LIC - Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Knowledge

LCI is created in 2012, emerging out the Laboratory of Critical Thinking (which began in 2002) coordinated by Prof. Lia Vasconcelos. The support model consists of scientific meeting spaces for sharing ideas, critical reflection, debate and exploration of research lines. These meeting places involve postgraduates, doctoral students, specialists and technicians and are aimed at scientific orientation, in particular, working on a monthly basis, using a positive and critical group discussion.

With the emergence of more formalized PhD in Environment in DCEA-FCT, this discussion laboratory proved to be a very valuable contribution to the qualification and development of participants’

scientific capacity and critical sense. The importance given by the students to laboratory's activities was reflected in a growing demand that even exceeded the most direct students, and even researchers from other institutions. With open and critical spirit that scientific activity must have, this possibility was made feasible. More recently, with the creation of PhD in Technological Assessment, these regular meetings were opened to the students of this PhD, also encouraging them to present their work and discuss them in the existing group. In 2012, result of an exchange and closer working relationship with Prof. Iva Miranda Pires who followed a similar process, project involved into a partnership operation and the meetings started to be alternated in FCT and FCSH, including from there the students of the Doctorate of Human Ecology. It was at this point that the current denomination of the Interdisciplinary Knowledge Lab was chosen. The LCI also often involves visiting professors, former students, and students guided by others, communicating the same quest for a conceptual, critical and theoretical framework.

 

These scientific follow up formats are based on innovative teaching methodologies resulting from a pedagogical proposal whose presuppositions are remotely rooted in the constructivism of John Dewey and Paulo Freire's pedagogy, in order to make the student an active agent and using practices such as Problem Based Learning (PBL, or Problem Based Learning (PBL).

Este processo permite criar o que tecnicamente se chama uma comunidade de prática, promovendo o desenvolvimento de um espirito critico nos participantes e fomentando a troca de ideias e partilha de conhecimentos contribuindo para a construção de capital social (na forma de relações entre os participantes) e capital intelectual (na forma de novo conhecimento).

O LCI distingue-se da clássica abordagem educativa segmentada, sendo caracterizado por dois aspetos interligados mas distintos:

1) o modelo/processo – a reprodutibilidade em termos institucionais é teoricamente possível, contudo grande parte do potencial deste grupo é a sua informalidade, o ser voluntario, e consequentemente dificilmente é compatível com ser formatado o que pode inclusive ser nocivo para o seu sucesso.

2) a prática/dinâmica específica do grupo – resulta de quem conduz o processo, das características dos alunos (que se pautam por uma insatisfação com o “run of the mill”, “curiosidade” insaciável) e dos temas selecionados pelos discentes, muito diversificados e de interface.

Assim, a reprodução desta "prática de excelência" está condicionada à construção deste tipo de "ecossistema", que não é passível de cópia nem tão pouco de "institucionalização" (no sentido clássico da palavra) e que surge na sequência do modelo/processo evolutivo, emergente e auto-organizado. Além disto, a prática apoia-se num conjunto de pressupostos de respeito mútuo quer pessoal quer ao nível do conhecimento entre todos os participantes, que é intensamente promovido pelas coordenadoras.

 

Lia Vasconcelos, Janeiro 2013

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