Sociology of Education


To develop sociological skills and research abilities focusing educational and school realities, questioning superficial explanations; To promote basic sociological knowledge about the educational processes and school organizations, mobilising research results and using proper methods of sociological analysis; To understand and contribute within a sociological perspective to the debates around various school and educational issues.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Davide Scarso


Weekly - 3

Total - 58

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Ana Nunes de ALMEIDA e Maria Manuel VIEIRA, A Escola em Portugal: Novos Olhares, Outros Cenários, Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, Lisboa, 2006.

Rui CANÁRIO, O que é a Escola? Um olhar sociológico, Porto Editora, porto, 2006.

Raymond QUIVY e Luc CAMPENHOUDT, Manual de Investigação em Ciências Sociais, edições Gradiva, Lisboa, 1992.

Ana BENAVENTE (coord.), Alexandre ROSA, António Firmino da COSTA, Patrícia ÁVILA, A Literacia em Portugal: resultados de uma pesquisa extensiva e monográfica, edição Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian/Conselho Nacional de Educação, Lisboa, 1996.

Pedro ABRANTES (org.), Tendências e Controvérsias em Sociologia da Educação, Editora Mundos Sociais, 2010.

João Teixeira LOPES, Tristes Escolas – práticas culturais estudantis no espaço urbano, edições Afrontamento, Porto, 1996

Teaching method

The main teaching strategies include: oral exposure by the instructor or by a student or group of students; organization of classroom debates; viewing and commenting on short films in the classroom; research on different types of information sources and media and their organization; individual or group analysis of data and facts about school and educational realities.

Evaluation method

A) Student final grading and assessment includes:

1) Participation in classroom activities (30%).

2) Writing of a final essay (10 to 15 pages),
on a topic agreed upon with the instructor, concerning issues addressed in the Curricular Unit and with references to the materials analyzed in the course (70%).

Obtaining a classification lower than 10 values ​​will imply, as an appeal mechanism, a final exam in the form of a written test, without consultation, on the contents covered throughout the semester.

B) The evaluation of students who, in accordance with official "Assessment Rules", are exempt from attending classes (eg the "Student Worker" status) includes:

1) Several reading reports on essays from the Syllabus'' bibliography and at least one oral presentation in the classroom (15%).

2) Writing an
individual final essay (10 to 15 pages) aimed at demonstrating the acquisition of knowledge and skills defined in the Syllabus (65%).

3) Presentation and oral discussion with the teacher of the final essay (20%).

Students who are in this situation should contact the instructor during the first 3 weeks of the semester in order to define a support and tutorial regime.

Subject matter

1 - The sociology of education in the framework of social and human sciences
. Specificities and resistances of the sociological approach
. School and education as an object of sociology
. Research Methods and Techniques
2 - Social transformations and education
. The school form of education: socio-historical perspective
. Lifelong learning
3 - Social inequalities in education
. Sociological variables of social class, ethnicity and gender
. The school-family relationship and family educational strategies / practices
. Youth cultures and school and social aspirations and projects
. The role of school and teachers in constructing school inequalities
4 - Themes and debates
. Equal opportunities and equity in education
. Literacy and lifelong learning
. Indiscipline and violence at school
. Education, economic, social and human development


Programs where the course is taught: