For years, we have been emphasizing the need for suggesting a methodological renovation in universities. Since we were involved in the structural change that Bologna meant for the Spanish University, one of the transformation expected and not always achieved, has been the implementation of active methodologies that promote a more dynamic learning in which the student, is the focus.
At a moment when structural change in higher education has returned to the forefront of the discussion with the proposal of transformation in a 3+2 degree we must emphasize, even more so, the methodological aspects. This involves determining both the pedagogical model that supports our teaching activities, such as methods according to these models, and educational strategies for it implementation. These educational strategies will be the procedural principles that lead our work in the classroom and will be conditioned by the method we choose, the formulated activities and resources, tools and techniques that we use for its implementation.
From a social constructivist model, there are many active and collaborative methodologies that can be used in the university context. To the traditional list, we can add the educational possibilities of telecollaborative projects, which promote ICT development experiences of communication and collaboration with geographically distant classrooms, renowned experts, practitioners, working collaborative network of students oriented to the collection and analysis of information (creation and analysis of databases, virtual tours, etc.) and problem solving projects. In the degrees studies, members of the Research Group of Educational Technology at the University of Murcia have developed differences telecollaborative experiences: conferences with renowned experts, explanations of teachers, collaborative projects in the same educational level, in this case, degrees of Spanish Universities and collaborative projects with students from different educational levels, as developed by the CEIP Cierva Peñafiel of Murcia and students of 2nd Degree Course in Education Children at the University of Murcia.
Focusing our interest on this telecollaborative project between early chilhood and university degree, methodological interest lies beyond the experience of interaction mediated by technologies, the necessary collaboration between the school and the university, specifically in the application of principles of Service-Learning (ApS) methodology. The ApS is an active methodology in which the student gets a leading role, and while a learning process, related to a school curriculum, based on solving a real context needs in order to improve it develops. Beyond learning by doing, students who participate in this methodology acting, design, plan to resolve needs in a real context, so some extent, while learning, provide a service to the community (Puig, Martín & Rubio, 2008; Rubio, 2011; Folgueiras, Luna & Puig , 2013; Martínez, Martínez, Alonso & Gezuraga, 2013; Morin & Waysdorf, 2013)
The ApS is a educational methodology that arose in a paper published by Ramsey and Sigmon in 1967, which defined service-learning as performing several tasks that give reply to human needs in order to promote growth education. This etymological analysis was picked up by Giles y Eyler (1994), which also included a review of its theoretical basis, including Dewey’s educational theory. The authors recognized that being different theories, philosophy Dewey’s work is a legitimate source for the development of a service-learning theory and teaching methodology.
But can ApS provide an opportunity for learning more contextualized and real for our students? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes, but this requires that there is a rigorous process of planning from professionals involved in its development, that is in Primary Education and Early Child degrees, lecturers and teachers. In this planning process, it is necessary to consider tasks that serve the school, not only in the sense that they can be used in the classroom, but mainly to promote the development of the teaching-learning process in the classroom. In turn, these tasks must provide a learning opportunity for university students and be evaluated in the context of achieving teaching skills.
As an example, we present the previously mentioned project. The goal in kindergarten was to introduce audiovisual resources and promote media literacy; as to the degree in Early Childhood Education the goal was to design audiovisual resources, and then implement and evaluate processes of media literacy in kindergarten. To do this, students Children under 3 years of CEIP Cierva Peñafiel and his teacher, Salome Recio, proposed an issue that would provide a common denominator of all videos created by universoty students: Monsters. Meanwhile, students of the Degree in Early Childhood Education began recording videos, and once produced, made the dissemination of it through youtube, twitter and symbaloo.
Videos were evaluated by university teachers, and in turn, children chose the winning video. To conclude the activity, the winning group go to the kindergarten classroom to perform an activity of interaction with the students participating in the experience.
Folgueiras, P., Luna, E. & Puig, G. (2013). Aprendizaje y servicio: Estudio del grado de satisfacción de estudiantes universitarios. Revista de Educación, 362. DOI 10.4438/1988-592X-RE-2011-362-157.
Giles, D.E. & Eyler, J. (1994). The Theoretical Roots of Service-Learning in John Dewey: Toward a Theory of Service-Learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 1 (1), 77-85.
Martínez, B., Martínez, I., Alonso, I., & Gezuraga, M. (2013). El aprendizaje-servicio, una oportunidad para avanzar en la innovación educativa dentro de la universidad del País Vasco. Tendencias pedagógicas, 21, 29-117.
Morin, L. A. & Waysdorf, S. L. (2013). Teaching the Reflective Approach Within the Service-Learning Model. Journal of Legal Education, 62 (4), 600-611.
Puig, J.M., Martín, X., & Batlle, R. (2008). Cómo iniciar un proyecto de aprendizaje y servicio solidario. Bilbao: Zerbikas.
Rubio, L. (2011): ApS: aterrizaje entre teoría y práctica. Aula de Innovación Educativa, 203-204, 34-37.