Ep 12 - Cesar Marques - Teacher transformation

On this episode, we talk about

  1. Vocational schools

  2. Teacher transformation

  3. Conquering student trust


Our guest for episode 12 of experimentQ podcast is César Marques, a physics and chemistry teacher, turned innovator at Almada Professional School in Portugal. We discovered Cesar via the HundrED.org ambassadorship program and he inspired us to shed some light on the vocational schools and the innovators from within the system. A student of a vocational school himself, and later on a physics and chemistry teacher, Cesar got tired of classical lecturing and social stereotypes towards professional school. A couple of years ago Cesar had an aha moment when he realized his love for science could not coexist with a high rate of student failure due to classical teaching. He and his team started to rethink the pedagogical methodology at the school, they focused 60% of the program on soft skills and opened up student projects to local community challenges.

On this episode we discuss the misleading social attitude towards vocational schools, overcoming failure mindset, gaining student trust and innovating pedagogy from within.


Show notes

About the guest

02:35 - Cesar Marques - origins story

03:20 - The accidental path to Professional School in Almada School (EPA)

04:50 - On passions, freedom to innovate and being an educator.

05:35 - New learning experiences in 2018

06:20 - On failure and success. 

07:35 - Life as a trumpet Jazz

The story of teacher transformation

08:55  - Changes at EPA

10:05 - Transforming as a teacher and the love of science

14:05 - Student demographics EPA. Dealing with difficulty 

17:20 - The state of Vocational Schools in Portugal

19:05 - Changing society's mindset towards vocational schools

20:20 - The curriculum change at EPA and proven results 

22:30 - Getting the buy-in for teacher transformation. Junior Achievement 

26:35 - Prototyping the future - European Schoolnet


28:20 - A typical day at EPA

29:35 - On overcoming failure mindset

32:05 - Adjusting to a class's diverse motivations

34:10 - On ways to measure students success

35:35 - Gaining results with new pedagogical methodologies  

36:35 - Community involvement. Open schools for open societies

The future

39:00 - A dream scenario for professional schools

40:35 - Systemic changes - trust and freedom for schools

42:05 - The future of vocational schools in the age of AI / Robotics

Episode summary

49:05 - Advice for educators 

52:05 - Advice for a “failed student”

56:05 - If I was the Minister of Education

59:05 - A message to the world

60:05 - Open mic:  Errors as an opportunity to grow.

1:02:05 - Ways to get in touch.


Video format