The Curricular Autonomy of Schools: A Case of a School on the Edge of Europe


In Portugal, Order n.º 6478/2017, of July 26th, created a reference document - the Student´s Profile By the End of Mandatory Schooling, hereinafter referred to as Student’s Profile - which establishes the matrix of principles, values, and the areas of competence that curriculum development must comply with. This document constitutes a reference for all educational and pedagogical decisions and a common orientation for schools and the educational offers they provide, within the scope of compulsory education, with regard to curriculum development, planning and internal and external learning. In line with the Student’s Profile, Decree-Law nº. 55/2018 of July 6th was published, which establishes the curriculum for basic and secondary education, the guiding principles of its design, operation and assessment of learning, giving schools the possibility of making the curriculum more flexible, based on the basic curriculum matrices. This paper is the result of a qualitative investigation that is taking place in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (Portugal), through a unique case study of a basic and secondary school. In this study, we seek to understand the spaces and times of autonomy built by schools and describe the structuring curricular decisions and measures of a pedagogical, didactic, and organizational nature adopted to achieve the Student’s Profile. The school, within the scope of its autonomy, establishes curricular options and defines priorities that are reflected in the strategic management instruments - School Educational Project and School Curricular Project.


Sofia Silva
Student, PhD, Universidade da Madeira, Portugal

Nuno Fraga
Professor, Departamento de Ciências da Educação, Universidade da Madeira, Região Autónoma da Madeira, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Pedagogy and Curriculum