A team of researchers from CIS-IUL has been developing actions to improve the quality of teaching practices in a school context since 2012, in Groupings of Schools / Schools classified as Priority Intervention Educational Territories (TEIP). The objective is to train educational agents, especially teachers, in the dynamics of collaborative intervention among the various actors for the continuous improvement of school results through emotional education. Currently, the TEIP team of ISCTE-IUL, composed of several members, is coordinated by Ricardo Borges Rodrigues, a professor at ISCTE-IUL and researcher at CIS-IUL.
Recently, the 1st Conference of Emotional Thinking was held at the University Institute of Lisbon (IUL), aimed at fostering a multidisciplinary debate, with transversal perspectives on emotional thinking in education / teaching, through culture, heritage and architecture. This meeting was promoted by a group of partners from a TEIP school, namely Alto do Lumiar School Grouping, the Directorate General for Education, Lumiar City Council, ISCTE-IUL and EducAccíon Association.
National and international experts participated, including the psychologist and researcher Ana Peinado, who developed the emotional education plan in Spain, whose implementation is underway.
Ana Peinado, says that ‘The situation in Spain is that each of the 17 regions (Autonomous Communities) acts independently so we cannot speak of a single initiative in the country for the promotion of Emotional Education. In the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands there’s a required subject in primary school (children aged 6 to 12 years old) called "Emotional Education and Creativity" that was implemented in 2014. The rest of the Autonomous Communities do not have this subject. In the Region of Murcia, where I live, the implementation of emotional education programmes is carried out through training courses for teachers in schools financed by the government of the Region. Participation in these courses is voluntary.’
However, the researcher reinforces the importance of the courses she develops and stresses that ‘The contents of these training courses depend on each person who gives them. There is no single line of action or any guideline to follow. I have been teaching these courses since 2012. Through this work I have developed my own programme that lasts one academic year. Six training sessions are held with the teachers, during which explanations are given on the activities that can be applied in the classroom throughout the entire course for the teaching of the recognition of emotions, self-esteem, motivation, self-control, social skills and optimism. We are in the process of evaluating results. More and more centres are requesting this training. Currently, we are ten people working on the delivery of training courses based on my «Rainbow» programme.’
Dulce Martins, a researcher at CIS-IUL and a member of the TEIP team at ISCTE-IUL, argues that 'knowing that emotion has a substantial influence on the human cognitive process and that school is a learning environment par excellence, and that there is no learning without emotion / affectivity. It is necessary to (re)think the educational environments that the school provides, namely to promote strategies for the appropriation of social and emotional skills by students and teachers, which consider emotional education programmes and moments with active classroom methodologies. Specifically, activities that incorporate cooperative learning, whose purpose is the initiative, commitment and decision-making of students. In Portugal, emotional education is already done, just look at the example of the school of emotions and some informal curriculum programmes with activities, for example, based on mindfulness. However, it is still a very limited practice in relation to what would be desirable.'
In this regard, the researcher adds that 'greater accountability, whether individual or joint of the actors and educational agents, helps to identify and understand emotions as well as what is most appropriate for the individual and the others with whom she/he relates. It is critical to foster educational experiences embodied in cooperative forms for active participation and involvement of students for greater "potential propensity", favourable to greater emotional intuition, where students can think and reflect critically, taking into account their interests. The literature on Education / Educational Psychology indicates that conditions for effective and meaningful learning are more easily created in this way.'
Within the framework of the TEIP programme, three specialization seminars were created, which will be promoted by the IPPS-IUL, focusing on the topics of Formative Assessment, Mathematics in the 1st cycle and Pedagogical Supervision. The methodology of these courses is of a theoretical-practical nature in which active and participative methodologies are of particular importance, enabling the acquisition of the fundamental concepts and leading to the appropriation of models, techniques and the creation of more appropriate instruments for classroom teaching work.