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Educação & Realidade

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

Educ. Real. vol.44 no.2 Porto Alegre  2019  Epub 04-Abr-2019 


The City as an Educational Space: for a spatial pedagogic practice with teacher education students

Orlando Ednei FerrettiI

IUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis/SC – Brazil


This paper intends to create a reflection on Geography teaching in the early grades of Elementary Education and also on the education of Pedagogy students. These topics are approached from actual contexts, discussing notions of space, place, landscape and territory. For such, it was chosen spaces of direct relationship in the city, which is their territory. The research was carried out by groups, articulated with the fieldwork in which the teacher discusses and points out fundamental elements of the thematic content. From this recognition of the landscape, places are created and reflections on the production of space are fostered. The work methodology was based on the milieu analysis.

Keywords: Fieldwork; Milieu Analysis; Geography Teaching; Pedagogy


Neste texto procuramos construir uma reflexão sobre o ensino de Geografia para os anos iniciais do ensino fundamental e a formação dos estudantes de pedagogia. Abordamos esses temas a partir de contextos reais, com discussões sobre as noções de espaço, lugar, paisagem e território e, para tanto, escolhemos espaços de relação direta com os estudantes na cidade, que é seu território. A pesquisa foi realizada em grupos, articulada com o trabalho de campo em que o professor discute e aponta elementos fundamentais do conteúdo temático. Deste reconhecimento da paisagem, cria-se lugares e reflete-se sobre a produção do espaço. A metodologia deste trabalho foi construída tendo por base o estudo do meio.

Palavras-chave: Trabalho de Campo; Estudo do Meio; Ensino de Geografia; Pedagogia


Throughout six years working with students from the Pedagogy course, we have developed teaching and research activities that we consider able to contribute to thoughts over Geography teaching on early grades, specially producing elements for the pedagogues' learning over this curricular component. When highlighting pedagogical practices and concepts for the childhood, we bring authors who have based their dialog with their students in class, as well as reflections provided by teaching and research studies at Geografia, Infância e Ensino (Geography, Childhood and Teaching) class, on the 5th semester of the Pedagogy Graduation course, at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. The challenge is to aid future pedagogues to perceive the geographic space as one of learning and knowledge building.

This article seeks to reflect over the studies developed on Geografia, Infância e Ensino classes, the buildup of pedagogical work and its referential. Therefore, it is not only a reflection about education, but also about its object, the city.

The city is a fundamental space for the early grades education and presents itself as an interdisciplinary web. It is while talking about the city that students find - or build - their references. In this sense, we have worked with a teaching and research proposal that looks to explore the places of the city, watching and understanding the landscape, territorializing it; this is justified by the difficulty the students have in understanding geography's concepts in a single semester. Even more complicated is comprehending geography's theoretical-practical possibilities on the childhood, particularly connecting actual space and how it can be essential in learning the languages, signs and locations in it.

In 2011 we have started to work and research with and about the city at Geografia, Infância e Ensino classes. Since 2015, the research and teaching project received a title: A cidade: memória, paisagem e literatura (The city: memory, landscape and literature). It is highlighted on this text the results of the activities on 2017 with a Geography's perspective.

One of the pedagogical practices used in the Pedagogy course at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina is the Milieu Analysis. The learning plan for the Geografia, Infância e Ensino class approaches notions of space, place, landscape and territory, leading to a direct approach to reality. The fieldwork is thought within a broader methodological strategy, in order to get the students to think the space's transformation, watching the landscape, its meanings and differences, as well as recognizing the places and their relations.

The students constructed texts and video documentaries about places in the city of Florianópolis (Santa Catarina state, Brazil), exploring the distinct memory, place and landscape that are relatable in the territory. This relation brought up an awakening to spatial science and got the students to know better the city and to recognize themselves in it, exploring the space where they live. Also, we have always enabled the students to understand the geographic conceptions by their own experiences, either from memories of their childhood or by their everyday commuting to the University. This relation pedagogically built with space has brought views so far inaccessible, revealing us affinities, topophilias and also topophobias of a discovery cartography.

Interdisciplinarity in Practice

The Milieu Analysis comes up as a methodology that gives privilege to the reality of the city, the place and its landscape, helping to think and build the students' territoriality. The methodology enhances the comprehension of space through observation and analysis of the reality, being capable of unleashing and invigorating an interdisciplinary and collective process. Moreover, it happens in direct experiencing and repeatedly on the field and might be one of the most esteemed methodologies on geography education in actuality (Pontuschka, 1994). Evidently, it is able to be applied in any learning process, but acquires major contours when associated with the elementary school, when the student meets the reality to transform it, participating on the construction of a fairer society, proposing a collective vision and action.

