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Educação & Realidade

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

Educ. Real. vol.44 no.3 Porto Alegre  2019  Epub 12-Set-2019 


Existing is Ordinary: resistance maps in the curricula and teaching

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

IIUniversidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói/RJ - Brazil


Faced nowadays with the words teaching, curriculum and school, the verb to resist sounds like an inescapable premise to the possibilities of fairer, more solidary and democratic social forms. Based on results from researches on the production of curricula and teachers training, we seek, through teacher narratives, to map resistance movements of the public and the common in everyday practices. We argue that forms of resistance do not necessarily arise as responses to hegemonic logics and to agendas that reduce life to economic interests. To resist, in the dialogue that we establish with authors from the field of philosophy, of the new epistemologies and of the studies of everyday life, implies in the ordinary and everyday production of the forms of existence.

Keywords: Everyday Life; Curricula; Teaching Practices


Diante das palavras docência, currículo e escola hoje, o verbo resistir soa como premissa incontornável às possibilidades de formas sociais mais justas, democráticas e solidárias. Partindo de resultados de pesquisas quanto à produção dos currículos e à formação docente, buscamos, através de narrativas docentes, mapear movimentos de resistência do público e do comum em práticas cotidianas. Argumentamos que as formas de resistência não se produzem, necessariamente, como respostas às lógicas hegemônicas e às pautas de redução da vida aos interesses econômicos. Resistir, no diálogo que estabelecemos com autores do campo da filosofia, das novas epistemologias e dos estudos do cotidiano, implica na produção comum e cotidiana das formas de existir.

Palavras-chave: Cotidianos; Currículos; Práticas Docentes


Those who have the strength

to know that they exist

And in the center of the

gear itself

Invent the opposing spring

that resists

Secos e Molhados

Source: Personal collection.

Picture 1 Performance ‘Being a Teacher’ Licentiate Course in Visual Arts/2008 

The image that we chose to start our conversation is a pencil sketch from the picture of a performance on the topic Being a Teacher, performed by students of a Licentiate course in Visual Arts in 2008. It could be the image of a Water Lily, a fantastic flower of Boris Vian’s novel in Foam of the Daze1. In the novel, everything that suggests linearity and some concreteness of the Real sustained by the sewing of a Life Project is put under suspicion when a strange flower grows in the character’s lungs, shrinking and fading a whole world of possibilities around them. The suffocation caused by the seed of a water lily overflows from the main character’s lung to its surroundings, provoking in the reader (or spectator) the feeling that everything is crumbling, rotting and closing around him. This is a familiar sensation when we think of the words teaching, curriculum, education in this foam of the current times. We have been living processes of life expropriation, as:

[...] power took life by storm. It means that power has penetrated all spheres of existence, has mobilized and put them to work for their own benefit. From genes, body, affectivity, psychism to intelligence, imagination, creativity, all this was violated and invaded, mobilized and colonized, when not directly expropriated by the powers. But what are the powers? Let’s say, to go fast, running all risks of simplification: the sciences, the capital, the State, the media, etc. [...] these powers are exercised in a positive way, that is, by investing the social vitality from start to finish, intensifying it, mobilizing it, optimizing it and, at the same time, monitoring it from within, piloting it and integrating its elements (Pelbart, 2015, p. 20).

Resulting from an emptying in the senses of education, in particular of schooling, the educational policies proposed by governments in different countries for more than two decades, and most of the social discourses, are strongly identified with economism. When we think from our researches about the forms and practices of resistance developed by public schools, especially by their teachers, the metaphor of the flower that grows in our lungs and suffocates us is quite adequate to interrogate: how are schools and teachers surviving and resisting the policies of emptying the public and the hegemonic meanings that affect education nowadays? Somehow, this is not a process that affects only education, teaching and schools. The processes of emptying the senses of the public are related to the privatization and commercialization of the forms of living that spread socially and culturally. Pelbart (2015) suggests that this commercialization of life forms is part of what produces the sense of claustrophobia that we will identify in education as well.

The association between the emptying of the meanings of public, common and collective - which impacts the meanings of school and curriculum and has implications for the meanings of teaching - is also strongly related to a type of culture based on economism in which we are immersed, related to the production of Real meanings to which Badiou (2017) referred and in which the meanings of school, curriculum and teaching are placed under surveillance. When we think of these practices and tactics (Certeau, 1994) that make the school resist, existing every day, appealing to the metaphor again, we could question: how are schools and teachers surviving to the Water Lily seeds in everyday life?

