The pedagogical and ethical legacy of a “successful” educational reform: The Citizen School Project

Gustavo Fischman, Luis Armando Gandin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The Citizen SchoolProject(Escola Cidadã) was implemented from 1993 to 2004 in Porto Alegre, capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. This article presents the conception behind the Citizen School Project, the basic mechanisms created to implement and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and some of its contradictions. After contextualising the educational reforms in Brazil during the 1980s and 1990s, the authors demonstrate how the Citizen School Project’s emphasis on participation and democratisation was a radical departure from Brazil’s traditional public education system. Next, they present the three main goals and structures of the Citizen SchoolProject – democratisation of access to schools, democratisation of schools’ administration, and democratisation of access to knowledge. They conclude by discussing some pedagogic, social and political dynamics which appear to be strong legacies of this pedagogical project. The authors also argue that the Citizen SchoolProject has both improved the quality of education in Porto Alegre and is an important contribution to our collective thinking about the politics of “successful” educational policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-89
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Review of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Brazil
  • Citizen School Project
  • democratisation
  • educational reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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