IEMC2019 – Santarém, Portugal


During the weekend of 15 and 16 March 2019, the Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Santarém (Portugal) organized a conference about innovation in teaching of Mathematics and Sciences. More than 150 attendees took part in a very varied programme of keynotes and discussions, as well as engaging, hands-on sessions. The conference promotes the ideas of active and project based learning.

Susana Colaço, the director of the Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, together with the teachers of the Department of Mathematics and Sciences, is the driving force behind the innovative steps the Teacher Training Institute has been taking over the past period. Since the school joined the ITElab project, many changes have been implemented to the delivery of the curriculum. The student teachers have the opportunity to take part in innovative course modules, developed in the ITElab project, to be empowered to become teachers of the 21st Century. A group of students also takes part in the 4-weeks online ITElab course. Both the ITElab Modules and MOOC promote the creation of professional learning networks for teachers. They promote innovative, student-centred teaching practices supported by technology and space design.

The Escola Superior de Educação also got inspired by the ideas of the Future Classroom Lab in Brussels. Classrooms have been adapted to flexible learning spaces. The feedback of both lecturers and students is very positive.

Bart Verswijvel, Pedagogical Adviser Future Classroom Lab gave a keynote at the IEMC 2019 conference, on the theme of students of Initial Teacher Education who will soon enter the teacher profession. Bart discussed the opportunities and challenges of new learning spaces, enriched by technology, and the expanded eco-system of a teacher in the 21st Century which includes more stakeholders.

The Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Santarém is a great example of an organisation and its leadership, embracing change and that also counts for the students about to start their journey as a teacher of the 21st Century.