Educational Policy and History


At the end of the course students will be able to:

1) Describe the process and dynamics of the construction of national education systems in the European context, and especially the Portuguese case;

2) Identify the educational inequalities resulting from mass schooling and the resulting positive discrimination policies;

3) Explain current educational policies in the light of the contexts of transnationalization and territorialization / municipalization policies;

4) Define the process of regulation of educational systems in a historical perspective;

5) Reflect on the public policies of education in a comparative perspective, in the multiplicity of the intervention scales: macro (national and international policies), meso (regional and municipal policies) and micro (local policies and practices and school dynamics);

6) Analyze relevant research in the context of educational history and policies.


General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sílvia Maria Cândido de Almeida


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


Justino, D. & Almeida, S. de (2016). Justino, David & Sílvia de Almeida, 2016, Inspecionar e avaliar: origens da regulação coerciva da educação em Portugal. Educação, Sociedade & Culturas, 47, p. 31-51. Acessível em: 

Maroy, C. (2013). Politiques et outils de «l’école de la performance»: accountability, régulation par les résultats et pilotage. In C. Maroy (Ed.), L’école à l’épreuve de la performance (pp. 13-31). Brussels: De Boeck.

Meyer, H. & Benavot, A. (2013). PISA, power, and policy. The emergence of global educational governance. Oxford: Oxford Symposium Books.

Mundy, K., Green, A., Lingard, B.  & Verger, A. (2016). Handbook of Global Education Policy. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Teaching method

The articulation of expository, demonstrative, interrogative and active methods is preferred, using the exposition and demonstration of empirical data to elucidate the contents and concepts. The interrogative and active methods compete for the participation of the students, sometimes in debates in the class, or in the accomplishment of proposed exercises.

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. History and sociology of national education systems

1.1. Education policies as public policies

1.2 Origins of state intervention in teaching

1.3 Systems of education and the construction of the nation-state. Origin and development of coercive schooling policies

1.4 The construction of the Portuguese education system

1.5 Educate for what? Freedom and social discipline

1.6 Primary school curriculum: comparative perspective


2. Massification and equity

2.1 The universality of access to massification

2.2 Theories of social reproduction

2.3 Positive Discrimination Policies


3. Decentralization policies: educational actors

3.1 School autonomy policies: from the municipality to the school

3.2 Curriculum Flexibilization Policies

3.3 International policies and transnationalization of education


4. Regulatory policies and systems

4.1 Origins of coercive regulation

4.2 External evaluation of schools

4.3. Emergency of national tests

4.4 Transnational regulation



Programs where the course is taught: