Problem: The disconnect between school, university and the community is the problem tackled by the free extension course in Integral and Integrated Education, Múltiplos Saberes, of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE). The project, which began in 2012, aims to create relationships between these three areas to exchange experiences and knowledge and improve the quality of education in schools. The course, led by Professor Ana Emilia Castro, is the first in Brazil aimed at the training of educators working in integral education.
Solutions: The university formed a partnership with the Department of Basic Education of the Ministry of Education (MEC) to create this extension course. The teaching method is called "research-action", and jointly incorporates activities aimed at understanding the reality of the school and the community where educational practices take place and encouraging reflection on experiences of integral education. The course is divided between educational meetings in schools (96h), educational forums at the university (24h) and studies, productions and assessments (56h).
The course is aimed at teachers, community educators, and other school-based professionals, such as directors and secretaries. University undergraduate students act as mediators, providing guidance and monitoring the course activities.
Outcomes: The first class had 200 participants from 28 Pernambuco schools from Recife, Camaragibe, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Paulista, São Lourenço da Mata and Abreu e Lima. The students, who all work in the area of education, learned how to bring school, community and university together through pedagogical practices that are of interest to everyone, and showed the importance of these areas working closely together, using events such as theater performances, storytelling circles and community discussions. Some educators also carried out mapping surveys, and identified the requirements of the areas around the schools.