Democratic Schools for an Authoritarian Regime: Portuguese Educational and Architectural Experiences in the 1960s

  • Gonçalo Canto Moniz
Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 9)


During the Portuguese dictatorship (1926–1974), the former president Oliveira Salazar started to slowly open the regime to European policies after World War II. In 1960, the Minister of Education, Leite Pinto, integrated Portugal in the OECD Mediterranean Regional Project, which was created to improve the educational system in developing countries.

This educational and planning policy was an opportunity to rethink the design of school building, according to the debate and the practices being developed in Europe, namely, in England. The participant countries – Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia – promoted a set of activities to increase their knowledge, focused on educational planning, architectural education, prefabricated construction and open classroom practices. In this context, between 1964 and1968, the Portuguese Work Group for School Buildings presented the first standardized projects for primary, preparatory and secondary schools that were built all over Portugal until 1984.

This chapter will analyse this democratizing process of the authoritarian educational system focusing on four topics: (1) the educational policies and their implementation, (2) the design methodology concerning the architectural paradigms and the pedagogical practices, (3) the school buildings and learning spaces design and (4) the connection between design and governing behaviour.


Democratic education Architecture schools Mediterranean regional project Pavilion typology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonçalo Canto Moniz
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Social Studies, Department of ArchitectureUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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