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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 19-Abr-2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-4698173991 

Article

WHAT DO SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAMS THINK ABOUT SPECIALIZED EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE?

Neusa Denise Marques de Oliveira3  *
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5425-4055

Aliciene Fusca Machado Cordeiro4  **
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6778-5285

3Instituto Federal Catarinense, Camboriú, Santa Catarina, Brasil

4Educação da Universidade da Região de Joinville, Bom Retiro,Santa Catarina, Brasil


ABSTRACT:

This study aimed to investigate the understandings of school management teams about the Specialized Educational Assistance service. As a data collection instrument, a questionnaire was used. The participants in this research were seven principals, eight supervisors and seven counselors from seven schools in a city in the state of Santa Catarina, totaling 22 participants. Content analysis was used to analyze the understandings of the seven Directive Teams. The results demonstrated that the majority of participants have an understanding about Specialized Educational Assistance focused on the target audience of Special Education. The Specialized Educational Assistance seems to be understood by the management teams as an individualized service, sectored and with little interlocution among other professionals of the school.

Keywords: School management; School management team; Special education; Specialized Educational Assistance

RESUMO:

O artigo apresenta um estudo que teve por objetivo investigar as compreensões das equipes diretivas escolares sobre o serviço de Atendimento Educacional Especializado. Como instrumento de coleta de dados, utilizou-se um questionário. Participam da pesquisa sete diretores(as), oito supervisores(as) e sete orientadores(as) de sete escolas de uma cidade do Estado de Santa Catarina, totalizando 22 participantes. A análise de conteúdo foi utilizada para analisar as compreensões das sete Equipes Diretivas (ED). Os resultados demonstraram que a maioria dos participantes tem uma compreensão sobre o AEE focada no público alvo da Educação Especial. Assim, o Atendimento Educacional Especializado parece ser entendido pelas equipes diretivas como um serviço individualizado, setorizado e com pouca interlocução entre os profissionais da escola.

Palavras-chave: Gestão escolar; Equipe diretiva escolar; Educação Especial; Atendimento Educacional Especializado

1. INTRODUCTION

In Brazil, in recent years, the discourse on Special Education (SE) has been growing, more specifically with an inclusive approach, which emerged in the 1990s through the incorporation of the international guidelines addressed in the World’s Declaration on Education for All (UNICEF, 1990). The guidelines of the Salamanca Declaration (UNESCO, 1994) have also contributed in the formulation of Brazilian policies. (MELETTI and BUENO, 2011)

In this perspective, according to Pletsch (2011), the educational guidelines that follow the international presuppositions incorporate the educational and social rights of the target public of the SE as a support for this discourse. The equality of opportunities, so, are focused, which does not mean to assure conditions for it. In addition, the author reiterates that:

{...} this type of conception recognizes individual rights, but does not take responsibility for the social conditions that determine socioeconomic and power inequalities. This perspective ends up making the person responsible for his or her “success” or “failure” in employment, school and other areas of social life. In other words, while expanding the focused policies of inclusion, the person is still excluded, since there are no effective conditions for integration and social mobility in the current economic system. (PLETSCH, 2011, p.39)

The critical and reflexive exposition of the author in relation to the propositions of educational policies leads to a questioning that concerns how the guidelines of Special Education and, more specifically, the Specialized Educational Attendance, has been constituting and configuring itself in the Brazilian schools. In this perspective, Freitas (2002) warns that when making an analysis about the public school, it is necessary to considerate the economic, political and social pressures of the capitalist system. These pressures are translated into public policies impregnated with neoliberal assumptions and put into operation with the objective of “reducing economic, social and political costs, without altering the selective essence of the school, resulting in a greater number of repetition and evasion, creating a field of subjective exclusion “(FREITAS, 2002, p. 299). This may mean that the public school does not seem to be inclusive for most of its students and not just for those who are SE target audiences. In this direction, the author also emphasizes that:

{..} the more we talked about inclusion, the more social exclusion prior to schooling was legitimized, by a mechanism that disguised formal inclusion in school that transmuted objective school exclusion (repetition, avoidance) into subjective school exclusion (self-exclusion between cycles , “options” for less privileged progression paths, formal traffic without real dominance), from the horizons and class possibilities previously internalized by the objective conditions of each class in society. (Freitas, 2002, p.310)

Kassar and Meletti (2012) point out, supported by Di Giovanni (2009), that the National Policy on Special Education in the Perspective of Inclusive Education, as any public policy, is not assimilated automatically and homogeneously by the education systems and therefore by their schools. This is because, as Michels (2004, p. 44) has pointed out: “{...} the ones involved understand the political indications in a different way, according to their experiences, their interests, their professional organization, among others. Each educational institution ends up “implementing” policies in its own way”.