In the urban space, the use of methodologies such as the Milieu Analysis has favored the understanding of subdominant or alternative cultures, opposing the hegemonic culture rhetorical (Cosgrove, 1998). The idea of cultural hybridity (Canclini, 2008) renews the subject with the need of both the teachers and the students getting to understand the reflections of their socio-cultural practices.

The Milieu Analysis requires fieldwork, and the school, as a learning institution, has to elaborate ways to make this practice easier, overcoming the material, physical and security conditions. With this understanding, it will be possible to provide the teacher an effective way to apply the method.

It is necessary to recognize that, even if the school encompasses a series of social contexts and that in it are represented values, attitudes, cultures and other social elements, it does not have the whole richness of the reality achievable in a fieldwork. Only in the field the students and teachers will be in contact with the praxis of the theories, their contradictions and overcoming. In this sense, the importance of the fieldwork is doubled if it is followed with the development of a research which, when well done, could take the students to question their world and gather instruments to act over the contradictions of the reality, transforming its surroundings. We consider that a research done in a serious and critical way must be included on the learning process, being contextualized and having content and method in order to include students, teachers, staff, the school and the community.

Fantin e Tauscheck (2005) understand that the term fieldwork matches a different methodology than field class, which is usually one where the teacher only brings up his knowledge about a certain location to be observed, but does not bring up questions, reflections and research about the reality of it.

To understand a certain space through a fieldwork method is basic to build up geographic concepts in the early grades. On this subject, Fantin and Tauscheck (2005) highlight that, sometimes, the study of the place is the best way to face the difficulties of fieldwork, as it proposes to begin the study in the school's own community. This way, the methodology's efficiency depends on how clear the objectives are and on the previous organization that must be evaluated constantly, during and after the activities. It may also be added to this methodological perspective, underlined by teachers Fantin and Tauscheck, the matter of identity and belonging (Callai, 2010). The fieldwork does not just propose to confirm the theories presented in class, but to revolutionize them, bring up questions over reality, the identities over the territory - the territorialities de facto.

Which Geography is discussed?

From its dawn as a science in the 19th century until the second half of the 20th century, Geography has concentrated two great dominant conceptions: it has evolved from a naturalist approach (essentially positivist) to a functionalist perspective (Claval, 2002). In Brazil, the traditional evolution sequence of this science was determined by a deep relation with the French school of thought (Pontuschka, 2007). In the naturalist conception, the analysis of the landscape, the surroundings, its diversity and characteristics made up the subject's motto. In some countries and/or schools, the perspective of the territory, or region, justified the dominance and use of nature on part of the human groups, with the "[…] description of lifestyles and technical dimensions of the relations with nature" (Claval, 2002, p. 14). However, this naturalist world was taught to the children through the geographic atlas, which contained a world vastly distant from the cities' streets, bringing descriptions of the rhythms of life from imagined, almost fantasy, communities.

From a naturalist description the geographers become interested in the distribution of human groups, their activities of organization, transformation and creation over nature. The landscape, the territory and the region are analyzed with a bias that considers the locations, the networks of influence and confluence, the disparities and advantages of access to the resources and the social organization. At the same time, those geographers quantified the natural elements in the regions and organized and synthesized production and exploration data. We have gone through that in Brazil during the Vargas Era [1930-1945]. Geography has tried to unveil, through functionalist sensory organs, how the attributions to a so-called development are given economically and socially, while at school it has been transformed in a science full of processed data to be memorized. On both approaches, the childhood has been of little concern over the entire 20th century. Or better, its concern with the school existed and was legitimate, but restricted to compilation and memorization of data and information - learning to know the reality, but one that was far from the childhood.

Since the 1970s, the so-called critical Geography, or radical Geography, has established a debate over the subject's object; this way space has had its status being discussed and articulated over many debate forums and geographic science groups. The new geographic method has revolutionized the subject and enhances the use of elements from the Marxist analysis of the space. With this, it can be said that space is produced (constructed) by the society and this production is led by certain groups/social agents (Harvey, 2003). It is the capital, on critical Geography's analysis, that determines the relations and actions of the society over nature. Even natural landscape is a conditioner of the means of production. The new ideas from critical Geography started to arrive at Brazilian schools in the 1980s, with the country still under stiff military dictatorship. The materialistic dialectical analysis proposed a rupture with the quantitative and extremely panoramic Geography that guided the schools. A movement starts, above all through the Brazilian Geographers Association (Associação dos Geógrafos Brasileiros - AGB), to revise the contents and theories over this subject, but still, little is thought about the childhood(s).

