23 SES 12 C, Education Policies and the Politics of Equity
The year of 2006 witnessed the implementation, in Portugal, of what may be called a nationwide compensatory education programme: the TEIP programme, that is, Territórios Educativos de Intervenção Prioritária (English translation: Educational Territories for Priority Intervention), which shares important similarities with the French ZEP (Zones d’Éducation Prioritaires) and the UK’s Education Action Zones. Indeed, the rationale behind this kind of compensatory education programmes fits the notion that although “educational inequalities are fundamentally due to family and social handicaps, and therefore their nature lies outside the school”, in the families and in the wider social context, schools nonetheless have a major role to play in fighting such inequalities (Férnandez, in Ferreira and Teixeira, 2010). To be sure, this raises the question of whether it is, or should be, expected that both children and their parents abandon their identities and lifestyles at the school’s gate (Ferreira and Teixeira, 2010). Also, it needs to be considered that, in 2011, only 56% of the Portuguese population between 25 and 34 years old had completed secondary education, whereas the average of completion of secondary schooling in the OECD countries is 82% (OECD, 2012). In any case, it is undeniable is that the TEIP programme deals with the crucial issue of knowing whether education can compensate for society (Bernstein, 1982; Gorard, 2010), stressing the role of education in curtailing social inequality (Barbieri, 2002). This is to be done through tackling a number of issues that are deemed to afflict particularly some underprivileged territories and populations. Specifically, the TEIP programme has four objectives: improving academic results; reducing dropout and retention rates; improving the relationship between schools and the labour market; promoting a closer connection between schools and communities.
Existing research indicates that academic results have improved and dropout rates have been falling. In their turn, the relationships of the schools with the labour market and the surrounding communities do not appear to be benefiting from the programme (Rolo, 2011; Lopes et al., 2012; Abrantes et al, 2013). However, these studies deal with small samples and, as such, are unable to offer a reliable wide picture of what is going on.
In this mixed-methods study we are concerned with a single goal of the TEIP programme: the improvement of academic results. We focus on TEIP secondary schools. There are four main reasons for choosing this topic: i) it is an insufficiently studied topic; ii) academic results are an important mechanism for assessing the learning process (Allen, 2005); iii) academic results are important for social mobility, to begin with regarding admission to higher education (Duru, 1986; Frempong et al., 2012); iv) there is quantitative data available that enables a detailed, thorough, longitudinal analysis of the topic. In brief, we will:
i) track the progression of academic results in all Portuguese TEIP secondary schools from 2001 (that is, beginning before they were involved in the programme) until 2013;
ii) present data resulting from the discussion of the above results with the head teachers from all the TEIP secondary schools in the Porto metropolitan area.
Finally, these results will be discussed in the light of research on the effects of similar programmes carried out elsewhere in Europe (Rees, Power and Taylor, 2007; Rochex, 2012).
Abrantes, P.; Roldão, C.; Amaral, P.; Mauritti, Rosário (2013). Born to fail? Some lessons from a national programme to improve education in poor districts. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 23(1), 17-38. Allen, J. (2005). Grades as Valid Measures of Academic Achievement of Classroom Learning. The Clearing House, 78(5), 218-223. Barbieri, H. (2002). Os TEIP, o projecto educativo e a emergência de ‘perfis de território. Dissertação de Mestrado em Ciências da Educação, especialização em Educação, Desenvolvimento e Mudança Social. Porto: Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto. Bernstein, B. (1982) A educação não pode compensar a sociedade. In Sérgio Grácio e Stephen Stoer (Orgs.) Sociologia da Educação II. A construção social das práticas educativas. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte, 18-31. Duru, M. (1986). Notation et orientation: Quelle cohérence, quelles conséquences? Revue française de pédagogie, 23-37. Ferreira, I. e Teixeira, A. R. (2010). Territórios Educativos de Intervenção Prioritária. Sociologia: Revista do Departamento de Sociologia da FLUP, XX, 331-350. Frempong, G., Ma, X., and Mensah, J. (2012). Access to postsecondary education: can schools compensate for socioeconomic disadvantage? Higher Education, 63(1), 19-32. Gorard, S. (2010). Education Can Compensate for Society – a bit. British Journal of Educational Studies, 58(1), 47-65. Lopes, J. T (org.) (2012). Escolas Singulares: Estudos Locais Comparativos. Porto: Edições Afrontamento. OECD. (2012). Education at a Glance 2012: OECD Indicators. Brussels: OECD Publishing. Rees, G.; Power, S. and Taylor, C. (2007). The governance of educational inequalities: The limits of area-based initiatives. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 9(3), 261-274. Rochex, J.-Y. (2012). La politique ZEP en France, laboratoire des politiques d’éducation? Revue française de pédagogie, 177(4), 5-10. Rolo, C. (2011). Territórios educativos de intervenção prioritária: de onde vêm? Para onde vão?. Atas do V Encontro do CIED – Escola e Comunidade, Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa, 18 e 19 de Novembro de 2011
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.