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Go Back       Himalayan Journal of Education and Literature | Volume:3 Issue:4 | July 10, 2022
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DOI : 10.47310/Hjel.2022.v03i04.002       Download PDF       HTML       XML

Student Protagonism: The Experience of a Pilot Project Developed With Teachers and Students of Ifpi- SÃO JOÃO DO PIAUÍ


Alcemir Horácio Rosa, Daniel Nascimento e Silva and Marcus Marcelo Silva Barros

CAMPUS SÃO JOÃO DO PIAUÍ is a federal institution specialized in the provision of professional and technological education. Institution located in the State of Piauí/Brazil.

*Corresponding Author

Alcemir Horácio Rosa


Article History

Received: 20.06.2022

Accepted: 30.06.2022

Published: 10.07.2022


Abstract: Brazilian educational practices have been questioned in recent years about their effectiveness. This is because education has not yet managed to integrate its practices with current structural, social and technological changes. Traditionalist methodologies and practices are no longer accepted as a learning model, due to their limitations and for not revealing the role of students. The COVID-19 pandemic has put our education system to the test. Well, Brazilian education has been debating for some time a progressive, technological, innovative education; with the use of active learning methodologies. However, many schools remained closed during social isolation for lack of an alternative methodology. Breaking with the educational process of its students. This reinforces the idea that the new educational reality requires a teaching-learning process in a resignified and active way, which takes learning beyond institutional walls. Thus, this work aims to report the experience of a pilot project developed at the IFPI campus São João do Piauí. The methodology used was the MCT - Scientific and Technological Methodology (NASCIMENTO-E-SILVA, 2019), developed through four basic steps: identification of the guiding question, data collection, organization of information and structuring of the answer. The methodology allowed structuring the reports on the experiences of developing the pilot project, the methodology, planning, execution and results. The proposal was developed in 2020, and the format remained active until February 2022. An alternative to keep students in an active educational process during the social isolation of COVID-19. The research showed that the project was able to promote the adaptation of the new methodological proposals, as well as stimulate the protagonism of the students, who began to develop more autonomous and proactive studies. With this, the project is no longer a short-term proposal to be the official teaching methodology throughout the period of social isolation.


Keywords: Teacher Practices; Pilot project; Protagonism; Autonomy; Proactivity.


1. INTRODUCTION

In the first three months of 2020, educational institutions faced a significant challenge. A world-class pandemic with no known cure or treatment has made social isolation the only measure to stop its harsh consequences. Therefore, the rulers decreed isolation as an urgent measure due to the high incidence and mortality caused by COVID-19 (BRASIL, 2020; PIAUÍ, 2020a; PIAUÍ, 2020b). Through the Ministry of Education, the Federal Government launched Ordinance No. 323 on March 17th, 2020. It suspended face-to-face classes indefinitely while the pandemic situation of the New Coronavirus - COVID-19 (BRAZIL, 2020) lasted. In the same sense, the government of the State of Piauí launched two outstanding decrees. State Decree No. 18,884, of March 16th, 2020, ordered social isolation and, consequently, suspending all face-to-face activities. Except services considered essential (PIAUÍ, 2020a). And on March 19th, 2020, it launched Decree No. 18,895, which provided public health emergency measures and established a Crisis Management Committee (PIAUÍ, 2020b). All this reflected directly on education since schools, universities, institutes, and other teaching organizations were forced to stop face-to-face activities and their actions. The pandemic has fully affected the educational process and student learning.


Although educational institutions have debated technological education for many years and the possibilities of using innovative technologies, methodologies, and teaching strategies, they were surprised. Not all of them were prepared to offer education outside of what they had previously been provided. Institutions were faced with reinventing themselves in the face of the situation. Soon, Brazilian education was unprepared to face severe adversities such as COVID-19. All institutions offering face-to-face teaching stopped in 2020. Some managed to reinvent themselves and develop teaching methodologies that adapted to reality, while others remained stationary (SILVA, 2021; CAMPOS, 2021).


Before developing the experience report, the work developed an investigation to understand the reality of schools in the country. Thus, a brief study was carried out on the preparation of Brazilian schools to offer a teaching alternative during the pandemic. The intention was to understand the national scenario within two years (period corresponding to social isolation), corresponding from January 2020 to January 2022, the period most affected by COVID-19. The literature made it possible to evidence, through works published on the Google Academic platform, the existence of at least 15 studies stating that, with rare exceptions, schools were not prepared to offer alternative classes in the face of the pandemic. Consequently, there were losses and disruptions to student learning. The mentioned data were dealt with in more detail in later steps. The State of Piauí also resented the challenges posed by the pandemic. It suffered from the same problem identified on the national scene, with extensive discussions about practices and methodologies, but with schools caught by surprise and the impasse about what to do. Some schools were developing strategies, while others had stopped teaching due to the lack of alternatives.


