28 SES 06 A, Convergence, heterarchies, and association in international and European education policy
This paper investigates the changes in the ways the private sector interferes in public education. The study departs from the transformation of educational policies and practices under the influence of managerial models. It shows the progressive disfigurement of the public dimension of education institutions and draws on Europeanisation to explore the development of new organizational models. Despite the concept of Europeanisation being considered as broad and vague as globalization (e.g., Kassim et al., 2000), it is widely employed to describe a variety of phenomena and, more importantly, processes of change (e.g., Lawn & Grek, 2012). In this paper, Europeanisation means the processes through which the political dynamics of the European Union (EU) are incorporated to national politics, becoming part of the discourses, organizational logics and the policy-making of a particular domestic level. These political dynamics include ‘formal and informal rules, procedures, policy paradigms, styles, ‘ways of doing things’ and shared beliefs and norms’ (Radaelli, 2003, p. 30).
Instead of exploring how one or more European countries incorporate the EU political dynamics with regards to the public-private interactions into their domestic political arena, this paper crosses the Atlantic and aim to investigate how the private ideas were incorporated in the Brazilian education governance. Therefore, this research focuses on the ‘exporting’ face of Europeanisation described by Olsen (2002), which acts as a process of diffusion of the European ideas elsewhere.
Previous literature emphasizes international influences over Brazilian education from transnational organizations (e.g., UNESCO, World Bank, and, more recently, OECD), American organizations (e.g., USAID), and regional organizations (e.g., Inter-American Development Bank – IDB) (e.g., Shiroma, 2014; Borges, 2008). Additionally, some researchers write about how Brazilian scholars incorporated international ideas visiting cutting-edge universities in the United States and in Europe in the last century (Kauko et al., 2016), the circulation of knowledge enabled through European immigrants, who settled in Brazil in the end of 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, and the participation of Brazilian decision-makers in a variety of international meetings and events across the globe. Interestingly, however, there are other less explored international influences, such as the institutionalization of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in education (see Robertson, 2009; Robertson et al., 2012), which were imported from Europe to Brazil. Since the 1990s, EU has signed different agreements not only with Brazil, but also with other Latin American countries (see Börzel & Risse, 2012), and Mercosur, the South American common market. This European influence contributed to the Brazilian engagement in a knowledge-based economy (see Gomes et al., 2012). In this sense, Europeanisation offers an important theoretical and analytical perspective to investigate the public-private interface in Brazilian education governance.
I describe education governance based on different approaches (e.g., Ozga, 2009; Maroy, 2009; Rose & Miller, 1992) and my investigation concentrates in the period that starts with the end of the Brazilian military dictatorship to the current days. The focus of this paper with regards to the public-private interaction is twofold. First, I explore the use of PPPs in education. Second, I analyse the private interference in public education through the evaluation policies, which introduced the use of data to education governance and were highly influenced by OECD, an important agent of Europeanisation (Lawn & Grek, 2012). My research questions are the following: 1) what is the role of Europeanisation in the integration of private ideas in Brazilian education governance?; 2) how PPPs, evaluation policies and the use of data contribute to the increase of private interaction in Brazilian public education?
I employ different sources and types of data in my research. To address my first research question, I rely on a literature review (see Petticrew & Roberts, 2006) based on the Brazilian scientific database SCIELO, which is not only relevant but also open access. I analyse interview data to reply the second research question. Brazil has more than 5000 different education systems, which comprise over 48 million students distributed in the 186,1 thousand schools of basic education (INEP, 2017). To operationalize the research, I study the state of Santa Catarina, located in Southern Brazil (6.2 million inhabitants). Besides being the only Brazilian state to order an education report from the OECD, Santa Catarina was recognized as the forerunner Brazilian state in 2010 PISA. Since 2005, it has been the top-performing Brazilian state in the national Index of Basic Education Development (IDEB). Its capital, Florianópolis (0.4 million inhabitants), has had active evaluation developments, such as the performance testing (Prova Floripa) which has been annually applied since 2007, and has recently raised an IDB education loan. I conducted 34 semi-structured interviews in Santa Catarina with key-actors in the local education field, including representatives from the state and municipal governments, educational board, foundations, associations, and private companies. I also observed activities performed in state and municipal governmental organizations (around 50 hours), and analysed documents from national, state and municipal government, and domestic and transnational organizations. Observations and document analysis contributed to data collection and interpretation. I use qualitative content analysis (see Schreier, 2012) to analyse the interviews, employing a systematic approach with the development of a coding frame that combine data-driven and theory-driven codes.
