32 SES 07 A, The Role of Leaders and Networks for Schools as Learning Organizations
Brazil still has serious educational problems. High illiteracy rates, since initiatives to reduce this phenomenon have not been successful. Stagnation in the improvement of the progress through school (flow rate), as since 1998, the rates of school failure and the gap between ages and grades have remained high. The low quality of education offered in Brazilian public schools, as shown by the Basic Education Assessment System, given that a large proportion of students completing the 5th grade of elementary school do not acquire basic reading and math skills. (IBGE, 2017; Fernandes, 2016; Gabrielli, 2016).
In 2007, the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research (INEP, 2017) created the Basic Education Development Index (Ideb), an indicator that uses a scale from zero (0.0) to ten (10.0), with a historical series beginning in 2005. The Ideb score is the combination of two educational factors: a) Flow rates (annual pass, failure and dropout rates) as measured by the School Census, and b) Performance indicators in standardized examinations from the Ministry of Education. In numerical terms, this means progressing from the national average of 3.8, registered in 2005, in the first phase of elementary education, to an Ideb of 6.0 in 2022.
The results published in September 2016, referring to Ideb 2015, show that public schools in Brazil exceeded the targets set for the early years (1st to 5th year) of elementary school, since the established target was 5.0 points, whereas 5.3 points were obtained (INEP, 2017). However, what the figures from INEP show is that only a few schools have achieved the target set by the federal government and maintained their performance over the years.
Hence, the purpose of the present study is to identify and analyze the organizational practices adopted in high-achieving public schools. In other words, identify what people ‘actually do’ and ‘how things happen’ in high-achieving public schools.
Theoretical Framework - Organizational Practices
In this study, organizational practices are understood as a set of organized human activities and material arrangements that make up a network (the organization), defined by the understanding of how to do things, its rules and its teleoaffective structure (Schatzki, 2002; 2005; 2006). Organizational practices are what people ‘actually do’ and ‘how things happen’ in organizations (Santos, Alcadipani, 2015; Misoczky, Moraes, 2011; Certeau, 2008).
Rules are the explicit formulations that prescribe, demand, or instruct what is to be done and said and, therefore, direct the doings and sayings of any given practice. In this context, an understanding refers to knowing how to do, knowing how to do or say things and how to understand and instigate actions of the same kind in others - they are the skills used to perform actions or to get others to perform actions that are deemed desirable they want to see executed. The existence of a common understanding contributes to the organization of a particular practice to the extent that the understanding pertains to the practice itself, that is, it becomes something established in practice and therefore composes it. The teleoaffective structure is an array of ends, projects, uses (of things), and even of emotions that are accepted or prescribed for the participants of the practice (Schatzki, 2002; 2005; 2006).
This study adopted the multiple-case study method as the research strategy. Case studies represent the preferred strategy when posing ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions when the researcher has little control over events and when the focus is located in contemporary phenomena within some real life context. To paraphrase Yin (2005), each school is the subject of an individual study, but the study as a whole spans several schools and so a multiple-case method is used. This study used direct observation and semi-structured interview. All the interviews were recorded with prior written permission from each participant. Six municipal elementary schools participated in the research: Amazonas Municipal School, Pará Municipal School, São Francisco de Assis Municipal School, Palmares Municipal School, Professor Antonietta Motta Bastos Municipal School and Damião Medeiros Municipal School. They are all high performance schools. The research began in May 2015, before the result of the last Basic Education Development Index (Ideb) and finished in September 2016. Two moments were defined: 1) interviews with principals, vice principals and shift officers; 2) interviews with educational supervisors, educational counselors and teachers. When interpreting the texts from the interviews, the analysis process was divided into three phases: Pre-analysis; Exploration of the collected material, and; Data processing, which also includes inference and interpretation.
That three categories stood out during the interviews: (1) The process of choosing principals: is through elections every three years. According to principals, the participation of employees, teachers and parents in the process of choosing the principal is fundamental for the development of the work in school, as this community must trust the person who is responsible for leading the school and, in turn, the principal needs the support and confidence of the community to carry out the activities necessary for the proper functioning of the school. As pointed out above, the managers are chosen through elections. From Schatzki’s (2006) perspective, this is the basic rule that instructs the functioning of a school. (2) The process of choosing the school’s organizational activities: The legitimacy obtained by the Principal, at least in part, is due to the type of process by which the Principals are chosen. This same legitimacy will probably allow decision making to be more concentrated in the principals, which, as previously mentioned, has the trust of the community. More centralized decision-making was also highlighted by vice principals and reinforced by supervisor and an educational counselor. (3) The commitment to the students: Parents and the surrounding community, a third category emerged ‘commitment to learners’. There is an emphasis on parental involvement in children’s school and family life. All the principal, teamwork of school and teachers interviewed pointed out the parents’ participation in the school and the practices used to bring parents to the school, such as: contacting them immediately when the student does not attend school, and the family gave no notice; contacting the family immediately when it does not attend meetings arranged with the school management; and visiting the family home if the members do not respond to phone calls or notes sent through students.
Certeau, M. A. (2008). A invenção do cotidiano: Artes de fazer. Petrópolis: Vozes. Fernandes. D. A. (2016). Marginalização conduzida pelo analfabetismo e pela (in)dignidade da pessoa humana. Revista Direito e Paz, 2(35), 21-35. Gabrielli, M. (2016). Educação e desigualdades: o analfabetismo como reforço à iniquidade e exclusão. Revista Veras, 6(1), 60-68. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE). (2017). Educação: taxa de analfabetismo das pessoas de 15 anos ou mais. Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais (INEP). (2017). Ideb – Apresentação. Misoczky, M. C. A.; Moraes, J. (2011). Práticas Organizacionais em Escolas de Movimentos Sociais. Porto Alegre: Dacasa Editora. Santos, L. L.; Alcadipani, R. (2015). Por uma Epistemologia das Práticas Organizacionais: a contribuição de Theodore Schatzki. Organizações & Sociedade, 22(72), 79-98. Schatzki, T. (2002). The site of the social: a philosophical account of the constitution of social life and change. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Schatzki, T. (2005). The sites of organizations. Organization Studies, 26(3), 465-484. Schatzki, T. (2006). On organizations as they happen. Organization Studies, 27(12), 1863-1873. Teixeira, F. M. (2013). Alfabetização científica: questões para reflexão. Ciência & Educação, 19(4), 795-809. Yin, R. K. (2005). Estudo de Caso. São Paulo: Bookman.
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