This work reports the experience of a pilot project developed at IFPI – Campus São João do Piauí. It was an attempt to maintain institutional activities and fulfill their social role and lead students to build protagonist, innovative, creative, and at the same time, responsible learning. The objective was to report how the institution organized the pilot project as an alternative to continuing the teaching process, the results of the project, and also how the students managed to develop their protagonism, autonomy, and responsibility during this educational process. The experience report was based on three standard questions: what is the context of the experience? What’s the experience? And what are the results? These questions were essential for the construction of a logical and precise structure. The work showed that the pilot project was the most affordable alternative within the pandemic limitations. It was necessary to put this teaching model under analysis and evaluation due to its social responsibility. Only after being evaluated as a beneficial strategy for students was it officially placed as a standard strategy to be developed throughout the period in which the institution remained in social isolation.


2 CREATIVE LEARNING AND PROTAGONISM: THEORETICAL CONTEXT

Scientific literature suggests an intimate relationship between protagonism and creative learning. It seems that this relationship is two-way, in which both protagonism tends to influence creative learning and vice versa, with creative learning impacting protagonism. Although there are no scientific studies to validate this hypothesis, these two scientific fields have several aspects in common. The studies by Beghetto (2016) and Glăveanu et al., (2019) present a profoundly psychological definition of creative learning. This learning modality combines intrapsychological (what happens between two or more individuals) and interpsychological (what happens inside an individual’s mind) dimensions. The consequence of these countless possible combinations is new understandings of the facts and phenomena of the world, considered significant for the individuals who learn.


However, more recent studies have restricted (or greatly expanded, depending on the perspective of analysis) creative learning to any type of transformation (SILVA et al., 2021) that occurs due to the acquisition of knowledge and skills. The matter is the direct engagement of the individual in the elaboration, execution, and obtaining of the results of their projects. This engagement is what can also be called protagonism. The protagonist, in this case, is the individual capable of elaborating, executing, and obtaining the results of their projects and actions. Another aspect is found in studies such as Smith et al., (2019), where understanding and awareness are at stake. Learning could only be considered creative if there is the acquisition of a different way of perceiving things due to what has been learned. This way of looking at creative learning puts knowledge and skills at the forefront of thinking. Thought is the end that knowledge and skills must produce. Naturally, this conception makes the protagonist the one who thinks, even if he does not act, which would be illogical, given that protagonism requires action, participation (THOMAZ, 2013; NUGGEHALLI, 2021; OLIVEIRA; CUNHA, 2020; MATTIA; KLEBA; PRADO, 2018; CERVANTES; DELGADO, 2021). However, it should not be overlooked that speaking itself is a way of acting (SCHONFIELD, 2018).


On the other hand, both the personal meaning and the thinking aspects have numerous similarities regarding the characteristics of creative learning. In this particular, one can wonder how much science has already advanced in its intra and interpsychological dimensions. The study by Nela and Supriatna (2021) describes as its essential characteristics a) the imagination of future events, b) exploration of ideas, c) leaving options for actions open, d) critical reflection on ideas without specifying what understand by “criticism,” e) ability to formulate questions and face challenges, f) make connections between ideas and opportunities, g) design and execute relationships in different ways, h) forecast and execution of actions and i) forecast and achievement of results. It is not difficult to see that these characteristics involve meaningful action and the aesthetics of thought as fruits of the individual who learns creatively.


Murai et al., (2021) show that learning from peers is one of the four characteristics of the creativity map developed by Resnick (2017). Interestingly, this research confirms that individuals who know creatively tend to seek a way to work productively with their peers, even when learning is not on their agenda. It is in line with Prasetya, Harjanto, and Frayudha’s (2021) finding that creative learners are always actively involved in mastering the material available to them to learn. In practice, the individual who acts according to creative learning does not only want to learn but to master knowledge to use it in some practical way, which is a characteristic of the protagonist individual. Protagonism is an effort to adapt the world to the individual and the individual to the world (THOMAZ, 2013). It is the acquisition of power to reduce vulnerability to other forms of power (MATTIA; KLEBA; PRADO, 2018).


Creative learning is structured around four principles, known as Resnick’s 4 Os (2017): design denotes the ability to define what will be done and how it will be done, which is the purpose of learning; passion is the feeling of desire for accomplishment that awakens ideas and initiatives for the project; peers is the imperative need that every project is always group, even though the interests can be individual (typical of egoic and selfish individuals); and play, is the feeling of pleasure that one has both when designing the project and in its execution and enjoyment of the results (MURAI, 2021; RESNICK, 2017; CROSSLEY, 2021; TSAN et al., 2022). These principles have guided efforts to apply creative learning in various pedagogical spaces, naturally generating discoveries about the relationships between environments and the knowledge that takes place in them.


