CAPES-Print projects

Inequalities, Practices And Institutions: Challenges For Public Policies In The Field Of Education


Public educational policies in Brazil, notably those involving elementary education, are developed in complex contexts that involve the decentralization of powers and competences from the federal level to the subnational levels of government, new forms of federal, state and municipal coordination, transfer of resources, financial induction and accountability mechanisms, as well as the fact that states and municipalities have common competencies in the provision of elementary education. Together, these are factors that provide a plurality of organizational structures, agents, links, processes and mechanisms involved in the current management of a considerable part of Brazilian educational policies, which affect diferently the (re) production and the mitigation of educational inequalities.  

The Graduate Program in Education (PPGE) of PUC-Rio currently houses a series of research projects that address these issues from different empirical and theoretical approaches, in the field of the history of education, the sociology of education, curriculum studies, Teacher Education and intercultural education. The challenge of this project is to articulate this diversity of research approaches conducted under the auspices of the PPGE/PUC-Rio with research on related topics developed in institutions abroad, seeking to contribute to the institutionalization of already existing international partnerships.  

Professors involved

Alicia Bonamino, PUC-Rio (National coordinator)

Choukri Ben-Ayed, Universidade de Limoges, France   (International coordinator)

Cynthia Paes de Carvalho, PUC-Rio 

Jefferson Soares, PUC-Rio

Naira Muylaert, PUC-Rio

Pedro Teixeira, PUC-Rio

Sergio Martinic, Universidade de Aysén, Chile 

Silvana Mesquita, PUC-Rio

Sylvain Broccolichi, Universidade d’Artois, France 

Karina Carrasqueira, National Ph.D Program Scholarship Holder (PNPD)


The central research problem is that of federative coordination in the implementation of educational policies, which include implementation and evaluation processes; and its effects on the structure of opportunities and distribution of educational resources, in a comparative international perspective, in order to characterize the outlines of educational inequalities in different local contexts. In the Brazilian case, the theme of the relationship between federalism and educational policies is of significant importance due to two reasons. 

One of these reasons is that Brazil is a federation characterized by institutional asymmetries and marked socioeconomic inequalities. At the same time, Brazilian federalism is characterized by the granting of a certain degree of autonomy to states and municipalities, which ends up promoting the expression of these diversities and putting into question the possibility of implementing universal social policies that promote equity. 

The second reason concerns the fact that the intergovernmental relations in Brazilian educational policy have intensified since the Federal Constitution of 1988 because the distribution of competences among the federated entities has been more clearly defined and also because the coordination of the federal government has increased, developed through national guidelines and regulations, federal programs that induce local policies, systems of evaluation and information collection, as well as funds for the redistribution of resources often linked to national policies. 

A significant portion of the literature shows that universal social policies are compatible with federal systems based on the coordination of the federal government, exercised through the cooperation implemented in intergovernmental relations. Some of the coordination mechanisms involve redistribution of resources, national regulation and the establishment of national standards. According to surveys, these mechanisms can reduce inequalities between federative units. 

Thus, the Project focuses on intergovernmental relations as one of its fundamental dimensions in order to characterize the federative relationship and its consequences for the implementation arrangements, for the implementing agents and for the results of policies at the local level. 


  • To analyze designs and processes for implementing public policies to tackle educational inequalities and discrimination at school, which involve the governance or coordination of state and non-state agents that operate in the process of producing these policies in each specific national and institutional context.  
  • To establish an international and interinstitutional research network of a permanent nature focused on the processes of implementing educational public policies of an inclusive nature. 
  • To involve researchers from Europe and Latin America around the joint construction of a common research project to be developed in the coming years in Brazil, France and Chile, without prejudice to the gradual incorporation of researchers and institutions from other countries.
  • To investigate issues related to educational inequalities, discrimination, and ethnic, cultural and gender diversity in national and local contexts, contrasting their manifestations in each country.
  • To develop a common conceptual and methodological framework that enables the dialogue between research and the analysis of the implementation of related public policies in different national and local contexts linked to the research network.


  • The foreign coordinator mission in the Graduate Program in Education (PPGE) October 28 and November 5 of 2019): allowed the direct link between foreign researchers from France, Chile and Argentina, and PPGE/PUC-Rio professors and students through seminars, round tables, workshops, lectures and discussions with research groups and other Program researchers, as well as several meetings between the Print project's Brazilian and foreign coordinators. During the mission, two activities were also organized, open to the public, in particular to other Graduate Programs at PUC-Rio. There were also two activities aimed at students of the Pedagogy course and teachers who work in other Teacher Education courses at PUC-Rio. We highlight the round tables held within the scope of the mission:
  • During the visit of international partners, the international seminar The internationalization of Higher Education beyond student mobility: limits and challenges, Professor Choukri Ben-Ayed (Un. de Limoges /France ); 
  • The organization of a thematic special issue of the French journal Revue Éducation Comparée 
  • Visiting Professor abroad: Professor Magda Pischetola, Professor of the PPGE/PUC-Rio between 2013-2020, who acted in 2019 as Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen and at the Aalborg University CPH, both in Denmark.