Entailing Professional Training and Thesis Development. An Innovation Experience at Universidad SEK Chile
Keywords: Action Research, professional training, thesis development, Universidad SEK
Teaching professional practice and thesis development are usually two independent and unrelated processes. However, some concerns arose at Universidad SEK (USEK) Chile Department of English. Students declared to be overloaded and that working on their theses did not contribute to solving real in-class problems. Professors considered that training was not achieving all the expected results and that theses quality of some students were below expectations. To address these concerns, the English department decided to create a direct and strong bond between these two vital processes through Action Research (AR). Studying this innovation process appears to be relevant as it may lead to a better understanding of its impact and the complexities involved. Consequently, the author aims to value the results of this innovation after five years of its implementation. How do involved agents such as students, professors, supervisors, and mentors ponder this experience? Qualitative information gathered through interviews evidenced some contentment regarding thesis and training improvement, a decrease in the students’ overload perception, renewed motivation, and a positive thesis-training connection. Despite this promising perception, there are still some pending challenges, such as enhancing the spreading of the innovation and the quality of the feedback provided to school mentors.