The study by Ayyldiz and Yilmaz (2021) shows that the creative personality traits of individuals can predict the dispositions for learning from both the learning environment and the teachers’ behavior. In mathematical language, the learning environment and teacher behavior affect learning and positively mediate. Why does it happen? The study by Hutchison, Paatsch and Cloonan (2020) shows that creative environments have some key characteristics, such as plurality and flexibility, foreground agency, and collaboration. Each element can be empirically verified from specific analytical categories. For example, prevalence and flexibility are measured from the offer of resources, workspaces, access to experimentation, and relevant pedagogies.


Altan and Tan (2021) describe creative environments in physical and pedagogical terms. These two analytical dimensions present distinct analytical categories, such as flexibility, encouraging students to face challenges, and time management by learners, among other aspects almost always neglected by other learning schemes. The research confirmed very similar results by Hernández-Torrano and Ibrayeva (2020). This previous study also drew up a list of factors that restrict creativity, highlighting the overloaded curriculum of subjects, standardized tests, lack of teacher freedom, traditional teaching approach, marked differences between students, and lack of student involvement. , negative attitude of parents and lack of family support. In short, what impedes creativity comes from the context, teachers, students, and parents, not the environments. It is an exciting result because it offers evidence that any environment can be transformed into a creative one, provided that the contextual conditions, teachers, students, and family members are favorable. It explains why schools from poor neighborhoods of poor cities achieve highly relevant highlights and affluent schools from prosperous cities, as is the case of the excellent performance in mathematics of a public school in Cocal dos Alves, Piauí.


This theoretical context shows that creative learning goes far beyond the mere knowledge of the concreteness of existence on the part of the individual, as the study by Farias and Varela (2018) assumes. Not that it’s not essential, but because it’s not crucial. Protagonism is about demonstrating to yourself what you can do to improve yourself in the search for constant self-realization, to change the course of your destiny, as Reungoat, Jouhanneau, and Buton (2020) point out. Protagonism is the transformation of the will to do, with all the consequences of the unpredictability that the relationships and the creativity of the individual who learns bring, as the study by Marhesini (2020) suggests. And it is precisely in this context and with this sense that the following report is inserted.


3. METHODOLOGICAL SYNTHESIS

This study was developed through the theoretical perspective of the Scientific-Technological Method (NASCIMENTO-E-SILVA, 2012; NASCIMENTO-E-SILVA, 2019). The method made it possible to organize the knowledge that science protected. Thus, it was possible to develop the research questions, collect the data, analyze the information obtained and finally establish the generation of answers. It was the methodological course ensured in the scientific stage of the method. The research was constituted as an experience report. That is why it was essential to establish some standard questions: in what context was the experience developed? What’s the experience? What are the results? These questions were necessary to guide the research and achieve the objective. The bibliographic and conceptual method by researcher Nascimento-e-Silva (2020) was used to organize the work into logical steps that permeated the questions above, revealing the data that gave basis and support to the job. The mass of data allowed us to answer the questions and, at the same time, move towards understanding the experience. Thus, the work was organized into an introduction, methodology, answers, discussion (with its subtopics), conclusion, and references.


The Introduction was developed by identifying the problem, and the experience was carried out because the pandemic has paralyzed educational activities and counts as a severe threat to the teaching-learning process of students. And yet, it sought to develop the theme about the legislation that involved the decisions taken in the analyzed environment. This step brought a general synthesis of the work approaches.


The course of steps developed to respond to the study’s objective was described in the methodology. The intention was to report on how the institution organized the pilot project, demonstrating its results and how students could develop an innovative learning opportunity that gave them a protagonist, creative and responsible role. It was necessary to set up a group of methodological procedures to achieve this objective by executing each established step logically and organized. All were necessary to achieve what was proposed. Thus, the steps were built based on a robust structure, as is the Scientific and Technological Method case and the bibliographic and conceptual method.


The results and discussion stage were developed to answer the three research questions. In this sense, six subtopics were structured that we were able to answer the questions together. Each one brings the necessary descriptions to understand the whole process straightforwardly. It was structured to understand each element with more excellent detailed information for a better organization. This stage was responsible for describing the main results observed in the pilot project. The conclusion was established based on the results developed throughout the work. The role of the conclusion was to relate and synthesize the primary references defended and the results achieved.