The teaching of Geography, or School Geography, also becomes critic. Milton Santos (2002), as a critic geographer, proposed that Geography observed the interpretation, the genesis, the evolution and functioning of space as analytical categories, creating a process of analysis and synthesis. Time is also essential to the conception of this space and Santos (2002) points out that space is the unequal accumulation of times, which means considering space as inheritances. Space and time are, to Geography, inseparable categories. Space as the coexistence of times. Looking for the definition of the object of Geography, Milton Santos (2002, p. 153) considered that "[…] space must be considered as a group of relations performed through functions and forms that present themselves as testimony of a history written by processes from the past and the present", evidencing the need to use knowledge that aids on the comprehension of the modifications occurring on this space.

Finally, almost at the end of the 1990s, the Geography National Curricular Parameters (Brazil, 1998) point out, as an indication for the early grades of elementary school, guidelines with approaches that consider the individual experience of the children, marked by the cultural identities in which they are inserted and their perceptions of the immediate geographic space, that is, the place as reference. There is a significant advance in Geography thinking for the early grades. Along the last two decades, Geography has been extremely interested in understanding the place and the landscape for the school learning processes (Callai, 2010; Castellar; Vilhena, 2010; Lopes; Pontuschka, 2009; Pontuschka et al., 2009).

But what is this place? And this landscape?

Milton Santos (2008a, p. 114) addresses the place as the one where the social groups' experiences are, building coexistence. He highlights that the place "[…] is not just a frame of life, but a lived space, that is, of continuously renewed experience, which allows, at the same time, the reevaluation of the inheritances and the inquiry about the present and the future". David Harvey (2004) points out that the place is a material element under continuous and intricate action of social relations networks, that go from economical political and social institutional to the realm of the imaginary (representations, sense of place, beliefs, wishes). It is a concept that brings about the reflection of our relation with the world - the place in the world and the world in all the places. And the places form territories.

More recently, the concept of territory is often confused with the concept of space. This one is, evidently, the base upon which the territories are constituted. Raffestin (1983) believes that the territory only exists by the power of a certain social group. This power can have multiple shapes. Marcelo Lopes de Souza describes the constitution of territories starting from spaces of autonomy, with movements of different social groups with also different social experiences. Be that as it may, the territory is essentially a space delimited and defined by power relations (Souza, 2000). It can be said that, in the geographic analysis, the occupation of the territory is seen as a generator of roots and identity: a group can no longer be comprehended without an analysis of its territory, in the sense that territorial identity is the most intrinsic part of socio-cultural identity. At school, the territory appears as a product from complex power relations and the domain over space, notably coming up as a designation for national space. But not only that. Spaces of belonging have attested the advance in comprehending the diverse territorialities (Heidrich; Heidrich, 2010).

The landscape is another important concept in Geography for the early grades. For Milton Santos (2002, p. 103), "Landscape is the set of shapes that, in a given moment, express the inheritances that represent the successive relations located between men and nature". Also, "[…] the landscape is given as a set of concrete actual objects". The landscape surrounds us and goes through us. It brings back memories. It pushes us to see/perceive the world.

Observing the landscape is an exercise of perception, experimentation, to then be able to reach a possible comprehension of the landscape's elements, their connections. These entities, biotic and abiotic, when observed together, in a scene, can be understood as a model that can be evaluated, valued, the landscape itself. Dennis Cosgrove (1998) points out that the landscape can be a way of seeing, of composing, harmonizing the external world on a visual reality. It is a rational form of seeing the nature, orderly, with shapes and structures that can be comprehensible to human beings, to their senses. The human action over the territory leads to modification, to creation and marking of elements, that are constituted over a first nature, but depend on a culture and society of a certain historic time. This construction is the landscape (Ferretti, 2013).

Therefore, the landscape must be understood as a dynamic system of relations, amid the multiterritoriality (multiple territories inextricably related) represented by the urban, where the landscape appears as text (physical and cultural) and context (dialectic), where the shapes of nature and how the human being transforms and modifies it can be read, creating the geographic space (Ferretti, 2013).

The City and the City. Of Which City are We Talking About?

China Miéville (2014) talks about a city that is double, but occupies the same geographic space. A city that has habits, languages, foods, clothes, distinct gestures. Unachievable social classes, where it is necessary to unsee how the other acts. A city that is built on the accumulated every day of common stories, shared buildings and streets with many names.

On the other hand, Mike Davis (2001) shows us a city that is close to Blade Runner's (1982) cinematographic Los Angeles, where hope seems to have stayed on the idyllic past, remote, from the memory, where animals and trees no longer exist (Dick, 2014). Nothing that Lefebvre (2008a) had not already said at the beginning of the 20th century about the urban industrial society. And before this, a modernity project.

