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Título: CONFLICT, AMBIGUITY, AND PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: THE CONSTRUCTION OF A POLICY PROBLEM AND A CASE STUDY OF IMPLEMENTATION
Autor: MARINA MEIRA DE OLIVEIRA
Instituição: PONTIFÍCIA UNIVERSIDADE CATÓLICA DO RIO DE JANEIRO - PUC-RIO
Colaborador(es):  CYNTHIA PAES DE CARVALHO - Orientador
ALICIA MARIA CATALANO DE BONAMINO - Co-Orientador

Nº do Conteudo: 62704
Catalogação:  29/05/2023 Idioma(s):  PORTUGUESE - BRAZIL
Tipo:  TEXT Subtipo:  THESIS
Natureza:  SCHOLARLY PUBLICATION
Nota:  Todos os dados constantes dos documentos são de inteira responsabilidade de seus autores. Os dados utilizados nas descrições dos documentos estão em conformidade com os sistemas da administração da PUC-Rio.
Referência [pt]:  https://www.maxwell.vrac.puc-rio.br/colecao.php?strSecao=resultado&nrSeq=62704@1
Referência [en]:  https://www.maxwell.vrac.puc-rio.br/colecao.php?strSecao=resultado&nrSeq=62704@2
Referência DOI:  https://doi.org/10.17771/PUCRio.acad.62704

Resumo:
This thesis aims to analyze the distribution of English language proficiency in Brazil, as well as to understand the decision-making processes that characterize the implementation of English teaching policies in Rio de Janeiro s public school system. To do so, it connects two theoretical frameworks: the implementation literature and the studies on social educational inequalities and principles of justice aimed at their rectification. Firstly, we mapped the available quantitative data on English language proficiency in Brazil. The analysis suggested that the distribution of such knowledge is unequal, as levels of proficiency seem to be significantly higher for more privileged social groups. English language proficiency, in turn, helps such groups access and/or maintain these positions. When examining foreign language education policies in Brazil, we also identified conflicts over the relevance of language learning in public schools, and disputes over concepts such as language proficiency and citizenship education. At the base of these conflicts lies a broader tension between principles of justice, focused on redistribution (of goods and opportunities) or recognition (of cultural identities). The analysis also pointed out that these policies favored a high level of ambiguity, therefore establishing an experimental type of implementation at the local levels. Such implementation type, combined with low state capacities, contributed to a concentration of English proficiency among a small group of deserving students. Some of the attempts to reduce the levels of ambiguity exhibited by those policies – either at the national or local level – resulted from external influences, rather than a collective construction of their underlying problem. Consequently, conflict over increased standardization was raised. As a second aim, this study seeks to understand how the implementation of policies and changes in English language teaching takes place in such conflicting environment, by analyzing the case of Rio Global Child Program, developed in Rio de Janeiro s municipal school system. Based on document analysis and semi structured interviews with different implementing agents, we sought to identify the conflicts arising from this process, the strategies developed to handle them, and the principles of justice underlying their manifestation. We identified conflicts related to a lack of connectivity and power imbalance between central agents, as well as resistance to implementation at the local level. The strategies devised by the managing agency of the Program to foster adherence to the policy involved bargaining with central agents and providing resources and incentives to local agents. However, strategies failed to reach agreement on the goals of the Program, due to a deep-rooted conflict over different conceptions of justice, and the social relevance of English language teaching and learning in public schools. The case study analysis points out the difficulties in building capacities amid a context of high conflict. It also suggests that there is still a long way to go before all public school students are equitably provided with opportunities for English language learning.

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