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Thoughts on learning cycle policies in Brazil

Among educational reforms implemented in Brazil on behalf of quality in education in the last years, those introducing cycles are possibly the ones that have more potential for accomplishing the purpose of democratizing education. When learning cycles question and challenge the educational and social project on which compulsory schooling is dominantly based on, they confront prevailing values, among which is that of accepting inequalities as a result of individual differences. As measures to prevent students from failing, learning cycles put an end to the fragmentation arising from grading and. They imply changes to the conception of time, space and school culture itself, with the purpose of assuring that the great number of students who were until not long ago excluded from basic school may continue education and acquire socially relevant knowledge. This paper aims at locating learning cycles introduction policies within the context of Brazilian education. Its points out the different meanings given to them by experiences in state and municipal school systems, the issues that result from its implementation, and makes considerations on their results and impacts. It is based on a review of academic studies on the subject, from 1990 to today.


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