The intense modernity project started on the 16th century (Berman, 2005) brought the characterization of a new kind of city. The new urbes destined to a growing model of science and conceptions free from the elementary dictatorship of feudalism would be based on commerce, more broadly on mercantilism. These new cities are, therefore, corroborated by the economy as their driving force. It is not about fleeing from the fiefdoms anymore, but the construction of a rationality imposed by the economy (Hubermann, 1986). Despite being called a project, the cities' modernity installs itself in a brute and disorganized way, the European cities will become huge clusters of human beings, wood, concrete and, with a bit of luck, some sewage service and drinking water. The public ideal seems to be present in the head of the first organizers of these cities, but the concrete reality shows us that there was no concern over fresh air or even sunlight (Mumford, 1998). Such cities, with the industrialization in the 19th century, will get less and less oxygen and a lot more carbon dioxide, where thousands of machines will modify the face of the cities. It is the phase of the chemical and mechanical construction of the city. In the middle of factories, rubble and cities, this mark that Lewis Mumford (1998) portraits as fundamental to the comprehension of these new urbes that impose themselves in the enlightenment period.

We understand that being modern is to find oneself in a place that promises adventure, power, joy, growth, self-transformation and transformation of the surrounding things - but, at the same time, threatens to destroy all that we have, all that we know, all that we are. Modernity's environment experience annuls all frontiers, geographic and racial, of class and nationality, of religion and ideology: in this sense, it can be said that modernity unites the human species, but also transforms it. It is a paradoxical unity, a unity of disunity: it dumps all in a permanent swirl of disintegration and change, fight and contradiction, ambiguity and anguish. Being modern is being a part of a universe where, as says Marx, "[…] all that is solid melts into air" (Berman, 2005, p. 15).

This urban space, in fact, is the urban industrial society of Lefebvre (2008a), setting itself up as an extreme landscape. It is the space where the productive forces have reached their maturity and organization. It is in the city where most of the capital is concentrated and where usually the technical and scientific innovations are built (Santos, 1998; 2008b; Harvey, 2004; Lefebvre, 2008a).

In Florianópolis it is no different. We have no de facto industry, but the city breathes the processes of a perverse modernization to its natural environments. The current Municipal Master Plan (MMP), which is the document that plans and organizes the city, portraits nature and the traditional communities pressed by urbanization advances. Even if it is considered 42% of the Island as Permanent Protection Area, as of the Brazilian Forest Code, the rules of urban land usage presented on the old MMP of 1997 and the Balnearios [Beaches] Law of 1985 were not accompanied with measures that could articulate effective actions for the preservation of the natural systems. Florianópolis directly suffers the effects of irregular occupation, inadequate construction, closure of draining channels, soil alteration with excessive water-proofing and occupation growth inside or around protected areas (Ferretti, 2013).

At the beginning of the 20th century the society's organization with nature becomes intensely perverted by productive processes (farming, fishing, hunting and large scale extractivism). Florianópolis, as a space of transformation of the resources for consumption, presents the height of the production over the natural systems, where the urban processes start. After the 1970s there is a desire that transitions it to a capital for leisure and tourism. Finally, the complete urban space, from the second half of the 20th century on, with a shape that is still being built, but where it can be seen a distinct landscape morphology. There is a downtown area that extends itself through expressways to the tips of Santa Catarina Island. Its continental part is already completely urbanized. There is a constant increase in population (421 thousand inhabitants in 2010), an intensification of economic activities and a demand for urban infrastructures, housing, services, trade, etc. with consequent growth of urban areas and expansion of the balnearios both in the north and south of the Island, while also having a verticalization process on those areas (Ferretti, 2013).

It is on this urban space that, for Milton Santos (Santos, 208b), will be constituted a process of capital construction typical of a corporate city. In Florianópolis it is evident the civil construction market's (ir)rationality, the touristic services ideology and the political factor, that represent an important role in formulating and constituting the territory; however, as every capitalist process, it is contradictory. So this dominance, despite being hegemonic, does not act in an equal way across the entire urban space (Ferretti, 2013).

For Hannah Arendt (2007), the decadence of public space on modern society happens when the State starts to defend private interests, which is considered by her as the decadence of the modern period. The regulation of spaces can be understood today with a Foucauldian perspective of biopower, when the State also wants to have power over the body and will of the people - especially for consumption. Thus, the individual objectives nurtured by biopolitics are organized by a State that regulates the wills and dictates the standards of conduct, but inside a perspective of the corporate city (that consumes) brought up by Milton Santos (Ferretti, 2013).

Regarding the organicity and the disputes, the political plan is also affected by momentary interests from the capital that permeates and observes the possibility of construction over low cost areas with exuberant nature, like flood areas, lowlands, slopes, etc. It is understood, paraphrasing Lefebvre (2008b), that it is not about simply locating in space a given function or need, but to spatialize a social activity; in this sense, a social activity over the landscape. The city's own appearance and the way it is organized and planned in its spaces demonstrate that the reality presupposes certain social practices (Harvey, 2003). It is the city and the city of Miéville.

Milton Santos (2008a), more than many educators, already discussed this premise of the relation between the global society and its territories, that have common elements but their own dynamic, a nature sometimes unique and a social organization that must be respected. In times of globalization, be it of consumption, be it of the knowledge of the world, there still remain those places distinct from one another, where the specialized knowledge of the world is not enough. About this, the urban space dialectic can be the starting point to teach about and to the city, with the commitment to relate society and nature in the spaces of experiences of those urban childhoods.

But how to construct learning processes that take into account these conceptions? And how to make them actual in the teachers' training context?

To Teach and Learn Geography(ies)

The social-cultural approach or the essays of a contemporary approach have brought to Geography the need of a knowledge that presents as necessary for the understanding of the world that surrounds us, above all of the cultural diversity that reigns over urban/industrial spaces and its contradictions. While portraying the world as it is and how it could be, Santos (2008a) inserts much more dialogical sense over reality, revolving the ideologies. If the structure of the materialistic-dialectic thought conceives the necessity to constantly rethink things, those are the ones that will demand profound and studied transformations of knowledge; new views over culture and environment will also awaken in a dialectic form to a new learning that allows the perception of the importance of the knowledge of the different social groups and the surroundings they live, on the many cities that form a single one! Pontuschka (2009, p. 135) points out that

The educator needs to know how to do an analytical reading of the geographic space and reach the synthesis, creating situations inside the education process to favor the necessary conditions to the understanding of Geography as a science that researches the space built by men, living in different times, considering space as a result of the movement of a society in its contradictions and on the relations it establishes with nature on the many historic periods.

If we take into account that Geography is seen, by the educational policies, as fundamental to the citizen's formation, its knowledge about territories now tends to observe and have a bigger knowledge diversity under the change to the complexity world. However, it is not only the teacher that must have this speech; it needs to be evident in the teaching method, in the approximation with reality. Paulo Freire has already demonstrated that it is possible to reconstruct knowledge coming from the lived world (Freire, 1987).

The students of this subject already have the geographic knowledge originated from their direct and everyday relation with the lived space. The development of a conceptual spatial reasoning by the students depends, although not exclusively, of an intersubjective relation in the school context and of a mediation (Cavalcanti, 2005).

The previous statement is an initial premise that has allowed us to formulate a series of developments to the learning of Geography: the student is the active subject of his learning process and intellectual, affective and social development over the comprehension of the geographic space; the teacher has the mediating role in the unfolding process of this spatial knowledge; the mediation itself is the favoring of the interrelationship (encounter/confrontation) between the subject (student) and the object of his knowledge (geographic space); in this mediation, the student's knowledge is an important dimension of his learning process.

In Geography's school curriculum, the debate about place is brought up since the first grade as a living space, thus using the theories offered by Geography. It has been used often by educators graduated in pedagogy to also debate the childhood's territories on kindergarten (Lopes, 2008; Lopes; Vasconcellos, 2006) with the child's notion of spatiality. In the early grades of literacy, the curriculum is strengthened by the study of the place and by aggregating the knowledge of the children about their place.

In general, the official documents (National Curricular Parameters, New Common Curricular Basis) consist of indications to prepare the student for: locating, comprehending and acting in the contemporary and complex world, questioning reality, as well as formulating propositions, recognizing the existing dynamics in the geographic space and thinking and acting critically on their reality, given its constant transformation. The approach regarding space goes around the local landscape; and the child, on its turn, requires tools to read it, so that studying nature's manifestations as a starting point to the comprehension of the society aids in the establishment of relations between the local landscape and other places, for comparison.

In elementary school, the teacher, through incentives to drawings, can lead the students to understand the basic elements of proportion, distance and direction, which are essential information to the comprehension of the use of cartographic language. This can be done using location references and basic orientations, where the student might practice with drawings (rudimentary map, sketch). There also can be started the insertion of simple maps, associated to questions that must be answered to interpret information. It is necessary that the teacher works with materials that are updated and age specific, with maps, atlas and globes, mock ups. We believe that the Milieu Analysis methodology is essential on this stage, as well as working with images and place representations, above all in presenting and interacting with the local landscape and the bonds and identity with the place.

In the 4th and 5th grade of elementary school there is more importance in the urban and rural geographic spaces and in territories. The representation of the geographic space remains similar to what has been worked in the earlier grades, although the notions of distance, orientation and direction can be deepened, thus starting activities with proportion and scale, in other words, landscape delimitation. On these grades it is possible to insert notions of the cartographic language conventions and start to produce simple maps related to the lived space of the student. Location references, cardinal points, divisions and contours of political maps, color and map legend systems can be initiated. Here the City as a space of living and territoriality gains importance.

