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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.41 no.4 Porto Alegre out./dez. 2016

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2175-623660612 

THEMATIC SECTION: TIME IN SCHOOL

Continuing Education in Full-Time Schools: narratives of teachers

Inês Ferreira de Souza BragançaI 

Juliana Godói de Miranda PerezI 

IUniversidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Rio de Janeiro/RJ ­­- Brazil


Abstract:

The present article focuses on school as a space-time for teacher education. Initially, it conducts a theoretical reflection, then discusses the policies oriented for teacher education time in schools' daily activities, and presents the narratives of teachers working at full-time schools in three municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The theoretical-methodological approach is comprehended in the field of (self-) biographic narrative research taken as a path of investigation-formation3. The conclusion of the study indicates that we have advanced in guaranteeing teacher education as an integral part of teaching, and the narratives signal the challenges that still emerge to the implementation of these policies.

Keywords: Continuing Education; Full-time; Narratives

Resumo:

O presente artigo focaliza a escola como espaçotempo de formação docente. Inicialmente desenvolve uma reflexão teórica, a seguir, discute as políticas dirigidas ao tempo de formação no cotidiano das escolas e apresenta a narrativa de professoras que atuam em escolas de tempo integral em três Municípios do Rio de Janeiro. A abordagem teórico-metodológica se insere no âmbito da pesquisa narrativa (auto)biográfica tomada como caminho de investigação-formação. O desenvolvimento do trabalho indica que avançamos na garantia da formação docente como parte constitutiva do trabalho docente e as narrativas sinalizam os desafios que ainda se colocam na implementação dessas políticas.

Palavras-chave: Formação Continuada; Tempo Integral; Narrativas

Introduction

The last few decades have witnessed a large investment by public policies in teacher education, which has been done by means of a set of government programs and actions involving the various levels of the educational system and universities. This scenario allows noticing the centrality that teacher-based policies have assumed in the set of educational policies (Gatti; Sá; André, 2011). However, it is worth noting that, amidst the effervescence of these policies and the academic production that places teachers at the center of educational investigations, we are experiencing a process of intensification and precarization of work in the daily life of schools and education institutions, and this process continues to challenge us in creating paths intended to be institutive. While macro-policies directly affect teacher education, the ways of being in teaching, and educative practices, it is the everyday practitioners (Certeau, 2002) who reinvent the construction of an emancipatory knowledge (Santos, 1994) which silently circulates through, and fertilizes schools and education in general.

The study we share in the present article is comprehended within a theoretical-methodological field that views human and teacher education in its multiple political, epistemological and existential dimensions, assuming the interweaving between experiences, memories and narratives as an institutive path. A teacher education which is not just implemented by mechanisms and determinations of educational policy and by a refined intellectual production, but which involves and mobilizes teachers, and promotes space-times for the encounter, the shared narrative, the construction of knowledge in the daily life of educational institutions.

The struggle of educators includes in its historical agenda the offer of full-time, integral education and, in this context, a continuing teacher education to be guaranteed within teachers' work hours, according to the idea that this education is an integral part of the nature of teaching. We have inscribed in the National Educational Guidelines and Framework Law (Brazil, 1996) and, in the wake of legal developments in the last few years, such as the National Education Plans (Brazil, 2001; 2014) and the National Minimum Wage Law (Brazil, 2008), significant advances in the legal framework which point to both extending school hours towards full-time education and guaranteeing paid work for teacher education. However, we can see tensions and crossings that interpenetrate within the movements of production-implementation of these propositions in the spheres of macro- and micro-policies, in dynamics involving decisions by the federated entities and possibilities of reinventing schools' everyday life.

In the present article, we share studies conducted with funding by the Rio de Janeiro State Research Foundation (FAPERJ) which focus on the school as a space-time for teacher education by presenting the narratives of schoolteachers who work in three municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Initially, we conduct a reflection about the concept of space-time in its relations with teaching and teacher education; then, we briefly present and discuss the policies concerning teacher education time in schools' routine at a national level, and present the narratives of three teachers who work at full-time schools in those municipalities.

The theoretical-methodological approach is comprehended in the field of (self-) biographic narrative research because of the potential of narratives as a path of investigation-formation in education, which allows giving visibility to strategies and tactics produced by the historical subjects in the dynamics involving macro- and micro-policies. The legal framework was examined by means of documentary analysis, and the narratives, by using the scenic comprehension proposed by Marinas (2007).

About Space-Times in Teaching and Teacher Education

Space and time are concepts that defy human reflection, and are present in science, arts and philosophy. These concepts also take on a special importance when we look into human education and teaching, and therefore a relevance also in pedagogical discussions.

In classical physics, space and time are isolated, absolute and universal categories. The theory of relativity indicates, however, that space and time indissociably relate with each other, and that the analysis of these two factors depends on the reference, therefore they do not emerge as absolute and universal magnitudes, but as relative and local ones, depending on the movements, the context and the observer. "There are no fixed points in space or time. In this sense, time as such has no independent physical existence. It is a human construction and a convention around which most of us organize our lives unquestioningly." (Hargreaves, 2014, p. 73).

In his 1931 painting Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali, depicts human anguish in the face of time ruled by Chronos4, which escapes and imprisons us, with melting clocks in an environment that combines arid land and sea. Time and space interrelate in the setting by means of colors and elements that define the place. Paraphrasing Ricoeur (1994), we can say that, on the one hand, we experience time in space, and space is defined in the temporal experience of the subject, and on the other, indissociable spaces and times gain life and meaning in narrative.

We thus follow, perspectivating space-times as subjective productions of the human. The experience of time can only be analyzed from a place in Cosmos and from someone who gives sense to the events that go through him. There is no doubt that we are subject to Chronos and, at the same time, we wish to subject it - we count seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years - and create about this incessant count. We separate time and space, a logic of hours, a logic of places, the contemporary acceleration seizes us. But fortunately, in this whirlpool, it is possible for the human to be brought down by Kairos - the event that could be just another point in the vital journey proves disconcerting, it stops the course of time, favors reflection, transforms, opens routes for formation. A formation generated in the sap of cosmic and vital space-times that become human through narration (Bragança, 2014, p. 92).

Therefore, we start from a conception of formation not as the gathering of information or knowledge, but as a movement of the singular-plural subject that allows himself to 'trans-form' through experiences occurring in the space-times of his journey. Experience, such as Benjamin (1993) and Larrosa (2002) conceived it, is considered to be that which goes through us, touches us, potentially producing self-, hetero- and eco-formation (Pineau, 2010) through the intense use of personal reflection in one's relation with others and nature/culture.

The word formation, however, is polysemic in its broad sense, and also when circumscribed to the field of teacher education, and it can refer to an institutional process as well as the personal movement of one who forms oneself and, in personal/social relations, progressively gives oneself a form. It also includes developments such as initial, continued, on-the-job and permanent education. Initial education is characterized by being an institutional process that ensures teaching professionalization, i.e., the legal license necessary to practice teaching. For early childhood education and the first years of primary school, initial teacher education can be obtained at secondary education level, through Normal Courses5, and at higher education level, through Pedagogy and Higher Normal Courses.

Continuing education consists of a set of proposals intended to provide education throughout teachers' trajectories and lives. According to Gatti (2008, p. 57), the term encompasses from formal courses offered after initial education to other, more generic activities,

[...] covering any type of activity that might contribute to professional performance - hours of collective school work, pedagogical meetings, routine peer exchanges, participation in school management, congresses, seminars, courses of various natures and formats offered by the Education Departments and other institutions for personnel working in the education system, virtual professional relations, various distance processes (video or teleconferences, courses via the internet etc.), awareness raising groups, in sum, whatever can offer an occasion for information, reflection, discussion and exchange that can foster professional enhancement in any of its perspectives, in any professional situation. A vastitude of possibilities under the label of continuing education.

Therefore, continuing education points to a broad set of actions that aims at the construction/reconstruction of knowledge-practices by teachers. When that education is offered in an institutional way and within work hours, it takes the specific denomination of on-the-job education. The term permanent education, in turn, refers to the educating movement, whether intentional or not, that occurs in social practice throughout life, including before the decision to teach and the entrance in initial education.

In the present work, we take the term continuing education precisely for its expanded dimension, including both the institutional paths conducted by the education systems, i.e., the instituted paths, and those movements that occur in a narrower, smaller way, against the current, made by teachers who produce pedagogical practices in full-time schools, giving these practices multiple senses. Thus, we turn our focus towards the school as a space-time for teacher education.

In a study about the work of teachers, Hargreaves (2014) analyzes different time dimensions, among which we highlight technical-rational, micro-political, and phenomenological time. Technical-rational time is based on technical rationality and consists of perspectivating time as a source of resources that can be mobilized by teachers to achieve certain educational goals, pointing to a linear, instrumental sense. Micro-political time reveals that "the distributions of time also reflect dominant configurations of power and status within school systems and the school itself" (Hargreaves, 2014, p. 61) and paths to the social attribution of significances to teaching, chiefly identified as work in class. And the phenomenological dimension of time, which implies how the teacher lives the space-time experience.

In his study, the author addresses the centrality of time in teaching, "time structures teaching and is, in turn, structured by it," taking as a reference "perceptions and uses of time by principals and teachers of the first segment of primary education in preparing and planning the school day" (Hargreaves, 2014, p. 57). He analyzes how different schools and School Councils in Ontario (Canada) view the planning time included in teachers' work, and identifies two conceptions: the monochronic and the polychronic. In the former, there is the predominance of a linear action, one action at a time, with emphasis on following schedules and procedures about interpersonal relations (a chronological perception); in the latter, there is the conduction of various activities at once and a greater sensitivity to context (a kairotic perception).

Based on these reflections, we ask: how has space-time for teacher education been occurring in the daily routine of full-time schools? How do teachers live the experience of collective teacher education meetings in school's daily life? Apart from formally organized meetings, what other meetings are held by teachers? We thus seek indications and signs of practices that, in breaking with the images built by policies and the educational discourse about teachers, can bring the possibility of new views on teaching, views marked by a greater sensitiveness and which indicate institutive glimpses for living space-times both in life and in teaching. Below we present an overview of current policies for guaranteeing the increase of study hours in the school context.

An Overview of Teacher Education Policies

To contextualize the narratives of the teachers on daily school life, it is necessary to look into the legislation that founds the discussion proposed here. Thus, in this section, we examine the policies for teacher education, focusing on the guarantee of having one-third of teachers' work hours dedicated to studying, planning and assessment, which is denominated 'out-of-class work'. We highlight the National Educational Guidelines and Framework Law (LDBEN) (Brazil, 1996), the National Education Plans (PNE) 2001-2011 (Brazil, 2001) and 2014-2024 (Brazil, 2014), the National Curriculum Guidelines for initial education at higher education level (undergraduate licentiate programs, graduate pedagogy programs and second licentiate programs) and for continuing education (Brazil, 2015) and the National Minimum Wage Law for teachers in the public education system and in basic education (PSPN) (Brazil, 2008).

With regard to valuing basic education teachers, the LDBEN/1996 specifies, on article 67, that "the education systems shall promote the valuing of education professionals", and it lists, from items I to VI, that this valuing should be based on physical means for developing teaching, as well as on continuing professional enhancement, including remuneration to that end. On item V, specifically, the law indicates that a period of time is to be incorporated into the teaching role for studying, planning and assessment purposes, within teachers' work hours. Such deliberations aim at establishing how the action of the education systems is to be outlined by means of the time dedicated for work not directly related to students.

In 2001, the first PNE took effect in the form of law, with the purpose of meeting the demand of the Decade of Education. Among the priorities established, we highlight the valuing of education professionals:

Particular attention must be given to teachers' initial and continuing education. This valuing includes the guarantee of proper work conditions, among which are time for studying and class planning, worthy wage, a minimum wage and a teaching career plan (Brazil, 2001, p. 4).

We can see in the PNE 2001 the centrality attributed to the valuing of teachers, based on a broad policy that incorporates the following triad: initial education; work, wage and career conditions; and continuing education. The fourth part of the plan is dedicated to "Basic Education Teaching", its tenth chapter being "Teacher Education and the Valuing of Teaching". On its guidelines, goals and aims, the 2001 Plan points to a major advance in configuring out-of-class time as part of teaching, outlining teachers' working day as "[...] concentrated in a single school and including the time necessary for activities that supplement class work" (Brazil, 2001, p. 32). It also indicates as a goal and an objective the implementation of a full-time working day "worked in a single school", as well as "20% to 25% of teachers' work hours for class planning, assessments and pedagogical meetings" (Brazil, 2001, p. 33).

In 2008, in the wake of these legal propositions, Law 11738 was enacted, establishing the National Minimum Wage for teachers in the public education system and basic education (PSPN). Based on a 40-hour work week, the PSPN Law establishes an annually adjusted baseline wage, as well as the maximum limit of two-thirds of the time for work actually involving interaction with students and one-third of work hours without students, i.e., out-of-class work. Thus, based on a 40-hour work week, 26 hours should be dedicated to actual work with students, and 14 hours to out-of-class activities.

In 2009, the National Education Council issued its Opinion 9, denominated A Study on the Minimum Wage Law, which focused on the valuing of teaching based on three elements: career, work hours, and minimum wage. The opinion details how teachers' work should be divided so that, with a 40-hour work week, the maximum limit of two-thirds for actual interaction between teachers and students and one-third for out-of-class activities will occur - the latter being organized in Collective Pedagogical Work Hours (HTPC) and Pedagogical Work Hours at a Freely Chosen Place (HTPLE). HTPC is the work hours dedicated to peer meetings at the school unit, teacher education time at the school, movements of exchange between teachers, and pedagogical meetings; HTPLE consists of the period in which the teacher chooses activities out the school that can expand his/her knowledge.

With the closing of the 10-year cycle of the National Education Plan of 2001, a wide discussion took place with the purpose of designing a new plan by means of the National Education Conference (CONAE), with the attendance of representatives of the federated entities and the civil society. The PNE that was passed (Brazil, 2014) established 20 goals, among which, considering the focus of the present work, we highlight goals 6, 15 and 18. Goal 6 foresees the offer of "[...] full-time education in, at least, 50% of public schools, so as to serve at least 25% of students in basic education". The historical struggles for full-time education find here some especially concrete results, reflecting on strategies that indicate the construction of schools with suitable furniture and architectural standards, the offer of multidisciplinary activities, and the articulation between schools and institutions in the social and cultural fields. With regard to teachers, strategy 6.1 indicates the proposal of a "progressive expansion of teachers' work hours at a single school", which constitutes an actual gain for the teaching career, as well as for teacher education and educative practices. Goal 15 defines that "[...] every basic education teacher is to achieve specific, higher-education graduation from an undergraduate licentiate program in the area of knowledge that he/she teaches" (Brazil, 2014, p. 48), and goal 18 ensures career plans for basic education teachers in all education systems, with the national minimum wage as the baseline. Thus, we can see, from the legal perspective, an apparatus built amidst historical struggles of the civil society and teachers, which moves towards ensuring better conditions for teaching.

In 2015, an event worth highlighting was the issuing of another legal support for teacher education that also brought contributions for the teaching career - the "National Curriculum Guidelines for initial formation at higher education level (undergraduate licentiate programs, graduate pedagogical programs, and second licentiate programs) and continuing education" (Brazil, 2015). The document reinforces the centrality of teacher education in the sphere of public policies, and resumes principles that summarize the legislation in effect, articulating basic education and teacher education with a view to creating/consolidating a national teacher training and education system.

With regard to teacher initial education, it is important to highlight, due to its own object, the emphasis on higher education level being "offered preferably in a presential way, with high academic, scientific, technological and cultural standards" (Article 9, Paragraph 3). Although Law 12796 of 2013 removed from item 4 of its article 87 the passage that set the end of the decade of education as the limit for allowing secondary education as the minimum degree for teaching, indicating it to continue valid as initial teacher education indefinitely (Brazil, 2013), both the 2014 PNE and the 2015 Guidelines point to higher education as the overriding level and as the route of public policies for teacher professionalization.

It is also worthy highlighting the centrality of continuing education in the Guidelines, which is defined on article 16 of Chapter VI as:

[...] collective, organizational and professional dimensions, as well as rethinking pedagogical processes, knowledge and values, and involves extension activities, study groups, pedagogical meetings, courses, programs and actions beyond the minimum education required to the exercise of basic education teaching, having as its main purpose the reflection about educational practice and the pursuit of the technical, pedagogical, ethical and political enhancement of teachers (Brazil, 2015, online).

Taking reflection about practice as the main goal of continuing education implies assuming the centrality of the school as a space of daily construction of teachers' knowledge. Item VI of article 10, as well as paragraph 3 of article 18 expressly refer to the time and space at work for collective study activities (article 10) and the "[...] dedication of 1/3 (one-third) of work hours to other pedagogical activities inherent in the practice of teaching", including in this space-time educative dynamics.

Albeit brief, this overview, which aimed to present glimpses of the political setting, reinforces the centrality of teacher education in the set of educational policies in the last two decades. Based on the reflections of Ball and Mainardes (2011) and Mainardes (2006), however, we can say that these legal texts reveal political arenas of conflict which emerge as tensions that traverse multiple, interrelated contexts: the contexts of influence, discussion, and construction of each text, the practice that implies interpreting and action by the historical subjects that experience the policy in everyday life, and also the consequences to the environments affected by the legislation.

The legal outlining we identified reveal intense historical movements of struggle that continue in specific reconstructions in each federated entity, each education system, each school, both affecting and being affected by the reinventions of teachers who produce teacher education and teacher career in their everyday pedagogical practices.

Narratives of Teachers: trajectories in teaching and the constitution of formative space-times

After the overview on how policies are driving the proposition of planning and study time as a period included in teachers' work hours, we present, through the narratives of three teachers, the micro-dynamics experienced in schools, and the struggles between the legally instituted definitions and the paths produced by teachers.

In the last few years, legal developments have pointed towards an increase in school time, as well as the progressive implementation of full-time schooling, so municipalities have implemented actions in this direction. In the course of the study we share here, we conducted interviews/conversations with teachers working at different municipal education systems, who shared their trajectories in teaching, how they reached full-time education, and how each institution has been producing formative space-times.

In the (auto) biographic narrative research, the interview/conversation is a significant time to build sources by means of "the word given and the listening". The investigation founded on language "[...] is not the equivalent of giving an account of an object, but entering the circuit of the gift, the word that is given", establishing a link between the past and the lived experience, so that the one who listens becomes the "depositary of a story" that is to be shared as a heritage (Marinas, 2007, p. 18-19). In this perspective, this study was conducted with a small number of participants, since its goal was not to generalize, but to seek, in the hermeneutic circle, meanings that can inspire reflections on the subject proposed. In our conversations with the teachers, we do not seek answers to previous questions, but rather their stories, since these can fertilize new educative practices in full-time schools, as they carry potent experiences and knowledge. So, in our view, the relation between the word given and the listening indicates that the word no longer belongs to the one who speaks; as it is given, it is put into a virtuous cycle that can generate new interpretations, a story which thus opens up.

The (auto) biographic narrative promotes, according to Marinas (2007), the sharing of three dimensions: doubts regarding the events, the characters and the settings where the events were experienced, and the values attributed. In the circuit of the word given and the listening, we have access to a set of scenes and, thus, the author proposes the scenic understanding as a path of interpretation:

That the subject is constituted in the account in many ways and that these form a plurality of scenes that are the effects and conditions of language [...]. Therefore, we conclude with an important dimension which overcomes the linear hermeneutic to inter-relate subject-listening-production: the scenic understanding (Marinas, 2007, p. 87).

Therefore, the narrative constitutes a stock of scenes. The focus of the analysis is placed on each scene and in the relation or games established between them: 1) the enunciation scene, valuing the circuit between the word given and the listening; 2) the multiple scenes of everyday life, which we take here in the context of space/time of the triple present (Ricoeur, 1994), i.e., an everyday life that is not circumscribed to here and now, but is pregnant with the relation between past, present and future; and 3) the scenes that the author calls repressed, but which, in the context of the present work, we will take as implicit, i.e., the unspoken, the silences, the pauses (Marinas, 2007, p. 118). Below we share a few scenes apprehended in the narratives of the three teachers, which can teach us about the daily weaving of teaching practice and teacher education in full-time schools.