The article results from researches developed in the context of the group School-University Dialogues: training processes, curricula and everyday life and starts from the understanding that we assume and modify meanings that come to us in distinct ways, and through different interlocutions, in the production of our ways of understanding the notions of teaching and school underlying teachers’ training curricula and the curricula produced in school everyday life. These issues are justified as relevant to the field of studies that articulate curriculum and teachers training, as we perceive various forces and interests involved in the debates and productions of policies for education and training.

We understand that curricula are knowledge production spaces that bring political and epistemological senses and where these are disputed and negotiated. This negotiation also involves the meanings of teaching and school to which the produced curricula can be related. When Hardt and Negri (2003) recover the notion of multitude from Spinoza’s thought, they are moving toward the thinking of a political in the democratic experience that produces the common in and with difference and which, as expressed in recent writings by Negri (2016), has to do with cheerful passions, a politics of life. It is in this sense that we perceive the movement of necessary creation of everyday life that finds and creates paths, in the form of non-hegemonic practices and senses, (re)existing.

Throughout the researches2 that we have developed in the group, based on a methodological perspective that epistemologically and politically invests in dialogues between schools and universities, we are dedicated to investigate and problematize the meanings of teaching, curriculum and school circulating in the teaching narratives, in the narratives of teachers training students, in curriculum document texts and in imagery and film narratives. Understanding the interrelationship between the productions of curricula, the processes of teachers training and the school meanings that are made possible through political practices (Oliveira, 2013) created in everyday life, these fields and aspects are perceived as inseparable in our researches.

In addition to identifying and discussing in the research developed by the group the circulating meanings of teaching, curriculum and school, and by understanding the intrinsic relationship between research and training, we seek, through the articulation between research and extension, to develop actions that contribute to mobilize the perception and production of non-hegemonic meanings. This is a process that integrates the methodological discussions of the group and aims to develop research and training methodologies that contribute to identify, denaturalize and displace demeaning representations about public school and teaching. The central research and the group projects developed in its context are based on the notions of encounters and conversations (Garcia, 2015) as research and training methodology to think practices that mobilize such displacements.

[...] the encounter has emerged as a notion that refers to a privileged and singular spacetime to think about the training processes and our ways of researching them. [...] We have perceived, with the research, its potential to provoke destabilization and displacement in the teaching, school and curricular senses (Garcia, 2015, p. 3).

Such notions refer to research practices articulated to the development of integrated training actions that work in a dialogical, shared and more horizontalized perspective in the production of teacher knowledge.

This article starts with the mapping of data from the research carried out by the group between 2015 and 2017, aiming to identify and discuss resistance movements in/of public education and the presence of meanings of common (Negri, 2005) that emerge in practices woven in everyday life. In this sense, the common “[...] is the ontology considered from the point of view of the passion, of the force that stirs and constitutes the world [...]” (Negri, 2001, p. 106). Thus, when we think and work with Negri’s meaning of common, from the narratives of teaching practices, we realize that the constitution of the common is given in schools as an act of existing in and with the collective.

These movements were studied through teachers’ and students’ narratives collected in these researches. The narratives studied are produced in conversation circles with K-12 education teachers, filmed and later transcribed, themed and studied. Some of the researches also use the production of narratives in written records by teachers training students or high school students, in addition to the conversations. The teaching narratives come from municipal networks’ teachers in Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region and were produced in the context of training activities that articulate research and extension. Student narratives come from two sources: students of a high school of the state network participating in the teaching and research activities proposed by a state network teacher; and teachers training students from a public university of the state metropolitan region in the context of work developed in a traineeship discipline.

When we talk about maps drawn with the research developed in the context of the group, we refer to an expliciting of the presence of a set of aspects that the development of the group’s research has allowed us to observe concerning the processes of curricula production and the meanings of teaching and school in the different everyday life studied.

What do we resist? Hegemony’s Forces and Logic Performance Acting on Teaching and Curricula

The teachers training and the everyday life of schools’ production in the contemporary world have been impacted by demands that go beyond the classroom setting and which intensify demeaning representations of school and teaching, especially because they insist on producing an image of public school failure and teacher incompetence for the adequacy of the school to the guidelines and values of economism. As Alves (2014) points out, disputes over curricula, assessments and teachers training - to which we would add, also regarding the meanings of teaching - are not recent. However, since 2006, actors outside education3 have become increasingly involved in this dispute.