Fieldwork has been highlighted from time to time as a tool and methodological procedure on the processes of research and teaching of Geography. The normative orientations for the Geography teachers always emphasized fieldwork as fundamental on the learning of the subject. In spite of that, notably on the early grades of elementary school in Brazil (1st to 5th grade), the activity is seen as only a tour, sometimes without due reflection and attention and even without the debate of observations/contents/critics/reflections.

Comprehending the Experience

Based on the conceptions of shape, function, structure and process from Milton Santos (1985), we propose an analysis of the geographic space where: the shape is the visible aspect of a spatial object, it is the ordered arrangement that can be from an object or a set of objects (natural and/or artificial elements) - here the shape of the landscape is essential; the function is the task or activity of a shape - we have to know and understand the place; the structure is the way it is organized, implying the interrelation of all the parts of a whole of the spatial object - again the place, as it is de facto in its organization; and the process, a continuous action developing in the direction of any result, implying the concept of time - continuity and change (for instance, the history of a spatial object's construction, its use in different times) - here both the place and the landscape are analyzed.

In the space delimited by the subject, it was possible to get the students to listen to the people, watch the buildings, the façades, the hills, the rivers, the vegetation, the changes in the landscape. Slowly the information acquired in the fieldwork was added to the reading of texts, historic documents, maps, letters, photos, movies, etc. From this knowledge agglutination, the students mobilized to produce their own work expressed through different languages. It is important to highlight that the richness of this practice considered the spaces chosen by the students, a detail that revealed itself fundamental for the development of the activities, as those spaces were affective spaces.

Throughout ten semesters, the research production with the students was articulated in groups, going from concepts of place and landscape to recognizing the spaces of the city, through location and orientation and later describing in specific points the natural and cultural elements on the landscape, always reflecting about the production of space. From these elements they were guided to look for information for the search of bibliographic, documentary, iconographic and interview sources. The main objective of this activity is to make the students to make observations, descriptions, analysis and critics of the space, in order to comprehend the historic-social development of the city and its contradictions. The specific objectives went on: learning to articulate, prepare and execute studies of the surroundings as a pedagogical practice; orient themselves in space and construct maps of the activity and location of the visited points; observe and notice the landscape(s) and reference its (their) elements on space, which is constantly changing, but also has permanent things; identify and reflect about the diverse social actors over the places; to arouse them to read and comprehend the space they live in.

In the first semester of 2017 it was established a dialogue among the subjects Geography, Childhood and Learning; History, Childhood and Learning and Literature and Childhood for a true interdisciplinary research project. The proposal looked to reach the contents of all subjects while at the same time tried to heed to each student's choice of places, themes and memories to be investigated. As a result, a short video-documentary was produced, with a script that made explicit what was investigated. The short films were presented in the classes in July 2017.

The project's objective was that the students could: develop the ability to identify and abstract the spatial objects: their location and spatial representation; comprehend the city as a living space in constant change and modification; identify the multiple time periods present on the landscape, similarities, differences, the duration - the before and the after; establish simple comparisons of past and present about a range of periods, cultures and social contexts existing on the landscapes; the memories of the people that live in the city; to read and comprehend children's literature texts that present the city, its memory, place, social spatial and historical aspects; understand how to research and construct methodologies for working with students from the early grades of elementary school.

Downtown Florianópolis was initially taken as an example to think the urban space production, a place historically constituted that transformed (and transforms) the natural landscape (the original site) where it is located. Considering the downtown area, each 5th phase student chose individually or in groups of up to three students a place in the city to study, investigate and then write a script and film.

The activities had the following sequence: indication and debate about the texts that make reference to this city, including Brazilian children's books; fieldwork at Florianópolis' city center; research of diverse sources about the city (literature, newspapers, internet, memorials, libraries, interviews and other sources); field research at the chosen place; interview planning; orientations from the teachers of the involved subjects; elaboration and edition of a short film (video documentary) with the theme and script; presentation and discussion.

In the student's orientation texts about the city of Florianópolis it were indicated, especially, the texts of Dias (20070, Makowiecky (2011), André Santos (2009) and the movie The Imaginary Captain (2009); also, texts used on the subjects with the concepts of: landscape, place, memory, patrimony, experience, time, children's literature, among others. Other indications were texts of children's books that portrait Florianópolis or close realities to it, such as Aventuras na Ilha da Magia (Adventures on Magic Island), from Yedda de Castro B. Goulart; Cruz e Souza - Além do Horizonte da Poesia (Cruz e Souza - Beyond poetry's horizons), from Sérgio Mibielli; A Festa do Boi de Mamão (Boi de Mamão's party), from Cristiani Inácio and Marta D. Martins; Dorotéia e o Vento Sul (Dorothy and the Southern Wind), from Gladys Mary Ghizoni Teive; É tempo de Pão por Deus (It is time of Bread from God), from Eliane Debus; Nos Passos de Cascaes (On the Footsteps of Cascaes), from Cristina Santos; Favela, from Dilvia Ludvichak; O Voo da Pandorga Mágica (The Flight of the Magical Kite), from Eliane Veras da Veiga; and the book A Terra do Passavento (Wind-Goes-By Land), from Danuza Meneghello. The reviews of these and other children's books that portray Santa Catarina Island, the city of Florianópolis and other places can be viewed on the website Literatura Infantil; Juvenil Produzida em Santa Catarina [Children's and Juveniles's Literature Produced in Santa Catarina] (2017)1, organized by Eliane Debus, Simone Cintra and Maria Laura P. Spengler.

