"Trust" has been considered since 1980s an important social capital resource producing consequences for both the effectiveness of the school and its capacity to engage in improving efforts focused on academic learning. My PhD research aims at investigating the importance of this concept in the reality of a Participatory Institutional Evaluation policy, pervaded by the principles of "negotiation" and "participation" of school community members in the process of defining what is educational quality. When we started to analyze field data, the existing theories on trust have proved to have crucial limitations. It does not consider that education has other purposes beyond achieving narrow and "technical" goals of proficiency in language and maths, and does not analyze how trust develops inside plural environments. From that angle, collective work is a collective affiliation to pre-established goals. This is because it is tied to the perspective of "cohesion" and "consensus" embedded in the "social capital" theories and policies, which highlight the "reciprocity" pattern and overlook the "redistribution" and "recognition" patterns, contributing to the consolidation of unequal power structures and social injustices. Unlike that, we advocate collective work is a process pervaded by deliberation, negotiation and conflict, whereby every people have their needs, capacities and voices recognized. Therefore, I need to deepen my knowledge about alternative sociological references better suited to conceiving trust through the democratic perspective tied to recognition of diversity and the accomplishment of social justice. The dialogue with Professor Sharon Gewirtz from King´s College London will contribute a great amount to that purpose.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: