Evaluating the Portuguese National Reading Plan: teachers’ perceptions on the impact in schools

Abstract

This article focuses on teachers’ perceptions of the implementation and impact in Portuguese schools of a wide-ranging and long-term reading promotion programme. The Portuguese National Reading Plan (PNRP) was a public policy initiative whose purpose was to increase literacy levels and reading habits among the population. The Plan identified schools as its priority and launched a series of nationwide projects to target schools. The evaluation of this programme, based on mixed methods, focused on teachers’ perceptions as the central issue because teachers were key actors in the PNRP and their involvement was crucial to the achievement of the programme’s goals. Teachers considered that the PNRP had a relevant impact on school activities and students’ attitudes but were more cautious concerning students’ reading skills. The results that are presented in this article can contribute to a wider discussion regarding the involvement of teachers in national educational policies in which they are key agents.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The Portuguese education system is divided into the following levels: pre-school (3 years of age to school age), basic 1st cycle (6–9 years of age), basic 2nd cycle (10–11 years of age), basic 3rd cycle (12–14 years of age), secondary (15–17 years of age) and higher education. In this article, we use the following terminology for clarity: pre-primary (3 years of age to school age), primary 1st cycle (6–9 years of age), primary 2nd cycle (10–11 years of age), lower secondary (12–14 years of age), upper secondary (15–17 years of age) and higher education. Further information regarding the organizational structure of the Portuguese educational system and on educational assessment in Portugal can be found in Fernandes (2009).

  2. 2.

    In the methodology and results sections of this article, “school” means an organizational unit with its own administrative and management bodies, comprising educational establishments in the same geographical area with one or more levels of schooling and a shared pedagogical project.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Office of Educational Statistics and Planning at the Portuguese Ministry of Education. However, the content of this article represents only the views of the authors. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this article.

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Correspondence to Ana Rita Coelho.

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da Costa, A.F., Pegado, E., Ávila, P. et al. Evaluating the Portuguese National Reading Plan: teachers’ perceptions on the impact in schools. Educ Res Policy Prac 14, 119–138 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10671-014-9171-y

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Keywords

  • Programme evaluation
  • Evaluation methods
  • Teachers’ perceptions
  • Reading promotion