In the studies that involve research with schools’ everyday life, the production of the curricula in the everyday and the production of teachers doknowings4 in the everyday life, approaching different themes and contexts, we have observed that the meanings related to teaching, to school and to the comprehension about curriculum are multiple and dynamic. At the same time, these meanings are often crossed or captured by processes that seek to produce hegemony, trying to fix or produce a single meaning to each of these words.

The current hegemony production, concerning curricula and teachers training, is strongly fueled by practices and logics of control over curricula and teaching practices. Regarding this issue, the discussions that involve the cultural and political contexts and meanings that have nurtured control strategies and practices are important for us to think which processes we resist. The emptying to which we refer at the beginning of this text and we consider to be associated with the intensification of the control, can be in part understood as promoted by the phagocytosis of the economic contexts, embracing and swallowing the other contexts of life in society.

Thinking about the control that constitutes a context in which the sense of real is linked to the economy helps us to perceive the nuances of this control over the curricula and their production, in a more specific sense and about the schools in a broader sense. When we discuss the practices of control over teaching and curricula, it is important to consider that the scenario in which we operate today is crossed by singular ways of practicing and understanding work, economics and life itself. These ways are nourished by meanings that circulate and are produced culturally by various means and in different spacestimes, guided by logics that, as Santos (2002) pointed out, favor the economic aspect and the productivist logic associated with profit to the detriment, or invisibilization, of other forms of being in the world and the knowledge produced with them.

Teachers, not infrequently, refer to the tensions produced by school, education and curriculum meanings mobilized by economism and more identified by the expressions educate for the market and entrepreneurial vision. At the same time, the not so recent devaluation or invisibilization of teaching knowledge, combined with the economic logic, has produced an expansion of the conservative and fascist voices in the school spacestimes questioning curricula and teaching practices, and leading to persecutory chases5. The indignation expressed in the narrative of a teacher, when she learns of the complaint made to the Public Prosecutor by a family against a public federal elementary school teacher, reveals how the intensification of the control over teaching and curricula is perceived: “The difference now is that everyone has got outspoken, no secretary of education, neither MEC nor mother, grandmother, aunt, has shame at all in saying that the teacher does not know how to do his job” (Elementary school teacher in Niterói Municipal Network). Saying with mistrust the words that suggest certainties and impositions of meanings is, therefore, a necessary escape exercise and continuous use in studies with curricula. These things to do when putting your feet out of bed each day that starts. Alain Badiou (2017) proposes that we suspect the word Real and the knowledge that seems to have become guarantor of its meaning. The author draws attention to:

The place occupied by the economy in any and all discussion that concerns the real. It seems that the knowledge of the real has been entrusted to the economy. It is it that knows. [...] in today’s world, the economic discourse presents itself as the guardian and guarantor of the real. As long as the laws of capitalism remain what they are, the intimidating prevalence of the economic discourse will not be overthrown (Badiou, 2017, p. 10).

As a powerful instrument of production in the world as a real no longer imagined or a possible, but of illusory concreteness given by economic discourse (Badiou, 2017), what is said and done in the school and curricular spacestimes becomes a subject of interest to the economy and to the models of belonging and legitimacy in a society with declared contours in favor of the standards and, inevitably, of capital.

The strategies and practices of control over curricula and schools that are in tune with these interests and models, therefore, will not fail to bump into teaching. The control over what teachers do and know is often perceived by teachers and referred to on the conversation circles as something that “has always been lived in school” (5th grade teacher, São Gonçalo Municipal Network). As another teacher added in sequence:

It is nothing new that the government wants to control our work and question what we know. Not only have them, in fact, parents always have done that! What is new is this talk of having to prove what we know! [referring to a newspaper article about teacher assessment that circulated at a school meeting] (Teacher Márcia - 2nd grade teacher, São Gonçalo Municipal Network.

With more defined outlines since the 1990s and with more intense tones every year since then, the discourses on quality in/of education have become the end and the rationale that does without better arguments, as for effect occurs with any expression that is transmuted into a jargon. They mask, so to speak, disputes over the meanings of quality and education, serving, therefore, to the use of political proposals identified with economism at different levels and instances of public power, as well as projects of intervention and interdiction of what the school can or cannot teach. In any case, and it is not a recent phenomenon, control over teaching as condition, consequence or practice-policy of surveillance and standardization gains strength.