Scene 1: trajectories of life, the start in teaching and in full-time schools

Vivian

Invited to look at her past, narrating life experiences that were significant and formative, Vivian recalls her student days and the responsibility she always exercised with school activities, "[...] this I bring today to my professional side, of trying to do things in advance, before anyone asks me, following the whole schedule, being responsible at what I do". At first, she did not wish to be a teacher, but because her school only offered Normal Course or general education, and in order to be with her friends, she entered the Normal Course. After finishing it, she worked in other areas, and when she got a discount to go to a private college, she saw pedagogy in the list of courses, and since she "already liked it a bit", she decided for it. Going through internships made her fall in love with the field - "then I went to the classroom and never wanted to leave it again".

Vivian had worked for 18 years as a teacher in several private schools when she started at a municipal education system, in 2012. She already started at a full-time school.

I say I didn't have a range of choice, why? When I went to sign my admission at the municipal system, the principal and her assistant were there, because this is a school with a difficult access, people hardly ever come here. They were out to find, they were fishing for staff (Oral narrative, Vivian, 2015).

In the first year, she worked in the morning at that school, and in the afternoon at another one; the next year, she assumed a class also in the afternoon, and now she works at the pedagogical coordination section.

Kátia

Kátia remembers her first school experiences "because I think we learn to be a teacher by learning to be a student". She failed to learn to read and write using the primer, and when she went to the front of the class, she was not able to read, but in the end, she was the valedictorian of her class. In her childhood, she rejected the idea of being a teacher: "When people asked me, at seven, eight, ten years old 'What are you going to be?' 'I'm going to be a journalist, I'm going to live on my own'". Normal Course came as a punishment.

I've always been a real troublemaker, always undisciplined, I couldn't fit into that thing of sitting still and quiet, so I decided I was going to a vocational school of communication in Rio, and then my mother said: "No, how am I going to let you lose in Rio? You can't do that". So, as a punishment, she had me go to Normal. And I went to Normal thinking I was never going to work (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

When she first took a college entrance test, she chose journalism, and after a few failed attempts, she was admitted in the Pedagogy Course at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). To support herself during the course, she worked at the human resources department of a shoe store. At the end of the course, she took an internship at a private school, and then worked for an educational project in a prison. She started as a teacher at a municipal education system and, in 2007, after passing another job admission test, she moved to the school that was closest to her home, working with regular classes and assisting deaf students.

Her first contact with full-time education occurred at an early childhood school, and she was charmed by the work:

[...] with the possibility of time, of what time allows you to do, it allows you to get to know the child, you don't just look at the child, you see the child, you see the social context, you see the family, you see the limits, you see the problems, the questions, the difficulties, the labels, the marks, you penetrate that child [...], that child is not a number, it becomes an individual, a subject. So, I fell in love (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

In 2014, she was invited to join a pilot project for full-time education, and she affirmed, "That's where the love of my life started".

Juliana

Juliana's recollections of her education experiences take her to the schools she went to - "[...] they were public schools, and we always have that impression, like, 'Gee! How awful public school is!' I've been through very rich experiences in public schools in all segments I've been to".

I've experienced teachers who had a totally differentiated practice, they worked with research with us, they'd conduct experiments, they'd take us to visit other spaces and that really marked me. When I moved to the second segment, I had a few teachers that also marked me because of the way they saw the world. This teacher, Renato, I always tell about how he made me fall in love with history, with the events. Neide, who also marked me a lot because of the taste for reading, because I really enjoyed reading, she'd bring books and we'd discuss them, so I had very rich experiences with that, and there was also theater, which I did for quite a while and which really changed my way of being in the world, of seeing things, of how to think (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

Juliana started Normal School, but she did not continue, because she did not want to be a teacher. For her college admission test, due to the influence of a good teacher, she chose history. As she did not pass it, a school colleague talked to her about the possibility of trying Pedagogy. "Pedagogy? I didn't even know what Pedagogy was". But she studied about it, became interested in the field, and took the admission test for the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), and she passed it.

She began her professional trajectory in the Mais Educação Program, in the field of theater; then she started to work as an assistant teacher in special education at secondary level, at a private school, and in pedagogical coordination roles. After this, she was invited for a job admission test for a municipal school, as an early childhood teacher. In the end of 2013, she took an internal test for a pilot experiment conducted by the municipality for the implementation of a full-time school.

Scene 2: the schools and their full-time education practices

The full-time school where Vivian teaches was founded as a Public Education Integrated Center (CIEP), which belongs to the state educational system, and when it was municipalized, it became a part-time school. However, the fact that it was a school with a difficult access and serving a poor community drove the municipality to restore the full-time system: "because there was no demand, nobody wanted to climb up and walk such a long stretch to bring a child at eight a.m. to pick him/her up at noon".

The school offers from early childhood education to ninth grade and, in the full-time system, until the fifth grade, from 7:50 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In the morning, curricular contents of the school year are taught, including physical education and arts. In the afternoon, there is a period of reinforcement of what was studied in the morning, and then there are workshops of mathematic games, health and environment, literature, toys and games, and paper folding.

The teacher evaluates positively the teaching-learning process experienced in the school, and, concerning the potentialities of the full-time system, she says:

The opportunity of learning that this student will have is much greater. We know that, in the morning, time passes very quickly, and here, because this is a school with a difficult access, with a poor population, where there are some children facing many difficulties, who come to school really just to eat something. So, if it were part-time, the teacher wouldn't have so much time to give so much attention to the children (Oral narrative, Vivian, 2015).

The teacher gives a passionate account of the school as a space that is fundamental to community life:

This school is wonderful! We don't have violence problems within the school, we don't have drug traffic problems, children love this school. Sometimes we'll ask children in the second segment to leave at noon, to go home, because they don't want to. On days when there are Pibid [Institutional Program of Teaching Initiation Grants] workshops, then they want to stay the whole day, photography workshop, vegetable garden... On those days, we'll even let them stay, they have band class, they love these workshops. They come here as a second home, because they don't have a public square to play in, they don't have a proper place to play ball games, so everything takes place within the CIEP. So, at this CIEP, on weekends, there are children riding bicycles, there are children skating, playing ball games, families on picnic, there's the small child the mother will bring to walk with a walker, everything. Therefore, the neighborhood's square is the CIEP. [...]

So, on weekends, this place becomes a festival. We have the field on the back, and there is this court, so the children are usually playing ball games, playing ball games there, riding bicycles, flying kites, it gets packed. So, this school is the love of the town, of the neighborhood (Oral narrative, Vivian, 2015).

The school where Kátia teaches was installed in the building that was meant to house the early childhood section of a large state school and which, with municipalization, was lent to the municipality. The teacher enthusiastically reports that when the team first came to the school, the process of adapting the premises was still on course and that since the first meetings, the team designed a pedagogical proposal that was differentiated in order to teach from the first to the fifth grade of basic education. "We began to think we didn't want to have classrooms. How come you don't want to have classrooms? No, we don't want each class to have a classroom [...]".

They organized the dynamics so that classes did not have fixed classrooms; they circulated through the classrooms according to the activities they were conducting. The template with knowledge areas came from the Education Department, but they had autonomy to organize the proposal in a schedule composition integrating Portuguese, mathematics, history/geography, French, arts, music, and diversified contents over the period from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. "We thought about a complete education, a happy child, who plays, who appreciates childhood, who understands rights and duties combined, who is an active person, who is heard when he/she speaks, but who also effectively works".

About the potentialities of full-time school, the teacher affirms:

And so, we have time as a benefit, as a challenge, but as a possibility, I see time in these three perspectives: What is the problem in full-time school? Time. What is the facility in full-time school? Time. What is the possibility in full-time school? Time. Because there you have no excuse not to, at least, try something different. If each teacher does something different, a different project, it's already worth it. Last year, I did this 'venting notebook', and the children would write. I'd bring stories that I'd made up, that I typed like a newspaper headline: 'Father separates from mother and the son is jealous because of her boyfriend'. Then I'd hand it out to them so they could write, 'What do you want to say about this?' (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

In the municipality where Juliana works, the education department designed a full-time school project and held an internal selection of teachers. However, problems occurred during the construction, and when the school activities began, the school was not ready yet; so, they were allocated at a church - "[...] the place wasn't suitable at all for us to work, first because it was a religious space, so you don't have much freedom to start with [...] Because we were working in the full-time perspective, we didn't have the space either". Still using the church space, they launched the full-time system. The knowledge fields were approached in an interdisciplinary way, and in that period, they had 50% of the time for planning and studying:

And in that space of 50% that we had which wasn't with students, we tested a lot of things, so we could build a differentiated didactic material for them, we had a research space which wasn't provided by the school, we would bring it, our laptops, our material from home, to build things with them, we did a lot of research. Because we had a collective space with more time, then we exchanged a lot, we had a lot of interconnected activities [...] (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

The school offers from early childhood education to the fifth grade of basic education, and the full-time system was fully implemented by 2015. About the potentiality of full time, Juliana affirms that

Full-time school's philosophy is different from that of part-time because, first, full-time school has a whole perspective of understanding the student's education as a whole. The school is the place of experiencing, practicing, living, so you'll have to make a differentiated class (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

Scene 3: the instituted and the institutive in education space-times

The school where Vivian teaches has teachers with different work contracts and times: permanent and temporary contracts, teachers with two registrations at the same school, and those who teach only on mornings or afternoons.

The space-time for planning and studying is ensured to the teacher/assistant during the time the diversified activities teacher is in the classroom. During that period, physical education, arts, body and movement teachers, as well as interns in the Institutional Program of Teaching Initiation Grants (Pibid), assume the classes. The meetings are then held, two of which are collective, and the others are held depending on the schedule of the diversified activities for each class. In the morning, teachers have five time schedules for meetings, but on afternoons, due to teacher shortage, there are only two time schedules.

Even before the Minimum Wage Law, the municipality where Kátia teaches established a two-hour period for collective planning on Wednesdays for all schools in the municipal system, both part-time and full-time ones. At the full-time school where she teaches, permanent teachers work 40 hours per week, and, after the two collective work periods, they have 10 hours for planning and studying that are allocated in function of the class hours of the diversified activities teachers.

The teacher mentions the bureaucratic demands that are assigned to principals and teachers, but she believes that it is necessary to carry out an opposite movement. In this perspective, the group has organized to distribute the activities conducted at the collective meetings: on the first Wednesday of the month, teacher education; on the second and third Wednesdays of the month, meeting by cycle; and on the fourth Wednesday, diversified reports. It is the difficulties and questions of the group which mobilize discussions at cycle meetings and also the meetings on the first Wednesday, which are attended by guest teachers who come to discuss specific themes.

We have two cycle organization meetings and then there are these demands, 'Who is having difficulties? What are we going to work on?'. And the last one, which I think is a gain to the school, it includes everybody in the meeting, at the last one of the month, the cleaner, the cook, everybody will attend and speak. [...] 'Oh, I'd like to make a project: to have children in the kitchen', and the cooks do it. The circles of simultaneous reading, the cooks will tell stories (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

The staff will attend one of the monthly meetings; they evaluate, suggest, and participate in pedagogical activities involving the whole school community.

Because what bothers me is that when we talk about full time, full-time school, full-time education, is when you don't look at the person working there as a whole subject, including in terms of his rights too. So this is something that bothers me, it's like a mark, so I'll fight, I'll go head on about it and discuss it in my studies - the teacher as a subject of full rights (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

The full-time school with full-time and "full-right" professionals mobilizes a shared education. But the teacher considers that, apart from the school's space-time, she has also had to seek academic education:

But this teacher needs that education, he needs it because what we do is not enough. This teacher, me, a teacher, I only resumed studying because I found myself in a situation where what I brought wasn't enough, even without ever leaving the classroom, but that was no longer providing responses to my students, and so I sought education, and ended up in the master's program where I reflect on education (Oral narrative, Kátia, 2015).

In the municipal system where Juliana teaches, the definition given by the PSPN law about planning and studying time for teachers is ensured, as long as the school has teachers for the diversified activities, and in most cases, these professionals have a temporary contract. Planning time is organized for activities out of the school that are related to studying and attending teacher education events, and activities at the school, which are divided in collective and individual activities. One hour per week should be dedicated to the collective meeting for discussing texts; when this is not possible, the school organizes a day in the month with a four-hour period. Frequently, however, the meeting is taken over by reports and bureaucratic issues.

The collective one is the one for meetings with larger, wider groups, and so you'll discuss texts according to the coordination, texts that we'll often bring to discuss, because there are many people from different areas, some work with special education, others with racial relations, so they'll also bring those fields for us to discuss, which are related to basic education, and there's the individual part. So, those who have tests to make, those who have to submit individual reports, they will use that time to do the reports (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

With regard to individual work, however, the teacher notes, "there is another side to it, because we have time, they'll make us fill in more paperwork, there is a lot of records to fill in". In spite of the legal guidelines and the differentiated proposal designed by the education department and desired by teachers:

When we moved to the full-time system, the scrapping began [...], there were no more teachers, neither in the diversified area, nor the social educators, so teachers started to spend 9 hours in a row with students. And teachers started to become sick because there's nobody who can handle five days a week giving classes, sometimes we wouldn't even be able to have a lunch break, nine hours with students, and the children sometimes would have to stay in the classroom, there was no material [...] (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

In this work context, Juliana reflects on her personal education process:

I think it's really nice that I can now reflect about who I was, who I'm being and who I can be, in this perspective that I'm part of a group of teachers today, who is struggling a lot for public education, particularly for this system, which is more and more one of results, but it doesn't give us the possibility to speak, it doesn't give us the possibility to build new things, within a closed structure, a space that doesn't favor the encounter. I really miss that. And when I decided to move to full-time school, the proposal was, 'You will have your time for planning, you will have your time to meet with your colleagues'. I remember this encounter I had with Lúcia Velloso, a teacher, where she presented the perspective of full-time education and she was with the teachers at the school. She said that the priority in full-time school should be the encounter, the encounter and exchange between people, thus allowing new readings, new spaces for discussion [...] (Oral narrative, Juliana, 2015).

The scenes above interweave and give visibility to the paths taken by teachers in their trajectories of life, education, full-time education teaching, and how daily school life and the space-times for education are progressively built.

Reflections

We resume here the lines woven over the text, which interweave theoretical-methodological and political dimensions and the narratives of the teachers. By following the scenes, we enter the movements of narrative enunciation, the daily images immersed in the triple present, and we also find implicit scenes, unspoken things, silences. The narrators were willing to generously participate in the study, and they took the conversation as an opportunity to record a testimony of teaching; they spoke about their personal trajectories and their encounter with education and full-time education as an opportunity to share knowledge and everyday struggles in Brazilian public education.

In the three teachers' personal-professional trajectories, pedagogy and teaching did not come as a first choice; they were defined over a slow, kairotic path of approximation and identification. Two teachers attended the Normal Course, and one got her initial teacher education from a pedagogy course. They graduated, respectively, from a private college, a public federal university, and a public state university, and we can see from the narratives that attending a higher-education pedagogy course consolidated their choice of teaching as a profession. The three teachers had other professional and teaching experiences before starting at full-time schools, and they take this change and the teaching practice at these schools as a significant biographic event in their education trajectories.

With regard to the schools, it is interesting to note that the CIEP where Vivian teaches was designed and implemented as a public policy of the state of Rio de Janeiro in the 1980's and 1990's which aimed at full-time education, although, with the municipalization, it was restructured into a part-time school. It was the demands of the community which drove the municipality to reestablish the full-time regime. As for the schools where Kátia and Juliana teach, they were planned according to the specific guidelines of the municipal policy to fulfill the proposal of increasing school hours and consolidate the full-time regime by means of pilot-schools.

The teachers reaffirm, at different points of their narratives, the potentialities of full-time school for students' education, as the learning opportunities are enlarged in dynamics of space-time that favor experiencing the curriculum more deeply, including the relation with assistant and diversified activities teachers, colleagues, and with knowledge itself. The schools' physical space is also appropriated by students and, in some cases, by the community - at the full-time school, the movement of teaching and learning occurs not only through the desirable quality of time, but also that of the space. A space that, in Vivian's experience, was resignified; in the case of Juliana, initially improvised; and in Kátia's school, rebuilt. But, in all cases, they were reinvented in other logics of use. From fixed to circuit classrooms, implying the interaction between school subjects, didactic proposals, times and spaces, from school to community convenience and leisure area.

With regard to teaching, the challenges are big, and we found that each of the municipalities has been trying to comply with the planning and studying time as determined by the National Minimum Wage Law. Of the three municipalities where the teachers work, two have passed specific laws to regulate career and work hours, officially including out-of-class time, and two of them have already passed Municipal Education Plans, which point to consolidating the allocation of one-third of teachers' work hours for out-of-class work, not specifying, however, how this determination will be implemented. The struggles and confrontations waged by teachers are already translating into achievements, particularly with regard to legal guarantees, but the teachers' narratives indicate that there is still a complex way ahead until the full implementation of this legal framework.

What we found in common in the three municipal systems where the interviewed teachers work is the arrangements to provide teachers' studying and planning time by means of the work of diversified activities teachers, i.e., while the teachers of these fields are giving their classes, the former have their studying and planning time guaranteed; however, when there is a lack of diversified activities teachers, that space-time is compromised. Another noteworthy difficulty is the one caused by the large number of teachers working on a contract basis and in a differentiated way - with a 40-hour workweek in the part-time regime, in which case the teacher can work with more than one registration, even in different systems (i.e., municipal or state), in a context of precariousness of teaching.

The full application of the law implies, therefore, that exams for the teacher position be held, since in order for teachers to actually have one-third of their work hours dedicated to out-of-class work, there must be another teacher in the classroom with the students. These teachers should have a permanent contract and should also have their full work hours guaranteed, including one-third for out-of-class work.

Beyond full-time schools' educational potentiality for students, we can see in the narratives the full-time regime also as a potentiality for teacher education, because of the deeper "encounter" with the other, the space-time for studying and planning educational actions. In the experience of the three teachers, even though still not carried out to their full extent, the possible encounters point to the construction of institutive pedagogical practices, implying an everyday micro-policy by means of encounters, in the most profound sense, between teachers and education professionals.

Thus, we realize that, on the one hand, from the legal point of view, we have advanced in guaranteeing teacher education as an integral part of teaching, therefore, embedded in schools' everyday work; on the other, the narratives indicate the challenges that still hinder the implementation of these policies. The time of macro-policy and its logics comes pervaded by the technical-rational dimension, as analyzed by Hargreaves (2014), while schools' everyday life implies micro-policy, the constitution of practices by practitioners (Certeau, 2002) who live the phenomenology of space-time in the personal-collective experiences of teachers, schools and education systems.

The multiple settings presented here interweave and give visibility to difficulties, while also indicating the potentialities involved in teacher education and the movement of critical and propositional reflection about teaching. In the narratives, we found traces of the materiality lived by teachers in the construction/reconstruction of their life and education stories.

Translation from Portuguese: Fernando Effori de Mello

Translation Proofreader: Ananyr Porto Fajardo

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1T.N.: In Portuguese, educação (education) and formação (formation) can be used interchangeably, although the latter has a wider meaning than the former, i.e., it concerns not only one's school/academic life, but one's personal development in any field of life; where the author intended to transmit this wider meaning (by using the word formação), we used 'formation' in the translation.

1In Greek mythology, Chronos - the son of Uranus, Starry Sky, and Gaia, the Earth - is the god of time. He married his sister Rhea and had six children. Trying to escape the prophecy that he would be dethroned by a son, he swallowed all of them but Zeus, who was hidden by his grandmother. When Zeus grew up, he took revenge against his father, who, after drinking a magic potion offered by Metis - Prudence - vomited all of his children, and Zeus became the supreme deity (Bragança, 2014).

2Teacher education through secondary education is ensured by the National Educational Guidelines and Framework Law (LDB) 1996, as well as its 2013 revision (Brazil, 1996; 2013).

Received: December 03, 2015; Accepted: June 29, 2016

Inês Ferreira de Souza Bragança holds a post-doctorate degree from the Education Post-Graduation Program of Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUC/RS) and a PhD in Sciences of Education from Universidade de Évora-Portugal. Holds a master's degree in Education, is a Specialist and Pedagogue by Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). Adjunct-Professor of UERJ Teachers' Formation School. Teacher and Adjunct-Coordinator of the master's degree in Education: formative processes and social inequalities. Member of the Regional Board of the Brazilian (Auto) Biographic Research Association (2014-2016), researcher of the Voices of Education Nucleus of Research and Outreaching (UERJ) and a collaborating researcher of the Investigation Center on Education and Psychology (CIEP) of Universidade de Évora-Portugal. E-mail: inesbraganca@uol.com.br

Juliana Godói de Miranda Perez is a pedagogue from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Master's candidate in the Post-Graduation Program in Education of UERJ Teachers' Formation College. Teacher of Itaboraí municipal system. E-mail: julianagodoym_perez@hotmail.com

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