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Teacher training policies for professional education: conflicts and permanence marked by the neoliberal ideology/Politicas de formacao docente para a educacao profissional: embates e permanencias marcados pelo ideario neoliberal/Politicas de formacion docente para la educacion profesional: oposiciones y permanencias marcados por el ideario neoliberal.

Politicas de formacion docente para la educacion profesional: oposiciones y permanencias marcados por el ideario neoliberal


Contemporary Brazil experiences intense social transformations and paradoxes: the new production relations imposed by the globalization process; the injunction of protectionist policies determined by international financial agents (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank), supported by the oligarchy of the big capitalist empires; the construction of a social order ruled by free market principles, freeing the state from its responsibilities; the consolidation of a complex project of hegemonic construction, called neoliberalism; the prevalence of economic inequalities; and the intensification of poverty and of social exclusion processes.

This context encircles the reforms of the Brazilian state, whose restructuration on the bases of the economic neoliberalism have led to a search for the rationalization of resources and to the redefinition of the role it plays concerning social policies and exercise of power.

Within this trend, in which the state reform and intervention policies on education are unquestionably situated, international organs and agencies set priorities and changes in the legislation, in the forms of financing and in the (re)definition of educational programs.

In other terms, according to Oliveira (2000), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund elaborate regulatory action policies so that the state: impels nationalizing privatizations; faces the taxation issue, rationalizing and restricting public expenses; incorporates the civil society into the management and into the provision of services in the public sphere; and, also, legitimizes the proliferation and rise of the Third Sector.

In this scenario, it is not a surprise that international organs take responsibility for defining trends for Brazilian educational policies, aiming at increasing the competitiveness and strengthening the meritocratic logics, since these two conditions are the foundation for the perpetuation of the monopolist capitalism.

Concomitantly to that movement, the reforms instituted in the educational system have an impact on the policies of initial and continuing training of teachers, particularly, as well as on the conditions of a teacher's job.

According to the legislation that defines and regulates the Brazilian educational system, the formation of education professionals 'seems' to constitute one of the priority goals of the government. That is because, as Saviani (2009) observes well, the National Education Bases and Guidelines Law no. 9,394 (BRASIL, 1996) enacted on December, 1996, although it prioritizes higher education as the minimum formation required to Elementary and High School teachers, it points, paradoxically, towards an educational policy that tends to level down teaching formation, by creating Superior Institutes of Education with no connection with universities and researches, aiming to promote a quick and low-cost formation by offering short courses.

Such policy is undoubtedly responsible for the creation and execution of teaching training programs at all federative units in the country, evidencing the segmentation imposed by the market, and the classist character of the adequacy of education to capitalist demands.

In this condition, the proposition of teaching formation policies aimed at professional education, historically, is not immune to the design of such an issue. So much so that the National Council of Education, by means of Resolution no. 2/97 (BRASIL, 1997) still in force, proposes higher-education special programs for teacher pedagogical training, for the subjects of the Elementary School, High School and Middle-Level Education curriculum, with the right to certification and professional registration, equivalent to a full licentiate's degree.

The special programs that comprise that resolution must fulfill a workload of, at least, 540 hours: 240 hours for the development of the theoretical part, and 300 hours, at least, for the practical part. It is worth stressing that it is also possible that the theoretical part is offered in the distance modality. Although these special programs currently represent one of the controversial questions in the education area, it is possible to verify a scathing lack of researches addressing the specificities, the dimensions, the tensions and the implications that characterize them.

In this way, because the theoretical contributions about the theme in question are still absolutely punctual and restrict in the intellectual production sphere, this work sought for hints in studies by authors such as: Cunha (2000), Ferretti (2011, 2007), Kuenzer (1997, 2011), Saviani (2003) and Frigotto et al. (2005), as they discuss several aspects of the professional and technological education.

Based on such considerations and aiming for seeking spaces of resistance against the solipsism, the pragmatism and the fragmentation that mark the official policies of teacher training for professional and technological education, this work sought to analyze the impact of the Special Program for Pedagogical Training on the 'teaching praxis' (SAVIANI, 2007) of the middle-level professional education.