The discourses on teachers training policies and programs (Gatti; Barreto, André, 2011) highlight teacher autonomy and the role of teachers in the production of curricula as principles for training. However, we have seen it rise and converge to a common flow movement the curricula, evaluation and training policies that are articulated and indicate a convergence for control over teacher doknowings. This control is carried out, above all, through external evaluation in the different spacestimes of teachers training and performance. The contextualization of this convergence on teacher control is even more evident when we pay attention to (no mere detail) the names that designate the different external evaluations: examination or test. Examination and test are words that more often express the type of operation undertaken by the so-called evaluations: the verification of students’ performance, under the teachers’ responsibility, regarding the knowledge and skills considered the most legitimate in the production agenda of societies tuned to the orchestra of international economic interest. In this case, there are the National High School Examination (ENEM), the K-12 Education Assessment System (SAEB), the Brazil Test (Prova Brasil) and evaluations implemented by state or municipal networks in many cases.

At another point, connected to or connecting of the Holy Trinity: Curriculum, Evaluation and Teachers training - are the findings on what teachers and future teachers know. On this side are the National Student Performance Examination (ENADE), applied to teachers training courses, among other undergraduate courses, and the National K-12 Education Teaching Examination (ENAMEB6), aimed at: “[…] those qualified for teaching in accordance with current educational legislation and candidates for admission to the teaching profession” (Brasil, 2009). In addition to blaming teachers for the indices resulting or related to these assessments, despite the evaluation of the practically absent policies of appreciation of teaching and of the destination that falls short of the needs of resources for education in the budgets, the proposal in the process of ENAMEB can, also, trigger off a teacher certification process.

Considering the aspects that we have discussed so far, we can think about the confluences and interrelations between different aspects that have been intensifying the practices-policies of surveillance, interdiction and attempts to standardize teaching practices and curricula. The presumed impotence of the subjects’ action before the arid scenario that we live today would be, therefore, another factor to consider infertile the current context for the production of alternatives and to glimpse gaps or forms of resistance before the policies-practices of control that multiply on teachers and curricula. Considering also the implications of what Santos (2002) called hegemonic globalization and looking at some of its developments, which we can already feel today, we recall what the author pointed out regarding the risks of the rise of fascism as a social regime, since it is “[...] pluralist, it coexists easily with the democratic state and its privileged space-time is simultaneously local and global” (Santos, 2006, p. 192).

The processes that empty the meanings of public and common and which spread culturally and politically, in the society nowadays are fed, among other things, in the production of discourses that disseminate certain meanings through terms that come to circulate as easy answers to complex situations. Badiou, when discussing the impasses around the word Real and what can be reinvented as real in the world today, highlights important aspects to the discussion about the production of loopholes and leaks in curricula and teaching practices that indicate forms of daily resistance.

To Exist Every Day: news of meanings and practices of resistance in the production of curricula and meanings of teaching and school

Among the aspects raised by Badiou (2017), we are inspired for this discussion by the ideas that changes can be mobilized exposing the fissures of these meanings of the real, given by the economic discourse and the fissures in the discourse itself, moving towards the possibility of thinking the real as that which frustrates representation. In our researches7 with teachers on the meanings and practices of teaching and curriculum, representations are perceived as deterministic impositions of identity - not infrequently demeaning and sad - and their displacements through narratives and experiences become important to the perception and production of more collective and emancipatory doknowings (Garcia; Rodrigues, 2016). These displacements can also be associated with another aspect highlighted by Badiou, which concerns the investment in a joyful passion, related to what the author will articulate to the idea of real democracy. These latter need to be understood in the context of the author’s thought, but we may, for the purposes of our discussion within the limits of this text, foretell that they express a political life and a democracy that frustrates or is not contained with representations. On this, we also used in our researches the discussions of Santos (2010) on the production of social justice woven from the epistemological plurality of existing knowledge in the world and that emerge in the everyday production of schools.

It is not uncommon to observe in researches with curricula in everyday life that certain circumstances mobilize or potentiate productions, especially when thought about their (present or latent) emancipatory character. Circumstances may be related to that which relates to joy, to the affections that animate a collective, as well as to contingencies and movements of insubordination, insurgency, rebellion, or any other movement that refers to not accepting the contingency posed with resilience or to not naturalize submission to an adverse condition.

Here it is like this, we need to make 5 sheets in a day, there are children who cannot even read. But I make a deal with them: ‘let’s do all the little sheets and then we’ll learn something else!’ At this moment, I always plan a literature, I see those who do not know how to write ... I have about 8 students who cannot write/read. I do this together with another teacher, we already have a combined planning ‘on the sidelines’! (3rd grade teacher, Rio de Janeiro Municipal Network).