One City, Many Views

The recognition of time and geographic space and the use of a methodology that allows the comprehension of the city were the initial mechanisms for this activity's development. The field research, if well planned, can make the students increase their perceptions and transform space in a place.

We have used as our investigation object the space we live in, the city, where we observe the historically constituted landscape and how it can change with every vision. The urban space of Florianópolis, specially of Santa Catarina Island, has acquired, on the latest decades, a population growth unparalleled in its history. Houses, buildings and an urban structure that are drawn together by the space called the city center. Observing this growth critically might aid us in understanding how complex the landscape is, not only at Florianópolis but any city, even the fictional ones found in the books, specially children's books, that have texts that demonstrate spatiality in a specific way for children.

Space as the basis of reflection is transformed into place from our memories and remembrances, from the relations with other people and landscape itself, so that the pedagogical proposal mentioned took into account the recognition of this place as an affective place. Remembering that this place is accessed by all our senses, not only the vision.

These landscapes have a geometry, a structure, but also a form and a language: they are dense, light, plain, continuous, large, tall, small, hot, cold, dirty, made of concrete, bricks, clay, earth, are green or blue, colorful as a whole or without a defined color, intensely acquiring life from people's everyday life and its uses, or its preservation, or wonder, or laughter. The landscapes are sung of, in verses and in texts, are treated with neglect or with attention, deserving dazzle or questioning. They are marked by power, by inclusion or by exclusion.

For the analysis of the geographic space we chose the landscape as register of human work, of space's own production in different time periods. But understanding these grooves (something different, almost unique) is more necessary than observation, it has to be understood what goes beyond the landscape, thus the importance of time (history) and of the comprehension of politics as the core of life in society.

Therefore, observing the landscape is also seeing the marks of the cultures' manifestations, be them hegemonic or resistances (the traditional ones or those urban cultures that are not yet easily accepted by the society). A culture that imposes or a culture that tries to survive the imposition of a model for the masses. But also the memory from the people, memories from Azorean communities, black communities, that are multiple from the arduous work of the construction of geographic space on the Island.

History, like Geography, conceives space as a social construction, given that it studies the markings of human action in space and time. In observing, identifying, drawing and photographing space and/or its aspects, it reaches the category of historic temporality, in a relation between present and past, with durations that lead to the perception of continuities and changes. The multiple temporalities coexist in the chronological space-time. It is the spaces that, when watched closely, supply the elements for the problematization of the actual, for the estrangement, for the planning and development of researches, for the passage from narrative history to problematic history. With the observation of space we go looking for memories, cultures, traditions, that is, we have a starting point to try to understand how the past is in the present, what is the past's aesthetic.

Through literature, through children's books, it was possible to better understand the culture and landscape of Santa Catarina Island, its songs, speeches about the city or about other cities that can be compared to Florianópolis.

In addition to the observation, description and analysis (presentation script) of the landscape, there were also orientation activities. This way, the tool is the drawing, the photo, the sketch, the maps constructed by the teams utilizing the materials, colors and type possibilities.

The Video Documentaries

As a result of the choices, the researches and the construction of videos about the city, on the first semester of 2017 we had a variety of places, memories, experiences and dialogues. The projects explored diverse aspects of the culture and landscape of Florianópolis.

The video Bruxas de Coqueiros (Witches of Coqueiros), from the undergraduates Fernanda Campos Melo, Milene Rodolfo and Patrícia Schappo, approached people's memories of the Azorean culture, especially the fantastic stories, reflecting about the legend of the transformation of witches into rocks at Coqueiros beach, in the continent. Also with the Azorean culture take there is the short film Santo Antônio de Lisboa, from Sara Rodrigues Santos and Yule Vieira Bitencourt, where the authors looked to highlight the popular parties and the memory of researchers and residents of the neighborhood and its traditions. Based on the poem Rendar (Lacework) from Eloi Bocheco (2014), Larissa Silveira made the video documentary É Tempo de Rendar (It is Time for Lacework), that features the memories from the bobbin lacework ladies (and misters) on Santa Catarina Island, discussing labor, life and the need for a past and present time. The project of Luíza Fernandes, Maria Eduarda Santiago and Vanessa Barcelos, Cruz e Souza, Poesia, Desterro e o Palácio (Cruz e Souza, Poetry, Desterro and the Palace) associates the actual Santa Catarina Historical Museum, also known as Cruz e Souza Palace, and the life and work of Santa Catarina's poet Cruz e Souza.

