and in-service training of early childhood teachers
Early Childhood Teacher Training is regulated by the Law of Bases of the
Educational System, Law 46/86 of October and more specifically by Law 115/97
childhood, basic education and secondary education teachers obtain their
professional qualifications via a higher education first degree course with
Honours (licenciatura, the course having a normal duration of four academic
years), the curricula of which being organized to meet the professional
requirements of the correspondent level of education and teaching;
training for Early Childhood and Basic Education teachers is provided at
Higher Schools of Education and Universities.
The curriculum structure of the
courses should include (Decree-Law 344/89 of 11 October):
adequately adjusted training component leading to personal, social, cultural,
scientific, technological, technical or artistic development;
Educational Sciences component;
Pedagogical Practice component.
Some examples of the scientific, technological,
technical disciplines are: ICT education;
natural sciences; scientific understanding of the world; methods of research
and organization of the information; science, culture and society; natural and
social sciences; educational uses of ICT.
There are training schools
offering special education needs programmes and intercultural education
options thus contributing to a great diversity of training provision.
Specialized Training prepares
teachers for specialized educational duties or activities (school management,
pedagogical supervision, research, etc.) and is offered at Higher Schools of
Education and Universities.
In-service training provides
updating, improvement, retraining and support to the professional activities
of teachers leading to career development and mobility. In-service training
is offered by institutions set up for this purpose or by public and private
2-Programme contents in Pre-school (less
than 6 years old) and Compulsory school (6 to 15 years old)
education practices in Portugal have always been highly diversified due to
the inexistence of a clear attribution of pedagogical responsibilities.
Therefore each educational context establishes its own pedagogical approach.
However, Early Childhood teachers have been exposed to common objectives
during their initial training, which result in the adoption of relatively
guidelines in Pre-school Education
The Curriculum Guidelines do
not constitute a syllabus. They are, otherwise, a) a set of principles aimed
at assisting teachers in making decisions concerning their educational
approaches, i.e. guiding the childrens educational process; b) a common
reference for all teachers of the National Pre-School Network to be used in
the organization of the educational component.
They are not a syllabus and
they differ from some curriculum conceptions in that:
perspective is based on teaching rather than on expected learning;
is wider i.e. they enable the adoption of different educational options and,
therefore, different curricula.
The Guidelines are organized as
principles and pedagogic objectives as stated in the Pre-School Education
organizational principles for the Guidelines;
The Curriculum Guidelines are
based on the following interrelated concepts:
development and learning are concurrent;
the subjects of the educational process, therefore, their knowledge should be
valued and serve as the starting point for the acquisition of new knowledge;
learning i.e. recognition that learning is interrelated and not divided into
questions must be answered, a principle involving a differentiated
pedagogical approach focusing on cooperation within the group.
Curriculum development is the
teachers responsibility and should take into account not only the above
concepts but also:
objectives of pre-school education a) the promotion of personal and social
development; b) individualized global development; c) socialization and
learning of attitudes, language, expression and understanding of the world.
of the educational environment as a support to teachers performance.
areas should be viewed as a general reference to be taken into account when
planning and evaluating learning opportunities:
social development area;
A) Motor, drama,
art and musical expression;
B) Oral and written
of the world area
2.2-Analysis of the curriculum
guidelines in the perspective of Technical Education in Pre-school
A concern in technical
education by developing curiosity and critical thinking can be
inferred from an overview to the document Curriculum Guidelines for
Pre-school Education (Rule no. 5220/97), mainly from its overall objectives
and from its content areas.
The Knowledge of the world area is
rooted in childrens natural curiosity and their desire to know what and
understand why. This curiosity is fostered and broadened through
opportunities to get in touch with new situations envisaged as opportunities
for world inquiry and exploration.
The Knowledge of the world area is considered as an
introduction to Science which might be more or less linked to their
close environment although pointing out at the introduction to some features
concerned with different fields of human knowledge: history, sociology,
geography, physics, chemistry and biology... which although elemental and fit to so
young children should always correspond to a sharp scientific
rigour. Some experiences are proposed from physics and chemistry (light, air,
water, etc) such as playing with water, filling up containers and emptying
them, which are supposed to be a pretext to make them understand that air
occupies space, experiment the principle of the communicating vases, inquire
why some objects float and others dont. Theres also a reference to
some means of exploring light and shadow effects, by using both natural means
(sun light) and technical ones (lamps, overhead projector, slide projector,
etc) allowing, for example, to explore the shadow angle of inclination and
length hour after hour all the day long, to project their own bodys or
hands shadow and to play with forms, colours, materials and textures.
Dealing with these different
features implies two types of materials: Information materials
such as books, newspapers, videos, slides, computers, on the one hand, and
materials for experiments, on the other hand. Among these very simple current
life or natural environment materials can be used along with some more
specific ones like magnets, magnifying glasses, binoculars, microscopes... It
is important for children to handle this kind of instruments and explore
their possibilities as a way to get familiar with science.
The Knowledge of the world area
should both allow to contact with
the attitude and methodology characteristic of science and to foster
childrens scientific and
This attitude means the fundamental discovery process that characterises
scientific research. Hence, having a situation or a problem as a
starting-point, children will have the opportunity to propose some
explanations and confront their own perspectives about reality. Teachers
support is targeted to further examination of some issues by encouraging the
construction of more or less rigorous concepts building up over childrens
knowledge and deciding whether it is eventually necessary to collect some
more information and where to look for it. Then it is important to confirm
the observation undertaken and/or the experience-based hypotheses in a way to
organise and systematise the collected knowledge.
