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Teacher selection in Brazil: a study of the concurso examination in public secondary schools

De Carvalho, Roussel; (2018) Teacher selection in Brazil: a study of the concurso examination in public secondary schools. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In Brazil, teacher selection for state secondary schools is centralised and standardised, without the participation of schools, resulting in a hiring process that heavily emphasises subject knowledge and academic qualifications. This process is called the concurso examination. Considering the existing gap in the Brazilian academic literature on teacher selection, and the pressing need to attract more people into the teaching profession to recruit, screen and select the best candidates, this study sought to understand the concurso as the instrument which executes this selection, and its potential links with the notion of teacher quality. A comparative casestudy approach as both epistemology and methodology was used to support the research design. The conceptual framework developed proposes an ideology of selection shaped by specific features and assumptions of the concurso and informed by participants’ views and understandings. Thus, the study relied on 61 interviews with teachers, school principals, teachers’ union representatives, and high-level political stakeholders in order to capture and articulate their unique voices about the concurso. A thematic analysis was conducted, and its findings indicate five underlying concepts: the need for the valorisation of teachers, a ‘perceived’ quality associated with the issue of meritocracy, as well as a sense of trust in a process assumed to be democratic due to a pervasive fear of corruption. These findings lead to the idea that in Brazil, the concurso is an inevitability sustained by legislative markers and informed by socioeconomic, political, cultural and historical influences. The concurso must be understood as a complex social process where it is conceptualised as ‘instrument’ – addressing a need for impartiality with the intention of preventing corruption; as ‘policy’ – aiming to valorise teachers through merit and job-stability but which instead creates a two-tier system of concursados and non-concursados; and as ‘ideology’ – helping to maintain the status-quo of the concurso.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Teacher selection in Brazil: a study of the concurso examination in public secondary schools
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061672
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