Finally, the references were approached to demonstrate the sustainability and robustness of the information found in the scientific field, explaining the basis of the research. For example, to better understand the educational scenario at the height of the pandemic, it was necessary to use the references available in the scientific environment. They allowed us to understand the conditions of schools regarding the development of educational alternatives in the face of the isolation of the pandemic. As found in Bastos (2020), Carraro et el. (2020), Machado, (2020), Silva, Campos and Melo (2020), Silva (2020), Sousa and Adrião (2020), Almeida et al., (2021), Batista (2021), Fernandes, Santana and Brito (2021), Oliveira, Zucchetti and Marques (2021), Pereira, Leite and Basílio (2021), Ribeiro (2021), Pavnoski et al., (2021) and Oliveira et al., (2022).


4 EXPERIENCE REPORT

4.1 The context of the experience

The first part of the results was developed based on the synthesis of the observed context. The circumstances surrounding the pilot project were pointed out, which facilitated the understanding of the procedures carried out by the IFPI - São João campus and demonstrated in general aspects the context and scenario in which it was linked. The investigated literature showed that the COVID-19 pandemic generated losses in all social fields, especially in the educational process of students. Because the propagation and its effects took place very quickly, it didn’t allow time for more careful planning. The Chinese office of the World Health Organization (WHO) received a notification on December 31st, 2019, about pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, the largest city in population data in China. A few days later, on January 7th, 2020, China managed, through its scientists, to identify a new virus of animal origin. The virus had a high rate of propagation, and as a result of its mutations, it ended up manifesting in humans, giving rise to what the world knew as COVID-19. A disease that has reached the most remote places on the planet and a load of damage in all social fields (CHAMAS, 2020).


It was interesting to understand how schools deal with this pandemic scenario. An investigation was developed through an open database (academic Google); the studies developed during the pandemic period on the situation of schools were collected, especially on their conditions to build a differentiated methodology so that students would not be harmed in the impossibility of face-to-face study. It is noteworthy that the investigation was developed in a time frame from January 2020 to January 2022 (2 years), a time understood as the time of the most significant impact of the pandemic on education. The results of this investigation revealed that 15 studies were found that describe the scenario of schools in the face of COVID-19, in which they made a consistent defense that Brazilian schools were not prepared. It is noteworthy that in all of them a common term appeared: “the schools were not prepared” (BASTOS, 2020; CARRARO et al., 2020; MACHADO, 2020; SILVA; CAMPOS; MELO, 2020; SILVA, 2020; SOUSA; ADRIÃO, 2020; ALMEIDA et al., 2021; BATISTA, 2021; FERNANDES; SANTANA; BRITO, 2021; OLIVEIRA; ZUCCHETTI; MARQUES, 2021; PEREIRA; LEITE; BASILIO, 2021; RIBEIRO, 2021; PAVNOSKI et al., 2021; OLIVEIRA et al., 2022). Thus, the high incidence of the new virus and its rapid spread in the first three months of 2020 forced Brazil to close its institutions.


On March 16th, 2020, the government of the State of Piauí released two Decrees No. This research showed, based on the studies of Pereira, Leite, and Basílio (2021), Ribeiro (2021), Pavnoski et al., (2021), and Oliveira et al., (2022), that in the first months of the pandemic, thousands of students had to interrupt its educational process, as the pandemic paralyzed all educational activities in the country and required institutions to use alternative, innovative, creative and technological methodological resources. Unfortunately, according to the presented reference, not all institutions could follow this challenge. Schools, universities, and educational institutions, in general, were one of the sectors affected due to the high fatality rate of COVID-19.


In summary, the São João campus stopped its face-to-face activities on March 16th, 2020, with a few days completely without activities. The institution offered face-to-face teaching and could not transform its format into a different modality without a legal basis, documentation, or institutional support that would give him this possibility. From then on, the students were left without classes and activities, paralyzing the entire educational process that was in progress. The whole institution remained in indeterminacy and uncertainty for a few days. But this was not exclusive to this institution nor the State. Institutions across the country were experiencing a time when they did not know what to do and what the next steps were for the educational scenario. Until May 4th, 2020, the rectory accepted a request from the campuses and the academic community, launching an Ordinance pilot project proposal to be planned, developed, and evaluated at each campus.


The IFPI is a federal institution with a consequential social responsibility for the region. Thus, its structure and technological support did not allow the institution to remain stationary or limit its students only to face-to-face teaching. The IFPI - São João do Piauí was able to plan and implement innovative methodologies and practices to overcome the limitations arising from COVID-19. Also, It revealed a teaching proposal that used the available technological resources and student leaders so that the process would not interrupt the teaching and learning of students.