The organisation of such data
will lead to the need for the use of reporting forms allowing for their
classification and rank ordering (drawings, charts, written description of
the process). Knowledge systematisation may eventually lead to the need for
seeking further information in a way to frame that knowledge and precise
more rigorous and scientific concepts, having sharing and
inquiry of childrens explanations as a basis. The whole process will most
probably lead to the raising of new issues asking for new developments.
What really is at stake in this
field is the learning process whatever the matters approached and the
developments followed: childrens capacity to observe, their desire to
experiment, their intellectual curiosity and critical attitude.
Directly related to the Knowledge
of the world area theres the Mathematics area mainly as a way
of thinking and organising experience which implies looking for some
patterns, reasoning on data, problem-solving and reporting.
In written language area, in addition to the approach to writing
skills, special attention is also paid to Information and
Communication Technologies (audio-visual technologies). The use of
ICT from pre-school education onwards can foster several learning
opportunities providing an introduction to an increasingly necessary
different code, the computing code. This code can be used in
art and music as well as in the treatment of the writing code and
2.3-Early Technical Education in
Pre-school Education (less than 6 years of age) and primary school (6 to 9
years of age): some reflections.
The analysis of pre-school and
primary school curricula concerning Technical Education allows for the
Education aims to ensure the basic conditions for succeeded further learning.
This means, not a direct preparation for compulsory education, but the
contact with the culture and tools they will need to get along with in
further learning processes throughout their lives;
of the world area in pre-school education aims, not to promote encyclopaedia
knowledge, but to afford relevant and meaningful learning not
necessarily related to childrens close experience. Even if children do not
fully handle some contents, the introduction to different scientific fields
fosters the development of Childrens curiosity and desire for knowledge.
Educational continuity between both these
schooling cycles is also stressed (one should bare in mind not only the
learning achieved but also each childs learning rhythm);
of the world area in pre-school education is somehow related to Social
Studies in primary school, whose
components (self-awareness and knowledge of others and of institutions, of
the natural environment, of the inter-relationship between spaces, materials
and objects) can also be the references for pre-school education.
Studies in primary school has an interdisciplinary and simultaneously
integrating character promoting the development of skills that integrate
knowledge, know-how-to-do and know-how-to-be (it includes specific
contributions from several sciences, namely Natural and Physical Science,
Geography, ICT, etc)
competencies pupils are supposed to have developed at the end of primary school the following should be highlighted:
a) Expresses, justifies and discusses personal ideas on phenomena and
problems from physical and social environment with a view to understand
cooperation and solidarity; b) Uses different forms of written, oral and
graphic communication and applies research, organization and data processing
elementary techniques; c) Participates in research and inquiry games and uses
scientific processes in experimental activities; d) Devises and builds simple
tools by using knowledge about the elementary proprieties of materials,
substances and objects; e) Identifies some objects and technological
resources, recognizes their importance in the satisfaction of certain human
needs and adopts a favourable attitude towards development.
pleaded that, besides subject-driven learning, knowledge should also be built
through pupils learning experiences involving problem solving,
project work and research activities.
As a guiding
principle the importance is highlighted of environment awareness through
adoption of a persistent inquiry and experimenting attitude, that is, the
development of childrens scientific attitude is strongly aimed
carried out by Martins and Veiga (1999) Analysis of Basic Education
Curriculum in the perspective of Science Education, referring to the
document Curriculum Guidelines for Pre-school Education, points out the
existence of some gaps in integrating concepts (as for example electrical and
electronic systems; themes related to material transformation...) that could
be approached in this age level. On the other hand, it calls our attention to
the need for more explicit guidelines for the development of the documents
broad intentions. As for the primary
school curriculum it highlights both some imprecision or lack of rigour
in the definition of some concepts and some discontinuity in theme treatment.
2.4-Analysis of the subject Technological
Education in Basic Education (from 6 to 15 years of age)
This curriculum is a competence-based curriculum. According to
Decree-Law 6/2001 the definition of a set of competencies considered as
essential and structuring for the development of the national curriculum is
due to the Ministry of Education. This chapter is based on the document
resulting from this directive.
About the word competence, a broad notion of competence is hereby
adopted comprising knowledge, skills, and attitudes which can be envisaged as
knowledge in action or in use. (...) In this sense, the
notion of competence is close to the concept of literacy. (p.9).
Technological Education is presented as driven from the need to
acquire technological culture, developing pupils in different contexts
Individual user the one who uses technology daily;
Professional user the one who links technology to work;
Social user the one who can understand, choose and act socially.
A competence profile has been defined linked to the definition
of a technologically competent citizen capable of, for instance:
Reading and interpreting elementary object-fitting
Knowing about product and technology dangers;
Seeking for relations between technology and
natural and social environment;
Identifying some contemporary jobs;
Using recycled material and recycle others;
Adapting to social and technological change;
Transforming objects, fitting them to new
Dismounting e mounting simple objects;
Reflecting on the social and ethical effects of
Participating in environment and consumer
Acting by adopting a favourable attitude towards
security and health;
Analysing the way an object or a system operates;
Selecting relevant information;
Evaluating measures and actions;
Judging systems reliability.
