The Direct Election of School Principals in Brazil: Educational Administration and Democratic Control

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Other Title
  • ブラジルにおける校長直接選挙
  • ブラジルにおける校長直接選挙 : 行政的専門性確保と民主的コントロールの関係
  • ブラジル ニ オケル コウチョウ チョクセツ センキョ : ギョウセイテキ センモンセイ カクホ ト ミンシュテキ コントロール ノ カンケイ
  • ―行政的専門性確保と民主的コントロールの関係―

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Abstract

<p>  In Brazil, primary and secondary public schools have a system of direct election of school principals by teachers, school staff, parents and students. This paper clarifies the relationships between educational administration and schools in Brazil which is the base of direct election of school principals, focusing on one of Brazil's southern states, Paraná, where the first direct election of school principals in Brazil was implemented in 1983. This is done through analyzing interview data and the background of the legal systems in Paraná. This paper also provides viewpoints as to the mechanism of direct election, which has been unrecognized outside of Brazil and the relationships between educational administration and democratic control in Brazilian educational systems.</p><p>  In the first section, the situation of Brazilian school principal is discussed focusing on the relationship with teachers and school boards. In Brazil, teachers often work two or three shifts a day in two or three different schools while the school principal is in charge of the school. The payment of teachers depends on the economic situation of states or cities and they often go on strike or demonstrate because of ill treatment. In regards to the authority of school principals, historically, no administrative, pedagogical or financial authority is given to schools. However, this situation has changed since the 1990s. Educational reform has led to schools being able to decide their educational plans. In addition to this, School Board (Conselho Escolar), which consist of a school principal, representatives of teachers, school staff, students and community members, has been newly created. Now, in Paraná, the school board is the highest decision-making body.</p><p>  In the third section, the direct election of school principals in the 1980s and how its legislation transpired is analyzed. Brazil has been under a military regime since 1964. However, in the latter half of the 1970s, because of an economic crisis, many social movements have been expanded for the purpose of the popularization. Diretas Já, social movements demanding the direct election of the president, is the most symbolical movement. Here, it is important to point out that the social movement in Brazil at that time has characteristics such the need for public space, the creation of communities, direct connections, and prefer direct democracy. As well as in this social situation, in the area of education, teachers demanded not only a pay increased but also a better school and a better social. At that time, school principals were mostly selected by governors, city mayors, or assembly members and such principals often have not received any teacher training, any attention to students or school community, but rather, dedicated themselves to getting votes from politicians who had the power to elect them as principal. Because of this, they were considered as the root of the whole problem. For the sake of eliminating the relationship between politics and schools, teachers demanded the direct election of school principals in the Labor Movement.</p><p>  In Paraná, there already existed the direct election of school principals, which was initiated in 1969 by the APP (Professional Teachers’ Association of Paraná), in which teachers could make a list of three candidates for a school principal through a vote, then submit it to the State Secretariat for Education to select one ultimately. Throughout the 1970s, APP and State Secretariat for Education in Paraná (SEED) have developed this system to involve parents and students as voters, which was influenced by social movements. The first election of school principals was conducted in 1983 through Decree No. 455 (April 13th, 1983) and a second one was through Law No. 7.961 (November 21st, 1984).</p><p>  Comparing the first and second regulations, the following (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)</p>

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