Considering the core issue of this study, the latter took as a reference the Special Program for Teacher Pedagogical Training for the Subjects of the Middle-Level Professional Education Curriculum, former Scheme 1, offered by the State Center of Technological Education 'Paula Souza'--CEETEPS, during the year of 2010.

In order to comprehend the nature of the historical, economic, political and social dimension that supports the debate, the studies conducted anchored on the historical and dialectic materialist epistemology of Marx and Engels.

Due to this intention, the option was to present, initially, the historical context marked by the monopolist capitalism and by the neoliberal ideological universe, in which the policies of teacher training for professional and technological education have been managed. This discussion, though conducted on a basic level, is necessary, since it is unconceivable that the specific question configured as study object is directly analyzed without a prior explanation of the model of socioeconomic development of a country that calls for professional and technological education not only to contribute to the elevation of the schooling level of workers, but, especially, to meet the new configurations and demands of the labor world.

Then, the text highlights the treatment given by the current National Education Guidelines and Bases Law--LDBEN (BRASIL, 1996) and by the National Council of Education--CNE (BRASIL, 1997) to the training of teachers for professional and technological education, pointing out the differentiated social space legally built and legitimated for this teaching modality in the national scenario of scientific and technological development.

After comprehending the conceptions and new challenges on which the official educational policies of teacher training formulated by the LDBEN (BRASIL, 1996) are grounded, the text seeks to analyze, specifically, the impact of the Special Program for Pedagogical Training on the teaching praxis of the middle-level professional education.

In that moment, it stresses the dilemmas and paradoxes experienced by the professionals of this specific teaching modality concerning the appropriation of knowledge, the autonomy and the professionalization of teachers.

Finally, the text ends by setting out the obscure aspects of the issue in the sphere of educative policies of teacher training for the middle-level professional education, indicating the re-establishment of bonds between work and education.

Capitalism and globalization: from the work restructuration to the neoliberal regulatory milestones

In the last few decades of the 20th century, specifically from the 1970's, under the advent of the Technological Revolution, capitalism faced a pronouncedly critical scenario. The comprehension of the major constitutive mechanisms of that crisis acquired a complex dimension, as that period saw the triggering of impetuous mutations of distinct orders, such as economic, social, political and ideological, provoking, in its collectiveness, a strong impact on the materiality, on the subjectivity and on the accomplishment of the social being belonging to the 'class that lives from work', according to denomination by Antunes (2009, 2011).

However, in face of space limitations and the complexity that involves the theme, the conditioners related to the structural crisis of capitalism will not be addressed in details in this article, considering that authors like Meszaros (2002) and Antunes (2011) discussed the theme in question comprehensively.

After defining the field through which this work will walk, it is possible to affirm that the complex picture drawn during the period announced starts a vast process of productive restructuration of the capital concomitantly to the implementation of a neoliberal ideology capable of interfering, to a great extent, with the production organization, as well as with the sphere of the state and of the public policies.

This process which, in the late 1990's Brazil, triggered changes in the structure of society, with the retraction of the binomial Taylorism/Fordism and the expansion of the Toyotism (ANTUNES, 2011), forged two issues: the first one relates to the fact that the capitalist system preconizes the euphemism of the maximum productivity, not only elevating, without parallel, the extraction level of the surplus value, but also exacerbating the workforce exploitation; the second one refers to the tendency of the rate of unemployment or precarious work to reach bigger proportions, widening the gap between the dominant classes and the working classes, and intensifying the processes of social exclusion and misery.

If, on one hand, the flexible organization of production, proper of the Toyotism, led workers to adopt a multifunctional style, competitiveness, efficiency and meritocracy, on the other hand, it made them live the materiality crisis and the fragmentation of the social class to which they belonged, due to the decrease in the employment level and the growth of the services and informality sectors, under the forms of subcontracting, outsourcing, part-time jobs, among others.