The Technological Education area has been devised under an open and
globalising perspective comprising different dimensions: Economy, Society,
Culture, Environment and Products , its Contents being
organized according to a structure in 3 main axes:
¨Technology and Society - comprising the following
Technology and social development;
Technology and consuming.
¨ Technological Process
integrating the following themes:
Planning and development of technical products and
¨Concepts, principles and logical operators - implying the themes:
Movements and devices;
Energy accumulation and transformation;
Regulation and control;
been defined, competence in technology is acquired and enhanced through
experimentation of experiences mobilizing:
Integration of learning, knowledge and concepts,
either specific or common to different knowledge fields;
Transformation of acquisitions by materializing
knowledge in concrete situations asking for operational responses;
Mobilization of knowledge, experience and ethical positioning,
The setting up of situations asking for
decision-making and problem-solving.
In this sense, the design and development of Learning
Experiences including different kinds of activities assumes a major
¨Observation - for example:
observation of objects or systems.
¨Research - for example: research on technical solutions.
¨Problem solving- for example: technical and
technological problem solving.
¨Experimentation - for
example: experimentation through kits, models, and
¨Design - for example: design of objects; design of projects.
¨Organization and Management - for example: organization and
management of information and production procedures.
¨Technical and workshop production - for example: device production or
In planning and preparation of experiences and educational activities
teachers can also get support from a set of Components to be
taken into account:
¨ Historical and social component
¨ Scientific component
¨ Technical component
of the art of the Portuguese Research
In this section, some
of the structuring projects on Technical Education in Portugal and
some academic research outcomes will be presented.
The MINERVA Project
MINERVA (ICT in Teaching, Rationalization, Development,
Upgrading) is the first and most relevant nation-wide project aiming to
introduce and investigate the use of ICT in Basic and Secondary Education.
This project started in 1985 simultaneously with other similar projects
launched all over the world, particularly in some European countries.
Considered as an integrating and interdisciplinary project, it was targeted
at providing schools not only with ICT equipment but also with teacher
training and at the same time contributing to the introduction and
experimentation of ICT in the field of Education.
Following a joint proposition
with four other Universities, the University of Coimbra, through its
Engineering and Electronics Department, devised this nation-wide project,
which aggregated several secondary schools. Having as its original goals ICT
teaching objectives and the aim to use the computer as a technological device
supporting different subjects teaching and learning process, it rapidly
widened its scope to all the fields where ICT (Information and Communication
technologies) could act as a student motivating tool and an interdisciplinary
and team work promoting device, within either formal or non formal
As it has expanded, this
project has been organized around Poles based at Universities and Higher
Schools of Education responsible for the training and monitoring of teachers
from Basic and Secondary Education school networks. In this context, the
project has been disseminated all over the country at the Basic and Secondary
Education levels, through:
teacher and trainer training programmes;
of the use of ICT in schools including particular cases such as Special
Education or preparation for active life (IVA project);
projects aiming at fostering the use of ICT in schools implying interaction
with their surrounding community;
construction, adaptation and publication of a wide range of educational
Curriculum and material development.
This project has inspired
several discussions, reflections and researches stemming from
implementation-driven needs and it has fostered new forms of international
co-operation. Several national, regional and local meetings have also been
organised which, like many other activities, resulted in a great number of
publications, the statement being legitimate that: all the experiences and
projects developed within or as consequence of the MINERVA Project have
engendered a vast community of teachers, trainers and researches with deep
and diversified knowledge on the educational use of ICT. By the end of the
project, in the school year 1993/1994, it has left hehind high expectations
on further developments, (...) in what concerns training procedures and
school provision with hardware and software.
number of teachers involved in the MINERVA Project have subsequently
participated in programmes aiming at providing teacher training and ICT
equipment and they have also joined in-service teacher training structures.
It can also be stated that the seeds left by
the Program are also patent in the curriculum and methodological options
institutionally assumed in the fields of Basic and Secondary Education and
teacher training both at the disciplinary and at the interdisciplinary
Nónio-XXI Century Program
One of the MINERVA Projects
recommendations based on consideration of
technologies as means to enhance and enhance teaching-learning
procedures, was the materialisation of an integrative strategy to introduce
ICT in the field of Education by extending previous experiences to Basic and
Secondary Education with support from Higher Education Institutions.
one of the motivations for the creation of the Nónio-XXI Century Program. The
choice of the name Nonio precision measuring instrument created by Pedro
Nunes - constitutes, over and above
all, a tribute to the great mathematician, geographer and pedagogue Pedro
Nunes (1502-1578), one of the scientists who most contributed to the
projection and consolidation of the Portuguese Discovery enterprise and to
the consolidation of a scientific culture of which he was one of the most
brilliant predecessors. The aim was to highlight the role of ICT not as an
end in itself but as a tool for the future, for rigour and for knowledge.
The project was launched in
1996 by decision of the Ministry of Education (No 232/ME/96, October 4th) and was destined to the production,
implementation and generalisation of the use of ICT in the Educational
System following these specific objectives:
a) Provide basic and secondary
education schools with multimedia equipment and monitor the process by
providing adequate initial and continuing training as a way to encourage a
full use of the potential set up;
b) Support the implementation
of school-based projects through partnership with specific institutions, thus
promoting these projects viability and sustainability;
c) Encourage and support the
creation of educational software and mobilize the editorial market;
the introduction and generalisation of the use of ICT as a result from the
dynamics emerging from b) and c) in a way to address the systems needs and
ensure its development;
e) Promote dissemination and
interchange of information about education both at the national and at the
international levels through networking and support to congresses, symposia,
seminars and other scientific and pedagogic meetings.
