FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências e Politicas da Educação

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Investigação em Formação de Profissionais de Educação da Criança [EDU-Norte-Braga-644] visitada em 11/01/2008

Classificação: Good

Reapreciação

Na sequência da publicação em Dezembro de 2008 da classificação que lhe foi atribuída pela FCT sob recomendação do painel de avaliação, esta unidade apresentou reclamação e solicitou à FCT uma nova avaliação. Embora não estivessem reunidas as condições necessárias, expressas no ponto 4 do art. 9º do Regulamento do Financiamento Plurianual, a FCT decidiu promover nova avaliação por um painel distinto, uma vez que das 15 unidades da área científica de Ciências e Políticas da Educação para além desta unidade outras 11 apresentaram igualmente reclamação e solicitaram nova avaliação. A classificação acima, que já foi superiormente homologada, é a que resultou desta nova avaliação, em que das 12 unidades envolvidas 2 viram a sua classificação subir de Muito Bom para Excelente, 1 viu a sua classificação subir de Bom para Muito Bom, e 2 viram a sua classificação subir de Regular para Bom.

Os comentários do painel original e os respectivos comentários da unidade são apresentados a seguir a esta secção relativa à reapreciação.

Comentários do Painel de reapreciação

All of the groups here we would rate as good – some of them on the border of very good, but not quite. This also accords with most of the written text provided by the assessors of individual groups. We therefore conclude that this must be grade 3 ‘good’ overall.

In their overall feedback, the Evaluation Panel say that their final grading took account of the fact that most of the research groups performed poorly in terms of international publications in peer reviewed journals and that ‘two of its research groups (516 and 521) performed very poorly and clearly fell below the threshold’. We were not aware in the criteria of any specified ‘minimum threshold’ for international publications; nor was this judgment consistent in relation to many other research Units. We also noted the following in relation to these two groups:

521

We noted the following international publications. Journals: 4 published in Brazil, one in Uruguay and one in Japan. Book chapters: one published in France, one in Brazil.

516

We noted the following international publications. Journals: 2 published in Brazil, one in Spain, one in Austria, one in Poland. Books: one published in Spain. Book chapters: one in Brazil.