The theoretical framework allowed us to conclude in this first stage that the installation of the pandemic in Brazil triggered a race between institutions to put into practice methodologies as an alternative to face-to-face classes. However, a double reality coexisted. On the one hand, the institutions that managed to plan and execute alternative actions, and on the other hand, those that were not prepared and were not able to generate any alternative, breaking with the educational path of their students.


4.2 The pilot project and the role of students

The IFPI Rectory published Ordinance No. 952 (IFPI, 2020) on May 4th, 2020. With a proposal to develop a short-term teaching methodology. That would be implemented and evaluated. And if the results were satisfactory, it would soon be made permanent as a teaching strategy during the social isolation of COVID-19. The pilot project was launched to meet the demands arising from the institution and the social environment. And the main concern was focused on student learning. According to item b of Ordinance No. 952 (IFPI, 2020, p. 3), it is the institutional mission of the IFPI “to offer comprehensive training to our students and that educational processes can occur in different times and spaces, managed intentionally and organized by the institution.” Therefore, the institution recognized the need to build a teaching strategy to continue the students’ training process. And in another passage, the ordinance clarified its second concern, which is to awaken an “active, protagonist and purposeful” posture (IFPI, 2020, p. 3). The law presented allowed us to affirm that these were the two motivating pillars of the pilot project: a) to continue the students’ learning and b) That this process is a motivator of active, protagonist, and proactive actions.


Although the proposal was a desire of the São João campus community, it needed to be treated only as a pilot project. The intention is that it was a testing phase. Thus, only the final series of technical courses integrated into secondary education, subsequent secondary education, last modules of undergraduate studies, and the specialization course module participated. First, it was necessary to test whether this methodology would work with many uncertainties. After all, there was a risk that, for various reasons, the process would not work and could even generate educational losses for students. For example, one of the biggest fears was that because it was a remote methodology, some students would not be able to access the internet and would be harmed. The intention reflected in the ordinance was that this project should demonstrate whether or not the proposed methodology could be used with all classes and indefinitely. Until face-to-face teaching could be resumed, it was not safe to develop the proposal with all types and run the risk of some uncontrolled educational loss. Therefore, the intention was to work only with the final classes considered a public already adapted to institutional regulations and consequently easier to adapt to the pilot project. Notably, eight classes participated in this initial phase, with 187 students, as will be discussed in more detail in later topics.


As for duration, item 5 of the ordinance provided that the pilot project should be developed over 15 days (IFPI, 2020). However, each campus could choose the start and end day according to its demands. The São João do Piauí campus structured the pilot project to take place between May 11 and 25, 2020. The period between the date of the decree and the beginning of the project was used to plan actions and implement and evaluate the pilot project. The methodology adopted encouraged students to develop a routine of study with protagonism and proactivity. They would start studying outside the school environment but in their private domains. It required a very high level of responsibility and commitment from the students. Therefore, the process required a whole planning structuring, continuous training of teachers, and training of civil servants to create an educational environment capable of stimulating student interest.


4.3 The structure of the project’s pedagogical activities

According to the regulatory ordinance of the pilot project (Ordinance No. 952), the teaching-learning process was expected to take place based on four fundamental pillars: a) remote teaching and learning activities; B) learning activities; C) support material; and D) forum or chat. These were the four fundamental stages of the development of the pilot project. All of them became a single scheme applied in each class.

  • Remote teaching and learning activities” were given to small classes built and presented through the classroom platform. Each discipline was developed through a virtual room, with regular posts, according to the day of the course. They could be recorded in video format using commented slides. The ordinance regulated that each sequence of contents should be listed in the guided study guide proposed by the teacher, a form of planning for each class as it would also happen in face-to-face teaching. It is so that the contents are not harmed. Thus, the teachers produced the materials and made the posts for the students to follow the course.

  • Learning activities” were the elaboration of activities in the format of evaluative instruments. They were activities developed with questions about the content of the course, which should be established within several queries and with a deadline defined by the teacher. They promoted reflection on the topics covered in class. Therefore, they were associated with conducting remote classes and verifying learning.

  • the “support materials” were made available for students to deepen the knowledge transmitted during the class. Among the support, materials were provided, book chapters were developed, handouts, videos, materials produced by teachers or indicated by them. Thus, such materials were made available to complement the subject worked on in class.

  • forums and chats” constituted the fourth pillar that supported the pilot project, as they were intended to promote interaction between teachers and students, better establishing interpersonal and affective relationships. It was a space destined for a better discussion of the contents; it served both for the interrelationship and for clearing up doubts and maintaining the dialogue. Both the forums and the chats were organized on days and times defined by the teachers, who, considering the needs of the students, organized weekly meetings in quantities that they found convenient and adequate to the students’ reality.