This program is structured into
Sub-Program I Implementation and
Development of ICT in the educational system;
Sub-Program II Training in ICT;
Sub-Program III Creation and Development of
Sub-Program IV Information Dissemination
and International Co-operation;
It is structured into
Competence Centres (weve identified 26 Centres) covering the whole country
destined to promote reflection, study and research on themes related to ICT
in addition to providing support to the preparation and development of
school-based projects. Each Competence Centre chooses a central theme,
devises a project and sets out its main objectives having Nónio Programs
guidelines and aims as a framework.
This Program is also
responsible for the financing support of school-based projects, for the
organisation of Seminars, Debates and Meetings on the use of ICT with
Educational purposes and for the publication of studies on teachers use of
ICT in schools, on the influence of ICT in students learning quality, and on
the use of ICT in in-service teacher training, etc.
Its also due to the Nónio
Program to co-ordinate at a national level Portuguese participation in
international projects such as European Schoolnet,
eSchola, PICTTE, Netd@ys, ENIS, RTEE, ...
Under this Program several
national calls for projects have been launched with a view to encourage the
production of digital educational tools (for example: sites, educational
software, curriculum support materials).
The Programs portal (http://www.dapp.min-edu.pt/nonio)
is a reference in what concerns the use of ICT in several fields and under
different forms. It provides information on teacher training, research,
national and international projects, educational software, legislation and
documentation, reports, studies and statistics.
Ciência Viva Program was
created as a unit of the Ministry of Science and Technology by Rule no. 6/MCT/96, June 1st, 1996, having been assigned
the task of supporting activities targeted to the promotion of scientific and
technological education in Portuguese society, mainly focusing on juvenile
populations and basic and secondary education students. In July 1998 it
became Ciência Viva Association having several scientific research Institutes
as members, besides the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT).
Ciência Viva was established as an open programme (...)
calling upon three fundamental action tools:
Ciência Viva elected the school as its intervention
priority, focusing its efforts on strengthening the experimental teaching of
science and on mobilising the scientific community and its institutions to
work towards the improvement of scientific education. For this purpose three
main lines of action were launched: An yearly national project competition (a)
in the field of scientific education; a programme Fostering
the twinning between schools and scientific institutions; a programme for
occupation of teenagers in labs and research units.
A National Network of Ciência Viva Centres, designed
as interactive spaces aimed at creating science awareness among the
National scientific awareness campaigns, encouraging
the creation of science associations and providing the population with the
opportunity to make scientific observations and to establish a direct and
personal contact with experts in different knowledge fields. Among these
campaigns the following stand out: The Science and Technology Week,
which takes place every year in November; Ciência Viva in Summer where the
following main initiatives stand out, Astronomy during the
during the Summer, and Biology during the Summer, which take place in
July, August and September.
(a) Lately 700 to 800
projects have been yearly approved. In the database there are 271 projects
among which 271 might be related to the 1st cycle of Basic Education and 33
related to Pre-School Education.
(b) The Ciência Viva Centres (...) established all over the
country operate as regional scientific, cultural and economic development
platforms, calling upon the most active participants in these regions.
and initiatives deserve being highlighted:
Viva promotes Forums, Debates and Meetings about Science and Technology as a
way to disseminate, debate and reflect about the projects activities.
Ciência Viva is
also the national co-ordinator of Portuguese participation in international
scientific and technological projects involving schools, teachers and
students such as Physics on Stage 1999, 2000, 2002; Trends in Science
Education: a communication project: Heath in the XXI century: a view from
European youths; Portuguese Discoveries and
Inventions 2001-2002; Genome 2001, 2002, 2003; Latitude & Longitude - Measuring
Instruments; Science and
the Risk; Science and Space;
European Discoveries; Pulsar.
also sponsors science publications, the collection Campo das Ciências, of
which some examples are mentioned: Vale a pena ser cientista? (2002) by
Jorge Massada, Campo das Letras
This book comprises four interviews to Portuguese internationally renowned scientists,
António Coutinho, Alexandre Quintanilha, Arsélio Pato de Carvalho e Sobrinho
Simões, who have directed the first four Scientific Research Labs linked to
the State. In the interviews, these scientists justify the statement that
being a scientist in Portugal is worthwhile. Besides, their testimonies will
surely constitute an incentive to young people wishing to follow a career
related to science.
should also be stressed that Ciência Viva site (http://www.cienciaviva.pt) is an
excellent resource in the support to scientific and technological education,
comprising links to sites of Science and Technology Centres and Museums and
support materials (script, image, software and video).
uARTE Program Internet in School
(1997) - Educational Telematics
Network Support Unit has been assigned the mission
to monitor the Program Internet in
School through joint promotion of:
- the production of
scientific and technological contents to make available through the
- telematics activities in
- new forms of interaction and
partnership among the different education partners.
PIE - Program Internet in School (October 1996) comes from the
initiative Internet within the framework of
Paper for the Information Society in
Portugal (1997), namely its 4th chapter Informed School.
