ERIC Number: EJ795240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
New Schools, New Knowledge, New Teachers: Creating the Citizen School in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Gandin, Luis Armando; Apple, Michael W.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v31 n1 p173-198 Win 2004
This article examines the possibility, and reality, of counter-hegemonic policies and practices. These policies and practices call forth a very different vision of the place of the school in society and of curricula, teaching, and evaluation. They also present a serious challenge to teacher education, since they require the education of a "new" kind of teacher, someone who is deeply committed to a process of social transformation and to working cooperatively with oppressed groups in ways that develop very different skills than the ones now advocated in the reform proposals of conservative modernization. In this article, the authors describe and analyze the policies of the "Popular Administration" in Porto Alegre. The proposals for the formation of a Citizen School are explicitly designed to radically change both the municipal schools and the relationship between communities, the state, and education. This set of policies and the accompanying processes of implementation are constitutive parts of a clear and explicit project aimed at constructing not only a better school for the excluded, but also a larger project of radical democracy. In order to understand the limits and possibilities of such attempts during a time of "conservative modernization," the authors need to closely examine a number of things: (1) how the proposal for the Citizen School connects to the larger project of the Popular Administration; (2) the major normative goals and institutional design created by this ongoing project; and (3) the possibilities and problems in generating the new realities the Workers Party committed itself to create. The authors briefly situate the experience of Porto Alegre in the larger political and educational context of Brazil. Then, they present the normative goals of the Citizen School and examine the mechanisms that helped to forge these goals. Thirdly, they describe and explain a number of crucial elements of the institutional design of the Citizen School. After that, they examine the consistency between the normative goals and the institutional design constructed to implement those goals and evaluate potential problems of the project. Finally, they offer some considerations about the future of the project and its potential contribution for the enhancement of democratic relationships inside and outside of education and suggest some implications for a more socially conscious model of teacher education.
Descriptors: Democracy, Social Change, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Role of Education, Teacher Education, Educational Policy, Politics of Education, Context Effect
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil