The teacher’s training: an important element for 

innovation and improvement of educational centers

La formación del profesorado: elemento fundamental para la innovación y mejora de los centros educativos


*Director de Posgrado y Docente Titular Agregado Tiempo Completo

de la Facultad de Cultura Física, Universidad Central del Ecuador

*Docente Titular Agregada Tiempo Completo de la Facultad de Filosofía, Letras

y Ciencias de la Educaciónde la Universidad Central del Ecuador

*Docente Titular Auxiliar Tiempo Completo, Coordinador de la Carrera de Trabajo Social

Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanas, Universidad Central del Ecuador

*Docente Titular Auxiliar Tiempo Completo de la Carrera de Psicología Educativa y Orientación

de la Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación

de la Universidad Central del Ecuador.

*Docente Titular Auxiliar Tiempo Completo de la Facultad de Cultura Física

de la Universidad Central del Ecuador

PhD. Ángel Freddy Rodríguez Torres*


MSc. Eloísa Jacqueline Altamirano Vaca*


MSc. Antonio Rubén Chicaiza Farinango*


MSc. Milton Eduardo Benalcázar Galarza*


MSc. Eduardo Arturo Aguirre Obando*








          Innovation is an intentional process whose purpose is to improve the quality of learning based on the specific needs of the educational center, but this will not be achieved if teachers are not involved. The objective of the research is to describe and analyze how teacher training contributes to educational innovation and to the improvement of the educational center, for which a systematic bibliographic review was carried out. This change is only possible when the teacher is motivated, assumes its role and is involved in this process, so it is necessary to professionalize it and have a scientific and pedagogical understanding what you want to change; And this contributes to implementing profound changes in the teaching - learning process; To achieve this, it is necessary to have a stable teaching staff that can work collaboratively and in networks of professionals.

          Keywords: Teacher training. Educational innovation. Center improvement.



          La innovación es un proceso intencional que tiene como finalidad de mejorar la calidad de los aprendizajes sobre la base de las necesidades concretas del centro educativo, pero esto no se logrará si no se involucra el profesorado. El objetivo de la investigación es describir y analizar como la formación profesorado contribuye en la innovación educativa y en la mejora del centro educativo, para lo cual se realizó una revisión bibliográfica sistemática. Este cambio sólo es posible cuando el profesorado está motivado, asume su protagonismo y se implica en este proceso, por lo que es necesario profesionalizarlo y tenga una comprensión científica y pedagógica lo que se quiere cambiar; y esto contribuya en implementar cambios profundos en el proceso enseñanza – aprendizaje; para lograr esto es necesario contar con un profesorado estable y que pueda trabajar de manera colaborativa y en redes de profesionales.

          Palabras clave: Formación del profesorado. Innovación educativa. Mejora institucional.


Reception: 03/19/2017 - Acceptance: 05/28/2017


1st Review: 05/05/2017 - 2nd Review: 05/26/2017


Lecturas: Educación Física y Deportes, Revista Digital. Buenos Aires - Año 22 - Nº 228 - Mayo de 2017. http://www.efdeportes.com/

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    There are a great variety of innovation projects that have been implemented in schools. It can be pointed out that "the main problem is not the absence of innovation in educational institutions, but the presence of too many unrelated, episodic, fragmentary, and superfluous projects" (Fullan, 2002, p.53).

    Educational innovation is an intentional process of change (Moreno, 2000), carried out by a teacher or a group of teachers who modifies contents, attitudes, ideas, cultures, models and introduces new methodologies or uses new resources and technologies in the process of teaching and learning and which "natural" place of development is the classroom (Murillo, 2002, Anderson, & Shattuck, 2012, Education, & Mean, 2013).

    Innovation requires builders and non-road followers, to mobilize the imagination and commitment of those who wish to build "something different," or "doing differently" what is done ordinarily (De Souza et al., 2005).

    Innovation generates changes in educational processes, teaching practice and results. And for that change is required, to understand its complexity and what aspects should be considered for its implementation. Therefore, the teacher must be involved and predisposed to change, he plays an important role in any innovation process since he is the one who puts it into practice in its teaching management.