These steps were the founding structure of the classes developed during the pilot project. The ordinance brought in item 4, the breakdown of how the posting and recording of remote activities should be organized. Each discipline should post its didactic sequence on the day corresponding to its class schedule, similar to face-to-face, within the previously taught program. This measure was designed to keep the student with his study routine. Each discipline should have its virtual field throughout the classroom. The four mentioned structures would be posted on the day and time established in the schedule: the video with commented slides, learning activities, support material, and forums and chats (IFPI, 2020). It is worth mentioning that the applications of the G-suite (set of Google’s digital tools) were chosen by the institution to be the standard structure of this educational format. Thus, classes and all events related to them were developed through the G-suite and its tools such as “Google Meet,” “Gmail,” “Google calendar,” “Classroom,” among many other tools in this package.


4.4 Organization of teaching work to meet the pilot Project

The ordinance structured the planning of teaching practices to meet the project. It was established that the pedagogical sector of each campus would develop the training of the teachers and the monitoring of planning and execution. Each discipline would create a guided study guide as an alternative to the discipline plan. Such document should include the contents, methodology, technologies, organization, and how the discipline should be developed. This pedagogical requirement took into account the need for the student to understand how the entire project would be created. The idea is that the student could participate as an active subject and be aware of each stage developed.


The small classes were organized through didactic sequences that contemplated the workload, referring to the days of the week. This sequence was established in line with the skills and competence aimed at each course and class. The content was planned within the guided studies guide, observing the continuity of the content before the interruption of face-to-face classes. And for that, the teachers were trained through the ordinance and institutional pedagogical support to develop meaningful content for students. Teachers also went through formative moments about the guidance that students should receive at each stage of developing the didactic sequences. Thus, the teachers established goals and objectives for each class. The teaching practices also focused on encouraging students to self-management of study time, academic routine, and responsibility and time management; since they were in an environment outside the institution, which was outside institutional control. In this context, it is possible to say that the São João do Piauí campus organized the teaching work in a way that would help students in the development of a creative, participatory, and inclusive methodology.


4.5 Institutional support for students: division of attributions and responsibilities

The pilot project’s mission was to test a teaching methodology different from what had been offered until that moment. The aim was to put the proposal for remote learning activities into a test phase. The intention was to provide an educational alternative that could serve the entire community. The challenge was enormous, and the whole academic community, both students and employees, understood the difficulty involved in implementing such a project. The intention was to put it into practice. If it were a viable alternative, it would no longer be a pilot project to become an official alternative to be developed throughout the social isolation of COVID-19. For this, Ordinance No. 952/2020 established the attributions of institutional agents in the search to list strategies to support students. The intention was not just to teach a new class model but also to help students lead an alternative teaching method. Institutional support was planned and executed as follows:

  • Teachers were responsible for participating in training for using technologies and planning and pedagogical development with students. They produced materials and posted content to encourage creative and effective student learning. They also maintained open communication with the coordinators and other sectors about students who were not participating in the activities.

  • The pedagogical team was in charge of the pedagogical monitoring classes and students. It sought to maintain the strategy with the other sectors on materials, content, planning, and the difficulties presented by students. The pedagogical team developed strategies that supported students’ effective teaching and achieved student learning. Among such strategies, interventions carried out with students and families and referrals to student support sectors stand out. No student was left without the necessary assistance or even had a break in their educational path.

  • the teaching departments and coordination were responsible for monitoring and guiding both teachers and students. Assistance was provided in the face of the technological resources necessary for the production, execution, and posting of activities. His role also involved permanent contact with the pedagogical team, teaching sectors, teachers, students, and the students’ families.

  • NAPNE received a critical mission. To be present in this entire educational process. All students with specific needs were monitored, providing pedagogical support and assisting in adapting teaching materials. Permission was given to teachers, and contact was maintained with students and family. It provided the students with the necessary support to exercise their student roles despite their specific needs.

  • The psychology sector received the attributions of maintaining the reception and continuous contact with the students. Practical work was developed in the face of the demands, and psychological care was also made available to students. The necessary actions were promoted to create their teaching-learning process with psychological and emotional balance. During the pilot project period, an evaluation was carried out with students and servers to understand and analyze the situation in the institution’s educational scenario. It contributed to the development of health and awareness actions in the face of changes inhabits. These actions were necessary to develop an environment with psychological and emotional balance, to allow students to play an active and creative role.