This new dynamics has also made labor laws more flexible, not only directly affecting the rights conquered by workers throughout history, but also attacking relentlessly the social movements and the instances of union and collective organization.

To keep up with those changes and so that the workers could meet the essential requirements of the new productive processes there has been an special attention to work-related education and to professional training. However, this aspect brought about a big contradiction and a complicated standstill, since the appropriation of knowledge by workers opposed the capital logics.

For this reason, as Saviani (2003) alerts, a need to coadunate education to the global economic interests and goals spread throughout the country, ensuring workers only quick thinking, potential to incorporate new information and agility when adapting to changes. In other terms, workers should solely hold the property of their labor strength, since the so desired qualification would be offered in an instrumental manner, with no critical sense (SAVIANI, 1994).

Thus, public policies for professional education, carried out under the neoliberal aegis, have turned the debate about the citizen's right to education and work towards a particularized approach on employability and entrepreneurship.

Because of that, the modern forms of fetishism and reification (MARX, 2007) entered the labor world inextricably, intensifying too much the social phenomenon of strangeness (LUKACS, 1981), whose genesis, it is worth emphasizing, is effected inside the objectification/alienation complex, and are converted into barriers to the transformation itself of the human formation.

Professional education in the LDB transitory provisions: democratic standstill or political artifice

After treating of the transformations that have occurred in the labor world and in the social relationships, and which, in turn, have imposed new demands to education, it is noticeable that teacher training policies, based on the given concrete conditions, cannot dispense with the existing articulation between the social productive processes, the contradictory interests and the unusual challenges that re (emerge) in the current historical conjuncture.

In this direction, it becomes vital to comprehend the responses elaborated by the government, which are the ground to the official policy of teacher training for middle-level professional education.

It is worth emphasizing that professional education throughout the Brazilian history of education has suffered the stigma of the discrimination and of the duality institutionalization, for being intended to the economically underprivileged classes, while propaedeutic education used to be reserved to the elites.

According to Cunha (1979), in the 20th century Brazil, the professional education, in its genesis, had an assistance-based perspective, for aiming at the attention to children and youths that were orphans or that were in a situation of social vulnerability, providing them with a craft, because, according to the society of that era, they could put the existing moral order at risk.

In the early 20th century, the professional education in the country began to acquire differentiated outlines from a concern about forming specialized work force capable of adapting quickly to the work organization in the industrial production.

Under these circumstances, according to Saviani (2004), the Capanema Reform undertaken in 1942, culminated with the regulation of the National Organic Laws of Education, transforming schools for craft apprentices into technical schools, and creating specialized entities, such as the National Service for Industrial Training--SENAI (1942) and the National Service for Commercial Training SENAC (1946).

In the 1960's, in turn, the first Brazilian Education Guidelines and Bases Law, no. 4,024/61 (BRASIL, 1961), was regulated. The differential proposed by said law, as Freitag (1986) points out, consisted of the professional formation mediating the possibility of access to the university, in addition to, supposedly, putting an end to the existing teaching duality. However, notwithstanding the intentions announced by that Law, in reality, the academic-oriented view (general formation) and the technical view (preparation for the job) have not been overcome.

During the 1970's, the Law no. 5,692/71 (BRASIL, 1971) instituted the secondary education combined with compulsory professionalization, with the excuse that the job market needed middle-level technicians in order to meet the rapid economic growth of that time.

According to Cunha (2000), this measure that attributed to professional education a character of terminality did not come to be widely applied, due to innumerous criticisms made by several segments involved in school processes. Fact that prevented the government, years later, from issuing a legal instrument that extinguished the compulsory professionalization through Law no. 7,044/82 (BRASIL, 1982) and brought back, with all its vigor, in the legislation sphere, the propaedeutic offer.

From the advent of the new LDBEN no. 9,394 (BRASIL, 1996) sanctioned in 1996, at the same time that high school was incorporated into the basic education, the professional education acquired a new configuration, being also treated in a specific chapter of the legal document.