    To accomplish this work, we have taken into account some considerations applicable to the revisions, proposed by Sánchez & Botella (2010). It is intended to answer how teacher training influences educational innovation and the improvement of the educational center. To achieve this goal, a study search was conducted taking into account the following selection criterion: the existent works that refer to teacher training, educational innovation and center improvement. Once the criteria for the selection of studies were established, the search process was carried out.

    An exhaustive review of the scientific literature of 64 bibliographic sources was carried out; the materials were research articles, theoretical articles, books and doctoral theses during the period 1995-2017. The search tools used to make the review were ISOC (Social Sciences and Humanities), Redalyc, Dialnet and Google Scholar with the following keywords: teacher training, educational innovation and improvement of educational centers.

    It was made an interpretative review of the information, distinguishing between research studies and theoretical works. Regarding the analysis of the information, this was carried out in an inductive way. As the material was studied, it came up different elements related to the teacher’s training and its impact on innovation and improvement of the educational center. In order to facilitate a better understanding and exposition of these issues, they were divided according to a double vision: from the perspective of theory and from the perspective of the person who innovates (teacher) and contributes to the improvement of the educational service (Abad, Benito, Giménez & Robles, 2013; Sánchez, 2010).

What do we call educational innovation?

    According to the Spanish Royal Academy the determined concept for innovation, is that it is conceived as the "action and effect of innovation".

    Educational innovation is generated in school institutions and has some elements that should be considered such as: the alteration of things (Riesco, 2013); which is linked to creativity (De la Herrán, 2009) and has an intentionality and tries to modify attitudes, ideas, cultures, contents, models and pedagogical practices (Carbonell, 2001). It promotes changes that can be managed by a teacher or a group of teachers to modify the learning environment, contents, ways of seeing and thinking disciplines, strategies deployed and the ways of organizing and linking each discipline with another. It introduces new methodologies and means of communication, it uses new resources and technologies to evaluate the teaching - learning process which "natural" place of development is the classroom (Murillo & Muñoz, 2002; Shapiro, Henrik & Bayer, 2007; it implies a change that seeks the improvement of an educational practice; it is a deliberate, organized and planned effort aimed at qualitative improvement of educational processes; it entails learning for those who are actively involved in the innovation process (Margalef & Arenas 2006); to improve the quality of the student’s learning (Blanco, 2005) and achieve transformative action in the world (UNESCO, 2016).

    For the Ministry of Education (2017) innovation is defined:

    As the process of change in which an educational institution incurs, where it seeks to give a true transformation to the reality that experiences and depends on the level of depth and the type of changes you are looking for. The purpose is to engage in a cycle of innovation, a spiral of changes, which purpose is for the student's learning process to become increasingly significant, understood as the act of going to the deepening of the acquired knowledge, the developed skills, the enhanced values and the educational process in which it is linked (p.1).

    De la Torre (1997) contributes with four new aspects related to innovation:

    Educational innovation is a multidimensional process where technological advances, globalization of markets, global politics, new social trends, new values, new social practices and others affect different contextual levels, from the classroom level to the educational center (Salinas, 2004, Salinas, 2008, Castillo & De Benito, 2008). Therefore, innovation becomes a widespread need, since society is constantly changing and requires organizations and individuals to adapt, to review their ways of acting and to seek maximum coherence in relation to the needs of the environment, and be approached with different strategies (Garín, 2003, p.11). Innovation introduces changes and produces improvement, these changes respond to a planned, deliberative, systematized and intentional process, not simple novelty, momentary changes or visionary proposals (Salinas, 2004). Therefore, it requires builders and non-road followers, to mobilize the imagination and commitment of those who wish to build "something different", or "to do differently" what is done in an ordinary way (De Souza et al).

    The changes can come from different forces, regardless of where they come from they basically disturb. They cause fear related to the loss of: security, ability, relationships, territories and direction.

An innovative educational center

    Improving schools do so primarily because they understand that the classroom is the core of change (Hargreaves and Fullan, 2014). And it is an opportunity and an excuse to reflect on the practice as a means to promote improvements in schools (Gairín, Armengol & Muñoz, 2010).

