A group of Brazilian educators have spent three months at Niagara College doing research … on research.
The group includes Dr. Christian Pulhmann Brackman, a professor and international relations officer at the Federal Institute of Faroupilha, along with Klessis Lopes Dias, a professor at the Federal Institute of Amapa, and Victor da Costa Wanderley, a professor at the Federal Institute of Pernambuco. The Brazilian Federal Institutes (IFs) are colleges that are structured similar to the Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEPs) in Quebec.
The trio is visiting Canada as part of the Brazil-Canada Technological and Professional Fellowship, a partnership between the Brazilian ministry of education and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) which has brough 44 Brazilian academics to 19 different Canadian colleges to learn more about the Canadian experience in applied research.
“We are here to learn how you do applied research to bring this methodology or approach to our Brazilian educational system,” said Pulhmann Brackman.
NC’s chair of international Jos Nolle explains that IFs are typically run by educators – right up to the president level.
“So things like applied research are all managed by teachers,” he said. “In our model, teachers have an important role to play but are involved but the research projects are managed by project managers.”
The project strives to train 1,000 additional Brazilian educators to become applied research project managers.
“It’s our main goal to see how the commercialization happens,” said da Costa Wanderley. “We have a great academic background in Brazil, but we don’t know how to do the industry part.”
During their visit, which concluded May 9, the group met with Niagara Research project managers, faculty and administrators, as well as industry partners. They also studied how NC’s course-based research projects function.
“We were very impressed with course-based research, which brings real-life projects inside the classroom,” said Pulhmann Brackman. “It’s students finding solutions for problems.”
The trio will now join their 41 Brazilian colleagues in Ottawa, where the group will develop the curriculum for an instructor training program based on Canadian best practices. The program is scheduled to begin in January, 2015.
Above, from left: Dr. Christian Pulhmann Brackman, Klessis Lopes Dias and Victor da Costa Wanderley,