Under the Program
framework, schools have been equipped with a multimedia computer with
connection to the Internet located in school libraries, thus promoting
teachers and pupils' access to information: with the CD-ROM, via Internet,
making materials produced by schools available to others, and promoting
communication between the scientific community and schools and others.
Presently, PIE constitutes a scientific knowledge network
embedding over 11.000 schools and other institutions. In December 2001, all
state schools were connected or in the process of connection, totalising 10
556 schools, 1781 from the 5th to the 12th grades
(Programs 1st phase), 8775 schools from the 1st cycle
of Basic Education (Programs 2nd phase).
· LOGO in Pre-school Education. Evaluation of some cognitive features
driven from the programming activity
of Psychology and Educational Science of the University of Lisbon
The use of computers with
educational purposes has been a particularly outstanding movement in Portugal
from 1985 onwards with the launching of the Minerva Project.
In this process, computers, previously
confined to university and preparatory and secondary education, have finally
been introduced in primary and pre-school education.
The introduction of computers in pre-school
education is due to the assumption that childrens use of computers during
pre-school education would contribute to familiarize them with this kind of
technology thus preparing them to live their own forth-coming routine.
According to this researcher, computers were
introduced in pre-school education, and in other levels likewise, as teaching
and learning supporting tools. In some schools they have been used to develop
basic skills, such as reading and calculation; in others it has been used to
get children started in the programming activity. As for the author, in this
latter use of computer resides its power to mobilise childrens cognitive
activity and she further explains that children acquire reasoning techniques
of the highest level such as planning, problem-solving heuristics and
meta-cognition on their own thinking process. This is the dimension where
present study assumes the highest importance.
The research at stake started in 1987 and
constitutes the first research work on the use of computers in pre-school
education in Portugal
It consisted of getting children started
into the LOGO language and of the evaluation of the effects this kind of
procedure would produce in them regarding their cognitive development
This study was carried out with five
year-old children or reaching this age up to the end of December of that same
year (1987) as this age range corresponds to a period of transition which is
supposed to be more liable to cognitive stimulation.
Thirty children have been observed through
interviews and operating observation which was followed by the setting out
both of the experimental group (ten children distributed by two rooms, one of
them with 20 children and the other with 21, in both cases with ages from 3
to 5) and of the group of control (ten children from a room with only 13
children all of them aged 5).
The prime purpose of this study, which
assumed the form of an hypothesis, was to analyse the impact of a particular
programming language in five year-olds cognitive development, special
attention having been paid to the incidence of the experience in the logical
mathematical structures present in the conservation of elementary notions, in
time and space structures, and in mental representation, namely in their
capacity to anticipate actions and in self-decentredness.
The dimensions evaluated were:
logical mathematical structuring;
This research allowed for the conclusion that, by and large, children
from the experimental group get higher scores in post-tests in the
above-mentioned dimensions. However, differences have been neither uniform
nor sharp. More precisely, there have always been favourable differences in
the post-test in the experimental group in what concerns the highest level
(level III operating skills) whereas the group of control have got more
level I elements than the experimental group except in the case of time
structuring where both got the same number. The most important developments between pre-test and
post-test regarding level III occured in time structuring and in space
structuring. One should bare in mind that these tests do directly assess one
of the basic principles of the LOGO language: the notion of state which calls
upon two undissociable elements of reality (time and space). Changes have been irrelevant as for laterality.
Summing-up, although theres the need to proceed investigation, we
could now say that getting five year-olds started in the LOGO language
contributes to their cognitive development at the level of logical
It should also be noticed that gender hasnt been particularly dealt
with in this study, besides, it appeared as a pointless question all along
· The worksheet in Mathematical Education
of Science of the University of Lisbon
The researcher begins by restating the importance of the Minerva
project both for the introduction of computers in the classroom and for the
development of educational technologies in Portugal.
Then she defines her target-population: pupils from the 2nd
cycle of Basic Education. Live observation of pupils in class was the
These observations elicited to conclude:
the introduction of the computer in the classroom
produced positive effects in Science and Maths learning;
the use of computer proved being useful all along
the learning process;
the use of computer was effective in positive
pupils satisfaction is evident in the lessons
where the computer is used;
it motivates pupils desire to know the research
outcomes in each subject-matter;
there are no significant differences in pupils
learning as far as gender is concerned;
in the use of computer by groups of pupils, the
introduction of computer also proves effective, there having been no gender
differences in this case as well in what respects learning progress.
· Evaluation of the training needs of teachers
integrated in Minerva Project Computer School Centres in Schools from the
district of Viana do Castelo
Henrique da Costa Portela
Institute of Education of the
University of Minho
Under the assumption that a major condition for the development of a
training programme is trainees commitment and participation in its design,
the researcher carried out a study aiming at:
describing personal and professional
characteristics of teachers from the Minerva Project Computer School Centres
in the district of Viana do Castelo (CEI-M);
evaluating the training needs perceived by these teachers
according to previously selected themes of a pedagogical and computing
- collecting these teachers
opinions regarding a pool of previously selected reasons that might
justify the introduction and use of computers in schools.
In this study, the researcher sent a questionnaire to all the teachers
of 2nd and 3rd cycle schools belonging to the Minerva
project in the district of Viana do Castelo getting 82% of return rate. In
addition, he conducted individual interviews to 15 out of the 71 teachers
constituting the sample.