  • The social service was imbued with the attribution of assisting students and their guardians through electronic means. The resources available to meet the demands of students were articulated through actions and student assistance policy benefits. Social measures necessary for the proper functioning of the teaching-learning process were also developed, collaborating with the multi-professional team and with the reality of the students. We tried to guarantee the basic and adequate minimum actions so that all students could be included in this educational proposal. The São João campus even set up a commission to analyze the granting of student benefits. This commission, the SAC (Student Assistance Commission), was responsible for identifying students who might have difficulty accessing the internet. In analyzing the institutional documents, the commission immediately granted 53 connectivity grants, including awarding a scholarship and the amount referring to the assembly of an antenna for a specific case. The reality was that all students who needed help with internet access were covered. At the end of the pilot project, there were no students without internet access—an actual process of accessibility and inclusion.

  • The general and teaching directorates were responsible for monitoring the execution schedule of the project activities, organizing the teaching work, and permanent contact with the sectors and teaching managers. They developed actions and deliberations for the smooth running and fruition of the teaching-learning efforts.

  • Families were also covered by the ordinance. Their mission was to assist students in monitoring the schedule of activities by informing the institution about difficulties and requesting institutional support when necessary. For this, the campus created several channels of communication with the family, including intensifying parent meetings, all so that students could receive all the support needed to participate in the project with protagonism, support, and responsibility.


4.6 Results of the execution of the pilot project and student protagonism

The pilot project was developed between May 11 and 25, 2020, at IFPI - São João do Piauí Campus. The project integrated courses of all levels and modalities. Eight categories were experienced, among secondary level courses, subsequent technician courses, higher education courses, and a postgraduate course group, as shown in table 1. As foreseen in the ordinance, only the final classes of each course participated.


Thus, 187 students participated in the pilot project during the 15 days of project execution. For this, virtual classes were created, and students could develop their studies daily with the available materials: video, learning activities, support material, and forums and chats (IFPI, 2020). Table 1 shows more precisely the classes and the quantitative, which allows us to verify that the pilot project was developed with mixed styles. It makes the project evaluation even more assertive since the reality of this methodology was observed in groups of different levels.

Table 1: Classes participating in the pilot project.

Participating classes

Number of students

3rd grade of the technical course-integrated to the medium in Administration

31

3rd grade of the technical course-integrated to the medium in Agriculture

18

3rd grade of the technical course-integrated to the medium in Fruticulture/PROEJA

7

Module I of the subsequent technical course in Agriculture

35

Module III of the subsequent technical course in Administration

21

Module VII of the higher course in Business Administration

29

Module VII of the undergraduate course in Biological Sciences

27

Module II Specialization Course in Science Teaching

19

Total classes: 8 classes

187

Source: data collected by the authors.


The classes referenced in table 1 were evaluated over 15 days. And to better identify the results, the campus organized the process evaluation in two cycles—assessments that would be developed in the first week and another assessment cycle set in the second week. The first week of execution of the pilot project was especially observatory. It was a space to follow the process and check all the weaknesses and strengths. The coordinators sent a weekly report to the pedagogical sector about the observations of the process. The main questions were participation, accessibility, student learning, how the learning takes place, and whether students demonstrate proactivity, protagonism, and responsibility with the proposed studies. A federal network institution such as the IFPI - São João do Piauí campus did not have the simple intention of offering a teaching format to justify its educational process. It was a matter of social responsibility not to let the students’ training process be interrupted. Thus, it was essential to monitor whether the teaching proposal reached the students.


In addition to the concerns already mentioned, Ordinance No. 952/2020 requested that the number of students in each class who had full access to activities be identified and that students with access difficulties be identified. It was necessary so that decisions could be taken to ensure the fairness of the process. The concern was because it is known that the Brazilian reality, especially in the interior of the States, is that not all homes have internet. It could jeopardize the pilot project proposal. It was investigated the conditions for the continuity of non-face-to-face activities, the needs of the students, learning activities, and requirements for the pilot project to become a proposal that lasted throughout social isolation. The pedagogical coordination shared a study with the results, involving observations about all classes and the reports received from the course coordinators. The document was entitled: “Pilot project pedagogical follow-up study: numbers, access, and guidelines.”


In the first week, it was found that not all students had effective participation during the first week. Of the 187 students, it was identified that 42 students were unable to participate to their full potential due to lack of internet access. In this sense, the ordinance already brought the possibility of granting connectivity aid to students who do not have access to the internet. Thus, the São João do Piauí campus awarded connectivity aid grants to students, with an average monthly amount practiced by regional companies.


It was verified the participation of students in the system, who attended the classes, developed the recommended studies and participated in the moments of the chats. As for student protagonism, it was evidenced that students were motivated and enthusiastic about the strategy established by the institution. Although some students with access difficulties were identified, they were contemplated with connectivity assistance and were adjusting to the process.


