EDUPLACES – Educating Places: Practices, Voices and Pathways of Inclusive Education



FCT - Foundation for Science and Technology


Project reference



Partner institutions

CIEd/University of Minho (Coord.)
CIIE/Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Porto
CETRAD/University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro
CIEO/University of Algarve


Principal Investigator (PI)

Fátima Antunes (CIEd/University of Minho)


CIIE/FPCEUP research team

Tiago Neves (Local Coord.)
Isabel Menezes
Armando Loureiro
José Pedro Amorim



33 months
Start date 1-4-2016 – End date 31-12-2018





Previous research undertaken by members of the EDUPLACES team has pointed out that the processes of cooperative involvement (of teachers, students, families), empowerment, mediation and democratic quality were transversal to socio-educational practices that, in adverse social contexts, contribute to building successful academic pahtways. Other studies have raised questions about the merits of some curricular policies and measures aimed at school failure and dropout, and about the quality of learning provided to students. The research and knowledge available at the national and international level draws attention to multidimensional factors and causes behind the processes of school failure and dropout, and to multiple policies, programmes and practices aimed at overcoming such processes. However, the understanding about the issues that we wish to study is relatively narrow: the points of view of implicated actors; the construction of successful academic pathways by young people experiencing remobilization in the framework of inclusive socio-educational practices.
This project proposes a multicase study of eleven units of observation, in four Portuguese municipalities, throughout three phases/years, undertaken by a team of fifteen researchers. In each context, socio-educational practices are selected on the basis of: criteria grounded in relevant literature, information provided by institutional representatives (semi-structured interviews; documents: activity and assessment reports…) and other relevant data (e.g statistics). The characterization of each practice is a result of the analysis of gathered information, so as to produce a portfolio of socio-educational practices to overcome school failure and dropout.
In the second phase/year, the analysis of each case is amplified by gathering extensive information on the perspectives and voices of significant actors directly involved in each inclusive socio-educational practice, using individual and collective semi-structured interviews to representatives of the practices under study, young people, families, teachers and other professionals. We will also undertake and record direct observations of the situational and experiential dimensions of these inclusive socio-educational practices.  The goal is to capture the common dimensions, as well as the diversity and specificities of the local combinations of processes and dynamics. We expect to obtain a panel of monographs and an analytical typology of socio-educational practices to overcome school failure and dropout.
In the third phase/year, the analysis will explore, in four case-studies, the relationships and dimensions of the construction of extensive collective and collaborative educational and learning processes suggested by the categories of 'learning community' and 'community of practices'. We will develop individual and collective interviews, as well as direct observation of relevant situations and activities. We expect to contribute to document the way in which these processes can support innovative, place-based responses to socio-educational needs in difficult conditions and contexts.
To answer the second research question, a panel of young people will be organized. These are individuals who, after an irregular academic pathway and in the context of inclusive socio-educational practices, experienced an interruption of the negative spiral of school failure and dropout, and who are completing (or have completed) successful academic pathways. Using in-depth interviews, the purpose is to gather information from these young people that will allow an understanding, in their own words and perspectives, of the factors, processes and social, institutional and biographical dimensions of their remobilization towards learning and building successful academic pathways. We expect to construct profiles of atypical academic pathways, in order to explore and capture these young people's perspectives, feelings, attitudes and decisions in regards to education, schooling and school dropout.