Professional Development for School Leaders: A Path Towards More Equity-Oriented Schools in Brazil

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This case study aims to understand the extent to which the Jovem de Futuro [Youth of Future] program for the professional development of school principals in Brazil might enable them to build a more equitable school environment for teachers and students. Through document analysis, surveys, and semi-structured interviews with nine Brazilian school principals from public schools in the state of Espirito Santo and by employing the integrated equity-oriented school leadership framework (Leithwood, 2021), I explore which elements of the program contribute to the cultivation of more equity-oriented school leadership practices and how participating school principals may enact those practices. The findings demonstrate that the program encourages principals to be data-driven school leaders, supporting them to understand better how they might design and implement actions aimed at diminishing student achievement gaps, an important trait of equity-oriented leaders. Through the management circuit tool, which employs an adapted version of the plan-do-check-adapt cycle, the program instills in principals a procedural methodology of continuously monitoring and evaluating their school’s goals, with an increased focus on supporting student learning. The study further suggests that the program could intensify its emphasis on equipping principals with the knowledge and abilities to plan activities with greater clarity and cohesion, increasing their focus on equity-oriented actions. Namely, these actions could promote a higher sense of community, respect, and support for diversity, bringing attention and acting on issues that might hinder minority students from learning.


Type of resource text
Date created August 2022
Date modified December 5, 2022
Publication date August 3, 2022


Author Barbosa Pecin, Bruna


Subject Qualitative empirical paper
Subject School principals
Subject Equity
Subject Brazil
Subject Professional development
Subject Stanford Graduate School of Education International Comparative Education
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC).

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Barbosa Pecin, B. (2022). Professional Development for School Leaders: A Path Towards More Equity-Oriented Schools in Brazil. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at


Graduate School of Education International Comparative Education Master's Monographs

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