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Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School 23-25 June 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School 23-25 June 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

2 Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008 Team Project: João Amado (Universidade de Coimbra) (scientific coordinator), Isabel Freire Universidade de Lisboa (project manager), Ana Sousa Ferreira(Universidade de Lisboa)( statistics consultant) Teachers/researchers: Ana Luciano, Carla Santos, Elisabete Ferreira, Emília Silva, Maria da Conceição Prata, Natividade Rodrigues, Sónia Gonçalves and Sibila Henriques. Dates: Out./2007 – Out./2009 Financed by: FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology) Geographic localization: Centre of Portugal

3 Three degrees of indiscipline (Amado, 2001): First degree: those incidents to which a “disruptive” nature is assigned, in virtue of the “disturbance” that they cause in the “good functioning of the class” Second degree: “conflicts” between peers Third degree: “conflicts” in the teacher-student relationship These last situations and behaviours present a smaller frequency than the former, but they are so much troublesome; they are violent indiscipline and sometimes become delinquency and even crime (Amado and Freire, 2002). Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

4 Concerning the causes, among others, those which are related to the students idiosyncrasies, social and family context, externally influenced and of social, economic, cultural, generational nature, etc., those which are related to the personality and professionalism of teachers, and those which are associated with the school as an organisation or the educational system as a whole. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

5 Without neglecting the pedagogical dimension of this issue, we intend to display un approach considering the school as a whole (Rutter et al., 1979, Reynolds et al., 1989, Mortimore, 1992, Gilborn et al., 1993) In the present project, we intend to highlight, above all, the factors connected with the organisation and relational climate inside the schools, which is a matter still scarcely studied in Portugal (Freire, 2001, Estrela, 2002). We will also be attentive to the fact that, presently, schools are organised in groups, which adds a greater degree of complexity to the functioning of school organisations and the interpersonal relationships that are developed inside them. This is an aspect that offers a new field of study, which is still unexplored. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

6 Ethos of a school is the translation of the way culture or the crossing of cultures is lived within a complex organization such as a school; it translates the tone, the character, the mood, the quality of life of a group or an organization (Amado, 1998). As Rutter et al. emphasize (1979, p. 179), "individual actions may combine to create a particular ethos, that is, a set of values, attitudes and behaviours which become characteristic of the school as a whole”. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

7 Schools are perceived as “complex, formal organisations that, as such, include the behaviours of a great set of actors, organised in groups that are interconnected by a structure of authority and a network of relationships that allows that partially finished information, resources and products go from one group to another" (Bates and Murray, 1982, 58). According to these authors, school is structurally organised from two kinds of groups – the "elementary groups" and the "interstitial groups”, the former constitute the “base structural elements” or “social units” (for example, the class, the group of teachers of a certain subject, etc.), the latter, formed by the representatives of the elementary groups, are “connexion groups” that give rise to a network of links in the system’s structure (for example, the pedagogical council, the school and/or school group assembly, the class councils, the board of the parents’ association). It is inside these interstitial groups that the contact between the members of the isolated elementary groups is established. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

8 Design and Methodology The case study was the chosen research strategy for the development of the project, the school being the centre of analysis. The first step consisted of selecting eight case study schools situated in Central Portugal (Leiria, Caldas da Rainha, Pombal, Soure, Vieira de Leiria and Ourém counties). Five of these schools are primary schools, one is a primary and middle school, another a middle and secondary school and another a middle and secondary school. For conducting these case-studies we have selected a mixed methodology, using different techniques of gathering and analysing data. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

9 Design and Methodology 1 st stage: all of the case studies followed a common research direction in preparation for the following stage, that of multiple case studies. These eight case studies aimed to be Master's theses, that are concluded (Ferreira, 2007; Gonçalves, 2008; Henriques, 2007; Luciano, 2007; Prata, 2006; Rodrigues, 2007; Santos, 2007; Silva, 2007). 2 nd stage: the goal is to carry out a ramified multiple case study (Yin, 1989), taking into consideration the different dimensions under analysis, and also a unique case study, taking into account the nuclear aspects of the research, which are the connections between the relational climate in schools, indiscipline and school achievement. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

10 Gathering Data Semi directed interviews 64 interviews (around 8 in each case-school: president of school clusters, school principal, president of the school group assembly and the pedagogical council, PTA president, representatives of class coordinators, representatives of school janitors in the school group assembly, etc.) Ethnographic observation ( inside the classrooms, playgrounds, canteen, etc. ) Questionnaire 540 pupils of the primary schools Documentation Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

11 Qualitative data analysis The interviews' content analysis involves both a deductive (a priori categories, based on the Freire, 2001 categorization system) and inductive (a posteriori categories) categorization process. This process was held in a seminar (with the collaboration of all researchers) and through the confrontation of data from each case; this not only conferred greater “credibility” to the process as well as enabled, at the second stage, the possibility of a transversal interpretation of the data collected. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

12 School ethos – building a data analysis system The enormous amount of data collected from the semi directed interviews led to the grouping of information into themes or axis of analysis which translate different dimensions of the ethos of each case study school. Axis of analysis Interpersonal relationships Disciplinary School-family- community environement relationships Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

13 Interpersonal relationships The analysis of data related to this dimension of the schools' ethos was intended to ascertain the relational climate felt in each school at the level of the different vectors involved. So, we have identified a set of categories, in an attempt to ascertain the quality of that climate: relationship between teachers; relationship between pupils; relationship between teachers and pupils; relationship between school janitors and pupils, etc. Some aspects of the treatment of information concerning the category “relationship between teachers” are exemplified below: Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

14 Relationships between teachers Positive opinionsNegative opinionsConditional opinions Personal relationships Personal contact/good relationships Distant relationships/indifference Depending on the teachers Close/friendly relationships Lack of contact between teachers working in the morning and in the afternoon Depending on school years InteractionLack of interactionDepending on the subject No barriers between older/younger teachers Lack of transparence in personal relationships Abscense of problems/conflicts Bad relationships Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

15 Relationships between teachers Positive opinionsNegative opinionsConditional opinions Professional relationships Cooperation/colaborationLack of cooperation/individualism Depending on the subject Older teachers support younger teachers Lack of transparence Interdisciplinary workDifficult in taking part in interdisciplinary work Occasional dialogue about workBad environment in work groups Teachers’ meetingsLack of commitement/routine Emotional supportWork overload for someone Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

16 Pupil questionnaire – some results of a previous analysis The preliminary data point to some relevant differences between the schools that are the object of this study. For example, regarding the indicator not happy when pupils coming to school, there is an important difference between schools: the highest relative frequency is 22% of pupils and the lowest 7%. There are also some noticeable differences about indiscipline. Most pupils say there is indiscipline in their classroom, despite an important difference between a maximum of 78,7% in one school and a minimum of 60% in another. The cafeteria seems to be the environment where more differences can be observed between schools at this level. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008

17 Research guiding lines and progressive hypothesis The study of multiple cases we developing and the cross-sectional analysis of the different variables studied will surely point out the connexions between the school ethos and the behaviour and attitude of pupils towards school. The results of the case studies already concluded (1 st stage of the project) offer some guiding lines for the current stage of the research: there is likely to be a link between a cohesive school ethos and more adequate behaviours and attitudes in pupils; there is likely to be a link between a proactive and preventive disciplinary environment and the less frequent occurrence of misbehaviour; there is likely to be a link between inconsistent disciplinary action and/or disciplinary action based on punishment and control and the more frequent occurrence of misbehaviour in pupils. Isabel Freire & João Amado 4th World Conference of Violence in School June 2008


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