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Title: Moving away from a graded system : a policy analysis of the Cycles of Learning project (Brazil)
Author: Mainardes, Jefferson
ISNI:       0000 0001 3616 9340
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2004
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This study exanunes the formulation of the Cycles of Learning Project and its implementation in a sample of Brazilian primary schools. The policy investigated was designed to reduce retention and dropout rates and age/grade mismatch, provide students with more time to learn and ultimately create a more inclusive educational system. The theoretical framework used in the thesis is based on the 'policy cycle' approach developed by Stephen Ball and his colleagues and Basil Bernstein's theories of recontextualisation and pedagogies. The data, which are largely qualitative, derive from interviews with policy makers, analysis of policy documents and observations of teacher training carried out at the Secretariat of Education. The research also involved qualitative investigation of four primary schools, consisting of interviews with 20 teachers and eight heads and observations of classrooms and schools' activities. Overall the research has found that the policy's implementation has been contested and patchy. The most pivotal findings are as follows: the practitioners were excluded from the policy-making and took little part in text production and policy implementation; the principles of visible pedagogy remained predominant in the pedagogical practice; teachers experienced difficulties in usin~ assessment to provide feedback needed by pupils and when dealing with heterogeneous groups; inequalities of the graded system were reproduced inside the classrooms through processes of internal exclusion; policy difficulties were linked to mode of implementation (top-down orientation) and constraints on the policy as an invisible pedagogy rather than opposition to the policy itself. This thesis demonstrates the need to analyse the mode of implementation and the nature of the policy itself so that the process of reform can be better understood. It also recommends a set of strategies which might tackle inequalities more effectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available