperated self-tuition in Lisbon area, thanks to two interviews and two self-confrontations. 
 
The international co-animation of a long workshop (6 times 3 hours), titled “international co-operation and trainers’ training”, during the RIDEF in Nantes, in July 2010, constitutes an international co-operative confrontation, gathering 23 participants from various countries, various continents, in various places of the educational system (www.dailymotion.com/video/k6ZFpCpRwVMQD931CGO).
 
 
The participants of the long workshop "international co-operation and teacher training" - July, 2010, RIDEF Nantes
 
It results on the implementation of an international co-operation : a blog, a web-site, and a list of communication (on google) were created. For the first time, the participants of a workshop go on communicating between two RIDEF, and the group is extending, gathering persons who participated in previous meetings, in different countries, or showing their interest in training.
 
 
The reinvestments in other contexts are visible for the trainers of Valencia (Ramon Torres et Lupe Palau), who participated in the ICEM congress in 2009. They organized my stay in Spain in February 2010, and they took part in the co-animation team in the workshop “international co-operation and trainers’ training”, with Gitta Kovermann, Flor Zaldumbide Ceceña, Anne-Sophie Galerneau and Florence Saint-Luc.
 
The co-animation team of the long workshop "international co-operation and teacher training" during the RIDEF of Nantes, in July 2010 : Gitta Kovermann, Anne-Sophie Galerneau, Flor Zaldumbide Ceceña, Florence Saint-Luc, Lupe Palau and Ramon Torres
 
A questionnaire was proposed to try to see reinvestments in local contexts. It shows some of them.
During the Nantes RIDEF, in 2010, Risto Patrikainen proposed me to present, in his school (school of the education university in Joensuu), a presentation “experimental probing and theories of learning”, in English, in October 2010. I prepared a video about experimental attempt, using pictures from the  class work of Françoise Dor, in a nursery school in Waremmes, in Belgium (www.dailymotion.com/video/k1hj1Tlb7McUiP35pzL).
He teaches in his class group, in the basic school (9-10 years old pupils) and in the initial teacher training : the videos are worked with self-confrontation in the evening.
 
 
Risto Patrikainen with the trainees : they are preparing the work they will do with his pupils in the school of the education university of Joensuu (Finland)
 
The co-operative self training of the researcher, thanks to the previous stages of the collaborative work, creates the conditions to be able to react on an unforeseen situation, to constitute an “emergence” in research/training.
 
A serial of insights led to a fast adaptation to the conditions of work, and a transformative learning for the trainer, the trainee (student) and the researcher ; it generates a new research methodology, resulting from a creative interbreeding. A video document about the connection theory/practice (www.dailymotion.com/video/k2U2QrEOhoM16t32hEn) seems to express the real intentions and practices in a training action, essential for the pre-service class teacher training, which could be extended to the subject teacher training.  Its presentation in the ICEM congress, in Lille, in August 2011, shows the destabilizing effects brought by the awakening of blind spots, appeared by contrast, and its interest.
A video montage shows the international collective (and co-operative) researcher work : from learning organization to international collective intelligence, and how it generates transformative learning www.dailymotion.com/video/k7fEHc1EmM9eBl31GOm. A video presenting the whole work of the long workshop “international cooperation and trainers’ training” in available on internet www.dailymotion.com/video/k4ZL1WU5ooWTR131CGO
The work about the « certifying training » in Germany, and the interactions and exchanges within the international co-operative action-research lead to a video montage about the “certifying training” in Ghent (Belgium) www.dailymotion.com/video/k6qLxXdlpsGMaD31GgF starting from a simple self-confrontation with a trainer, Carine Dick. It shows the reinvestment, and innovative emergences, in local context, of some ideas resulting from this community of practice, created within this international collective researcher.
The whole is coherent with the values of Freinet pedagogy, and constitutes basis which can inspire other Modern School Movements in the field of training and formation. Propositions for the teacher training, starting from the work of this international collective researcher, appear in the website « L’école changer de cap » www.ecolechangerdecap.net/spip.php This document constitutes the international collective researcher as a social actor to take in account in the field of education and training.
A long workshop will be proposed during the RIDEF in León, in Spain. A course will be proposed, during the summer 2013, in Morocco.
An important work has been done in Portugal. But alas, to date, the Portuguese Modern School movement didn’t want to take part in this international collaborative research, and the numerous documents (texts and videos) couldn’t be finalized. We hope that we’ll have co-operation prospects in the future.
The generated co-operative self-training, based on experimental probing and co-operation, was theorized in different texts and various magazines ,including scientific magazines, and in a ph-D thesis, available too in the ICEM website www.icem-pedagogie-freinet.org/node/23222. The appendices of the thesis are not available on internet, but they can be sent on request. The second volume of the thesis (1st volume of appendices) shows the development of professional didactics implemented in the co-training. The particular methodology, developed in the thesis, allows arguing the interest of action-research on an epistemological framework. It founds the status of practitioner-researcher. In the volume 3, volume 2 of the appendices, the analysis of the subgroup work during the RIDEF long workshop illustrate, on an effective way, the work of a co-operative group. It gives elements to define what can be an international collective intelligence. It can be used by persons for an academic research in the university.
5.     Prospects
 
