Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Colonizing the soul: how Brazilian Exam for Upper Secondary Education governs who we are and should be
Andre Vitor Fernandes dos Santos, Marcia Serra Ferreira

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


This paper aims to discuss the relation between the National Exam for Upper Secondary Education (Enem – Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio) – in Brazil – and the social regulation processes that result in the fabrication of some kinds of students and teachers for/in high school. This work articulates the research projects “Curriculum History: producing a discursive approach for researching curriculum reforms in/of the present time” and “Current reforms in Biological Sciences teacher training courses: meaning curriculum innovation in present time” (CNPq e Faperj) with a PhD research project focusing on Enem. We draw on Ian Hacking’s notion of “making people up” to discuss the ways in which new educational classifications are able to bring new kinds of people – students and teachers -, conceiving and experiencing new ways of being in the educational and social scenario. Also in dialogue with Hacking, we operate with the fertility of the “looping effect” notion to point out what has been appearing from the interaction between those classifications created by Enem and the people who are classified. In order to problematize the effects of this policy, that is simultaneously an evaluation and a curriculum policy, we take our present as the starting point. We consider as sources for our analysis documents produced in two different historical moments – 1998, when Enem was created, and 2009, when it went through a big change in order to attend the higher education and the Brazilian Ministry of Education expectations. In this way, our analysis seeks to operate in a way that considers both the epistemological and the ontological dimensions of this educational policy. In order to overcome some usual separations in social sciences, like that between subject and object, we opted to work from a perspective that considers the relations between those two dimensions, as suggested by authors as Karen Barad and Bernadette Baker, or using Barad’s words from an “onto-epistemology”. As we point out, the knowledge and numbers of Enem appear without any discussion about what was measured, the system of reason (Thomas Popkewitz) that underlies policy and what they mean in terms of how the schooling trajectory of those who took the exam was – they appear only as a final result, as a fate that was drawn for the student and from which he/she cannot escape from. By doing that Enem shows its intentions to tame the uncertainties about future, setting targets that should be reached and also producing abjections. But if it makes possible to think about education in this way, it also allows us to criticize it by questioning its system of reason. In other words, it opens the possibility to think how we could, in a particular moment of our history, think about this exam and its numbers assuming them as grids of intelligibility that perform as actors and, by doing that, creating particular realities and ways of thinking who we are and should be.