After these reflections, the importance of the critical and reflexive action of the management team can be noticed, together with the school community, in what concerns educational policies, in particular the National Special Education Policy in the Inclusive Perspective - PNEE-EI and the Specialized Educational Assistance-SEA. It is important that the management team understands the historical, economic, political and social context in which it is inserted, as well as which assumptions permeate these policies, looking for ways to constitute a pedagogical practice that can contribute to an effective schooling process for all students.

According to Vasconcellos (2013, p. 51), among the professionals involved in the implementation and availability of the proposals of the current Special Education policy, the school management team is “composed with School Principal, Pedagogical Supervisor and Educational Advisor “, professionals who play a role of reference in the school and can contribute significantly to the process of schooling of students when acting articulated in the school space.

With the purpose of knowing the researches that approach the school management / school management team in relation to Special Education (SE) a research was carried out in two databases: 1) Brazilian Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations - BDTD and, 2) Bank of Thesis and Dissertations of the Coordination of Improvement of Higher Level Personnel - CAPES. Therefore, it was decided to use descriptors related to the proposed theme, such as “school management and Special Education”, as a reference to list scientific production in the area of Education, and the expressions were searched in the field “keywords”. In total, eleven (11) papers were found on the theme during the period considered (2008 to 2017).

The research results showed a low number of studies covering the topic, revealing school management and Special Education as a field of studies and research that has been gradually explored.

Among the eleven works found, three were highlighted to present in this article: Rocha (2016), Silveira (2009) and Santos (2011).

The most recent research was undertaken by Rocha (2016), who decided to investigate “the changes resulting from the implementation of the guidelines of the National Policy on Special Education in the Perspective of Inclusive Education in the management of special education in the cities of the North Metropolitan Area of Curitiba “(ROCHA, 2016, p.9). The author pointed out that the state of Paraná assumes different administrative and political guidelines of the federal government in relation to the special education policy. According to the author, this specificity is translated into:

the lowest rate of inclusion in regular education (50%) in the state of Paraná, in relation to the national average, in the SEA offer coexists in multifunctional resource rooms and philanthropic institutions and in the expansion of groups that make up the target audience of special education. (ROCHA, 2016, p. 09)

The studies of Silveira (2009) and Santos (2011) focused on the role of school management in the constitution of an inclusive school, focusing on the professionals who constitute the school management team: the principal, the supervisor, and the educational advisor.

In the research of Silveira (2009), the author proposed an intervention and monitoring of a school for a period of 28 months. The study aimed to highlight the performance and conceptions of the school management team in relation to inclusive education and to implement follow - up strategies, willing the transformation of management practices, as well as to allow reflections on existing special education conceptions. However, the author pointed out that the changes that occurred in school did not totally break with homogenous teaching standards. In addition, the teachers’ turnover in the researched school constituted a serious problem despite not being specific to the researched school, but of the Municipal Network as a whole. Such rotation has as one of its reasons the lack of adequate working conditions. Another fact evidenced by the author is the urgency of training for school managers and teachers, focusing on Special Education.

Santos study (2011) set out to highlight the actions developed by the school management (principal, vice-principal and pedagogical coordinator) in the constitution of the Special Education service in the school. The author realized that the implementation of Special Education in the scope of the researched school was still a challenge, since the managers researched had not defined the concept and principles that would guide this proposal of special education, as well as “presented management practices for special education, specific, isolated and not based, organized or planned in the general guidelines of the school. (SANTOS, 2011, p.79).

Based on the analysis of Rocha (2016), Silveira (2009) and Santos (2011) surveys carried out in different Brazilian states and cities, it can be seen that the Special Education Policy in the Inclusive Perspective has been apprehended and implemented in diferent ways, because, as Michels pointed out (2006), the school is becoming and organizing itself in the clash between its daily life and political propositions. In addition, each school is inserted in a social, political, cultural and economic context that is expressed in school relations and organization.

These researches have also demonstrated, among other factors, a common fragility, which concerns the need for a theoretical background on the theme of special education for school managers and teachers.

In the same way, Rocha (2016, 148) emphasises that “the moment in which Brazil lives, points to the need for studies on policies on action, in how these policies have been translated in the context of understanding its effects and also its contradictions. “

Thus, it is understood that identifying how a national policy is being carried out locally signifies, in part, a way of contributing to the production of knowledge about the supports offered to students considered the target audience of Special Education1. It also indicates to the cities that the service has been configured in schools, based on the words of the members of the management teams, understood in this study as protagonists in the implementation and availability of SEA in school.

The present study, so, aimed to investigate the understandings of the school management teams about the Specialized Educational Attendance service. The methodology of this study will be discussed, explaining the epistemological basis, the approach and the type of research, as well as the instrument used in the data collection and the main authors that based the analysis process. Therefore, a presentation of the participants of this research will be carried out and then the analysis and discussion of the data about what the school management teams think about SEA will begin. After that, the considerations are presented.

2. METHODOLOGY

This study assumes a vision of man and society based on a historical and dialectical materialist epistemological base that “{...} perceives the person as historical, dated, concrete, marked by a culture, as creators of ideas and consciousness that, in producing and reproducing social reality are at the same time produced and reproduced by it” (FREITAS, 2002, 22). The approach used was qualitative, which according to Gatti and André (2010), privileges the senses and meanings attributed by the person to the experiences.

A questionnaire containing open and closed questions was used as a data collection instrument.

For the selection of participants, four inclusion criteria were established, in which the management team should:

  1. be composed of a school principal, educational supervisor / coordinator and educational advisor;

  2. work in the Municipal Education Network;

  3. to act in school with special education target public students;

  4. have the questionnaire answered by all its members.

In total, 36 questionnaires were applied, 32 of which were answered, but only 22 were considered valid according to the inclusion criteria of this study.

So, the research had 22 members of seven management teams, being 7 school principals, 7 educational advisors and 8 supervisors, who work in 7 schools of the Municipal Network of Education of a city of the Santa Catarina state.

With the 22 questionnaires, the answers were transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet and organized by question.

The identification of the respondents was done through codes formed by letters and numbers. The schools (S) were represented by numbers from 1 to 7 and the professionals of the management teams were identified by letters: “Sp” to refer to the speech of the school principal; “Sa”, to the educational advisor; and “Ss” to the supervisor, for example, “Ss1” refers to the Supervisor (a) of School 1; “Sp4”, to the Principal of School 4; and so on.

Data analysis was inspired by content analysis (BARDIN, 1977; FRANCO, 2012). According to Franco (2012), content analysis considers, in addition to implicit and explicit messages, the historical context in which its producers are inserted.

Possible recurrences, contradictions and complementarities were sought in the participants’ statements, in order to constitute the first indicators of analysis. From these, the analysis category called “Understandings of the school management teams on Specialized Educational Assistance” was created, which will be addressed in this study. Thus, for some open questions, it was decided to carry out an analysis with the support of staff with the most recurrent answers of the members of the management teams, trying to illustrate and focus the articulation of the answers obtained with the theories studied.

3. RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS

For this study, 22 professionals of the school management team participated, 17 identified themselves with the feminine gender and 5 with the masculine. All of them answered that they work 40 hours a week, in the schools where they work.

All the principals started in the function through an indication, while the majority of the educational advisors and supervisors had started through a public contest. Only 1 supervisor informed that he / she had entered through an invitation and 1 advisor through a selection process, different from the public contest.

In relation to the principals start in the function, it was identified that the practice of the election, to the detriment of the indication practiced today, can be a way to bring municipal schools even closer to the principles of democratization and participation in the Municipal Network of Education researched.

Paro (2003: 124) warns that the introduction of election in schools does not take place in a harmonious way and, like any instrument of democracy, is not free from conflicts and tensions. However, it is a way of allowing more people in the school community to become involved in decision-making and school management. Admission to the management function by means of an indication can corroborate to weaken the constitution of joint work, since there is, among other aspects, a rotation in this function that is independent of the choices of the school community, as well as an uncertainty in the permanence in the position.

It was also noticed that the majority (14 out of 22 respondents) are in an initial moment (until 3 years of work) in the function occupied in the school in which they are nowadays, configuring one of the challenges posed to the management teams in the implementation of SEA, since in each school there is an established organizational culture that needs to be known, debated, then maintained or, if necessary, transformed. It is also understood that to carry out these functions is required a theoretical understanding that allows a critical reading about the current educational policies and regulations, so that they can be discussed with the school community before its implementation.

From this brief contextualization of the members of the management teams, begins the showing and discussion of the data about what they think about SEA at the school.

4. COMPREHENSIONS OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENT ‘TEAMS ON SPECIALIZED EDUCATIONAL ATTENDANCE

The understandings of the school management teams on the Specialized Educational Service are going to be discussed on this study, focusing on the service itself and the SE target audience.

To do so, it first begins with the analysis and discussion of the data that relates to the operation of the SEA service in the 7 schools surveyed, as presented in Table 1:

Table 1 Placing the Specialized Educational Assistance in the schools surveyed2  

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
There is a Multifunctional Resourses Room X X X X
There is one SEA teacher X X
Centralized school for target SE students from other schools X
Offers SEA at the school itself X X
Sends the students to the SEA in another school X
SE students are acoompanied by the common teacher and the classes inclusion monitor X X
It does not have physical structure and human resources to offer SEA and does not show signs of sending students to ogher schools. X
There is physical structure but not the specialized teacher, and does not show signs of sending students to other schools. X

Source: Primary (2016).

It is possible to verify, from the data expressed in Table 1 above, that of the 7 schools surveyed, 4 have Multifunctional Resource Room (MRR) located in their physical space. Of the four (S1, S2, S4 and S7) that have this special room, only two (S2 and S4) have na SEA teacher and offer this service in the school itself; the other two, despite having the physical space to carry out the ESA, do not do it (S1) or present an understanding that ESA happens in the common room, from the accompaniment of the teacher and the inclusion monitor3 (S3 and S7) .

However, the situation of the ESA in the schools in which the management teams S1 and S6 operate is highlighted here. S1s, despite having the MRR, do not count on the specialized professional and according to the words of the supervisor, {...} “none of these students have specialized care”. S6, in addition to not having the physical structure and human resources to offer the SEA, does not present indications of referral to other schools. And, as the management report S6p “{unfortunately} {these SE public target students} are not met”. So, it is possible to infer that the SEA service is not being carried out by the school, even though it has students enrolled in Special Education, denoting the absence of this service, which in turn reveals the “tensions between the legal documented {and} already established, lived in the school space” (FUCK 2014, p.147). Converging with the discussion, Freitas (2011, p.227) emphasizes that:

{...} the challenge of the common school is not only with the inclusion of people with disabilities, but with a transformation in its pedagogical totality, in view of the differences of all students. There are innumerable challenges to the contradictions that demarcate the different realities of the national context if we believe in an education as a process of change and transformation.

Of the 7 teams surveyed, 4 have Multifunctional Resource Rooms in their respective schools, and of these, only two (S2 and S4) are in operation. This allows to identify a point of attention about how the needs are understood and to unterstand the process of schooling of these students in the schools of the Municipal Network of Education researched. In other words, those who do not have the MRR and the specialized teacher, with the exception of S5, do not seem to organize themselves in different ways to ensure the necessary support for the learning of the students considered in the SE, for example, to refer them to the schools that have SEA or offer other types of pedagogical support to students.

It is important to emphasize that the space of the Multifunctional Resource Room and the specialized teacher, by themselves, do not guarantee the target public student of Special Education an improvement in their schooling process. In this sense, this study agrees with Effgen (2011, p.158), when he points out that when discussing MRR and SEA, one must consider “{...} that space and this device configure themselves as a network to support the regular classroom, but the center of the teaching-learning process is the regular classroom”. However, there seem to be an understanding on the part of most of the teams surveyed that SEA is limited to MRR space. This may reveal a lack of leadership on the part of the management teams in the area of Special Education. Since the way in which Special Education policy and guidelines appear to be interpreted by the policy teams and how service has been materialized in the school context in a sectored way may signal that there is a lack of understanding that Special Education is contained in Education {Regular}. SEA is one of the supports for SE’s target public student and also the school community and needs to be addressed in the school’s guidelines.

Researches such as those undertaken by Silveira (2009), Boaventura (2008) and Santos (2011) also pointed out the need of training for school managers and teachers related to the theme of Special Education.

It is believed that the management teams have a reference role in the school, in the organization and implementation of the SEA service, together with the school community, considering the necessity of this service and its way of acting to assist the permanence and learning of public- SE, through a process of schooling that takes into account their singularities, potentialities and, above all, the guarantee of the right to learn.

In this perspective, Rossato and Leonardo (2012, p. 113) invite us to reflect:

{...} when considering school education as fundamental to the appropriation of the culture produced, it is necessary to question about education and within it, special education, discussing the forms and conditions of education offered to people with disabilities and the people who they learn differently because they do not always enable them to learn at school. These teaching conditions, which can concentrate on them stigma of failure and incapacity, so as not to make feasible and not to fulfill its function of knowledge socialization elaborated, systematized.

