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Educação em Revista

versão impressa ISSN 0102-4698versão On-line ISSN 1982-6621

Educ. rev. vol.34  Belo Horizonte  2018  Epub 01-Mar-2018 



Amauri Carlos Ferreira1  *

Danilo Arnaldo Briskievicz1  **

Soraia Aparecida Belton Ferreira1  ***

2Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (PUC-Minas), Belo Horizonte - MG, Brasil


In this work we discuss the new approach to teaching Philosophy following its reinsertion in the national Brazilian curriculum, according to law 038/2006. In High School, Philosophy has been (re)organized through complex relationships established between the subject in the educational scenario and also in the political universe that characterizes each lived context. In High School, Philosophy has a crucial impact in educating students to be critical citizens, as pointed out by both theoreticians and teachers during their pedagogical practice. Thus, we propose an understanding of this subject at the High School level, considering the point of view of teachers and varied aspects/uneasiness of the process of philosophizing. We discuss how teachers understand and signify their pedagogical practice, problematizing strategies/investigations that are able to foster the teaching of philosophy.

Keyword: Philosophy; Philosophy teaching; High School; Teaching practice


A discussão sobre a filosofia e seu ensino representa o tema central deste trabalho. No cenário atual, a filosofia tem seu lugar definido no currículo, conforme determina o Parecer 038/2006. A disciplina de filosofia no Ensino Médio tem uma importância crucial na formação crítica dos estudantes, apontada pelos teóricos e também pelos professores em sua prática pedagógica. Assim, a problemática proposta é tratar a filosofia nesse nível de ensino, tendo em vista os depoimentos dos professores entrevistados e os variados aspectos/inquietações deste processo de filosofar. A trajetória da filosofia na escola se (re)organiza nas complexas relações estabelecidas pela disciplina no cenário da Educação e, também, no universo político que caracteriza cada contexto vivido. Portanto, este artigo discute a forma como os docentes compreendem e significam a prática pedagógica do ensino de filosofia, buscando problematizar estratégias/investigações capazes de fomentar a ensinabilidade desta área do saber.

Palavras-chave: Filosofia; Ensino de filosofia; Ensino Médio; Prática Docente


Philosophy is a reflection to which any foreign matter serves, or we say to which only serves the matter that is strange for you.

Canguilhen (2009)

Philosophy and its teaching have been recurring themes among those interested in analyzing the role and the relationship between the discipline and the universe. The debate becomes quite interesting, since the place of philosophy in school has been a fertile area for research and other perspectives, and presents itself as a genuinely philosophical problem.

On one hand, the issue of learning philosophy can be considered as part of the process of redefinition of knowledge involving the discipline and its presence in the school curricula. On the other, its understanding while praxis raises the need to deal with socio-cultural factors and other vicissitudes brought under the existence of philosophy as part of (fundamental) knowledge in schools. This theme is permeated by questions; so, it is so important to have the teaching of philosophy as an object of own philosophizing.

The Guidelines and Bases for National Education (LAW 9,394 of December 20, 1996) presents, in article 35, subparagraph III, the high school1, for being of incorporation of basic education aims to “improving the educating as human beings, including the ethics and training development of intellectual autonomy and critical thinking “(BRAZIL, 1996, s/p).

Considering the Constitution of 1988, the Guidelines and Bases of Education-LDB of 1996 and the National Curricular Parameters (PCN) of 1999, the teaching of philosophy in the high school curriculum was established for legal determination of the National Council of Education through the 38/2006 Opinion (BRAZIL, 2006), in particular to schools that adopt the curriculum organization structured by subjects.

With it, Philosophy went on to have two functions in basic education: to implement the quality improvement of the teaching process through its integration with other disciplines as established by the Curriculum Guidelines for High School and, from those same documents officers, to sediment, together with Sociology, Geography and History, knowledge of the Humanities and its Technologies (ROCHA, 2008).

This attempt to establish the (re)meaning, the importance of Philosophy in High School, it is crucial to get some of the multiple elements that pertain to the issue of “teachingness” (or not) of Philosophy. Many reflections involve the subject and, therefore, varied points of view are presented on it.

Conceived as a discipline that has “what to say” for high school students, Philosophy becomes a point to be investigated in the current context, since the discipline and its teaching require a continuous movement of quest and questioning. Among other areas of inquiry, there is space for Philosophy in High School imagined/created in the legislation. Will the imagined get results in teaching practice? Does the legislation become effective in the classroom or is just abbreviated in articles and codes that do not come true in everyday life? How do teachers who work in high school understand and mean its pedagogical practice in that area of knowledge?

The debate becomes quite useful since the place of Philosophy in school has been a fertile area for research and other perspectives, in which there is the unsettling concern in dealing with the teaching of Philosophy as genuinely philosophical problem.

To try to answer those questions, the research looked for statements from teachers who work in high school with diverse experience in classroom ranging from five to 20 years. It is worth noting that the research approach and the methodological tools used follow established ethical procedures for research in the humanities.


The bonds of inclusion/exclusion of Philosophy in school make up the relationships between education and Philosophy itself. Talking about the Brazilian education and its processes is (re)mean the socio-economic and cultural contexts that are in the consolidation of the own country, manifesting the multiple relationships present in each context.

Brazil, throughout its history, went through several changes in the shape of its school organization. Conceiving, such as Guimarães Rosa tells us, that people tune and they sing out of tune, or, in other words, that the transformations are features of human construction, the history of inclusion/exclusion of Philosophy reflects the changes in the form of design and organization of educational processes.

Those changes show that the place of Philosophy is established in conjunction with the guidelines given to National Education. The 1988 Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil, in article2 205, provides that “education, right of everybody and duty of the State and of the family, will be promoted and encouraged with the collaboration of the society, aimed at the full development of the person, their preparation for the exercise of citizenship and their qualification for the job”. (BRAZIL, 1988, s/p). In this sense, the Brazilian educational legislation highlights an important place for the teaching of Philosophy will be tensioned between the imagined and the feasible, i.e., between the legislation and practice in the classroom.

The constitutional norm established that training for the exercise of citizenship - theme dear to Philosophy since its appearance in the 5th century BC with the application of maieutics by Socrates in Athens - is one of the assumptions of the real right to education. According to Brazil (2006, p. 148), the Art. 206 points out, in paragraph II, that we should teach based on the principle of “freedom to learn, teach, research and disseminate the thought, art and knowledge”, indicating a humanistic model of education back to full training.

If Philosophy and its “teachingness” are under investigation, the questioning goes beyond the pendulum movement that renders the possibility or not of teaching/learning Philosophy. Many approaches (re) raise the question of the teaching and learning Philosophy under various aspects and constitute, as counterpoints, that contribute to the discussion, to the extent that foster philosophical reflection on the own philosophy.

To think the insertion of Philosophy in high school, the legislation intended, theoretically, that the discipline could help in the formation of the Brazilian citizen, providing the contact, seizure and dialogue with the concepts. It is necessary to make the route from theory to classroom practice from two axes. The first features the school as an effecting institution of existing legislation and accomplishing the orientations given by official documents of the planning, the teaching methods and teaching. And the second, which deals with the educator as responsible for applying, in the classroom, the objects of knowledge of Philosophy and its legitimate interpreter according to their students.

2.1 Philosophy in the school space

Philosophy is a compulsory subject in high school, public and private schools. But how effective your teaching? What is underpinned theoretically your insertion in school every day? Far from being a know established in a restricted set of knowledge and “truths”, Philosophy, by your specificity, by your radicalism, is always a dynamic and infinite, in which the man interrogates himself, the world and his own Philosophy. The Dialogic perspective in which the philosophy, as Cerletti (2008) requires an interactive posture between Philosophy and didactics.

Starting from the assumption that Philosophy is amalgamated with Sociology, History and Geography in the area of knowledge of Humanities and its Technologies, the fact of being related to other disciplines does not deprive Philosophy from its singularity in high school. There is a double frame delimiting Philosophy- time and concept. Chronologically, the philosophical questions are put from the classical antiquity in Greece: who are we? How do we operate? What do we think? Conceptually, answers vary in history of Philosophy according to the historical, political and moral contexts (ROCHA, 2008). It is so necessary that Philosophy, by its own essence, awaken critical citizens beyond time and concept.

Therefore, there is a philosophical singularity in the questions and in the answers, since “the answers of Philosophy are always an opening act, because they are related to the way we deal with our deepest conventions”. (ROCHA, 2008, p. 35). Once clarified that Philosophy is unique and has its own questions and explanations that don’t mix methodologically with other disciplines (although there are points of contact, functional couplings, there’s always a frame of disciplines - the objectivity of each one of them) include some interface issues with school discipline.

A first point to be considered is the obligation to criticality of Philosophy in High School. In NPCs (PCNs), according to Rocha (2008), appear the categorization of Philosophy as a missionary discipline to build citizenship by critics to thought and action. Well, thought and action can be parameterized by any discipline or even by a life philosophy.

A second point to be discussed is a result of the obligation to the critical interdisciplinary installment in high school. After all, what should we teach to achieve philosophical knowledge? To give Philosophy the mission of “a critical reflection about the knowledge and action, from the analysis of the assumptions of thinking and of acting and, therefore, as a theoretical foundation and critique of knowledge and practices” seems to drive the philosophizing to a didactic-pedagogic abyss. (BRAZIL, 2002, p. 41).

In relation to the curricular organization, the weekly workload limited compared to other disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, History and Geography) compromises the rhythm that a group conceptual elaboration, rigorous and radical demands. There is, in Brazil, a legacy of the organization placed on curricular component hierarchically designed to keep certain isolation and indifference to the teaching of Philosophy. If the “school is the place of valuable and complex learning, it requires a careful, systematic work, time consuming”, it is necessary to claim, from school, a larger space for philosophical practice. (ROCHA, 2008, p. 114).

Nowadays, in public and private schools, in particular, in the big cities and in their metropolitan areas, there is a tension - with regard to the contents and curricular component studied - caused by the results of the National High School Exam (ENEM). In the impacts of that tension, often, those schools are designed for higher load time for Philosophy and Sociology in the last year of High School, since the evaluation of Humanities and its Technologies have matched progressively the number of issues on which the knowledge objects of the four subjects appear divided equitably.

The presence of Philosophy in school makes multiple issues emerge, among them: What is the place of Philosophy in school? How do we teach it? Why do we teach Philosophy? We establish, as well, another challenge to Philosophy: to promote the formation of citizenship, implementing the debate and critical analysis in social and political spheres that permeate the 21st century.

This calling to transformation prints to Philosophy in school the need of an insertion in social aspects, including man as a political animal. This inherent relational need requires of man in Philosophy, present at school, a dedication that overcomes the boundaries of universe. For this reason, it is necessary to develop reflection, designed by Arendt (1993, p. 39) as a finish to the action, i.e.

[...] a complex process, which never produces clear results. It is a never-ending activity, whereby, in constant change and variation, we learn to deal with our reality, reconciled with it, that is, we feel at home in the world. The understanding is endless and therefore cannot produce final results; it is a specifically human way of being alive.

Philosophy, therefore, in this scenario, it’s an odd instrument... Its constant unrest resulting from its own nature covered with questions and inquiries, is always dissatisfied, always in search of something else ... This incompleteness generates the certainty that “all I know is that I know nothing” and determines, so scathing, the permanent question. Thus, with the return of Philosophy to high school are the inquiries of the modes and forms through which it is established in that level of education.

Thus, to say about Philosophy and its description means walking on the intricacies of the interaction among the various factors that make up the professional acting faculty of Philosophy and its vicissitudes, wrapped in cultural and social networks in which reality is built. The way in which each teacher structures their education plan is, in some ways, linked to the way that means their professional practice and their own Philosophy.

2.2 Philosophy in its pedagogical practice: challenges of teaching

The understanding of how Philosophy is being taught and learned in high school from the teaching experience leads to reflection on the importance and complexity of that area of its return to the high school. Whereas the “teachingness” of Philosophy permeates (and surpasses) the relations established in the teaching-learning process, consider the questions related to this discipline is, therefore, a difficult task. According to Carrilho (1987, p. 44),

school acclimates students to learn, to acquire stable content of knowledge. If the teaching of philosophy conforms to that general feature, there would be no particular problem. But this is not the case: the problems that arise with the teaching of philosophy stem from fundamentally what you plan to teach, that is, of the very nature of philosophy, the fact that it couldn’t offer those contents and therefore be learned strictu sensu, but only to propose, to exercise learning to philosophize.

So, meet philosophically is to enhance the vision set of reality (because the problem should not be considered in isolation from the surrounding context), a radical investigation of the problems dealt with (because it is deep reflection in search for the essence of things), to reach the rigor of the analysis (because of reflection that rigorously, with method).

Philosophy fulfills role within the school space. However, this paper is in itself controversial in the sense of concern in not just the essence of Philosophy to a pragmatic action imposed by the educational systems and/or teaching professionals. In this perspective, it is therefore important to make the world understand, explaining, exploring, questioning the concepts already received, by swapping with reality other possible meanings.

More than a place of content presentation, Philosophy classes are a space for conceptual creation, namely, the classroom is a laboratory where the confrontation of different realities creates a real movement of criticality. Whereas this lab is always a dialogic space of creation that turns to a subjective reality (and the teacher) and objective (of reality, the world of the company), has, therefore, the continued dialogue between the poles constituting the knowledge, in which the inner and outer reality is impermanent, since it offers always new. Then comes, therefore, to foster the critical conscience and citizenship.

In other words,

[...] teaching philosophy is a call for diversity, perspectivism; is an exercise of access to key issues for human existence; it is an exercise in openness to risk, creative search, a thought always fresh; is an exercise of the question by the distrust of the easy answer. Anyone not willing to such exercises hardly will find pleasure and success in the adventure of teaching philosophy, learning philosophy. (GALLO, 2004, p. 199).

It is worth mentioning that criticality is essential for the student-citizen, is not exclusive of Philosophy, on the contrary, “applies also to the work of scientists, physicists, chemists, biologists, historians, sociologists, geographers, artists, writers” (ROCHA, 2008, p. 53). Criticality is, therefore, a challenge for all subjects, since it is not possible to form a critical, ethical and politically engaged student only by studying Philosophy.

In this sense, Philosophy is not only tariffed by criticality, as there are more elements to be considered by the school in teaching Philosophy, which are not essentially polarized between ethics and politics. Generally speaking, philosophical knowledge takes place in the interaction between teacher-learner and, therefore,

[...] one of the philosopher-educator’s functions is to provide elements for the student to examine critically the certainties are received and to find out the prejudices often obscured that permeate it. Moreover, to reflect upon the assumptions of science, technology, arts, politics, moral behavior, the philosophy helps the learner to launch another look at the world and to turn the experience into an included experience. (MEC/SEMTEC, 2002, p. 45).

In this conception of Philosophy (that it is not restricted and can be taken at other disciplines without fear of losing its uniqueness of objects of knowledge), that knowledge is a magnified view of the object of study, enabling interactions in chaining logical with other areas, with other life realities.

In specific lines, we can affirm that philosophical knowledge has a starting point that is the problem, since the object of Philosophy, from which it must deal with, is what drives men to seek wisdom, namely, the problems they face in the course of their existence in the world (SAVIANI, 1973, p. 17-30).

This dynamism in (re)meaning realities and things lies in the fact that, as deals with Deleuze and Guattari (2010, p. 10-13), only the Philosophy produces concepts.

Philosophy is the art of creating, inventing, manufacturing concepts [...]. The philosopher is the friend of the concept, its concept. I mean that philosophy is not a simple art form, inventing or manufacturing concepts, because concepts are not necessarily forms, findings or products. Philosophy, more strictly, is the discipline that consists in creating concepts.

If concept is what matters in Philosophy, the student is not part of the process of philosophizing: take ownership of a concept from another philosopher to himself is to give it a new meaning, to recontextualize it, to recreate it. So,

[...] if philosophy is an activity, it is not enough that we know it in a passive way. We need to try it out. If philosophy is an activity, we only learn philosophy when we experience, when we practice the philosophical activity [...] Each student and all students in philosophy classes need to make the experience of dealing with philosophy. It is therefore that that class should be like a laboratory, or as we said after a workshop. (ASPIS; GALLO, 2009, p. 40-41).

Thus, the classroom can be conceived as a laboratory of experiences revealing for the thinking subject, since

[...] the real subjects of our time are the martyrs who went through the hell of suffering and degradation in their fight against the conquest and oppression, no more characters in the popular culture, inflated by advertising. Those heroes who nobody sang exposed their individual existence to consciously destruction suffered by others without being aware of it, as victims of social processes. The anonymous martyrs of the concentration camps are a symbol of a fight for humanity come to light. The function of philosophy is to translate what they did in words that men can hear, although their mortal voices have been reduced to silence by the tyranny (HORKHEIMER, 2002, p. 40, emphasis added).

In this sense, the development in the classroom of a philosophical rationality in conjunction - educators and students - is contrary to individualistic instrumental rationality that raises the constant process of alienation, blind, meaningless repetition of action in the world, the loss of ability to think with autonomy and elegance.

Finally, it is worth noting that the knowledge of the professor regarding his/her pedagogical practice is the foundation of education, since the way to learn and to teach a particular programmatic content approaches the student to the teacher. In addition, this dynamic relationship offers clues to a better understanding about the wonder of the area and about the way the current generation seizes differentiated knowledge and put them in dialogue with life. In this sense, decided to listen to those people as regards the pedagogical practice of this complex content that demand knowledge and philosophical attitude.


The research is qualitative in nature, developed over a period of 12 months and contemplate testimonials from teachers of private schools and public schools of Belo Horizonte city and its region. The research subjects - five female and five male teachers between 5 and 20-years of teaching. The interval was chosen in order to realize, from educational programmes, the teaching mode, the choice for the area and the problems and challenges encountered by teachers in their everyday professional context.

All subjects chosen are licensed in Philosophy. That choice was made considering that the professional training and his academic preparation your point, critically, to some of the real problems of Philosophy teaching. In addition, specific training contributes to the philosophical thinking from problems/problematizations.

It is important to note, too, that all have a training in postgraduate courses (lato and/or stricto sensu), and, from the total, three teachers have specialization, others are masters, two of whom are studying the doctorate. The configuration of the academic training, therefore, is presented as follows: teachers with up to 5 years of teaching in the teaching of Philosophy have a degree in Philosophy, masters of science in religion, philosophy and themes specializations masters in education; teachers with more than 5 years in teaching in the teaching of philosophy have a degree in philosophy, specialist in education, specializing in contemporary themes of philosophy, master of education, master’s degree in philosophy, a master’s degree in history, doctoral students in education.

The teachers teach in high school, which has, by requirement, degree, attributed to the continuing education is key to the renewal of educational practice, mainly to understand the young students and provide a critical path of questioning of reality.

Whereas each area has its own methodological specificity, designed/taught in graduate courses form a specific look and peculiar training for critical thinking/problematizing the fundamental reality of school, teachers from other areas that teach philosophy were not considered.

To prioritize the idea of teaching experience, are inspiring the words of Jorge Larrosa Bondia (2002, p. 25-26) who understands it, in a Spanish and Portuguese perspective, such as “what ‘flashes’, or that touches us, or what happens to us, and as we pass our way and transforms us. Only the subject of experience is, therefore, open to its own transformation “.

Thus, as stated previously, with the research proposes to understand, from the perception of teachers, the main elements contained along the teaching in this process of reflective teaching and learning thinking in complex and challenging school space.

To say about the Philosophy and its education “means” to walk between the ins and outs of the continuous interrogation, wrapped in the cultural and social networks in which we build. As Hall (2000, p. 106),

[...] like all the practices of meaning, it (the identity) is subject to the “game” of différance, it involves a discursive work, the lock and symbolic borders marking, production of “border” effects. To consolidate the process, it requires what is left out - the exterior that constitutes it.

In other words, the identity of Philosophy and its teaching are present in the ways in which social actors design and experience it. The discussion of the process that involves the “teachingness” of Philosophy implies in the (re)configuration of the looks and practices that organize the teaching process, considering the multiple scenarios that are in school spaces - permeated by knowledge and concepts linked to the existence of a particular audience of those who compose it.

3.1 Points and counterpoints - prospective analysis

The controversial field in which Philosophy is part of the school institution is not new. Consequently, the choice of subject licensed to that discipline in different years of experience intends to realize, on the other hand, how this complex situation, sometimes presented as uncomfortable, appears in teaching practice and how teachers deal with it; and, on the other hand, presents the choice of Philosophy teachers between teaching themes or History of Philosophy, an approach of teaching practice that links to its training and the form philosophizing.

With regard to educational programs and textbooks adopted, the testimony of the participants show the tendency for the permanence of programs and certain philosophical themes in the History of Philosophy or even the choice by themes of random Philosophy. The philosophical themes are those classics like: myth, ethics, politics, freedom, language, religion, sexuality, among others. The usually random are related to interdisciplinary projects, such as: abortion, drugs, diversity, violence, education, media, communication, among others.

In relation to the controversial presence of Philosophy in the school space, subjects indicate, in their statements, the difference of the pedagogical practice of the teaching of Philosophy and other disciplines and challenges in relation to students, to other professional colleagues and mainly, for professionals who administer the school.

As shown by a deponent

There is a difference in the mode of working the contents of Philosophy. There is a different didactic way; it assumes that end up reflecting on questions of other areas of knowledge. Such a perspective generates a nuisance, because the school works with certainty of something already given. The philosophizing deposes this knowledge of certainty3.

For another deponent also with over five years of teaching: “the most critical youth training becomes the goal of the discipline. Such criticism, when seized by the students in the form of questioning, is causing nuisances to other teachers”.

Such a perspective is highlighted by Carvalho and Santos (2010, p. 15), when, to make a balance of the last 50 years of teaching Philosophy in Brazil, they claim that:

These little period of more than 50 years, the teaching of Philosophy caused several controversies. In the period of the dictatorship, it was considered harmful to the formation of young people, because it could lead to critical thinking, associated to communism by the military. Then, the discussions which resumed the discussion on its mandatory insertion in high school brought up the vision of intellectuals who defended the obligation of teaching Philosophy. The essential argument: Philosophy is not a discipline, nor can be, as it is a critical attitude to thought, and there is no pedagogical model they account for its nature, or you can set limits for its teaching.

The most experienced teachers, included in the above period of five years of teaching, as regards the choice between teaching the course organizing it for themes and/or the history of Philosophy, present the merged these trends, using a program of history of Philosophy, sometimes thematic approaches. For them, what is essential is learning to doubt and the exercise for a critical view of reality.

According to the deponents, initially, this criticism becomes complex, considering that, in the way in which the school is organized, the requirement is for similar content to the practice of other disciplines, which means teaching knowledge that, in many cases, repeat the vertical posture and the schooling process. When this occurs, the schools, with their pedagogical project, or want to, on one hand, to cast the singular method of Philosophy, or, on the other, they want to be in the service of the content related to the human rights and citizenship. For teachers, this situation leads to a field of tension, which, at various times, becomes of difficult solution.

By a requirement and demand of the legislation for a citizenship training, the output for that problem has been to contemplate, in the program and in the teaching Philosophy, ethics training for citizenship with a critical view and controversy, which, in the opinion of the research subjects, continues to generate a malaise among colleagues.

In the understanding of some deponents, students of the last year of high school seize a way of perceiving the world critically and end up asking the attitude of some teachers facing controversial issues discussed in the discipline. Teachers have cited, as an example, the question of drugs and abortion. “Students understand critically and moralistic not these issues are set forth in some pedagogies of projects.” According to the view of the research subjects, in some other areas/disciplines, those themes are seen as moral and not reason for criticism.

Among the studied subjects, the issue of ethics always appears as a requirement and a need. For one of the deponents, such a situation is addressed in order to explore the question of “ethics in politics due to the political moment”. For another, “the question of politics comes at a specific demand of the study of Greek authors and modern ones.” Those positions in the field of ethics and politics are not always well seen in the educational field, since what the school expects of the teaching of those teachers “is ‘almost new salvation values’ which contemporary society took over and not in the exercise of criticism and in formation of a subject “.

Apparently so, according to the data collected, it is as if the school wanted standards without reflection about the origin of those same standards and principles from where they originate. What is on stage and appears so constant is almost a denunciation of the school institution in its prescriptive character.

As the pedagogical practice of Philosophy teachers is differentiated in relation to other areas, the inherent conflict in the philosophizing is evident, most of the time, when nature interdisciplinary projects occur. Interdisciplinarity in high school is desired and dreamed of; and when it occurs, teachers who participate in it and make a difference with students are, commonly, those of Philosophy, in view of the nature of the knowledge area in which discipline is committed.

Commenting on those projects, the subjects researched indicate that school is not yet prepared enough for that type of methodology, configuring the disciplinary character of education. However, even with that complexity, teachers turn to the projects related to ethics, citizenship and the inclusion policy. What they claim is that students show what they learn in class in terms of the philosophizing “method”.

The differential pointed to those teachers about teaching of the discipline is limited to the type of school that is through dialogue and requires strict reading of the authors. In the case of public school, for some of the teachers, the absence of the habit of reading and not textual understanding leads to a difficulty to exercise with the students a critical class. According to a deponent: “to teach the student to read and to understand the written text, which, for its time, assists in other disciplines facilitating its understanding.”

Also for some of those teachers, the question of Philosophy requires the written text to better understand the issues the world is facilitated to the private school in which the student, to be required reading in the question, follows/participates in more and better methodology for dialoging or dialogical classes. As stated above, although that reading the text differential, perceived as fundamental to the pedagogical practice of the teaching of Philosophy was evidenced, however, by the subjects researched that the absence/increasingly of interpretative elements from act of reading, do not prevent the exercise of philosophizing.

Philosophy requires time and school time is prescriptive, pragmatic, measured. The teachers as some of the problems related to their professional practice, the reduced number of Philosophy classes and the pragmatic character of the school to consider results and not processes. Such conceptions, sometimes demarcated under such procedural character, positivist philosophy in considering the time of long duration in the act of philosophizing.

This situation reflects, in some moments, the choice for the History of Philosophy, as opposed to a thematic approach, and such an option eventually settle on a charge for content. However, in most cases, the choice of teachers has been by the syllabus which merges themes and History of Philosophy. With regard to the themes with which students identify themselves in those years of experience of teachers, the recurrence of themes: ethics, politics, myth, sexuality.

Textbooks now adopted and consulted for research purposes were4: Invitation to Philosophy- Marilena Chauí (2010); Themes of Philosophy- Maria Lúcia Graça Aranha e Maria Helena Pires Martins (2005); and, Fundamentals of Philosophy - Gilberto Cotrim (2010). According to the teachers, the choice between using or not the book is made depending on the class. However, in most cases, the classes are based on these books by the fact they present a more didactic character. It is worth mentioning that the teachers establish criticisms to all books.

The criticism of the teachers from public schools present that the book by Marilena Chauí is more complex for students and ends up requiring adaptations to make a language more comprehensible to students; on the other hand, Gilberto Chowdhury and Maria Lucia’s are superficial. In addition to using the books, in some cases, teachers develop their own material, which is made in the form of a book or single texts in an attempt to get out of that complexity of the book Invitation to Philosophy and superficiality of the books Fundamentals of Philosophy, by Cotrim and Themes of Philosophy, by Aranha. For a deponent with an experience of more than 20 years:

[...] After meeting the class in the first year when Philosophy is introduced, I start dosing slowly with texts of philosophers, learning with students to formulate from different places, which reminds me my graduate training in the area: a need to philosophize with philosophers.

Teachers’ considerations on the use of books corroborate what Aspis (2004, p. 12) says:

[...] There are no manuals for Philosophy classes. It is not possible to make a manual for something that has not yet come to be. There is, in publishing, books for the teaching of Philosophy. But those may not be used for anything other than, at most, to bring elements to create fresh and each teacher for each class. Which is to say that the teacher must be the creator of instruments and strategies. Every different group, each different year or school, it is necessary to invent the supporting characters of our classes.

Even with a good education, respondents complain about the difficulty of the students in the interpretation of philosophical texts, which requires new ways of teaching and differentiated strategies in daily practices, the way advocates Aspis (2004). For a deponent, “the biggest gratification is when students learn to put into life the learned, saying he/she learned to philosophize philosophizing.”

In this sense, the Philosophy teachers are building their classes with texts in different contexts, choosing themes and pedagogical strategies to better open up possibilities for philosophizing. The teaching of Philosophy linked to philosophize fosters a conducive environment to critical thinking and, at the same time, helps in a better interpretation of texts.

Teachers point out that, in recent years, with the requirement of Philosophy in tests and questions of interpretation of texts in Enem, has been presented a differential in the recognition of Philosophy, not only by the students but also by other teachers, has increased. However, the respondents answer that this so-called recovery is still not enough to consider the specificity of that area of knowledge and its methodology of critical questioning of reality.

The research contributes to the reflection about the teaching of Philosophy in basic education. Considering the constant social and political transformations that pertain to the construction of school spaces and the formation of knowledge and their subject, to think Philosophy and its teaching is always a necessary exercise, fundamental to the construction and maintenance of the opening to the citizenship and criticality - able to contribute elements for a fair and just society.


If learning is the gap between knowing and not knowing, in the learning philosophy is the gap between the non-philosopher and philosopher.

SílvioGallo (2004)

The discussion about Philosophy and its place in the school, including its vicissitudes established in their points, counterpoints and challenges in the textures of the learning processes and the formation of critical subjects and citizens is an always renewed theme. Given the characteristics of the Philosophy and teaching of that area of knowledge, the route of the practices carried out by teachers is always challenging, since one cannot help philosophizing about teaching and the “teachingness” of Philosophy.

Set in a field marked by the rational awareness know-how, the knowledge worked by Philosophy in various school spaces constitute itself as a unique opportunity to foster new reality and man approaches.

The participation of Philosophy as a field of knowledge in a curricular organization of Brazilian public and private schools is in an area of weakness, since the incentive to critical thinking can be threatening to those who do not see with good eyes the change in the status quo.

On the role of Philosophy, its uniqueness, its particularity elements and its complexity, each researcher/teacher, or student interested in that discussion should expand their horizons of reflection in order to understand better the factors related to that area of knowledge.

Each presented data in the research reinforces the participation of Philosophy as a school discipline that is part at school in case, of sure-not know troubling. In this way, even if you get a place set, (pre)established for the discipline, the questions still prevail on it. Being the school stage of change and transformation, remains, in this space, the urgency of (re) construction. Philosophy, for its time, (re)elaborates that place, investigating the issues related to its presence/absence in school universe in the drive to understand itself and its practice.

This critical-reflexive movement should consider that the act of understanding is always a process in which knowledge is permeated with concerns. In this sense, as well as the Philosophy has multiple looks that involve its practice, there are many meanings to understand.

To understand is a form of reconciliation with a diverse world, inherited from the rubble of the historic for crystal formation marked by political violence of modernity. To understand is not to indoctrinate. To understand is not to ideologise the speech. To understand is to open, through dialogue, new prospects to be in the world with the other, in plurality. To understand is to join in the classroom the world we live in and put it in question to prevent the emptying of the action and, therefore, the possibility of replacement of violence - in its various arrays - as the only way to act politically.

Thus, the challenge is, therefore, in the universe of the ways in which the discipline should be worked in school, in order to develop its role as collaborator in the formation of the learners. Thus, being a Philosophy discipline entered in the universe of learning and, consequently, with elements to be taught, it is important to create/discuss, permanently, the ways how it is seen/meant in school by social actors present in high school.

The History of Philosophy at school (re)organizes the complex relationships established by discipline in education and also in the political universe that characterizes each context. In this perspective, the teaching of Philosophy permeates (and surpasses) the relations established in the teaching-learning process, which leads to the perception that consider issues related to the teaching of Philosophy is, therefore, a difficult task.

Recently in Law No. 13,415 adopted on 16 February 2017, there was the addition of Art. 35-A, which changed the Law 9394/96, where in paragraph 2 we can read: “the Common National Curriculum for the Base High School will include compulsory studies and practice of Physical Education, Art, Sociology and Philosophy”. (BRAZIL, 2017, s/p). The place of Philosophy in High School, sometimes, is fluid, continuously put in “tightrope”. This new determination, yet no one knows for sure how the presence and “teachingness” of discipline in school.

The impacts of the new configuration given to Philosophy, in the reformulation of the law, will establish, perhaps, less-critical environments, less involved at school. What, in fact, means “studies and practices of Philosophy”? This is one of the anxieties produced by the new law.

In this scenario, we have to discuss the legal modifications they bequeath to Philosophy uncertain spaces, sometimes dubious, amorphous and weak. Philosophy challenges the thinking of alienated and so, provokes change, revolution, the transformation of values and actions, thoughts and more.

Finally, there is always something to add about the dynamic philosophy/philosophize, outlined in the discussion about the “teachingness” or not of the discipline, its inclusion/exclusion of the curricula and, of course, about its role in high school classrooms. In a dialogic stance, above all, in this mo(ve)ment is indispensable: the philosophizing around the own Philosophy and its teaching. Thus, taking into account the scope of incompleteness - brand of Philosophy itself - reinforces the importance of the question.

The relationship among the research data and their interpretations manifest the concern to grasp how Philosophy is perceived and how could/can be worked with high school participants. In every look, there is always a new possibility of knowledge. Therefore, we wish those looks presented can contribute to the expansion of reflections on Philosophy and its teaching.


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1From February, 2017, that law went into effect the Art. 35-A, not more compulsory the discipline Philosophy, but the studies and practice of Physical Education, Art, Sociology and Philosophy (BRAZIL, 2017, s/p). The law addresses superficially effective place of Philosophy in High School. This aspect has been questioned, already scholars and professors of Philosophy. As presented Prof. Silvio Ricardo Gomes Carneiro in ANPOF/2017-2018: “[...] We know that almost a decade of compulsory philosophy (and other disciplines) in the school made a difference. Think from this point makes a revolution in education, perhaps the greatest fear of those who are silencing the voices of education by Decree”.

22 The choice of the subject of the research with graduation in philosophy is fundamental, once many teachers that today teach the discipline, in the several teaching levels, they don’t possess formation in philosophy.

3The information submitted by deponents will be all spelled in italics in order to highlight.

4Editions of books listed in school are differentiated. References are presented the latest editions.

Received: February 13, 2017; Accepted: June 20, 2017

Contact: Amauri Carlos Ferreira, Rua Goitacazes 152 /1302 , Belo Horizonte|MG|Brasil, CEP 30190-050.


Post Doctor of Education (UFMG); Doctor (UMESP), Master (PUCSP) in Religion Science; Graduated in Philosophy (PUCMinas) - Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais; Research group: Education, Ethics and Diversity. Professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUCMinas) and Santo Tomás de Aquino Institute (ISTA). Email: <>.


Doctor to be of Education (PUC Minas); Master in Political Philosophy (UFMG); Specialization in Philosophical Themes (UFMG); Graduation in Philosophy (PUCMinas) - Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais; Professor of Sociology and Philosophy at Instituto Federal de Minas Gerais (IFMG) - Campus Santa Luzia - MG - Brasil. Email: <>.


Doctor to be of Education (PUC Minas); Master in Education (Unincor); Specialization in Contemporary Philosophy (PUC Minas), Clinical Philosophy (Instituto Packter); Graduation in Philosophy and Social Service (PUC Minas). Professor at Milton Campos College, Faculty of Aapplied Social Sciences of Belo Horizonte (Facisa BH), Centro Educacional Mineiro School. Email: <>.

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