We argue from the research that resistances to logics and control practices, as well as to hegemony, happen in the ordinary production (Certeau, 1994) of ways of existing, in a context in which surveillance and control practices and strategies (Certeau, 1994) seem to close and stifle any possibility of production of emancipatory and alternative alternatives to the claustrophobic and imposing real founded on/by/for economy and a policy of control over life. The fissures from which other logics invested in practices and meanings fueling the possible resistances appear when:

What seemed subjugated, subsumed, controlled, dominated, that is, life, reveals in a process of expropriation its indomitable and first positivity. It is not a matter of romanticizing an ability to retaliate and resist, but rather to rethink the relationship between powers and social vitality in the key of immanence. We could summarize this movement as follows: the potency of life, biopotency, responds to the power over life, biopower. Biopotency responds to biopower, the potency of life responds to the power over life (Pelbart, 2015, p. 21).

They oppose to the processes that empty the meanings of public and common in favor of economism and to charging, to which teachers refer concerning the control practices they perceive in the discourses from the families, other meanings expressed in teachers’ narratives. These other meanings are more related to a more human formation, to solidarity and to the collective, which they aim at in their practices and curricula. What teachers identify as values and knowledge understood as important to be prioritized in the curricula produced by them or in what they wish to make more present in their practices - expressed in different narratives produced in the group’s research - can, in a broader way, be associated with the meaning of common and collective. According to Negri (2005), the common refers to life in society as a condition and as production of the ways of being and living. The common, in this sense, refers to a production of life itself, not to the material production of goods, it refers to the production of knowledge (and subjectivities) that, by its (common) production condition, would also mean a form of resistance. In a second research carried out with Early Childhood Education teachers of a municipality in the interior of the state, the pedagogical counselor planned with the teachers the survey of some interests of the children to think about the project that would be developed in the school. The dialogues with the children were recorded by the teachers and then socialized in a conversation circle of training and research that happens monthly with the group. In the conversation among the teachers, one of them referred to what she called an unexpected situation.

[...] the boys said in the conversation that they wanted to play with a cart and a ball, but in their class, because there were only 3 girls and only one of them was present on the day of the conversation, the girl’s proposal to play with dolls was not considered by the boys, who always excluded the girls ignored their interests ... (Teacher B).

Feeling this difficulty, we decided to develop an activity with toys. The children should separate what they considered to be girls’ and boys’ toys in baskets. After this initial separation, we asked the children if the girls could play stroller and if they had ever seen a woman drive a car. From the answers, the toys were regrouped in a third basket that would contain toys common to both genders (Pedagogical Advisor).

I felt that when they were questioned, the children regrouped most of the toys in this third basket, where carts and dolls were deposited. At the end of the activity we proposed to play with the children by handing the dolls to the boys and the carts to the girls. The initial reaction was of refusal, but we argued that the dolls were babies and that they needed parental care because the mothers would work, needing to leave by car. (Teacher M).

Talking with the teachers about the activity, we noticed that the boys accepted to play with the dolls, but they related with them aggressively, demonstrating not knowing how to take care of them. Thinking about this issue at another encounter, we decided to create the day of care, when all children would take care of the dolls by bathing, changing diapers, giving food, watching the temperature ... by giving them affection. Our goal was to work on children’s expressions of affection, especially on boys, and break away from the view that boys could not play with dolls or express feelings (Pedagogical Advisor).

However, that alone was not enough! The proposal also moved us towards the parents, because we noticed in the dialogues of the encounters that we promoted to discuss our practices in the conversation circles that much of these values are reinforced at home. Thus, we thought of the possibility of holding a workshop to explain our proposal, our observations about working with children and creating possibilities for parents to take on the idea of caring and expression of affection (Teacher C).

As the children also expressed their preference for superheroes, we decided to link the day of care with this premise, thinking about building affection and care as a superpower! (Teacher B)8.