The preliminary findings indicate some diffusion of ideas originated in Europe to Brazil, even though Dale (2009) emphasizes that such traveling of ideas is rather complex to be called ‘export’. The PPPs are widely present across Brazil and in the education field in the state of Santa Catarina. Evaluation policies are based on a governance through data model, which is highly influenced by results-based management. In addition, I also identified some different political developments in Santa Catarina education that are based in private management and constitute a new organization model that combines resources from the public and the private sectors. The analysis is in progress and I intend to explore further such political developments and organizational models in the light of Europeanisation. So far, the analysis indicates that the education governance in Santa Catarina follows the principles of New Public Management, and the public-private interactions that seem to give a rational character to the educational organizations. This research contributes to the enlarge the understanding of the Europeanisation phenomenon through the investigation of the circulation of European ideas across the globe, particularly in Brazil, looking for convergence or divergence in international policy spaces.
Beech J (2002) Latin American education: Perceptions of linearities and the construction of discursive space. Comparative Education 38(4), 415–427. Borges A (2008) State government, political competition and education reform: Comparative lessons from Brazil. Bulletin of Latin American Research 27(2), 235–254. Börzel, T. A.; Risse, T. (2012) From Europeanisation to Diffusion: Introduction. West European Politics, 35(1), 1-19. Dale, R. (2009) Os diferentes papéis, propósitos e resultados dos modelos nacionais e regionais de educação. Educ. Soc., 30(108), 867-890. Gomes, A. M.; Robertson, S. L.; Dale, R. (2012) The social condition of higher education: globalisation and (beyond) regionalisation in Latin America. Globalisation, Studies and Education, 10(2), 221-245. INEP (2017) Censo Escolar da Educação Básica 2016. Notas Estatísticas. Brasília: INEP. Kassim, H.; Peters, B. G.; Wright, V. (eds.) (2000) The National Co-ordination of EU Policy: The Domestic Level. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kauko, J.; Centeno, V. G.; Candido, H. H. D.; Shiroma, E.; Klutas, A. (2016) The emergence of quality assessment in Brazilian basic education. European Educational Research Journal 15(5), 558-579. Lawn, M.; Grek, S. (2012) Europeanizing Education: Governing a New Policy Space. Oxford: Symposium Books. Maroy, C. (2009) Convergences and hybridization of educational policies around ‘post‐bureaucratic’ models of regulation. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 39(1), 71-84. Olsen, J. P. (2002) The many faces of Europeanization. Journal of Common Market Studies, 40(5), 921-952. Ozga, J. (2009). Governing education through data in England: from regulation to self-evaluation. Journal of Education Policy, 24(2), 261-272. Petticrew, M.; Robert, H. (2006) Systematic reviews in the social sciences: a practical guide. Oxford: Blackwell. Radaelli, C. (2003) The Europeanization of Public Policy. In: Featherstone, K.; Radaelli, C. (2003) (eds.) The Politics of Europeanization. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 27-56. Robertson, S. L. (2009) Unravelling the politics of public private partnerships in education in Europe. In: Dale, R.; Robertson, S. L. (eds.) Globalisation & Europeanisation in Education. Oxford: Symposium Books. Robertson, S. L.; Mundy, K.; Verger, A.; Menashy, F. (eds.) (2012) Public Private Partnerships in Education New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World. Edward Elgar Publishing. Rose, N.; Miller, P. (1992) Political power beyond the state: Problematics of government. British Journal of Sociology, 43(2), 173–205. Schreier, M. (2012) Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice. London: SAGE. Shiroma, E. O. (2014) Networks in action: new actors and practices in education policy in Brazil. Journal of Education Policy, 29(3), 323-348.
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