Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
The History of Education in teacher-training courses in Brazil
Marisa Bittar, Amarilio Ferreira

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


The History of Education was first established in 1928 and is a compulsory subject in all teacher-training courses. Research into the History of Education in Brazil was already being carried out in the second half of the 20th Century and was consolidated during the 1980s. From the time when the teaching first arose, until the first findings of research began to appear, what prevailed in the History of Education was a factual and linear pattern, underpinned by conventional moral principles. A large part of the Curriculum was based on foreign manuals which dealt with the history of education in general terms and left little space for the particular features of Brazilian education. This approach began to change under the influence of research undertaken in Post-Graduate Studies and this led to the first critical views in the field. In Brazilian universities, the History of Education is regarded as a sub-area of Education, and for this reason, it comprises the largest number of pedagogical courses in the Curriculum of Brazil. Since it is impossible to survey all of these, we have decided to employ a methodology based on general data collection to address questions such as the following: (a) How many courses are there? (b) Are they face-to-face or distant learning? and (c) What is the teaching load? In addition, a study of the curricula has been undertaken to analyse the syllabus of the subject and bibliographical references; this has involved selecting representative courses in different regions of Brazil, including both the private and State-maintained public sectors. The results are as follows: 1) there are about 3.500 pedagogical courses operating in the whole of Brazil  in which the History of Education is a compulsory subject, either in face-to-face courses or distance-learning; 2) unlike in the past, the syllabus is centered on national issues, a fact which can be attributed to the expansion and strengthening of research in Brazil; 3) the teaching plans for the subject show that its main bibliographical references are articles, and no longer the manuals; 4) since the end of the 1990s, the number of classes in the History of Education has been reduced. In some courses which had formerly been divided into three semesters, the subject is currently being offered in two or only one, which suggests that, unlike in the past, today the History of Education has to justify its existence and ability to provide valid knowledge when compared with other subject-areas that are regarded as “more useful”. So, increasingly, there is a need to find a reply to the question: Do we still need history of education? Is it central or peripheral? On the one hand, there is a feeling of anxiety in the field of teaching and on the other, a notable strengthening of research, a factor that is made clear in the bibliographical references that we analysed, most of which consist of articles produced in Post-Graduate Studies. Five key journals about the History of Education have been established in the last 20 years in Brazil which are clear signs of the significance of this field. They represent the main means of disseminating what is produced in this field and form an essential part of the everyday activities in the classroom. However, as well as these, we draw attention to the presence of research in the history of education in journals that are not directly linked to this field. Finally, as a conclusive factor, our research allows reflections to be made about curricula that are almost entirely based on national, regional and local issues, in contrast with the demand for greater internationalization found in the Brazilian assessment policies.