It is imperative to mention, according to Saviani (2008), that, after exhaustive debates that culminated in the approval of the Law, the final text of the chapter reserved to professional education ended up being characterized as one of the most fragile, because of the vagueness and inconclusive aspect that, purposely, were left by president Fernando Henrique Cardoso's government in order to fill in existing gaps with the neoliberal project that was in course in the country.

In fact, Saviani (2008) proposition was corroborated from the approval of Decree no. 2,208/97 (BRASIL, 1997) that established a wide reform in regular high school and in the public system of professional education. Said decree set forth a program for the expansion of the teaching modalities in question, which, when in harmony with the logics of the capital, complied with the 'orientations' of international organs, in order to enable credit granting by the Inter-American Development Bank.

Not to mention that the new ordinance proposed by the Decree no. 2,208/97 (BRASIL, 1997) issued converging actions that allowed for the offering of middle-level professional education, so that the qualification and 're-professionalization' of workers could be carried out, regardless of previous education. It is evident that this program, called Program for the Expansion of Professional Education (PROEP/MEC), has materialized not only the fragmentation of the national education system, but also the dismantle of the public network.

Ultimately, a careful examination of the Decree, specifically of the article 9, denotes that the subjects of the technical education curriculum could be taught not only by teachers, but also by instructors and monitors selected according to their professional experience. Moreover, the article sets that those professionals should be prepared for the teaching activity, previously or while in service, through teaching-oriented regular courses or special programs for pedagogical formation. It is noticeable that the regulation of that article represented a contradictory and paradoxical situation regarding the requirements for obtaining teaching accreditation.

During the government of president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), intense debates emerged, founded on political projects and distinct historical perspectives, with the aim of defining the directions of high school and of professional education in the country.

Those debates culminated in the promulgation of the Decree no. 5,154/04 (BRASIL, 2004) which repealed the Decree no. 2,208/97 and re-established the possibility of an integrated curricular organization for professional and general education, in the high school context, emphasizing work, culture, science and technology as founding principles of said organization.

Nevertheless, concerning the provisions of the Decree no. 5,154/04 (BRASIL, 2004), Ramos (2011) observes:

Although, conceptually, the high school curricular policy is walking towards an integrated formation, there are still contradictions in the existence of different programs that may or may not be converging to the same direction. At the same time, the effectiveness of the financial investment made available by the federal government depends on both the administrative efficacy of the systems involved and the ability that said government has to obtain hegemony from its proposals; proposals which, in turn, although present, in the content of the official documents, a compromise with the working class, show bonds with the interests of the capital (RAMOS, 2011, p. 784).

In the meantime, Law no. 11,741/2008 (BRASIL, 2008) changes the instruments of Law no. 9,394/96 (BRASIL, 1996), repealing and including principles, in order to re-dimension and integrate actions aimed at the middle-level technical professional education, of the youth and adult education, and of the professional and technological education, allowing that the technical teaching of the professional education started to present its own curricular organization, with the possibility of being integrated, concomitantly to or after high school. In that way, the subjects were then grouped into modules, and the technician diploma was issued according to the specific area of the course chosen.

The same thing can be said about Laws no. 12,014/2009 (BRASIL, 2009) and no. 12,056/2009 (BRASIL, 2009) which changed the articles 61 and 62, respectively. The first law, with the purpose of discriminating the categories of workers who should be considered as education professionals, changed the article 61, determining, among other aspects, that the professionals of the basic school education could be those with a technical or higher education diploma in the area. As for the second one, with the intention of adding paragraphs to the article 62, established that both initial and continuing training, like the qualification of teachers, could use education resources and technologies in the distance modality.

Obviously, in the midst of the systematization and review of those proposals, theoretical and political divergences and barriers emerged, converging to a crucial question: the fact of a licentiate's degree being or not the only form of qualifying a teacher for professional education.

Concerning that assertive, the standstills created during the moments of discussion were supported on the argument that the LDBEN no. 9,394/96 (BRASIL, 1996) itself promoted a multiplicity of interpretations regarding that aspect, since the article 63, subsection II, preconized that higher education institutions could keep pedagogical formation programs for people with a college degree interested in dedicating themselves to basic education.