The outcomes of this study revealed that the majority of teachers are
men, less than 35 years old, with a licenciado degree, performing the
teaching activity for at least 10 years, contracted in a permanent basis, but
only a small number possess a computer of their own.
The great majority of respondents stated the need for teacher training
in themes related to pedagogy including those falling back upon the use of a
The majority of teachers agreed that computers have been introduced in
schools with the following purposes:
monitoring new teaching methods;
encouraging learning and enhancing students
making administrative and management tasks more
fostering teachers routine tasks;
giving economically deprived children an equal
chance in the access to ICT
However, respondents do still doubt about
the importance of computer as for school success and they add that theres a
need to continue experimentation for a longer period to be sure about this.
As a result from the interviews analysis
some features can be highlighted:
negative: the usual training programmes on ICT are
not appealing to teachers;
positive: the presence of computer in class brings
about educational change in the teaching and learning process; computer has
been effective in positive discrimination initiatives; lessons using the
computer are more interesting; when pupils work with the computer, individual
satisfaction gets higher.
It should also be mentioned that this research does not indict any
distinctions in the opinions and computer use in terms of gender.
· Learning Natural Science in Childhood Education: interaction of
primary and secondary socialisation processes
José Gonçalves da Câmara
of Science of the University of Lisbon
This study has been carried out in Kindergartens with children aged
five. The guiding issue in this study was Does school/pedagogical practice
exert an amplifying or minimising function in inequalities gendered by
diverse primary socialisation processes?
The researcher elected as variables: primary socialisation (family);
secondary socialisation (school); gender; school location (geographic
The observations focused on teacher-pupil interaction and elicited the
conclusion that there are differences in childrens capacity to build up a
text and understand information, these differences being dependent on gender
and social origin.
Therefore, the researcher came to the conclusion that, as far as
gender might be considered:
girls from the middle and high working classes are
the ones being able to build a legitimate text from the very beginning;
after individualised teaching, both boys and girls
from a high social-economical stratus have revealed difficulties in building
up a legitimate text;
Among pupils from the highest working class, boys
are the ones who can build up a legitimate text whereas in the lowest
working class girls are the ones that can do it.
Summing up, the researcher states:
Middle class children regardless of gender are
socialised likewise in family. Thats why they get similar performance rates
after having been made aware of the context;
On the contrary, in what concerns the working
classes, children are submitted to diverse socialisations. Thats why
previously acquired ideas persist in their way of thinking, thus influencing
subsequent performing levels.
·Science discourse in the context of science in the 1st cycle of
Basic Education: the influence of family and school factors
Rebelo dos Santos Silveira
of Science of the University of Lisbon
This study was undertaken in two Basic Education schools, 4th grade,
reaching out to 62 children of both genders (31 boys and 31 girls) and
One of the guiding issues of this research was inquiring whether
theres any difference in reacting and discourse building in function of
gender and social origin.
By and large, the research outcomes suggest that both girls and boys
recognise that the school context requires a discourse based on context
of responses in function of gender and scientific theme shows that girls are
the ones that recognise the school context the most and that this recognition
is higher whenever issues dealt with are related to hygiene and health.
On the other hand, the researcher comes to the conclusion that, in
terms of valuation attributed to official discourse, the social and economic
level is highly determinant in girls rather than in boys discourse, girls
being the ones using conceptual knowledge the most in their responses.
Girls closer proximity to their mothers allows to suggest that this
appropriation results from the fact of girls being more socialised at home,
facing small domestic roles, assuming and performing roles that allow them to
better respond, in learning contexts, to issues linked to environment and
hygiene and health above all.
Finnally, it should also be mentioned that in the lowest social
stracta girls get closer to boys in valuing the official discourse whereas in
higher classes girls are better than boys in this matter.
Broadly speaking, it can be stated that gender influences discourse
valuing, girls being the ones that most value it.
· Teacher Training of Basic Education Teachers in the context of
Educational Technology in the District of Braga a contributionfor a new
conception of school
Martins Vieira da Rocha
of Education and Psychology of the University of Minho
These were the research aims:
To understand to what extent new technologies are
used in Basic Education;
To know teachers opinions about the use of new
This inquiry by quest comprised 114 teachers of both genders, from 39
1st cycle schools and 13 2nd and 3rd cycle schools in the district of Braga.
As a result from the work undertaken, the researcher concluded that:
The majority of teachers show a positive attitude
towards the integration of ICT, specially those aged from 35 to 40;
The majority of teachers do not use new
technologies in classroom context;
Teachers prevailingly use computer and video;
Teachers consider that training is indispensable
for the use of audiovisual equipment and computer;
Certain teachers indifference towards the use of
new technologies in classroom comes both from lack of equipment in schools
and from unawareness as for the advantages driven from the use of new
Finally, it should be stressed that this research did not indict
significant differences of opinion and teaching practice regarding gender.
·The influence of teacher training in ICT in teachers from the 1st
and 2nd cycles of Basic Education in the district of Viana do
Maria Oliveira Enes
of Education of the University of Minho
The study elected as target population teachers from the 1st
and 2nd cycles of Basic Education in the district of Viana do
Castelo. The following documents have been used: study plans of initial
teacher education in Universities and Higher Schools of Education; in-service
teacher education programmes; and Schools Associations training schedules.
In addition to the analysis of these documents, the researcher conducted
questionnaires to schoolteachers.
The aim of the study was to determine teachers performing patterns
regarding the use of audiovisual and computer devices in classroom context.
The author inquired about the influence of the use of audiovisual in
teacher performance, such as video, overhead projector, camera and computer,
also seeking to understand whether the use of new technologies in initial
teacher education influences their use in classroom context.
From the research undertaken, the author came to the conclusion that:
Teachers prepared for the use of new technologies
get higher scores in the use of audiovisual and computer means in classroom;
The most used means are the traditional
audiovisuals (overhead projector, audiotape, slide projector);
The least used means in both cycles are the recent
technologies (computer; data-show; electronic encyclopaedia; multimedia
documents, database, etc.).
The gender category exerts a weak influence in the
use in classroom context of audiovisual and informatics means among teachers
from both cycles and with preparation in ICT during their initial teacher
· Project Clube de Ciência
Bairro dos Lóios Community Development Centre
Clube de Ciência is a community development project aiming at
promoting school success assuming itself as a complement for formal school
Its a project destined to young people from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
cycles of Basic Education, operating in a post labour regime simultaneously
aiming at consolidating learning, combating failure, and decreasing school
This project has been
operating for the last three years being targeted to:
Promoting cultural activities and animation and
juvenile mobilisation activities having science as the core theme;
Enhancing closeness among local population groups;
Mobilise Community Actors participation in the
design, development and evaluation of projects of their interest;
Encourage and enhance skills liable to be
transferred to other fields: to be able to inquire, find the answers; raise
Encourage observation and the desire to know more.
This project is eminently practical, placing children and young
adolescents in the role of scientists and researchers in an informal way. It
intends to make possible to work science under an attractive and informal way
developing greater interest in knowledge quest.
Having lab and daily problem solving experiences as a basis, one tries
to discuss concepts, design processes, and understand change within the scope
of natural science, physics and chemistry.
Experiences carried out aim at:
Enhancing competences such as manipulation,
inquiry, the right to attempt and to make mistakes; observation and checking;
Stimulating curiosity and quest for answers, trust
in each ones capacity to consolidate and build up knowledge without
discouraging before the first doubt, difficulty or disappointment.
This project has been a success as the number of young people enrolled
has been increasing as well as the variety and quantity of initiatives.
When participation in the Club
was analysed in function of gender, in a first phase, no significant
differences have been detected. However, an in-depth analysis shows that
girls participate more than boys in almost all the activities in the Club and
in the Bairro dos Lóios Centre except for sport activities.
· Research on ECEC
OECD Country Note Early
Childhood Education and Care Policy in Portugal, January 2000
78. Research in ECEC is still scarce but several
Portuguese researchers have international reputations in the field. The
pioneer research developed in the 1980s conducted by Bairrão and his team at
the Oporto University is continuing, primarily in the key policy area of
early intervention. The Lisbon School of Education has a research unit funded
by the state and is developing research around curriculum, early development,
and quality issues. The Departamento da Educação Básica has
translated and adapted the Effective Early Learning (EEL) materials
(developed by Centre for Research in Early Childhood at University College
Worcester, UK) and is now training teacher educators throughout the country
to adapt and disseminate a model of quality evaluation and improvement among
early childhood professionals working in all three networks of jardins de infância. The University of
Minho, through IEC (Institute of Child Studies), has several projects such
as: Projecto Infância, Associação Criança, PIIP (Project for
Child Intervention in Portugal), CEDIC (Documentation and Information Centre
on Children), etc. The recently established cross-institution GEDEI
association (Grupo de Estudos para o
Desenvolvimento daEducação de Infância or Study Group for Child Education
and Development) is preparing the first issue of a research journal in early
childhood education that will cover children from birth to the end of the
first cycle of basic education (to be released in January 2000). These and
other projects will no doubt begin to build a much needed critical mass of
Portuguese researchers in early childhood. The Aga Khan and the Gulbenkian
Foundations have been influential in funding research in this area. (pp.24,
· Equality of
opportunity for women
OECD Country Note Early
Childhood Education and Care Policy in Portugal, January 2000
27. Throughout the 20th century, and
particularly during the 1960s, Portuguese women have made huge strides in
gaining equality of opportunity and status, through greater access to
education and the labour market. The subsequent arrival of democracy
reinforced notions of equality; womens rights are explicitly protected
within the 1976 Constitution, and recent legislation (1997 Constitution,
article 59) foresees the conciliation between family and professional life.
Womens achievement at university level has been dramatic. In 1997, women
represented 59.7% of all graduates under the age of 30 years of age.
There are some small gender differences in the
subjects chosen to be studied at initial graduate level, but it is
interesting that gender stereotyping is confronted in data on PhD choice.
Between 1960 and 1990, 42% of PhD students in Exact and Natural Sciences were
women and only 29.9% in Social and Human Sciences. There is less evidence of
achievement by women outside the university sector, and, as in most developed
countries, there is still evidence of men with similar qualifications earning
higher salaries than women and covert ceilings at the highest levels to
womens promotion. Although while female labour force participation rates are
high, average earnings remain the lowest in the European Union (EC Childcare
28. Along with this educational
achievement, women have gained greater access to the labour market in recent
years. It is important to note that unlike many other European countries,
mothers with young children in Portugal tend to work full-time. In 1993, 63%
of mothers with young children worked more than 20 hours a week - the highest
proportion of full-time employed mothers in the European Union (EC Childcare
Network, 1996). One consequence of this trend is that there is a large
parental demand for early childhood arrangements with long opening hours to
accommodate the schedules of full-time working parents. A second consequence
is that as womens economic and social status improve, they face even greater
pressures to reconcile work and family responsibilities.