In the first week, the pilot project proved to be a good strategy for teachers and students. Another relevant point is that the NAPNE - service center for people with specific needs on the campus was requested to accompany students with a particular need, identify all students who had medical reports, and establish regular meetings and strategies to assist students. Students received the conditions to have access to classes, including accessibility conditions.


In the second week of class, the monitoring of the process made it possible to diagnose the broad participation of the students. Until then, what was an impediment was the internet issue. After making some urgent decisions, the institution resolved this issue, including distributing telephone chips with data packages for some specific cases to complement the aid granted. The second week’s reports showed that the students had adapted to the new methodology. According to the pedagogical report, the students established their strategies for organizing studies and timetables and managed to develop the activities, assessments, proposed studies, and participation in synchronous moments. However, there were also some criticisms. The students reported that the means were adequate, but the recorded classes were short. Another complaint was about the didactic strategies, as the students complained about the way some disciplines were conducted, which for the institution was another point that evidenced the student protagonism.


The process was satisfactory, and the pilot project demonstrated conditions to be transformed into a permanent procedure. In addition to the results mentioned, the campus itself developed an evaluation process in which the report pointed out the students’ satisfaction. The project was able to stimulate student protagonism, as there was significant participation, adherence, and students quickly participated in the proposed educational actions. They performed work, attended classes via the remote system, participated in evaluative activities, and used the learning environments’ resources. According to the institutional report, students were pleased with the possibility of self-managing their studies through a digital platform. They also liked the possibility of organizing their study schedules. The report showed broad participation and satisfaction with ​​using technological resources to enter an innovative methodology. In addition to the pleasure of not having their educational process interrupted.

5 CONCLUSION

This report showed that NAPNE fulfilled its mission of involving teachers in meeting students’ needs, providing creative learning, and making them protagonists of their stories. It showed that the pandemic caused the interruption of face-to-face teaching activities, which generated a race between institutions in search of teaching methodological alternatives. The coexistence of a double reality was perceived. On the one hand, the institutions that managed to plan options and on the other hand, those that, because they were not prepared, did not develop an alternative, breaking with the students’ learning. It was discovered that Brazilian schools were not ready to create differentiated methodologies. This with rare exceptions.


The IFPI – São João do Piauí Campus developed the pilot project as an alternative so that the student’s educational path was not interrupted. However, it was necessary to put it in a period of analysis and evaluation to continue this methodology in the institution. The project was developed using G-suite applications (Google digital tools) through tools such as “Google Meet,” “Gmail,” “Google calendar,” “Classroom,” among many others. The pilot project was developed over 15 days, time sufficient for the institution to evaluate and decide whether or not to continue with this methodology. The evaluation took place through the conduction of the pedagogical sector. It gathered the documents and, based on the observations, developed and internally socialized a paper entitled: “Study of pedagogical monitoring of the pilot project: numbers, accesses, and guidelines.”


The evaluation of the process led to five results:

  • In the first week, it was found that of the 187 students integrated into the proposal, 42 students were unable to participate due to a lack of internet access. In this sense, the São João do Piauí campus granted connectivity aid grants for these students to solve the problem. The participation of students in the system, in small classes, in the development of recommended studies, and an extensive interaction in chats was verified. It was found that the methodology aroused student protagonism because the motivation and enthusiasm of the students were evidenced.

  • In the second week, the evaluation of the process showed the broad participation of the students. The institution had already resolved access issues and distributed chips with mobile data packages and financial assistance. Thus, the reports showed the students’ adaptation to the new methodology.

  • Students developed their role through their strategies in the organization of studies, adapting to the platform and structure offered; time management and learning routine; developing activities, assessments, proposed studies, and participation in the moments organized by the campus. They showed interest in the possibility of self-managing their studies through a digital platform and, in the case of managing their schedules.

  • It was possible to verify that the process was also inclusive; NAPNE accompanied all students with specific needs. So that everyone had conditions of accessibility to classes.

  • The pilot project demonstrated satisfactory results and conditions to be transformed into the standard methodology. It was able to stimulate the students’ protagonism, realizing their satisfaction, participation, and adherence to the proposed educational actions. It was found that the students carried out the activities, integrated themselves with the remote system, regularly participated in the assessments, and proactively used the resources of the proposed platform. Therefore, after the 15 days of testing in May 2020, the institution approved the methodology to remain running during social isolation to remain in force until February 2022.


6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Special thanks: 1) to the Doctoral Program in Technological Education at IFAM - Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Amazonas; and 2) IFPI - Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Piauí; and 3) to FAPEAM - Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas, for the doctoral scholarship and support granted.


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