Curriculum flexibility policies expressed in school timetables in Portugal. From prescribed curriculum to practiced curriculum

Sílvia Almeida, Paula Félix, Sílvia Ferreira, Ana Rodrigues


In Portugal, like in other European countries, the curricular policies developed since the 1980s and 1990s have been highlighting the role of the school as a central space for educational action and the role of the teacher as the main actor in this process. In this sense, measures for curricular contextualization have been implemented since the introduction of the Curriculum Flexible Management Project in 1997 and the introduction of the National Curriculum in 2001.
Twenty years after the introduction of the Curriculum Flexible Management Project and as the Portuguese Ministry of Education is now resuming previous policies for curricular flexibility, it is important to think about the National Curriculum recontextualization in a country that was strongly centralized until 2001.
As a central object of this study, the prescribed curriculum was analysed, focusing on the political guidelines and how schools/teachers incorporated them, taking as analysis basis a sample of school timetables of grade 5 (ISCED 1). The timetables show how time is being managed during compulsory education in terms of subjects/disciplinary areas and which knowledge is being selected for the curricula implemented by the different schools – the curriculum in action.

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Euro-JCS is indexed in CAPES/QUALIS (Category: Education |  Classification: B3)

ISSN: 2182-7168



Associação Portuguesa de Estudos Curriculares (NIPC: 506240061)

Instituto de Educação da Universidade do Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

The journal is associated with the European Association of Curriculum Studies.