"In my daily life, I see an increasing number of teachers who are concerned about how to improve their teaching abilities, how to define what teaching encompasses, and how to understand the students they are teaching and helping grow into productive citizens and workers."

Teachers: The Unsung Heroes of Knowledge Perpetuation with Dr. Margarida Pinheiro

By Abdoul Amadou on Jun 25, 2018
Prof. PinheiroTeaching is one of the most noble and selfless professions that exist. As the gatekeepers of knowledge, teachers are the ones who ensure that the skills and competencies humanity has been developing for centuries do not get lost. Nevertheless, to be successful, they have to keep up with the changing world we live in by improving their teaching methodologies and adapting to technology. Even though knowledge itself does not change much, for instance mathematics or the English grammar, students from the 1900s are different from students today. Consequently, scholars like IGI Global contributor Dr. Margarida Pinheiro from the University of Aveiro, Portugal, co-editor of the reference book, Handbook of Research on Engaging Digital Natives in Higher Education Settings, are trying to figure out how to optimize teaching and learning by integrating technology in the process. In a recent interview with IGI Global, she explained her motivations to pursue research in this field and some of the beneficial outcomes that are associated with this approach.

What inspired you to pursue research activities in your research area?

Being a higher education teacher requires having a passion not only for teaching, but also for researching and learning about how to improve and develop. In that sense, I am interested in methodological strategies, as they can be useful in preparing classes and contexts of teaching and learning in the era of digital natives.

Why are your respective areas of research important to the field at large?

In my daily life, I see an increasing number of teachers who are concerned about how to improve their teaching abilities, how to define what teaching encompasses, how to understand the students they are teaching and help them grow into productive citizens and workers. More specifically, I hope that the research and the reflections I intend to promote with my colleagues and my students around education within the broad area of Social Sciences can eventually lead to a better understanding of how to use technology for learning and teaching activities, directly focused on digital natives.

In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of your research to its community of users?

Quoting Nelson Mandela, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” That means that giving academics the opportunity to think and discuss higher education settings and to value the contributions of their peers can only be a good starting point for learning. In addition, I believe that higher education is service-oriented and that contributions that contextualize and consider the transferability of theories and practices to create knowledge and exchange ideas on the issue can benefit everybody in the education chain.

What are the future directions of your research areas?

My main research interests are learning and teaching methodologies in Higher Education and related areas of human and social behavior. The connection of education and information technologies (mainly at the level of knowledge construction) is equally a strong interest. More recently, I have been doing research on internationalization of universities, namely on teacher mobility, student mobility, and internationalization at home.

What are some other evolving research trends you have observed in your industry/field over the past several months and what would you say are some of the innovative research directions you foresee in the future? How do you feel your publication sets the pace for these innovations?

As I mentioned, my recent interest in Erasmus+ mobility has given some highlights on a very promising field of research. As a matter of fact, Higher Education Institutions are increasingly taking mobility as an imperative goal to encourage all their members to participate, from students to academic staff and technical boards. These are research opportunities that I believe can bring about innovative research in the future. Additionally, in regards to students’ mobility, it is interesting to understand their perceptions regarding either their future professional careers or tourism perspectives. Even though my edited IGI Global book, the Handbook of Research on Engaging Digital Natives in Higher Education Settings, seems not to be directly linked to these matters, I foresee that some of the discussions and reflections in it can set the pace for rethinking the way students can embark in mobility experiences.

What has your experience been like publishing with IGI Global?

Publishing with IGI Global was a rewarding experience. As editing a book requires a rigorous combination of time, knowledge, and method, it would not be possible to accomplish without the invaluable help of IGI Global. It is clear to me that their encouragement and attention to little details, their strategic decision-making in real-time, and mainly their specific knowledge of editing, make them valuable and indispensable to those who want to be editors. Also, the user-friendly nature of the IGI Global platform that is available in the editing process is not only very practical in managing all the different activities that need to be performed, but, above all, it is very useful in assisting with the edition process.
IGI Global is grateful for the opportunity to work with Dr. Margarida Pinheiro and we would liketo thank her and her co-editor Dr. Dora Simões from the University of Aveiro, Portuga, for helping IGI Global cultivate and disseminate emerging concepts and theories in Higher Education.
For more information please check out their book, as well as the following related publications and recommend them to your library:

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