The collective researcher can reflect about a professionalization orientation, find footbridges between theory in the university and initial training in training centers, the links between education and formation, the partners who must be implied, the alternation of training curricula, their contents, the production of documents for a “know how to teach” which distinguishes pre-school, primary and secondary school.
This production of necessary tools is essential to the self-reflection process, on one’s own pedagogical and individual practices, and on the transformation of society.
 
CONCLUSION
 
The PH-D thesis work shows that cultural diversity can be source of richness, international collective intelligence, and transformative learning, developing actionable and transferable knowledge in various contexts, in particular as regards teacher and trainer’s training : they are visible on the numerous video products of this international collective researcher.
A basis work supposes to take into account the importance of trainers’ training and of the link theory-practice. The teachers’ training will then be able to integrate the contributions of the complex thought and the theories of learning. The international cooperation leads the actors to become aware of the blind spots of their systems : it transforms their representations, mainly of the goals to reach and of the possible strategies to implement them and to operate, in order to change deeply the educational practices.
The will of coherence between practice and theory led to the necessity of a real articulation between education, training and research, starting form a reflection about the possible finalities of an education for the future (Morin, 1999). Experimental probing and co-operation thus found the prospects of common learning processes for learners (children and adults) and to practitioners, as well in education, formation and research fields.
The projections, carried out by this international co-operative action-research, supporting on practices, techniques and concepts from the Freinet movement, shows that this work, effective for years, can be considered, on an informal way, as the one of an international training commission in FIMEM. It would be right, for the general assembly of FIMEM, to legitimate the produce of this effective self-organization, after an official proposition of the FIMEM BD.
 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

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Publications in different magazines about the co-operative self-training, education, formation, connected with the international co-operative and collaborative research

 

Saint-Luc F.(to be published). « Le système éducatif : constats et perspectives d’évolution ». Esprit critique. Revue internationale de sociologie et de sciences sociales
Saint-Luc F.(2011). « Pédagogie Freinet et pensée complexe ». La recherche en éducation http://www.la-recherche-en-education.org/index.php/afirse/article/view/71 [ref du 08 01 2012]
Saint-Luc F. & Mallet J., (2010) « La coopération internationale dans la recherche-action en éducation Un autre moyen de concevoir et de mettre en œuvre la formation des enseignants » in Les cahiers du CERFEE n°29
Saint-Luc F., (2010) « Éducation et formation des enseignants en Finlande : la place des pédagogies actives et coopératives » in Spécificités n°2, janvier 2010, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, éditions Association CITéS - Matrice,p.217-230
 

Other  texts

 

Saint-Luc F. (2010) « Education et formation en Finlande »in N’autre école n°26 avril 2010
Saint-Luc F. (2009)« Education et formation en Europe » in Former des Maîtres  september 2009, and SNESUP website http://www.snesup.fr/Presse-et-documentation?aid=4297&ptid=5&cid=2320 [réf du 02 11 09]
Saint-Luc F. (2009) « Enseigner est un métier qui s’apprend : oui, mais comment ? »  in L'Emancipation syndicale et pédagogique décember 2009
 
 

Communications published after congresses or colloquiums

 

Saint-Luc F. (2011). ”Education, Teachers Training and Research Within the Modern School Movement: from International Confrontation to Co-operative Self-training”,  Transformative learning in time of crisis : individual and collective challenges, p. 281-288, available on http://www.transformativelearning.org/index/TLC%202011%20Proceedings.pdf
 
Saint-Luc F. (2010). Coopération, recherche-action et formation des enseignants. Colloquium « La pensée complexe, défi pour l’éducation, la recherche, les organisations. Available on  http://www.trigone.univ-lille1.fr/complexite2010/actes/SaintLuc.pdf




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[3] Normaalilyseo  of Helsinki (The Normal Lyceum of Helsinki) is a separate unit of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences in the University of Helsinki and an University Training School which comprises the 7th to 9th grades of the comprehensive school, and the upper secondary school.
[4] Chantal Meuleman, teacher in « L’autre Ecole »
[5] Alain Buekenhoudt in Clair-Vivre.
[6] Clot et al (2000). Entretiens en autoconfrontation croisée : une méthode en clinique de l'activité, [en ligne]. 2000, [ref du 09 01 10], 2000, disponible sur <http://www.pistes.uqam.ca/v2n1/articles/v2n1a3.htm>