    Some theorists define some characteristics the educational centers that innovate have (Blanco, 2006; Hopkins, 2008; Murillo & Krichesky, 2014; Marcelo, Mayor & Gallego, 2010; Arencibia & Moreno, 2010; Aramendi, 2010a; Aramendi, 2010b; Sánchez And Murillo, 2010, Santizo, 2009, Pont, Nusche & Moorman, 2009, Bolivar, 2015) as follows:

Educational innovation generates changes

    Innovation must generate processes of change. The following aphorisms help us to understand the concept: a) we cannot hide ourselves in order not to change. Change is inevitable; b) although we resist change, it is challenging us permanently; c) Change is to live. Change is so important that not changing is being condemned to death; d) Changing thinking about change is the most difficult and attractive challenge that exists; e) We do not change by methods, but we do not change without them; f) It is more difficult to change at an older age; g) We can see the change in the others. But not in us, this is the blind spot of change; and, h) the effects of change cannot be predicted, although we can know its causes. (De Souza et al, 2010, p.90).

    The process of school change begins when a member of the school community, a member of the management team or a teacher, concludes that he has to "do something" to change the educational situation and initiates a process of transformation (Sepúlveda, & Murillo, 2012, p.7) These authors conceive change as "any process that implies alterations from an initial situation, modifications that can be both intentional, managed and planned as natural. Likewise, changes are the result of such processes. "

    Fullan (2002) indicates that "the implementation of educational change implies change in practice" (p.69). Therefore, it is taken into consideration to: a) the possible use of new or revised materials; b) The possible use of new didactic approaches; and c) The possible alteration of beliefs.

    Murillo & Krichesky (2012) state that in order to design and sustain a process of school change, it is necessary to know at least the nature of the change, as well as the stages through which educational centers develop improvement programs (p.41). As can be seen in the following table.

Table 1. Basic assumptions to face a process of school change

School’s change processes

  • Do not assume that your version of what the change should be is what can or should be implemented.

  • Understand that any significant innovation requires for the individuals implementing it to develop their own sense of it.

  • Assume that schools are - usually - conservative institutions (we are people too).

  • Understand that big changes start with small efforts.

  • Understand that conflict and disagreement are not only inevitable, but are imperative for change to succeed.

  • Assume that pressure is required for people to change, but pressure will only be effective under certain conditions.

  • Be patient. Effective changes take time. They are processes that demand a continuous evolution. A moderately complex change requires between 3 and 5 years. One more complicated between 5 and 10 years.

  • Do not believe that the cause by which implementations are not developed is an open rejection of the values ​​that the change entails or a resistance to any attempt at improvement.

  • Accept that you cannot stay well with everyone; there will always be those who resist change.

  • Be alert! Things often change so that everything stays the same.

  • Do not expect all individuals and groups to change.

  • Assume you will need a plan based on the above assumptions which takes into account the known factors that affect the implementation.

  • Recognize that, as much as you know, your knowledge will always be insufficient to clarify exactly what measures should be taken.

  • Understand that the real goal is to change the culture of institutions, not to implement isolated developments.

Source: Murillo & Krichesky (2012)

    Although the processes of change are complex, these types of recommendations can be guidelines for addressing them.

    The improvement of the school is a systematic and continuous effort to effectively meet the needs of 21st century students by changing the learning conditions and other associated internal conditions in one or more schools, with the ultimate objective of achieving the educational goals, more effectively "(Murillo & Muñoz, 2002; Kampylis, Bocconi & Punie, 2012). It is also conceived as a series of concurrent and recurrent processes by which an educational center optimizes the integral development of students, by increasing the quality of the educational service and its teaching staff (Murillo & Krichesky, 2014).

    Schools that have a culture of improvement develop and are more likely to succeed than centers that often try to avoid change and fear innovation. In this way, the culture of improvement can be considered as the basis of all the processes of change of the educational centers (Sepúlveda & Murillo, 2012)

    In order to have a change, we must consider some realities that occur in the educational center, such as the cultural roots of teaching practices, ways of influencing the center's political decisions, declarations and processes for the development of innovations and reforms that affect each of the educational institutions, prestige or dominant social and economic practices at a given time and place, professional beliefs, management modes and contents of the problems of schools ... are some of the elements that interact to create, or not, the correct conditions to change (García, 2005).

The main character of educational innovation

    The success of the transformations that are carried out in the educational centers is necessarily due to the cognitive and affective involvement of the teaching staff, who from their personal and professional characteristics can design and execute positive change actions within the framework of their pedagogical practice, But this can be achieved through the professional development of teachers that contributes to school improvement (Vaillant & Marcelo, 2015).

