The April revolution and the contribution of education to changing 'Portuguese realities'

Stoer, Stephen Ronald (1983). The April revolution and the contribution of education to changing 'Portuguese realities'. PhD thesis The Open University.



The subject of this thesis is educational mobilization in Portugal during the decade of the seventies. Rather than present an exhaustive account of the educational events that took place during the decade, the thesis attempts, firstly, to disentangle the complex web of occurrences in the field of education, and,secondly, ·to present an interpretation of three major educational events and their relationship to the changing nature of the Portuguese state.

Inevitably the crowning event of the decade of the seventies,the April revolution of 1974, comes under considerable scrutiny. This brought to an end the Salazarist regime, which was incapable of coming to terms with the, eventually overwhelming, problem of decolonization. It also marked the beginning of a serious attempt to extend and deepen the effects of the (1971-3) Veiga Sima reform in education, which, in acting as a pivot for debates on the development and modernization of the country, found itself mediating the demands for chance emerging from civil society. This is described in Chapter 2.

Chapters 3 and 4 describe how the April revolution stimulated very far reaching processes of democratization in education, both within the realm of relations of management within the school and in terms of what actually counted as education (that is, its redefinition in the light of the 'rediscovery' of 'Portuguese realities'). The fading of the project that was 'Portugal in transition to socialism', embodied in the process of 'normalization' which characterized the latter years of the decade of the seventies, is approached and assessed, in Chapter 5, through a study of the intervention of the World Bank in Portuguese higher education.

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