Universidad de Valladolid
No doubt that, the University of Valladolid is one of the oldest Universities in Spain, with more than 1.500 lecturers and 30.000 students. Research projects at National and European levels imply almost 6 Million € per year, 75% of which are in the fields of Science, Engineering and Architecture. These three areas also concentrate 50% of the contracts and agreements signed, which amount to more than 6M€ as well. The University of Valladolid has four campuses located in the cities of Valladolid, Soria, Segovia and Palencia. There is a School of Education in each of the four campuses, where students can obtain a Degree in Education. Two additional Postgraduate Courses - including Research in the area of Education and Secondary Education Training- are also offered. All degrees are evaluated by external agencies at a national level.
Segovia is a city near Madrid, the capital of Spain. It is a small but rather beautiful town (UNESCO Human Heritage), while Valladolid is the Capital of the Region (Castilla y León). There are around 2500 students in Segovia, and around 17.000 in Valladolid. Many of those students come to the University of Valladolid from other cities and countries with different interchange programms. The School of Education in Segovia is not too big (around 700 students and 50 teaching staff), what provides a close relationship between professors, lecturers and students that, very often, continue once students have obtained their degree.
Professors at the University of Valladolid are divided into departments and, each department, into sections depending on their location. The most members of this team take part of the Department of Science and Math Education (Segovia section) and Computer Science Department (Segovia and Valladolid setions).
Since those students who are doing a Degree in Education spend two semesters doing their Teacher Training in schools, many of them return to their home towns all over Spain for this experience, leading to a broad network of schools getting connected to the University. In this pool of public and private Primary Schools, there are many different educational models: Learning Communities, Interactive Groups, Project Learning, Montessori-based, as well as “traditional” schools.
All lecturers in the group take part in Innovation Projects that explore different ways of improving the results of Science and Mathematics school teaching. Activities take place in a real environment and increase science literacy and build bridges among arts, science and technology, tightly connected to Primary children´s interests and emotions. The philosophy is aligned with other well-known International movements such as The Tinkering Studio in Exploratorium of San Francisco. Lecturers in this team are also involved in different aspects of Research in Education, like the effects of computer programming in creativity and development.
This team will be coordinated by: Lecturer M. Antonia López, as a Science Education expert, and Associate Professor Belén Palop as the Mathematics & Computer Sience Education expert. Belén Palop’s Research Group “Programming in Education” has been working with teachers and children since 2011. Its main goal has been to introduce Computer Programming in Schools as a tool for the development of abstraction, logical thinking, creativity and verbal skills.