    Teachers are the main characters and authors of educational innovation. Therefore, they must be involved for the changes to be profound, lasting and transformative. It is very important that the changes make sense for them, so, they respond to their concerns and needs (Blanco, 2006; Rodríguez, Pozuelos & García, 2012). A center is difficult to improve if teachers do not change and, in that line, teacher training has revealed itself as a strategy for change and a key factor for the success of the programs. However, it is important to emphasize that the training must be linked to the center and the students' own needs to improve the learning quality of the students and the achievement of learning standards (Murillo, 2003, Ríos, 2009, Company, Gómez & Perandones, 2009, Commission of the European Communities, 2007, Rodríguez, 2015). This training commits teachers to transform some of their conceptions and practices around pedagogy, methodology and didactics to find new ways to meet the needs and interests of their own contexts (Castro & Martínez, 2016; Hopkins, 2008). Teachers have predisposition, attitude and eagerness to see what is not working well and change the reality (Arencibia & Moreno, 2010).

    Teachers experience change both personally and professionally. In fact, change depends on the thoughts and actions of teachers, which means that the role of teacher development is not only a process but one of the desired results in the improvement of the school. Essentially the improvement of the school depends on the participation of teachers and has major implications for their own development (Stoll and Fink, 1999, p.238).

    Reynolds et al. (1997) state that the school will not improve if teachers do not evolve individually and collectively. Although teachers can develop their own practices, if the school as a whole aims to evolve, there must be many opportunities for teacher’s development so that teachers can learn together. Teacher’s training has emerged as a strategy for changing and a key factor in the success of the programs. However, it is important to emphasize the need for the teacher’s training to be linked to the center and its needs (Murillo, 2003).

    Bolivar (2009) proposes that any change requires teachers to become professional:

    "All the educational reforms of the last decades have included in their priority proposals that the exercise of education can become more" professionalized "as a prerequisite to increase the desired educational improvement. Placing teachers as the key to the success of educational changes, it is proposed to transform the roles and conditions of teaching professional practice. On one hand, political rhetoric links the key mission of teachers, on the other hand, the controls of new educational policies and the prescriptions of the experts contribute to make them less professionals"(p.32).

    Zabalza & Zabalza (2012) state that there is no innovation without training, so it is necessary to have sustained processes of teacher’s training and all the persons involved. And it must meet two basic requirements, being permanent and relevant: i) permanent: is often thought that with a conference, workshop, seminar, etc., the teacher is in a position to implement innovation. Unfortunately, this is not the case, since there must be an adequate planning to ensure its sustainability. (Ii) Relevant: consistent with the spirit of innovation. It would be desirable for any innovation proposal to always include a parallel training proposal for innovation.

    Therefore, in order to achieve quality education, it is necessary to transform "classroom work", where teachers are responsible for fostering a learning community through methodologies that favor authentic, intriguing, situational activities, considering the context. This allows to have a better holistic understanding of the problems of life, while the students propose creative and innovative solutions, and the evaluation is a space for reflection on their learning and the aspects that should be improved (Bain, 2007; Rodríguez & Naranjo, 2016). In order to develop innovative teaching practices and approaches to creative learning, it is crucial that the training process prepares new teachers to become reflective professionals able to discern how a teaching method or activity can activate creativity in their students (Kampylis, Bocconi & Punie, 2012). So, today, it is a challenge for teachers to learn new ways to manage the classroom and encourage students to learn based on inquiry. But in order to achieve this, it is necessary to have high-quality training processes that are supported by the change of mentality and the student-teacher interaction that the teaching requires and allows them to encourage scientific inquiry in the classroom (Rodríguez, Chicaiza ,Granda, Reinoso & Aguirre, 2017).

    Elmore (2010) indicates that the goal is not only to improve the practices and performance, but to "teach people working in the organization to think and act on learning for continuous improvement" (p.138). The changes that occur in the educational center depend on what teachers do and think they believe, as described by Stoll and Fink (1999):

    In the study carried out by Rodríguez (2015), it is stated that the teacher’s training is fundamental for the implementation of innovation processes in the center, due to the following:


    Innovations should consider that teachers are a fundamental pillar for all educational change so the following should be considered:


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