Basque Country, discovering what the students want

After a few hours of travelling we finally arrived at Matriku, a small town in the Basque Country. There we would spend an intense, productive and funny day with the teaching team of the school, very predisposed to participate in the workshop.

One of the most significant parts of the process, in this school, was that one in which the teachers reflected and debated about the interests of the student. In this case, through the activity of the traffic light,  some ideas emerged, and then the teachers classified them into three groups using post-its of three different colors: the items pointed out in green post-its corresponded to the positive aspects, everything that students like or are interested in; those written in pink post-its talked about the negative aspects, what topics students have no interest in or what is more difficult for them to understand; and finally, in yellow post-its, they had to write ideas about what students are more disinterested and the techniques for which they feel more attracted to learn.

We found that practical projects, team-working and out-of-school trips are a great attraction for the students. Explanations accompanied by real examples or involving a manual work are also valued. Regarding what roses student’s interest, we can find genetics, radioactivity and nuclear power plants, atmosphere and curiosities of science.

As non-curricular aspects that teachers want to work on day to day with students we have: caring for the emotional aspects of the student, the good atmosphere in the classroom, the appreciation of the work well done and making them the focus of the lesson, inviting them to explain a topic or make some corrections.

On the other hand, students perceive as negative aspects the exams and homework, all that entails an effort is still rejected by the students. In the same box we can find theoretical explanations that last more than ten minutes, as well as mathematical formulas, vectors and formulation. These subjects are also the ones that teachers find harder in teaching to the student.

Something interesting and appearing for the first time is the interest in teaching the student how to express himself correctly and properly.

As a conclusion we can also see the absolute indifference for everything related to science. It doesn’t matter if it is through history, videos, outings, contents or trying to make them reason a concept. “… they do not care.”

The most outstanding ideas of Brain Writing were the following:

  • Oral explanation to your classmates.
  • Respect and trust.
  • Real practices.
  • Consistent, simple and realistic schedules agreed with colleagues.
  • The light and its nature.
  • Energy.
  • Laboratory practices: sea urchins.