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2011 - 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society Words: 249 words || 
1. Afonso, Natercio. and Costa, Estela. "School evaluation policies: The case of Portugal" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2019-09-18 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The policy instrument under consideration is the external evaluation of public schools (EES) carried out in Portugal since 2005. The research focused on how the instrument was received, translated and adapted to the school´s specific context, and how the knowledge transfer took place. A multilevel public action approach, a focus on policies rather than politics, and the concept of knowledge as a social process were the main theoretical options.The design was a case study based on a document analysis (inspectorate database) and interviews conducted with key informants in one school. The analysis highlights the importance of grasping the processes of collective action through the interrelationships established among the actors who take part in the design, development and implementation of the instrument. We find 'embodied' knowledge as the knowledge held by the actors, and 'encoded' knowledge as the knowledge held in artefacts like documents. As embodied and encoded knowledge need to be enacted to be meaningful (Freeman, Smith & Sturdy, 2009), a re-enactment ritual takes place, in which the knowledge goes to the school and is reinterpreted. The enactments (meetings, interview panels, etc.) lead to an encoded knowledge that, in the end, will be re-encoded (thanks to the contributions of the members of the evaluation team) in the form of a report. Configuring new governance practices, the EES is used as a benchmark device in the evaluation of school management. It supports a regulation policy based on social sanctions and socialisation processes, aiming at new powerful mechanisms of rule compliance.

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