Education Systems and School Cultures


This seminar focuses on a dual perspective of the relationship between education and development: the macro level, of contemporary mass education systems and their dynamics; the meso level, the institutional school settings expressed through their educational cultures (professional cultures, learning and knowledge organization, organizational cultures and relational cultures). It is intended that students:
a) acquire skills of analysis and interpretation of the scientific literature on the key areas of education sciences;
b) develop ways of thinking the problems of education in the diversity of their backgrounds (social, cultural and historical);
c) develop the capacities to reflect an integrated approach of the educational problems in the different scales of observation and analysis, from individual to organizational, from school organizations to macro-systems;
d) to master the fundamentals of the main theories of the social sciences and education studies.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Cláudia Susana Valadas Urbano, Susana Paiva Moreira Batista


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 140

Teaching language





Apple; M; Ball; S.; Gandin, L (2010).The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education. Routledge.

Archer, M. (1979) Social Origins of Educational Systems. SAGE

Barroso, J. (2006). A regulação das políticas públicas de educação. Educa

Boli, J, Ramirez, F.; Meyer,J.(1985).Explaining the origins and expansion of mass education. Comparative Education Review, 29(2), 145-170.

Bourdieu,P.; Passeron; JC.(1970) A reprodução - elementos para uma teoria do sistema de ensino, Vega.

Diogo, A.; Diogo, F (2013) Desigualdades nos sistemas educativo. Percursos, transições e contextos. Mundos Sociais.

Teddlie,C.; Reynolds, D.(2003).The international handbook of school effectiveness research. Falmer Press.

Seabra, T. (2009). Desigualdades escolares e desigualdades sociais. Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas, 59,75-106.

Torres, L. L (2008). A escola como entreposto cultural: o cultural e o simbólico no desenvolvimento democrático da escola.Revista Portuguesa de Educação, 21(1),59-81

Teaching method

In face-to-face classes, theoretical exposition for content systematization by the teacher alternates with active and collaborative work between students. Operating in seminar mode, the teaching-learning process presupposes that students work outside the classroom context, so that they can bring their questions and doubts and participate in the classroom.

Evaluation method

 Practical group work with reflection resulting from classroom activities and around a central concept of the Seminar. It involves a pitch presentation and a critical essay with a written creative proposal (60%).

An individual practical work of approximately 4 pages with critical reflection on the contents of the course and analysis of concrete cases (involving research and/or reflection on teachers' professional contexts and practices). (40%)

Subject matter

1. History and theories of national education systems
1.1 Origins and foundations of state education
1.2 Comparative education of national education systems
1.3 Nationalization and denationalization of education systems and educational policies.
2. Massification, equity and social inequalities in education.
2.1 Theories of social reproduction in education
2.2 Massification and equity facing social inequalities.
3. School cultures and educational dynamics
3.1 Culture as an expression of school knowledge: curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in teachers´ professional cultures.
3.2 Organizational culture and leadership systems.
3.3 Relational Culture and educational communities.