The negotiations of meanings that emerge in the process of teachers training, evidenced in the production of practices and reflection from these practices in a public Early Childhood Education school, bring many aspects that can be highlight to discuss the knowledge and meanings present and produced in this spacetime that involves curricula and daily training. One of the aspects worth mentioning is the movement produced by the teachers in the production of curricular practices that interrogate gender discrimination, which prioritize care and affection as contents of learnings and that are not intimidated in bringing this discussion to the families. We realized in the narrated episode that, in this space, through practices that relate to what the group considers important to do, there is production of meanings that identify with the recognition of difference and the fight against culturally disseminated practices of discrimination in society. This struggle is identified not only with meanings of common, but also with the constitution of public senses. In our view, the possibility of resisting the emptying of the social meanings and practices promoted by the capitalist logic of economism would be precisely the rescue of this common. Thus, studies that allow us to think a common to operate in this scenario contribute to think both the knowledge of teaching and those produced in the curricula, considering that many of the most important assets that we enjoy in life are common and can only be produced in community. Therefore, the common and the culture are paradoxical points of circulation and production between the hegemonic forces and the dynamic and intermittent production of other ways of existing-being in the world.

We think of resistance in and with the forms of existence daily produced in schools, especially by teachers, from the deviations produced by the practices and meanings that are woven in the production of curricula in everyday life, making present (Gumbrecht, 2010) other knowledge and logics. We seek to highlight the subtleties and small disruptions that these deviations place in the practices of control - each day intentionally more rigid on schools, curricula and teaching practices. In this sense, in the fifth research of the group that investigates the teaching knowledge produced by daily practices developed in the context of the traineeship between teachers training students and teachers of a municipal school, we can map subtle movements that feed these ruptures and go instituting teaching meanings more inclined to solidarity and to more horizontalized production of collective practices and knowledge:

In the extension project where scholarship students from a public university go along with classes of literacy in a school of Rio de Janeiro Municipal Network, the teacher of this year’s class, as is to be expected in any class of any school, since the difference is a characteristic of human beings, has some children who already alphabetic and others still in the very early stage of writing construction, with little knowledge about the standard language. The teacher asked the project’s scholarship student to look for activities to do with the class and with these children to help them advance their reading and writing skills. With this movement, I realize a partnership between the class teacher that allows the scholarship student to become involved in the students’ learning, through the experience of being a participant in the literacy process and in the commitment to the learning of all. In this practice of the teacher and the scholarship student I visualize training practices where students and teachers learn together possible new ways to favor learning and to understand the training in the practices in the classroom in/of/with the everyday, subverting the order of a vertical training to a horizontal one, where everyone participates and contributes. The dive in the everyday allows the involvement of all the peers to the elaboration of new curricula from knowledge shared between the teachers and the teachers training students. (Simone Alencaster, elementary school teacher, responsible for the traineeship monitoring at schools, 2018).

The study and the work with the topic have evidenced the training and production processes of the curricula as predominantly cultural, dynamic and crossed by multiple knowledge and meanings. It is these characteristics that allow us to consider the forms of resistance and the practices and meanings that produce the gaps and cracks that corroborate the changes. “We understand that the possibilities of resisting the strategies and practices of control that today lead, above all, to economism and conservatism, stand as ‘sea air’ and ‘rust’, eroding the harshness of present times” (Garcia; Rodrigues, 2017). In the third part of the group’s research, developed with teachers of the municipal networks of three cities in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, a teacher allows us to perceive with subtleties and in a literaturized language how the resistances occur in the daily existence of their school.

I work as a teacher in a public school that could be called Zenobia. It is in this way that it is perceived among those who are practitioners (Certeau, 2008) of it, a group of 15 teachers, such as the inhabitants of the city described by the character of Marco Polo to the conqueror Kublai Khan9, when describing it as a place of a happy life, despite some discredit of those who do not enjoy it. It is said: How can they be happy working in a place where accessibility is difficult, depending on the only steep and angular hillside, at the top of Penha hill, in the Ponta d’Areia neighborhood, Niterói, surrounded by a poor community? However, it is precisely the difficulty of access that guarantees us two advantages: we do not face problems of violence due to drug trafficking, since the place counts on a single entrance and exit, and it prevents the continuous access of representatives of the local education department to the school, guaranteeing us certain isolation, an invisibility (Soymara Emilião, elementary school teacher, Niterói Municipal Network, 2018).

