Organizational issues in the first graded schools of Lisbon (second half of the 19th century)

Carlos Manique da Silva

Abstract


This study is focused on the graded schools of Lisbon (Casa Pia and municipal schools) in the second half of the nineteenth century. The aim was to understand how the dysfunctions of the graded school model were being «corrected». Indeed, it was inconceivable for the model to be contested (as the research shows), – it simply had to work better. The greatest organizational difficulty in such schools resulted from the teacher’s task of looking after students with different cognitive levels and needs. During the 1880s, this classroom heterogeneity resulted in several classroom management problems in the institutional context of the Lisbon Casa Pia, even though the graded school model had proved its effectiveness there in the 1860s. Among other measures introduced to counter such problems, the school board was set up with the idea of overcoming organizational difficulties by involving teachers in the decision-making process. However, the extremely strict criteria that needed to be met to pass onto a higher grade hampered the flux of students in the municipal schools of Lisbon, making grade retention an ordinary procedure – particularly in the first grades. The school boards proposed several solutions to this problem, among which curriculum segmentation. 


Keywords


graded school; Lisbon Municipality; Casa Pia of Lisbon; grade retention

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14516/ete.2016.003.002.017

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