However, in spite of the changes consolidated by legal opinions, decrees and resolutions, the urgent character historically assumed by teacher training programs for professional education, toward making the licentiate's degree the essential and exclusive component to qualify the professional for the teaching activity, continued to prevail and be legitimated through subsection II of the article 63 of the Brazilian education organic and general law.

Within this context, the terms set forth in Resolution CNE/CEB no. 2, of June 26, 1997, were instituted to regulate the articles of the new LDBEN (BRASIL, 1996) referring to professional education, mainly those that addressed "[...] the special programs for teacher pedagogical training for the subjects of elementary school, high school and middle-level professional education" (BRASIL, 1997, p. 429).

Said Resolution, still in force, at the same time it defends, in the article 1, the formation of teachers through higher education for the subjects that compose elementary school, high school and middle-level professional education, through regular licentiate's degree courses and through regular courses for people with a college degree, it also authorizes the training for teaching activity through special programs established by it. In fact, according to the sole paragraph, the Special Program for Teacher Pedagogical Training for the Subjects of the Middle-Level Professional Education Curriculum has as purpose "[...] to make up for the lack of accredited teachers in schools, for certain subjects and places in special character" (BRASIL, 1997, 430) and is intended to those

[...] with higher education diploma, in courses related to the intended accreditation that offer a solid basis of knowledge in the study area linked to the accreditation (BRASIL, 1997, p. 429).

Now, even an unwary reading of that Resolution could lead us to the following reflection: if the Special Program for Pedagogical Training seeks to overcome "[...] one of the most important sore points that suffocate the expansion of professional education in the country" (MACHADO, 2008, p. 14)--which is that of making up for the lack of professionals with licentiate's degrees at primary and high schools, in addition to middle-level professional education schools -, what are the ideological conditions and mechanisms that distance a big portion of students from training processes for the teaching activity?

Also, based on the assumption that the Special Program for Teacher Pedagogical Training for the Subjects of the Middle-Level Professional Education curriculum actually reproduces the logics of the former Schemes I and II (1) implemented in the 1970's, but with a demerit, for constituting a workload inferior to 540 hours when compared to the workload defined in the previous program, of 800 hours, another precedent question inevitably emerges: what is the impact of the Special Program for Pedagogical Training on the teaching praxis of the middle-level professional education? What kind of teaching training for professional and technological education is essential in a society that modernizes the archaic, attributing it an appearance of new, and that hinders the formal job, perversely accentuating the inequalities between social classes?

Special program for pedagogical training: paths, challenges and hindrance of the professionalization of the teaching activity

Aiming to problematize the questions outlined, this work sought to examine the Special Program for Teacher Pedagogical Training for the Subjects of the Middle-Level Professional Education offered by the State Center of Technological Education Paula Souza--CEETEPS (2), during 2010, at the facilities of one of the regional centers--Technological Colleges (FATECs) and/or Technical Schools (ETECS) selected to host the course.

The Special Program for Pedagogical Training is part of the upgrade and qualification policy of the CEETEPS, and is proposed by teachers and employees of the administrative sector at the institution, who have different college degrees, except for licentiate's degree.

According to the article 3 of Resolution CNE/CEB 02/97 (BRASIL, 1997), the curricular structuration of the Special Programs for Pedagogical Training should articulate a theoretical part with 240 hours on site, which correspond to a contextual core, and a practical part with 300 hours, which refers to an integrator core.

The contextual core comprises the following curricular components: Education and Work, Professional Education Structure, School and Professional Education Management, and Research Methodology. The structural core, in turn, is composed of the subjects: Professional Education Curriculum, Psychology of Teaching and Learning, Didactics, Teaching Methodology, and Teaching Technology. At last, the integrated core consists of the Supervised Professional Internship Training in Service.

This program was promoted by the CEETEPS, for the first time, in the period between September 2007 and June 2008, certifying approximately 1,200 teachers. Later, it was offered during the months of April to December 2010, handing over diploma to 1,000 teachers; and, finally, it was offered during the months of March to December 2011, ensuring the formation of 840 teachers (3).

