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Elsa Estrela

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Elsa holds the position of Assistant Professor in Education at Lusofona University, where she also serves as Director of the Master of Educational Administration and Regulation of Education.

Elsa is Co-Chair of Public Policies and Governance in Education Research and Learning Community and co-chair of the Crithinknet - Portuguese Network on Critical Thinking. She performs several positions in CeiED, including membership in the Executive Committee, the Ethics Committee, and the Steering Committee. Furthermore, she is a part of the Scientific Commission of the Institute of Education and the Pedagogical Committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Education, and Administration.

Elsa’s research interests stem from her extensive experience as a Portuguese language and literature teacher in secondary school for over two decades. The concerns related to the differences between schools and teachers, including their pedagogical approaches, as well as the construction of the school curriculum, fueled her doctoral research, which entailed a longitudinal study of curriculum history in Portugal. Her area of expertise revolves around curriculum policies, with a particular emphasis on the evolution of curriculum design over the years, including the latest modes of regulation and governance within the education sector.

She has supervised several doctoral theses, Master's dissertations and one post-doctoral study, and frequently works with Master's students and PhD researchers in her research and intervention projects. 

As the Executive Director of CeiED (2019-2023), she was responsible for recruiting staff and researchers, training them in project and science management, and organizing research teams to answer external demands. She has also participated in three summer schools organized by CeiED and co-authored scientific articles with junior researchers. She collaborates in editions of journals, article revisions, and participates in scientific conference committees.

Recently, she was invited to Lusofona to revamp the study plan for teachers' training and introduce new academic disciplines based on interdisciplinarity and cooperative work for both students and teachers. As a part of this effort, a new transversal curriculum unit called Knowledge and Creativity for Innovation was created for all students.

Between 2017 and 2020, she worked in a large community of 19 schools and their municipalities to develop methodological approaches to research and train teachers. She provided training to teachers in compulsory education and conducted over 17 workshops on topics such as democratic and inclusive education, curriculum management, and diversity and differentiation. Additionally, she has been invited to give keynote speeches at schools, universities, and webinars.

In 2017-2018, she coordinated consulting work with two school clusters, and developed two consulting works related to curriculum autonomy and flexibility with a teacher training center which resulted in a publication in 2019. She has also served as an external expert for a school cluster that participated in the Pilot Project for Pedagogical Innovation between 2018-2020, and continues to work as a consultant with the same school. She has participated in television commentary and analysis of the national teachers' strikes and demonstrations (January-April 2023) on six separate occasions.

She participated in several projects, namely Remase (EXPL/CED- EDG/1130/2021) as Co-PI and Euridice (DIGITAL-2022-SKILLS-03-SPECIALISED-EDU) as PI.

Áreas de interesse académico e científico Areas of academic and scientific interest

  • Curriculum Studies,
  • Curriculum Educational Policies

Publicações Selecionadas Selected Publications

  • Estrela, E., Lima, L. (2024). Towards a democratic curriculum: the narrative paradigm to achieve a state of viscosity. Curriculum Perspectives.
  • Estrela, E. (2023). Curriculum as the Fluid for Times of Unsureness: In Between the Solid and the Liquid. In P.P Trifonas, & S.  Jagger (Eds.), Handbook of Curriculum Theory and Research. [Springer International Handbooks of Education]. Springer.
  • Dantas, L., Estrela, E., Yuan, Z. (2022). What Can AI Learn from Teachers and Students? A Contribution to Build the Research Gap Between AI Technologies and Pedagogical Knowledge. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 3(6), 189-198. 
  • Estrela, E. (2020). Inovação e Mudança: reflexões sobre o processo de autonomia e flexibilização curricular em duas escolas da região de Lisboa. Revista Lusófona de Educação, 50(50), 143-160.
  • Estrela, E. (2018). The Knowledge of Policies: The Personal Dimension in Curriculum Policies in Portugal. British Journal of Educational Studies, 67(2), 217-233.