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This Unit consists of 6 research groups. The size of the research groups varies between 7 researchers (three groups) and 17 researchers (groups 644-516 and 644-519).
The main weakness of most of the research groups is their publications record in peer-reviewed international research journals. Four of the six groups are particularly weak in this respect. However, groups 644-518 and 644-220 have good productivity.
For the criteria of relevance and feasibility of their research projects the groups have a good performance even very good in certain cases. The only exception is group 644-516, which presents poor evaluation concerning feasibility of research.
As far as the training of new researchers is concerned the research groups performed mixed with some excellent while others only satisfactory. Finally, it should be stressed that in the overall rating of the Unit the panel took into account not only the average of the evaluations of individual research groups but especially the facts that:
a. most (4 out of 6) of the groups of the unit have a publication record in peer-reviewed international research journals that varies between poor and fair and
b. two of its research groups have performed very poorly and clearly fell below the threshold ie. groups 644-516 and 644-221.
The panel recommends that:
1. The ethic of publications in peer-reviewed international research journals (not only in Portuguese language) should be spread among all the research groups of the unit.
2. International networking activities should be re-organised so as to facilitate co-operation in joint publications thus bringing the otherwise interesting results of the groups to the knowledge of wider international audiences of researchers.
3. Research students should be encouraged by training and assessment criteria to adopt several methodological approaches, including quantitative methods.
4. The routines leading to high rates of Masters and PhDs production (especially in the groups 644-517, 644-518 and 644-521) should be disseminated as examples of “good practice” to other units in the country.
5. Research groups should be restructured by merging. Specifically, the panel suggests the merging of the following groups:
group 644-518 and group 644-221 into one group.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Childhood Pedagogy [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-518]
This is not a large research group (6+ PhD level investigators) and the group has had a low level of external funding.
However it has achieved substantial international impact, but the majority of the impact derives from 1 person with 2 people making some impact apparently. The work is well-known internationally and it is clear there has been success in international dissemination of the research on early childhood education. There is also plenty of evidence of international collaboration.
The group needs other members who can build upon the success of the most prolific member of the research team and emulate their publication ethic.
The unit looks strong overall and further collaboration with other units in Braga could be one way to increase research productivity, and the units at Braga should consider consolidation.
The research training achievement for this rather small research group is very impressive with 8 PhD completions, and 21 masters completions.
Literacies Development [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-519]
This group works with a broad perspective of literacies development, in a way that connects very well to international research elsewhere. There are a couple of important publications in well-respected international journals, but except for those the emphasis has been directed towards a less comprehensive readership. The group has a substantial national influence, which would be worth knowing better internationally – the educational problems associated with literacies development are common with many other countries. The overall level of research-related activities is what can be expected from a fairly large group, but to obtain a higher rating there would have to be a shift in the priorities towards more high-level publications and doctor´s theses.
Physical Education, Leisure and Health [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-520]
This group has a very clear research profile which is well communicated in the self-report. Several of the interests are well in tune with similar research in other countries, and the group has established good international relationships within its specialties. The overall level of research-related activities is rather high, as is the potential for future significant contributions to theory and praxis in education. The notable exception is the training of future researchers, which would need to be oriented towards more doctor´s theses.
Social Worlds of Children [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-521]
This group does its work with a focus on the social worlds of children. The objectives of the research and the main achievements give a clear picture of a group that is functioning well with a theme that is interesting to an international audience. Unfortunately most of the work is inaccessible to readers abroad, since it is not published in well-respected international journals. This being a key criterion for productivity, a higher evaluation would require making it a priority in the future. On the positive side, the training of future researchers is in very good order, and this will certainly have an effect for further research in the field.
Special Education [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-517]
This group can account for high efficiency if one evaluates total performance in relation to the number of members of the group. This, however, excludes the number of articles published in well-respected international journals, which is a key criterion for productivity. The international interactions are in very good order in other respects, and the group has a potential for significant influence by publishing more. The capacity for doing important national work is similarly high, although the profile of the group is not remarkably different from other groups working in special education. The training of future researchers is very well taken care of.
Training, Development and Contexts of Child Education Professionals [RG-EDU-Norte-Braga-644-516]
This is a large research group (17 PhD level investigators).
The research training has been successful with 4 PhD completions and also many masters completions.
However there is only limited evidence of international impact in the research publications, and little indication of a motivation to publish internationally. This is disappointing for such a large research group. This is reflected in the aims of the group which give no mention of international journal publication as it does not appear to be a high priority. The group does mention international publications in its main achievements but examination of the record of these indicates that it is not particularly strong for such a large group. This is the major limitation of this group who otherwise have done well.
There is active research collaboration with Spain. Also there has been funding of 90k recently to research school autonomy. Perhaps this will improve internal journal publication, as it certainly should provide the raw material for international research journal publication.

Comentários da unidade

This Research Unit (RU, EDU-Norte-Braga-644) thinks the result of the evaluation is inadequate, not fitting the RU achievements.
1. ADVANCED TRAINING OF RESEARCHERS
The evaluation panel asserts that “The routines leading to high rates of Masters and PhDs production (specially in the groups 644-517, 644-518 and 644-521) should be disseminated as examples of “good practices” to other unites in the country”. We fail to recognize how to make compatible this recommendation with the concurrent FCT decision of denying the funding to this RU.
2. INTERNATIONALIZATION
Academic internationalization has been one of the main aims of this RU. The panel’s predominant criterion for evaluation of productivity is the publication of articles in well-respected international journals, meaning peer-reviewed and indexed journals in the English language.
Our Centre thinks there are other significant criteria of international productivity: 1) publication of articles in Brazilian peer-reviewed journals rated as excellent or very good in the official Brazilian scientific rating system [Our RU assumes Portuguese language as an important international scientific language]; 2) publication and organisation of books abroad; 3) publication of chapters of books in other languages and other countries (France, Spain, Brazil, etc); 4) leadership and membership of international research projects (European, Brazilian); 5) active participation in building up international research networks; 6) leadership of international research associations; 7) membership of Editorial Boards of international peer-reviewed indexed journals; 8) participation in foreign PhD thesis supervisions and juries (UK, France, Spain, Brazil); 9) international evaluation of Faculties and programmes in UK and Brazil.
We strongly suggest these criteria should be considered for a more adequate evaluation of the internationalization effort of this RU.
3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES
Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are included in the advanced training programmes and four of the six research groups use quantitative methodologies in its current research, which has been orally confirmed by the evaluation panel, having said that it constituted an added value of this RU. So this specific recommendation does not apply to this RU.