This teacher’s narrative favors getting closer to what schools and teachers produce in the everyday life and that also has to do with the meanings signaled by those practices. Counter-hegemonic meanings or those that put into question demeaning representations of school and teaching, influence the production of other meanings, the perception by other teachers of the possibilities of making and thinking schools and practices. For issues similar to those of the dominant action that operates the circulation of discourses and logics of control and seeks to construct hegemonic meanings, it would be naive not to consider the interference of people and their networks of culturally woven subjectivities in the production and circulation of non-hegemonic and alternative meanings. To understand both the contexts that present themselves in the scope of control and of a process that seeks to empty the public and common meanings in education and its possible reflections in the directions of these intersocial and intercultural relations, it is important to study the practicespolitics that teachers and students express in their narratives and what they indicate as to the ways of existing and resisting that schools weave. As expressed by Santos (2006), “[…] to include the role of people and, therefore, the cultural dimension of globalization allows us to consider three aspects to which we will return: drama, responsibility and the possibility of changing the world” (Santos, 2006, p. 58). Among these three aspects, highlighted by the author, at least two of them - responsibility and possibility of changing the world - can be multiplied and potentialized as the anima of changes from common logics and practices, present in social practices and produced in the common culture, in ordinary living (Certeau, 1994). We understand that there is a common life, which produces other meanings, but which above all makes present non-hegemonic forms of living and being in the world.

The common would be, in this perspective, constructed by the recognition of the other, by a relation with the other, because the networks of subjectivities and/or the ‘multitude’ are formed by a series of elements that are objectively in circulation and that constitute the common. However, the fundamental question is not to be common or to be a ‘crowd’, but to build ‘crowd’, to build commonly, as community, in the common. [...] Singularities certainly maintain their own strength, but within a relational dynamic that allows them to construct, at the same time, themselves and the whole (Carvalho, 2011, p. 77).

It is also in the movement created by teaching practices that produce other-new meanings with the curricula that we can resignify the idea of the school as a public spacetime and of production of the common. Masschelein and Simons (2013) bring from the Greek the meaning of school - shkolé - as time and space free from a productive life directed by the logics of the market and the capital. This idea defended by the authors implies to recover the public function of the school, understanding it as a common good. For the authors, the essential characteristic of the school is what differentiates it from a private space of life and identifies it or makes it a public space of life. It is public in the sense that its time and space are a common good to all. The argument recovers what for the authors is the basis of the invention of the school, a time of suspension, free from the commitment to be productive as a sense colonized by the logics of economics and capital. The production of this time and space is something that has to do with an ordinary action of the subjects, so its potential lies in “[...] finding concrete ways in today’s world to provide ‘free time’ and to bring the youth around of a common ‘thing’ (Masschelein, Simons, 2013, p. 11). Its task around the common one is the one of profanation, an action moved by the objective of the desacralization of the knowledge and knowledge, making them available to the common use. For the authors, this proposition implies thinking:

A profane time and place, but also profane things, refer to something that is disconnected from the usual use, no longer sacred or occupied by a specific meaning, and therefore something in the world that is at the same time accessible to all subjects and the (re) appropriation of meaning. It is something, in that general (non-religious) sense, that has been corrupted or expropriated; in other words, something that became public (Masschelein, Simons, 2013, p. 39).

The operation of profanation is nothing more than making knowledge, space and time public things. This free time and space and this profanation of the sacred would be a space of suspension of the logics and senses of private life, a life and a time caught up in the market. In a fourth research developed in the group, a teaching narrative makes it possible to perceive in the daily production of the curricula the presence of the political dimension of the daily practices of the subjects through the creation and intersections of stories told by students in the classroom. The research focused on the work developed with students of a 1st grade of high school of a school in Rio de Janeiro State Network, located in a Baixada Fluminense city. Based on the understanding of biographeme (Costa, 2011) and developing the proposal through self-invention as a self-fiction (Faedricht, 2013), the sociology teacher mobilized the production of curricular practices in which the knowledge of society and subjects was given from the lives of the subjects present in the classroom. This allowed the students to both actively produce this knowledge and recognize the aspects that involve social contexts, as well as the displacement of a hegemonic understanding about the daily life of these young people that made them affirm that nothing in their lives was important or significant. The dislocations were produced in curricular practices by creating and recreating episodes or experiences of their lives, giving these episodes other contours that included appreciation of their actions, tastes and knowledge.

Enzo was one of the participants who, recurrently throughout the class, was reluctant, listening to music on the headset, talking, staying on the internet and saying that he did not want to do the writing exercise about himself. However, despite all apparent resistance that said he was not going to participate, he kept waiting for me to convince him to begin producing his narratives. Enzo waited for me to come closer in all the classes to talk about the exercise. I told him about the importance of the narratives, especially of self-writing as an emancipatory process, he said that his daily habits were not important to be written while classroom work. Every class it was the same thing; he was reluctant and waiting for that time of conversation. In every class he delivered his writing at the end. After a while, Enzo also shared with the group the songs he listened to and that also meant for him to share a little of his life, his history, his tastes, what he said was ‘not important’, but that every day was prouder to share (Leonardo Albuquerque, Sociology teacher in Rio de Janeiro State Network, 2017).

