Experiential Learning Through Exchange Between Portugal And Poland


With an aim to support exchange of ideas and good practices, but also as part of his research work, EDiTE’s early stage researcher Wiktor Bernad has organised a binational teacher exchange between Portugal and Poland. Wiktor’s research focuses on pedagogical supervision, teacher cooperation and personal development, and he is exploring this in the two mentioned countries, thus providing an opportunity for an exchange and learning was a great way to deepen the aspects of his research work and to give something back to the practitioners. This was also a perfect opportunity for Wiktor, whose home university is in Lisbon, to start off his secondment in Poland and introduce himself as both a researcher and a valuable capacity for a school he will work with.

The first day of the exchange event took place on 31 August 2017 in Wrocław, Poland and was hosted by the Polish primary school. The principal and vice-principal of the school, welcomed the representatives (the principal and the project coordinator) of the school cluster from Portugal who arrived together with Wiktor to the Wrocław primary school’s yearly opening conference. Approximately 70 teachers that work in the school joined this occasion.

The principal of the Polish school introduced Wiktor and the two guests from Portugal, after which Wiktor presented his research, himself and had talked about pedagogical supervision. His lecture included the core of international literature and evidence from the case study Wiktor developed based on his work in Portugal. This was a great introduction to the workshop provided by the two guests from the Portuguese school cluster. They presented a thorough overview of how the project of pedagogical supervision developed and became an integral part of the school culture, how it spread across the teacher community and what benefits it bore.

During the second day of the exchange, on 4 September, the Portuguese guests and Wiktor gave a more practical outline through which they talked about different examples but also provided space from Polish teachers to try some of the pedagogical supervision practices. Simulations of activities, through group work and creation of internal rules, gave the group of around 70 Polish teachers a taste of how this collaborative peer-learning technique could look.

This event was a truly valuable interaction between teachers from two different national contexts that not only provided opportunities for teachers to talk about their pedagogical realities, innovations, fears and learn good practices, but also to build on possible further building blocks of grass-root European exchange.

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