EDUCATIONAL REFORM IN BRAZIL: SOME CONDITIONS FOR ITS SUCCESS
Educational proposals have recently appeared in Brazil in an attempt to solve or revert the poor situation in schools. However, despite these efforts to promote curriculum reform, improve students’ learning and competence of the teachers no significant changes have been shown. We used two dimensions, socio-political and psycho-dynamic, as proposed by Bourdieu, Lahire and Kaës in order to characterize the quality of this educational reform.
In the socio-political dimension, to become stable, a reform requires a change of habitus by the set of operators that influence it: the managers, the actors in schools (principals, teachers and students), teacher educators and local leaders. In the case of managers, this change can be characterized as moving from a government policy, in which the actions in the educational field are oriented towards maintenance of the exercise of power along successive legislatures, to a state policy, characterized by short-term and long-term strategies, articulated so that the change becomes independent of the electoral process and to some extent irreversible. For the actors that operate in schools, the change of habitus is the transition from a passive acceptance of the educational situation, marked by minimal effort and appearances of results, to an active participation, characterized by the pursuit of clues and marks for learning and involvement in the educational activity.
In the psychodynamic dimension, it is important that the evolution of the process is maintained, starting with a call issued by some entity or trusted authority. The point is to capture the anxieties present in the context and turn them into a special project that would have the ability to anticipate a pleasurable experience (illusion). There is an initial stage of group formation to perform management tasks and the implementation of the reform. These groups have a unifying unction, pointing out to the appropriate ways to accomplish the task. At this stage the identity is constructed between each group member to carry out their wishes (common narcissistic contract) as well as defense mechanisms against the dangers that may threaten the ongoing groupality (denegative pacts). The second phase is the stabilization of the process of educational reform. It involves the passage from an ideal model, depicted by the various groups that participated in the process, to a limited and partially satisfying reality. The implementation of reform always involves tension between regulation and emancipation. The former is primarily sustained by management groups and the latter is mainly supported by school groups. The stabilization is accomplished when an intermediary is found that allows the administration of tension and connection between heterogeneous spaces. The final phase of the reform is the institutionalization, which consists of the successive adjustments made after stabilization of the reform, when there is no doubt about its permanence. Adjustments can be made by coordinators and managers, to eliminate deviations, and/or by teachers and schools, proposing new initiatives.
We will seek to use the scheme, analyzing events related to educational reforms at Escola Plural (Plural School) in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo faz Escola. Uma proposta curricular para o Estado (Sao Paulo makes School - A curriculum for the State), in Sao