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The concept of Observatory that guides us is not reduced to a mere analysis device. It intends to be a complex entity that sets up systematic procedures of knowledge production about life in schools in partnership with these same schools. At the same time it aims at promote sharing and debate with the practitioners who work on the studied settings namely through the establishment of a communication network based on various media. This is about setting up 'hybrid forums' between different actors and social entities enabling analysis and reflections based on knowledge of different origins and types, providing a kaleidoscopic approach to life in schools.
The Observatory focuses its activity in «observing» kindergartens, primary and secondary schools from the northern part of Portugal, although if necessary, the geographic scope of the observatory is extended to other parts of the country.
OBVIE has a dynamic team of researchers from CIIE depending on the ongoing projects. The OBVIE's activity depends on established protocols with various research entities, schools, the main partners of the Observatory, but also teachers' training centers, professional and scientific associations and other organizations with which a partnership might be appropriate.
The establishment of partnerships with schools was vital to obtain field data. It was equally important to find a representative in each partner school that assumed the tasks of facilitating data collection and of being a part of the research team in comparative analysis. This last aspect is important because it fosters the idea of learning with other points of view.
Although the development of OBVIE is regulated by systematic activities of reflection and analysis produced within its coordination and board, the research teams and regular seminars with partners, it is made a biannual evaluation of the Observatory's activity in order to systematize the results and reshape the established agenda.
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