Within this context, the research evidenced that the Special Program for Pedagogical Training collides with difficulties of every nature. During testimonies and informal conversations, the teachers in training revealed substantial aspects about their working conditions, which went beyond the discussions undertaken in the Program: the scarcity of didactical materials; the absence or fragility of a specific teacher training; the inexistence of time to debate and build, in an effective manner, the integrated curriculum; the excessive increase in the numbers of hours of the classes, for the need the teacher had to be linked to more than one school; the lack of time to conciliate the schedule of the job with the schedule of the qualification courses; insufficient available time for the performance of studies, meetings and a quality pedagogical work; the hindrance of wage conditions; and the pronounced increase in the number of temporary teachers hired.

In relation to the last aspect, it is important to mention that the Inter-ministerial Ordinance no. 149/2011 (BRASIL, 2011) of the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management authorizes the hiring of temporary teachers, through a simplified selection process, in order to meet the demands resulting from the plan for the expansion of the technological professional education.

However, this trend, by structuring the professional and technological education on the paradox of the permanence of temporary contracts, brings even more disastrous consequences to labor policies and to the constitution of the professional character of the teaching activity, since the ephemeral nature of the relationships established at the educational institution leads the teachers who belong to that work regime to see their activity as an 'extra job'.

Similarly, many teachers participating in the Program made explicit that they graduated with bachelor's degrees in technical areas, with the purpose of meeting the demands of the job market, but ended up partially choosing for teaching, because it serves as a supplementary activity in terms of salary that allowed for a flexible schedule, as it is compatible with the schedules required by other employers.

Questions of such a nature are recurrent in the routine of the teachers, and setting them out is not an easy task, since they are part of the imperatives of globalization. In fact, according to Kuenzer (1999), the condition of non-engagement by teachers, with no doubt, weakens the collective work.

Pressured by terrible wages and contractual conditions, and by the troubles for having to face daily a journey at more than one teaching institution, teachers also encounter problems to work in accordance with the system proposed by the MEC about the competences model. Such issues derive from the insistence by official organs and education institutions on demanding a quick theoretical comprehension, without debating ideological aspects involved in the polysemy of the term. In any way, the competences model is another sore point that hovers over the teaching activity in the middle-level professional education, and that the subjects offered by the Special Program for Pedagogical Training cannot problematize satisfactorily.

In addition, under said circumstances, teachers spend excessive time filling forms created to "[...] diagnose the previous and acquired competences, the difficulties and the performance of students", (CEETPS, 2013, p. 15) as determined by the Common Rules of Procedures deliberated by the State Center of Technological Education Paula Souza--CEETEPS (2013).

This demand that does not take into account the actual conditions of teachers brings some implications: an embarrassing and conflicting situation among them, concerning the interpretation of the competences and skills achieved by the students; the emphasis on dissimulation, given that the teachers, most of the time, and as a form of resistance, complete the work planning sheets in accordance with the recommendations set by the technical coordinators, but develop their classes as they can, in face of adverse conditions; and, also, incomprehension in relation to the privileged competences model, since it is not clear, according to Ferretti and Silva Junior (2000), on which theoretical and political references that model is supported.

Regarding the way how they develop their classes, many teachers mentioned that they regretted not having pursued a licentiate's degree before, because, most of the time, they sought as anchor points for the planning of their classes the experience they had with other teachers, as students, during their journey in school.

In that way, although the teachers in training sought to distance themselves from the expositive model and from the evaluation forms characterized by classification, competition and standardization of results, making their classes dynamic by using technological resources and procedures that involved technical visits, researches, movies, dramatizations, debates and seminars for work presentations, they acknowledged that the structural and epistemological dimension of the pedagogical practice could not be reduced to the mere choice and diversification of teaching techniques.

