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TitleCommunity participation and innovation for overcoming school failure and dropout: the voices of professionals engaged in inclusive socio-educational practices
Author(s)Lúcio, Joana Catarina Dias
Antunes, Fátima
KeywordsSocio-educational practices
School failure
School dropout
Place-based education
Socio-educational innovation
Issue date4-Sep-2018
Abstract(s)Proposal Information This paper discusses preliminary results of a broader research project, focusing on the voices behind a set of socio-educational practices, developed in Portugal, aimed towards overcoming school failure and dropout, giving particular attention to the local and innovative dimensions. This research strives to understand the points of view of the several actors involved, about which factors, processes and relationships contribute the most to building successful inclusive practices. From previous research, we understand that the viewpoints of different participants about some of these practices can contribute to elucidate why, and in what aspects, they are welcomed by the students, or which processes and rationales inspire the questions advanced by the teachers. Aspirations to ‘another education’, the understanding of critical dimensions of practices on the field and efforts to change socio-educational relationships can be apprehended among the actors involved in the practices (Sá & Antunes, 2012). School failure and dropout became an educational and socio-political issue in a context wherein the school asserted itself as an institution for the socialization of the species (Candeias, 2009), as it expanded its action across virtually every country in the world and every child and young person (and adult) in each country, during an increasingly long period of the life cycle (Ramirez and Boli, 1987; Perrenoud, 2000). The European Union, in the Education & Training 2010 Programme (Council of the European Union, 2002) adopted the benchmark of no more than 10% of young people dropping out of school early. In this framework, school failure and dropout acquired a higher socio-political, academic, scientific and educational priority, visibility and centrality, even if with some specificity according to each country’s historical and institutional background. Portugal is one of the EU state-members with higher levels of early school leaving and the one that most significantly reduced these scores over the past fifteen years (European Commission, 2017). Nevertheless, there is still room to question the theoretical and empirical grounds of such policies and practices, and to discuss their contribution to our understanding of educational processes. As many countries, Portugal has, since the 1980s, been the stage of a series of policies, programmes and practices developed with the purpose of overcoming school failure and dropout. Assessments on these issues highlighted a contextual and diverse appropriation of said policies; the teachers' perspectives about students; and the multiple rationales underlying their conception and implementation (Canário, Alves and Rolo, 2001; Neves, Ferraz and Nata, 2016). More recently, an external evaluation highlighted how one of the above mentioned programmes contributed to reducing dropout and grade retention in participating schools, even though subsequent data raises some uncertainty regarding the latter aspect (Figueiredo et al, 2013). Another researcher argued in favour of the positive effects of said programme in reducing dropout rates, detecting a more modest effect on student's academic outcomes (Dias, 2013). However, the factors influencing school failure and dropout are well known as processes resulting from the interaction between individual, institutional, contextual, family-related and school-related dimensions. There is research about the policies, programmes and practices aimed at these socio-educational problems (Frandji et al, 2009; Ross, 2009; Dale, 2010; Rochex, 2011; Raffo, Dyson and Keer, 2014) and there is knowledge about successful practices in preventing and/or overcoming school failure and dropout (UB/CREA and UM/UEA, 2006; Ross, 2009; Edwards and Downes, 2013; Flecha/Include-Ed Consortium, 2015). Research on inclusion has also pointed out the community’s role within the school, that is, the relevance of community-based local strategies as the framework for change within the school (Abellán, 2016; Hargreaves, Boyle and Harris, 2014; Fullan and Boyle, 2014; Flecha and Soler, 2013; Hargreaves and Shirley, 2012).
TypeOral presentation
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CIEd - Comunicações em eventos científicos internacionais

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