29. Despite the progress attained in the spheres
of education and employment, women are still viewed
as the main link for children between home and pre-school. There remains a
cultural perception, even amongst women themselves that a mothers primary
role should be to care for her children and family, particularly for infants
and toddlers. Perhaps because of this societal perspective, there is a
significant lack of centre-based services for children between birth and
three years of age. Men are generally viewed as financial providers not
carers and educators and, though there have been attempts by the Commission
for Equality and the Family to address the issue through the media, there is
not parity in sharing the responsibilities and demands in family life. There
are virtually no men involved in the professional care or education of young
children, reinforcing these traditional division of gender roles. (pp10,11)
· Educational Technologies in Pre-school
Lesson in order to obtain the rank Professor Coordenador of Educational
Sciences / Educational Technology, December
School of Education of Beja
In his Public Lesson, Vito
· In what concerns pre-school syllabus guidelines (pp.
Issues like media education,
new forms of language and the understanding of it (e.g.
informatics/multimedia discourse), become therefore unavoidable reflection
and training fields, assumed from pre-school education onwards as the first
basic education step in the process of lifelong learning in a logic framed by
psycho-pedagogical development theories which, in essence, take as assumption
the need for fostering childrens
global development respecting their individual characteristics including the
attitudes that favour significant and distinctive learning2
and for developing expression and communication through multiple languages as
means of interaction, information, introduction to aesthetics and
understanding of the word 3.
Therefore the emergence is assumed, on the one hand, of a critical attitude
towards media discourses from Pre-school Education onwards, and, on the other
hand, of the importance of these technologies as forms of language that allow
for diversified learning opportunities.
In what concerns its
relationship with Teacher Training (p. 4):
However, Ponte and Serrazina
study (1998), whose aim was to provide a general X-ray of teacher training in
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in initial teacher education
programmes in Portugal, evidenced that Pre-school Education is the level
where ICT are least used, according to the following table:
from disciplines specially dedicated to ICT or strongly using ICT or where
the use of ICT for educational purposes is expected, per type of course /
teaching level (average number of credits per course)
Type of course/Teaching level
3rd cycle and secondary
Disciplines specially dedicated to ICT
Other disciplines that strongly use ICT or plan
the use of ICT with educational purposes
Source: Ponte, J. e Serrazina, L. (1998)
· In what concerns the attitudes of Pre-school Education teachers (p.
On the other hand, Carioca study (1998) [Validation of a scale of teacher attitudes concerning the
introduction of ICT in their in-service training. Doctorate Thesis
presented to the University of Extremadura (Spain), in January], whose aim
was the validation of a scale of
teacher attitudes concerning the introduction of ICT in their in-service
training, proved that:
Education Teachers evidence more favourable attitudes than 2nd and 3rd cycle
teachers towards presumable professional benefits (direct benefits, in their
relationship with pupils and with the system), which, in their opinion, might
result from in-service teacher processes in the context of the use of ICT
with educational purposes;
equally show the most favourable attitudes in terms of expectations towards
training processes in this matter;
this teaching level reveal greater anxiety before the computer (they manifest
fear, apprehension, hope when they plan to interact or when they interact
with the computer) which is justifiable by the fact of possessing greater
Because they are
the ones that most feel the need for training, these teachers, mostly women,
evidence greater receptivity and openness to training as they consider it
rather useful in professional terms.
Scenarios indict two strands of analysis: on
the one hand, a dichotomic relationship between the logics of the supporting legislation,
which implicitly assumes the introduction of a technological culture in
Pre-school in the context of learning innovating patterns, and practice and
actual organisational operating matrixes in this teaching level; on the other
hand, a clear predisposition from teachers of this level towards the use of
technology in learning and teaching environments.
Education Reform Law (1986). Law nº 46/86, of October 14th (The Bases for the
Pre-School Education Law (1997). Law nº 5/97, of 10 February
(Pre-School Education Framework Law).
Early Childhood Teacher Training (1997) Law 115/97 of September 19th
(Introduces changes in the Bases for the Educational System).
Curriculum Guidelines for Pre-school Education (1997) Rule no. 5220/97
Martins, Isabel, P. e Veiga, M.ª Luísa (1999) Uma Análise do Currículo da Escolaridade Básica na Perspectiva da
Educação em Ciências, Instituto de Inovação Educacional.
Ministério da Educação, Departamento da Educação Básica
(1998). Early Childhood Education in Portugal, Lisboa, Departamento da
Ministério da Educação, Departamento da Educação Básica
(2000). Early Childhood Education and Care Policy in
Departamento da Educação Básica.
Ministério da Educação, Departamento da Educação Básica
(2001). Currículo Nacional do Ensino Básico, Competências Essenciais
Lisboa, Departamento da Educação Básica. (Decision
no 21/2001 of September).
(MINERVA Project Evaluation Report(1994)
(Nónio-XXI Century Program)
(Ciência Viva Program)
Internet in School)
(Green Paper for the