However, it is possible to observe that, if on one hand, teachers of the middle-level professional education often ended up keeping the tradition of the technical education, for not possessing a specific formation in teaching, on the other hand, they suspected that the notion of competences, established as a guiding principle of the organization and of the professionalizing curricular practice, through the Legal Opinion CNE/CEB no. 16/99 (BRASIL, 1999), was not a modern and innovative orientation either that aimed to solve the difficulties imposed to the teaching activity.

In this direction, Ramos (2004) highlights that the competences model moves the conceptual focus away from the qualification of training to the meritocratic individual logics, as it centers its attention on the worker's knowledge, skills and personal behaviors necessary to the efficient and effective performance of activities required by the nature of the job, seeking to adequate the school education to the new purposes of learning and to the new contexts in which the latter is inserted.

In short, if the hindrance of the initial and continuing formation of professional education teachers, as well as of their working conditions, is inextricably related to the historical-structural fragility itself that characterizes the education provided to the working classes in the capitalist society--as a circumscribed and incipient formation process, to which the teaching activity is abbreviated to the point of being merely instructional--it is not strange the fact that the Special Program for Pedagogical Training, due to its urgent and quick character, does not offer enough theoretical-methodological subsidizes for the coping of pedagogical challenges, contributing contradictorily to the aggravation of damaging consequences resulting from reforms imposed to the middle-level professional technological education.

Work as educative principle: a possible way out

To comprehend the new configurations established by the officialism in the formation of professional education teachers, it is necessary that the analyzes of the professionalization of the teaching activity are expanded, putting at the center of the debate the work category, in order to understand it in its contradictory relations in the field of productive restructuration, of flexible accumulation and of the globalization process.

From this perspective, to Gramsci (1979), work is fundamentally a constitutive element of education that is not limited to labor activities, but extends to the production of all dimensions of human life.

Gramsci's words on work as educative principle are founded on the historical and ontological production process of the human existence (MARX, 1971), in which the elaboration of knowledge manifests as one of the dimensions of that process. Due to that emphasis, Gramsci (1979) makes hard criticisms to the eminently dual character of education, and stands firmly against the mechanicist and productivist conception of education that intends to instrumentalize the man to meet the immediate interests of the industrial society.

To some extent, historically, professional education and high school have contributed to mask this dichotomy between the propaedeutic and the professionalizing modalities of teaching, supposedly meeting the workers' desire to obtain a higher level of schooling and a more consistent professional formation.

To dissolve that scheme, Gramsci (1979) proposes the unitary school, of general, humanist, formative culture, capable of establishing the equity between manual labor and intellectual labor, articulating technical qualification and political and social preparation, so that workers could act as leaders and citizens.

Therefore, instituting work as educative principle means to re-establish the dimension of the scientific-technological knowledge of the unitary school, the problematization and the criticism of this category in the capitalist system, its rights and the significance of historical fights to work and to education.

Final considerations

The basic principles of educational policies in the field of training for the teaching activity follow the diktats imposed by educational reforms as a result of changes in capitalism and in the current status of society.

The approximation between education and work, proposed by Gramsci (1979), allows foreseeing and establishing analogies and differences between the current paradigm in construction and the technicist paradigm of the 1970's, which emerges again imperiously as neo-technicism (FREITAS, 1992) from the new demands to the formation of workers, including teachers.

In this process, in which there is the displacement of the valuation of professional paths from qualification to competences, the hypothesis is that the current reforms and their effectuation as educational policies have as focus the job market, not the individuals, which opposes the (unreliable) pedagogical convictions of conservative and proprivatization sectors, strongly linked to the interests of the capital that sustain discourses based on employability.

Although this hypothesis seeks to break with the idea of minimum curriculum, benchmarks, guidelines and parameters, so recurrent in the field of educational policies, it is possible to notice that the need for the expansion of schooling, and the state's unaccountability for providing a satisfactory public budget that meets the demands of education, particularly the formation of its teachers, have directed the actions of public authorities toward expanding emergency programs as intensification/massification mechanisms of the formation of technical-professional teachers, legitimizing the forms of evaluation, aiming at the regulation and control of the work of teachers through the centrality of the notion of certification.

