Maria José Broeiro Gonçalves

Biographical note

Maria José Broeiro Gonçalves is a doctoral student at CeiED and holds a Master’s degree in Education – Educational Administration and Organization (2009, by FCUL), a Master’s degree in the Teaching of Physical Education (2013, by FMH), a degree in School PE and Special PE and Rehabilitation (1987, by ISEF) and a teacher trainer certified by the CCFCP in the areas B01 Educational Administration (2010) and C18 School Sports Practices (2005).

Secondary school teacher (1984) with top leadership experience (director of a mega grouping) and intermediate (all positions). Author and coordinator of numerous school and European projects (educational success; indiscipline; citizenship; intergenerational relationship; interdisciplinarity).

Education: school leadership, educational success, promotion of discipline, reduction of school dropout, strategic partnerships, school projects, european projects, involvement of students in school and external evaluation of schools.

Teaching: physical education, school sports, health education and interdisciplinarity and intergenerational relationship;

Systems Leadership; School Leadership; Educational Success; Strategic Partnerships; External Evaluation of Schools; Paradigm of Complexity

Individual doctoral project

State of development of systems leadership in Portuguese schools
Professor Ana Paula Silva


Education is one of the main drivers for the social and economic development of societies. Schools are responsible for preparing their students as future citizens. However, schools are complex social entities where various structures and multiple actors are interrelated: students, teachers, operational and technical staff, parents, and guardians, and the community in general.  Everyone contributing to the same purpose: the academic success of its students.

As complex organizations, schools must be able to engage everyone in the process to achieve established academic objectives through an open systemic approach. Leadership plays a fundamental role in improving this intricate organization focusing on the quality of teachers, defining their goals and responsibilities, strategically managing available resources, and developing extensive collaboration with partners outside the school. As stated by Edgar Morin, “the universe is a cocktail of order, disorder, and organization” and, through such complexity, leaders must concentrate on the totality, on the networks, and on the connection and reunification of the parties. In this way, one will become a systems leader.

Considering the potential school leadership contribution for students´ success, the complexity of such an organizational entity, and the importance of a systems leadership in fostering the involvement of the school community for educational success, we define the questions that are guiding our research work.

Starting question is: What is the degree of development of systems leadership in the portuguese public education system? And the sub-questions: How can school leadership contribute to educational success? How can strategic partnerships support school leadership in the development of your school organization?

To answer these questions, we started by carrying out a single case, exploratory, empirical study in action research. A mixed approach, with qualitative (documentary analysis) and quantitative (descriptive statistical treatment of the collected data), was applied. This case study aimed to understand the role of top leadership in a group of schools in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region and considered the degree of educational success achieved. After analyzing the work done by the director/researcher of this group of schools, we concluded that his leadership style was systems leadership. Systems leadership is the object for analysis for the two empirical studies designed for this research project: a multiple case study and an extensive questionnaire study, which we hope will answer our questions and support our research objectives and hypotheses.

Keywords: School Leadership; Educational Success; Systems Leadership; Strategic Partnerships; Paradigm of Complexity.