Martins (2001) contributes to the discussion by reiterating that in defending the access and the right to learn from SE public school students in the regular school, “besides the legal aspects that support it, it is fundamental to analyze that this school is a right of all citizens. “ (MARTINS, 2001, 30)

After the initial discussions that could be carried out based on the SEA situation in each school surveyed, the analysis of the responses of the management teams about their understanding of SEA is going to be showed.

Of the 22 participants, 15 demonstrated an understanding about SEA focused on their target audience of Special Education; 4, in the place of attendance (Multifunctional Resource Room); and 3, in the schooling process as a whole. With the exception of the last three, it was possible to perceive that the majority of the participants demonstrated a disjointed understanding, focusing on the disabled student or MRR in an isolated way, highlighting one of several aspects that this service involves.

It was observed, in the words of the participants of this study, an understanding about SEA focused on the target audience of this service. This understanding represents the majority of the responses of the management teams.

It can be seen that the main reference made by them was the student with a disability, followed by students with difficulties and disorders. The following statements illustrate this understanding:

S3p They are students with difficulty , who receive specialized care.

S2a It is an individualized service {for the SE public student} , working their skills.

S4s Assistance to assist students with disabilities and disorders. (emphasis added)

These statements, which have emerged from the question “What is your understanding about SEA?”, May be associated with the statements made by members of the leadership teams when asked “Who are the target public education students?” Table 2, below, indicates what your answers were:

Table 2 Recurrences on the SE target audience in the words of the researched school management teams 

Categories Recurrences
Disability 18
Disorders 7
High Abilities/Giftedness 3
Medical report 2
Specific/special difficulties 2
Disorders 1
Special needs 1
Attention déficit 1

Source: Primary (2016).

It is considered important, first of all, to elucidate that delimiting the target audience of Special Education, besides defining for whom the SEA service is intended, is a term of logic that makes the difference between students. As Veiga-Neto explained (2011, p. 110-111, emphasis added):

{...} the logic of dividing students into classes - by cognitive levels, by skills, by gender, by age, by social class, and so on. - was an invented arrangement to precisely put into action the norm, through a growing and persistent movement of separating the normal from the abnormal, to mark the distinction between normality and abnormality.

It is necessary to consider that the categorization of the target audience of the Special Education defined in PNEE-EI (2008), as people with disabilities, global developmental disorders and high skills / giftedness, is a recent historical constitution.

Thus, when analyzing the most recurrent responses of the members of the management teams contained in Table 2 above, it is possible to show that the term most often used by these to refer to the SEA target audience was “disability”.

So, the question is: who or what is lost of sight when the focus is on the student with a disability? It can be said that by restricting the SE target audience to the student with a disability, there is a risk of distancing themselves from an understanding of global developmental disorders and high skills, “since they represent complex realities that need explicit understanding of their characteristics so that the necessary support can be offered.” (ARAÓZ, 2010, p. 15).

Given the above, it is questioned if these students with Global Developmental Disorders and High Abilities / Giftedness, less mentioned in the sayings of the members of the management schooling teams, a minority enrolled in a common classroom in Brazilian schools? To answer this question, we used the data published in the School Census (MEC / INEP, 2015), in order to know the total number of SE public students enrolled in Brazilian schools and more specifically in Santa Catarina. Such information can be found in Table 3 below:

Table 3 Distribution of enrollments by category used in the 2015 School Census (MEC / INEP, 2015), in Brazil and in Santa Catarina. 

Total Enrollment in Special Education in Common Classes - Regular Education and EJA
Category Brazil Santa Catarina
Deficiencies 756.642 27.097
Global Developmental Disorders 84.012 4.125
High Abilities/giftedness 14.166 314

Source: Formulated from the data contained in the Statistical Synopsis of Basic Education. (MEC / INEP, 2015).

It can be seen that, in fact, students with global disorders and high skills / giftedness are a minority of the students of the SE target audience enrolled in schools in Brazil and Santa Catarina. That is, when the researched teams often use the term “disability” to specify SE’s target audience, it can be said that they talk about what they experience in their school day-to-day.

In this sense, it should be noted that there should be special atention not to generalize SE target public students, as only students with disabilities, due to this numerical predominance. Generalizing would consist of a way of covering up the existence of other students and thereby taking the risk of denying the diversity that also exists within the target audience of the SE. In this direction, Vasques (2015, p.118) clarifies that:

{...} school inclusion involves a shared construction based on our assumptions about education, school, student, {special education}, childhood, etc. Such anticipations gain meanings from the context, historicity and interpretation of the people, public educational policies and the institutions involved.

This understandings reveal a part (target audience) of a whole (SEA). They speak of an important aspect of this service, which concerns the one to whom it is offered. However, there is a risk of taking the part for the whole, that is, reducing the SEA to the individual who is the target audience of that service.

A reductionist understanding can lead to a decontextualized understanding that leaves out of the analysis other factors that are part of the SEA, understanding in its necessary articulation with the current social, political and economic context; the involvement of all school professionals in the implementation of SEA, including the management team studied here, the participation of the family and the community, and the objective conditions of the school.

Regarding the objective conditions, Paro (2016) clarified that they refer to the physical infrastructure; to human, material and pedagogical resources, to professional training in service, to support to teachers, among other factors. Such conditions may help or not the process of schooling of the target public students of Special Education, as well as the work of the school management team with regard to the implementation and feasibility of SEA.

Simplifying the understanding of SEA, restricting it to the disabled student may indicate that the members of the management teams do not understand the service as one that should contribute to a structural, pedagogical and cultural adequacy, seeking to eliminate all barriers and providing the interface between the specialized teacher and the common room teacher in order to favor the schooling process and to develop the autonomy and independence of SE public target students, both in and out of school. In this perspective, Garcia (2008, p.21) stated that:

{...} although the implementation of specialized services in education networks means a gain in terms of public educational provision for students with disabilities, it is necessary to question the role played by such services and how they are related to the pedagogical work carried out in the basic education.

Understanding SEA from its target audience also requires careful consideration of the dimension of the individual without being accountable for the schooling process, since individual blame is “one of the most subtle in the task of legitimizing exclusion”. (GUARESCHI, 2011, p.151)

It is understood that directing the focus to the student can also signal that the schooling process may be happening precariously4 in the schools surveyed, so that only one of the factors involved is being considered in this case - the student, or in a more specific way, their disability - when it comes to offering care that adresses to their specific educational need. The illusory nature of inclusion in this study is expressed when the SEA service, for some members of the management teams studied, is not understood from a contextualized perspective, considering structural, pedagogical and historical-cultural aspects, but is reduced to the disability of the student.

Although most members of the management teams have showed an understanding of SEA with a focus on their target audience, some of them demonstrate an understanding of the service focused on where it is conducted, the Multifunctional Resource Room, as identified in the sayings below:

S1p We have the room but no specialist to work with.

S1a We have the room , but there is no specialist to work with our students.

S6s With regard to our educational unit and the city in general, the lack of adequate space and qualified professionals is of great expression. (emphasis added)

It was evidenced that, when asked about their understanding of SEA, the first association made by the participants was with a physical space: “We have the room” and “lack of adequate space”. Next to this first association there is a second, related to the specialized professional. Therefore, the words of these participants reveal an image of the SEA as a Multifunctional Resource Room with an SEA teacher within it.

This interpretation expressed in the speeches of the participants of this study is based on the guidelines of the SE, in particular, Resolution 4/2009 (BRASIL, 2009), which establishes Operational Guidelines for Educational Assistance Specialized in Basic Education, in which one can identify the emphasis given to these aspects already in its art. 1:

{...} education systems should enroll students with disabilities, global developmental disorders and high skills / giftedness in the ordinary classes of regular education and in the Specialized Educational Attendance (SEA) offered in multifunctional resource rooms or in Specialized Educational Service of the public network or community institutions, non-profit or philanthropic. (BRASIL, 2009, p.1)

It can be seen that in the resolution itself the first reference made to what is the Specialized Educational Assistance in art. 1 shall be accompanied by the term “multifunctional resource room”. It is noted, therefore, that this association between SEA and MRR is visible not only in the statements of the members of the management teams, but also in the official documents. The official documents, therefore, prove to be one of the determinants in the construction of the speeches of the directive teams related to SEA.

However, França (2008) emphasizes that educational policies are not simply incorporated into the school by their professionals, rather, they are interpreted, re-signified by the ones who work in it. This is because education professionals “are historical-social people marked by their experiences and values and therefore can play an active role capable of constituting other meanings in the policy implementation process.” (FRANÇA, 2008, p.21)

Based on these reflections, it follows the evidence found from the analysis of what the management teams think about the SEA service. It was observed that the participants, in expressing their understandings about the SEA service as a whole, referred specifically to the specialized teacher and the Multifunctional Resource Room.

However, this specific approach demonstrates once again the risk of a limited understanding, which takes the entire SEA for the part of the physical space in which it takes place. This understanding, in turn, is indicative that segregation could be minimized, perhaps even avoided through strategies from a service such as SEA, still seems to haunt school spaces when this service is perceived as a separate place to attend the target public student of Special Education.

It is therefore identified that the segregating perspectives that marked the history of Special Education seem to find expression even today, when inclusion, as Pletsch (2010: 60) affirmed, “{...} is still seen as a sectoral responsibility for Special Education, and not as a set of measures that the education system as a whole, in an interdisciplinary way, should adopt to effect such a proposal”. If so far, what has been seen by most of the management teams were fragmented understandings, it may be reflected that today it is still a challenge for them to think about SEA from a contextualized perspective. Although present in the minority words of the management teams, this perspective appeared in the words of S7p and S3a, who demonstrated to understand SEA from the schooling process as a whole, expressing a more comprehensive understanding about the service:

S7p “{Understanding SEA} as the inclusion of the student with disabilities in regular education, where every school needs changes from physical space as well as in its everyday life.

S3a {SEA} should be more comprehensive , applied by all {school professionals}” (our emphasis)

It can be seen that the words of the members of the directive teams (S7p and S3a) distance themselves from the individualized understandings presented earlier, since they show signs of an understanding of SEA. Their speeches point to the understanding that the SEA place is the school and, therefore, exceeds MRR’s physical space. Likewise, they indicate that all involved, and not only the specialized teacher, play an important role in the process of schooling of the target public students of Special Education.

However, there are some important expressions contained in the words of S7p and S3a: “must” and “should”. While S7p says that the school as a whole “must” transform itself into the implementation and viability of SEA, S3a warns that SEA “should” be more comprehensive and applied by all school professionals. If this is something that must and should be done, it can be inferred that it is not yet a reality experienced by these schools, or that it is in the process of being constituted.

Knowing what must and should be done, however, is an important step in transforming reality. Paulo Freire (1979, p. 40), in an excerpt from his work “Pedagogy of Hope,” explained that “reality can not be modified, except when man discovers that it is modifiable and that he can do it.”

Converging with the discussion, Libâneo (2015) clarified that the different conceptions or understandings that inhabit the school play a fundamental role in the way of thinking and in the action of its professionals. Once that these form the school culture, in this sense the school management team has a prominent role in this process.

{...} through the interaction between principals, pedagogical coordinators, teachers, employees and students, the school is acquiring in its daily life its own cultural traits, forming beliefs, values, meanings, ways of acting , practices. {...} This culture itself is being internalized by people and generating a collective style of perceiving things, thinking about problems, finding solutions. (LIBÂNEO, 2015, p.109)

It can be said, therefore, that there is a close relationship between the ways of understanding SEA and the practices related to SEA in the school context. With regard to the management teams that have demonstrated to understand this service in a more comprehensive and contextualized way, it is possible to infer that such a way of thinking can be translated into actions as the constitution of dialogical, reflexive spaces, with the purpose of planning and organizing strategies for implementation of the Special Education guidelines with teachers and other professionals of the school community, in order to ensure education of these students.

Although the Special Education guidelines can collaborate for the organization of inclusive educational systems, they are only shown as guiding documents of the policy. So, the way in which its materialization occurs also permeates the dominant interests of society, the understanding of the managers of the education systems, as well as the understanding of the management team and education professionals as a whole, which are responsible for its effectiveness in the school space.

Although the minority sayings of the members of the directive teams point to a less individualized and isolated understanding of the schooling process of the target public students of Special Education, it was not possible to identify a critical approach in which Special Education is understood as a member of Regular Education that is developed in a political, economic and cultural system marked by the dialectic inclusion / exclusion.

It may be inferred that, in part, this critical understanding is not favored by the way school spaces and times are organized today. The way the school is organized can not be separated from its corresponding whole, that is, the social and economic organization of which it is a part - in this case, a capitalist and technological system in which the relations and working hours are regulated by the capital and marked by the lack of “... time for intellectual development, for the free exercise of body and spirit. Capital monopolizes the time that the development and balance of the body in perfect health demand”. (MARX, 2013, p.103)

5. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Based on the analysis carried out in this paper, it is possible to understand that although the Special Education guidelines are important for the organization of inclusive educational systems, they are presented as a guiding policy document. Thus, the way in which it takes place is also related to the dominant interests of society, to the understanding of the managers of educational systems, as well as to the understanding of the management team and education professionals as a whole, which are responsible for their materialization in school.

