University of Porto
The CAFTe Community of Practice and Research (Curriculum, Evaluation, Training and Educational technologies) is composed of: 1) integrated researchers of the Centre for Educational Research and Intervention (CIIE); and 2) collaborating researchers who have developed or are developing Master’s, Doctoral dissertations in Education Sciences and post- PhD, teachers or education technicians in different domains of formal education, namely in School Clusters and Training Centres.
As a research community, CAFTe chooses formal education as its object of study, focusing on: education and assessment policies and their relationship with curricular practices at different educational levels; teacher training models in their relationship with educational conceptions and policies; educational technologies in their relationship with the development of competences inherent to a digital society.
CAFTe’s main objectives are as follows: i) to promote collaborative research practices between CIIE researchers and teachers and other technicians working in formal education contexts; ii) to produce knowledge that intersects CAFTe’s different areas of research; iii) to investigate current issues in the educational field; iv) to disseminate the knowledge produced; v) to sustain research networks with academics from Angola, Mozambique, S. Tomé and Príncipe and Brazil.
In terms of its functioning, CAFTe is organised into smaller subgroups, and the work is developed both in subgroup teams and in the extended CAFTe community. The work takes the following forms
1- CAFTe large group sessions for: i) organization of the annual plan; ii) analysis of projects proposed by elements of the CAFTe community; iii) preparation of activities to be developed in each subgroup; iv) collective sharing and reflection, on the work developed; v) balance of the actions developed; vi) presentation and discussion of theoretical-methodological perspectives; vii) analysis of knowledge dissemination processes; viii) organization of seminars and thematic conferences open to the academic community and to other researchers and educators.
2- Sessions by subgroups for: i) development of the work for which they were responsible in the annual plan; ii) development of projects that were proposed to the CAFTe community; iii) systematization of the knowledge produced by the subgroup and organization of its dissemination.
In the case of the international CAFTe members living and working in Angola, Mozambique, S. Tomé and Príncipe or Brazil, and who are involved in projects of various subgroups, communication is done by Skype, email or other form of distance meeting.
The dynamics established by this community of practice and research seeks, on the one hand, to contribute to expanding knowledge in the domains which structure the CAFTe and, on the other hand, to contribute to the development of innovative practices which support responses to the challenges faced today by a school education/training which prepares for uncertain futures (Sinnema & Aitken, 2013).