Discussing the transformations of Florianópolis' geographic space, of the city, Adriane M. Vogel and Morgana Dreon made the video Florianópolis em Evolução: ponte e aterro (Florianópolis Evolving: bridge and land reclamation) with photographs and maps, portraying the history of the bridges' constructions connecting the continent to Santa Catarina Island and the changes made on the Island's border by land reclamation started in the 1930s and finished at the end of the 20th century. The theme of occupation and transformation of Florianópolis, specially its hills, is the project of Pedro Henrique do Nascimento Pinheiro and Juliana Zimmermann da Silva, featuring the Morro da Cruz (Hill of the Cross), with its landscapes and memories from the residents. Also looking to discuss the change and permanence of the Island's landscape, the video Freguesia do Ribeirão da Ilha: História, Beleza e Tradição (The Parish of Ribeirão da Ilha: History, Beauty and Tradition), from Laura Cristina Carvalho, Maria Eduarda da Silva Vieira and Viviane Maria Morh, looked to visit the south of Santa Catarina Island, in its redoubt with the most preserved architectonic patrimony on the Island. With the use of photography and filming, the short film Canal da Barra da Lagoa (Barra da Lagoa Channel), from Liliane de Abreu Bento and Maria Luiza Souza Ribas, presented the memories and landscape from one of the beaches of the eastern part of the Island. In a context of environment and social changes, the short film Campo Palmeirinha (Palmeirinha Field), from Jullia Costa, Mariana de Oliveira e Mylena Souza, shows a place of conflict and dispute, the field/land of Palmeirinha, at Porto da Lagoa, next to Conceição Lagoon in Florianópolis. Deepening the land conflicts question, the project of Esteffani do Espírito Santo discusses the struggle for the possession and formation of the Monte Cristo neighborhood; the presentation of the photographs and memories of the residents discuss and refute the viewing of the neighborhood as a favela by the media, that ignores the views from the residents. Also about the Island's landscapes and the social environmental changes, there is the project of Andriélen Regina Kochem, Camila Beppler and Thaynara Theisges, Lagoa da Chica: a volta do lazer no Campeche (Chica Lagoon: the return of leisure at Campeche).

Final Remarks

We have learned that it is possible to go out to the field, leave the School, have a comprehension of the spaces that surround us and with which we interact and modify. Only the comprehension of our actuation in space can lead to effective changes and to a constant struggle with a social economical system, but also to creating new references.

To speak about the city in Geography is to reflect about this space that concentrates multiple experiences and distinct landscapes. Every day Florianópolis, a space in constant change, has presented gentrification processes that expel the poorer populations out of the Island, creating exclusion spaces.

In Pedagogy course, the subject Geography, Childhood and Learning attempts to lead the students to comprehend the theoretical-methodological fundamentals of geographic science and its school practice on the early grades of elementary school in a critical way, responsible to think the childhood at, for and with the city. The Milieu Analysis is, therefore, an essential pedagogical activity for the recognition of space, the understanding of the landscape's elements and its dynamic, highlighting the place as a habitable space. Evidently it is not unique. It must be centered on the discussion of the child's space, in a conceptual structure that has childhood as the end.

We realize that the pedagogy students, acting subjects on the learning process, can perceive themselves as actors of the city's space, capable of proposing changes, making alterations, criticizing and rebuilding through a new look, with patient attention to the mechanisms that they did not know before - mechanisms that they participated in, but did not know about their processes. The shapes of the landscape were not always clear, they were shapeless to the viewing without seeing, to the hurried steps of the everyday, be it at downtown, be it at the neighborhood, at the distant places or the close ones. They invented a center of memory that did not reflect their everyday practices, marked by the media and the hearsay. They retook the perspective of attention in seeing and learning from their investigations of the everyday, of the passages and landscapes.

In science, just like in any other form of knowledge production, it must be clear that there are no neutrality spaces. Geography, in its turn, on the articulation of its own language that seeks to analyze, interpret, explain, intervene and modify space, has an intent given the teaching actions, in its political practice manifested in class.



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Received: October 29, 2017; Accepted: December 04, 2018

Orlando Ednei Ferretti is a professor of the Department of Geosciences of Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), working in the fields of geosciences and geography education. Member of the Center of Studies and Research on Geography Teaching (NEPEGeo) and the Observatory of Protected Areas (OBSERVA). ORCID: Email:

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