When analyzing the understandings of the school directive teams on the SEA service, it was possible to identify three focuses of understandings: 1) focus on SE target audience; 2) focus on the place of service (Multifunctional Resource Room); and, 3) focus on the schooling process as a whole. Most of the participants in this study restricted their understanding of SEA to the disabled student or to the Multifunctional Resource Room and to the specialized teacher, indicating a sectorized and individualized understanding of the service by the school management teams, which may weaken the schooling process of the target public student of Special Education, as well as their remaninig in school.

Restricting the understanding about SEA to the student with a disability or to the Multifunctional Resource Room and to the specialized teacher can also indicate a decontextualized and disjointed understanding about the service within the school. This also indicates that in the school spaces there is a vision of segregation that makes the Multifunctional Resource Room, as well as the specialized teacher, accountable for the learning of the target public student of SE.

The seven management teams surveyed presented different needs regarding the feasibility of SEA in their school spaces and that need to be considerated. However, in relation to the management team’s understandings of the SEA, a common point was identified in their speech, which concerns indications of a lack of knowledge of the laws, guidelines and theory on Special Education.

This can be seen when it is observed that of the seven schools surveyed, only two have SEA in operation, the others, except S5, indicate not to offer the service and not to refer the student to be attended at another school, which may reveal a precariousness in the process of schooling of public-school students.

Therefore, a change on this vision presented on SEA, in the words of the management teams, is a complex task, considering that the Brazilian public school has faced many challenges when it comes to teaching, considering the growing diversity of students , as well as the political propositions of Education that permeate the daily life of schools, which seem to be based and organized in normative and evaluative procedures, in which competitiveness and individuality predominate in the relations between the individuals of the same school to the detriment of a collective work. It is considered, then, that SEA today seems to be the most evident expression of the (dis) articulation between Regular Education and SE.

One way to contribute and favor changes in conceptions and practices would be to seek a partnership with the Public Institutions of Higher Education, based in the municipality or in its surroundings, considering the constitution and the strengthening of a support network for the accomplishment of formations that contemplate a deepening theoretical and practical in the area of ​​Education and Special Education, for the education professionals of the researched Network. It is understood, therefore, that this action could contribute to rethink and re-signify the PNEE-PEI and the SEA in the city education network.

Finally, at this historical, economic, political and social moment of uncertainty in which we live today, we see the discussion of the role of school management teams in the implementation and feasibility of SEA can be an opportunity to create spaces and times of discussion and reflection. With the objective of providing effective participation of teachers and other education professionals in the planning, organization, discussion and implementation of the strategies and guidelines of Regular Education and Special Education in an articulated way, in view of the right to learn of all students.

This study does not conclude here, but it may enable new paths and other directions that may be raised based on what has been revealed from the understandings of the school management teams about the Specialized Educational Assistance service. One of these ways is to carry out ethnographic researches that make it possible to observe, in the daily life of schools, how the (dis) articulations between Special Education and regular Education occur.

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1Target Audience of Special Education: this article refers to students with disabilities, global developmental disorders, and high skills / giftedness, as recommended in the PNEE-EI and in the Special Education guidelines.

2 The abbreviation SM1 was used to denote the data relating to School Management Team 1 and SM2 to indicate School Management Team 2 and so on.

3According to the official document of the city surveyed, the Inclusion Monitor is the professional that assists the target public of the SE in pedagogical questions, as well as in the aspects of care, assistance and socialization, in the school environment.

4According to Meletti (2013, p. 27) precarious inclusion means “to insert in an already existing and essentially excluding social space”. For Martins (1997), all people are included in society, however, they may be included in a perverse, subordinate way, out of society.

Received: December 30, 2016; Accepted: December 04, 2017

Contact: Neusa Denise Marques de Oliveira, Rua do Empreendedor 555 Apto 801ª, Bloco D1, Bairro Santa Lídia, Camboriú|SC|Brasil Cep 88.341-240

*

Master in Education - University of the Region of Joinville - UNIVILLE, Specialization in Psychopedagogy and graduation in Pedagogy / habilitation in educational guidance.She is currently a pedagogue / educational instructor, coordinator of the Pedagogical Center at the Federal Catarinense Institute - Campus Camboriú, and a member of the multidisciplinary team of Specialized Educational Assistance. Member of the Research and Study Group on Work and Teacher Training (GETRAFOR). E-mail:<ndmoliveira@gmail.com>.

**

PhD in Education (Psychology of Education) - Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (2006), Master in Education (Psychology of Education) - Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (2001) and a Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas (1995). She is the coordinator of the Research and Study Group on Work and Teacher Training (GETRAFOR), and a professor-researcher master’s in education, at the University of the Region of Joinville - UNIVILLE. E-mail:<aliciene_machado@hotmail.com>

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