Here it is how current reforms, ruled by governmental policies, marked by the submission to determinations of international financing organs, reinforce the retraction of labor conquests and the strategies that transform social rights into market segments. Not to mention that the traps that characterize those reforms tend to disregard political issues of centuries ago.

From this perspective, when analyzing the training policies for professional education teachers, it is possible to reiterate that the quality of the professional and technological education is hindered by the imposition of legal guidelines that privilege easy, quick and low-cost initiatives in the sphere of education and, particularly, of teachers formation. In addition, according to Freitas (2012, p. 394), "[...] a pragmatist view is being increasingly installed at institutions that form teachers, restricting their training to practical aspects of methodologies".

In fact, the multiple facets of the policies for initial and continuing formation of teachers have been materialized through the indiscriminate and irresponsible liberalization, pluralization and expansion of training institutions and of innocuous courses and programs.

The Special Program for Pedagogical Training is part of the framework of those particularized and isolated educational policies, which do not attack the problem from its genesis, but insist on postponing it, revealing, by means of intense vicissitudes, a discontinuity tendency, an urgent character and a predominance of the quantitative aspect over the qualitative one.

The coalition between state and market, consolidated from strategies of managerial relationships and regulatory and negotiated proposals of teachers formation, shows, as well observed by Gramsci (2005), that an intense conflict is set between the new that wants to rise and the old that stubbornly insists on not leaving the stage.

To face this situation, the field of teachers formation calls for the definition of solid policies that value the teaching activity and that ensure, above all, working conditions, decent salaries, career plans, democrat management and a perspective of breaking with the teaching traditional model.

In between the lines of the current historical context, a teacher training permeated by intellectual, ethical, political and human autonomy involves the ability to take on a pedagogical practice and a professional qualification that are not reduced to the task of adapting the worker, in a passive and subordinate manner, to the accumulation process of the capitalist economy, but that, through a collective and socializing action, through the collision and resistance in the field of the hegemonic battle, aim at preparing the worker for experiencing a critical process imbricated to work as an educative principle, to science, to technology, to culture, so that he or she can build other paths and another possible world.

Finally, neoliberal policies grounded on capitalist milestones evidence the central and opportunist argument of different statesmen and governments, which is translated into leaving a legacy that reinforces and deepens social gaps, economic inequalities, the 'excluding inclusion' (KUENZER, 2007), the dissonant concentration of income, unemployment and misery.

The preludes of new humankind can only be announced and built when one deals with the contradictions proper of the current reality, and holds a debate of emancipating character on the level of the actions, of the conceptions and of the historical projects.

That is the challenging reference matrix that stands before teachers and all those who are committed with the historical battle, so that they not only rescue the structuring meaning of education and of its relation with work in its possibilities, but, especially, also harshly fight all forms that put at risk the notion of democracy and that oppose the dignity of work and of the human life.

Doi: 10.4025/actascieduc.v37i2.23068


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Received on February 20, 2014.

Accepted on October 8, 2014.

Sheila Daniela Medeiros dos Santos

Faculdade de Educacao, Universidade Federal de Goias, Rua 235, s/n, Setor Universitario, 74605-050, Goiania, Goias, Brazil.


(1) Scheme I offered pedagogical complementation to professionals with higher education who did not have a licentiate's degree, whilst Scheme II offered to professionals with a diploma in middle-level professionalizing technical courses, in addition to subjects of Scheme I, other ones that were part of the specific technical content.

(2) The CEETEPS is an autarchy of the Sao Paulo state government linked to the Secretariat of Economic Development, Science and Technology, responsible for the administration of the technical schools (ETECs) and the technological colleges (FATECS). More information on:

(3) Because this institutional program succeed in subsequent years, it was offered again in 2012 and 2013, although the number of graduating teachers had not been informed on the CEETEPS website. In 2014, in turn, the Special Program for Pedagogical Training began to be offered in a new format, in the distance modality, with only three on-site meetings. More information on: professores.asp
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Author:dos Santos, Sheila Daniela Medeiros
Publication:Acta Scientiarum. Education (UEM)
Date:Apr 1, 2015
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