The movement proposed in the curricular production by the teacher proceeds in the opposite direction of the marginalization processes, to which the young people from the suburb are submitted, often fed in monocultural models that influence the curricula. This is an aspect that tends to intensify from the processes of curricular centralization promoted by the recent national curricular policies.

The presence of different forms of control over the curriculum and teaching cannot take place on everything that happens. By producing their practices and curricula, teachers make use of other logics and knowledge. Curricula are spaces where policies and meanings are produced, where, among the many meanings produced, images and representations of teaching and school are disputed. Policies in education and curricular policies are the guiding axes not only of institutionalized educational systems - as obvious - but also of what world knowledge and worldviews produce and can produce, emphasized in the paths of institutionalized education, on the subjects and on the society more broadly. As discussed in a recent article, “The understanding of knowledge, society and curricula, by conditioning what happens and is produced in the everyday life of schools, influences the meanings attributed to education and, consequently, to life in society” (Garcia; Rodrigues, 2016, p. 1184).

It is a question of thinking about the various operations undertaken by everyday practitioners (Certeau, 1994) - public school students and teachers - in the production of ways, knowledge, practices and meanings. The maps to which we refer derive from the narratives of the practices and subtleties that compose them, indicating daily productions of a politics of life that allows the schools to exist and to resist by the act of existing. Together, these narratives provoke us to perceive ways and non-hegemonic practices and meanings that these various experiences produce in the daily crossings they translate. Creating with these narratives our maps, always in a composition triggered by the movements of practices, we have noticed that the subjects of the schools fight their way in the space of the production of daily practicespolitics by the public space and by the meaning of this school as a public asset, of everyone. The production of the common meanings that we perceive throughout the narratives consists in considering the experience and the difference, thinking in the solidary approximation of knowledge, in dialogues that potentiate emancipatory practices in its own exercise, as a permanent and procedural daily struggle. It is therefore a matter of mapping “[...] maps that do not simplify, but make everything more complex, maps that give us no general overview whatsoever, nor any liberating vision, but that liberate our vision” (Masschelein, Simons, 2011, p. 131). Our research has allowed us to perceive in the production of these maps of practices and meanings that teachers resist what is instituted, not necessarily in the direct confrontation of hegemonic logics and control strategies on curricula and on teaching practices, but by countless ways of producing the ways of existing each day that are called in the spacestimes of the schools. These forms of existence become non-hegemonic and indicate forms of resistance to hegemony and control to which subjects, curricula and schools are subject in various ways, above all, in the actions made possible by these subjects - teachers and students - that trigger their networks of knowledge in the direction of what is desire that is constituted as common.

We noticed that as the discourse of capital, and the market on education advances, the more schools, teachers and curricula are surrounded by the logics and strategies linked to this discourse, the more subtle and permanent are the resistances created in the daily life of schools. The subtleties of these productions that emerge in what we understand as practicespolitics, practices invested with political meanings and constituted in the diversity of existing and circulating knowledge in schools. This production that we have brought here from different spacestimes of research in which the group has been inserted has been guiding our theoretical studies and investigations to think the production of the common to understand the exercise of politics and the production of other social practices within the schools. On this account, we understand from Negri (2003) that this common that we identify in the movements of production of curricula and schools in everyday life is done as creation of multiplicity and in the difference that characterizes these spacestimes, both collective and of singularities. In this sense, finally, we consider that the resistance is made in the ways of producing this common existence, which makes schools, teaching and spacestimes of curricula production a matter of all of us, a public matter10.


1The most recent film adaptation of L’Écume des jours (1947) was made by Michel Gondry (2013), being the main character played by Audrey Tautou.

2In the context of the Research Group, 5 research subprojects are developed at that time by masters and doctoral students of a Postgraduate Program in Education of a public university in Rio de Janeiro. The projects articulate to the central project from the topics that investigate the processes of teacher training and knowledge production with the curricula of schools and the university in everyday life. All the researches are developed from the articulation between research-teaching-extension, through projects developed in schools-university partnership between the municipal public networks and a state school. The work of the group involves research with: Teacher Training in an Early Childhood Education school; The sociology curriculum produced with high school students at a state school; The Teacher training of two schools of neighboring municipal networks in an extension project; The training of undergraduate students of a public university in the context of the stage developed in schools of a municipal network.

3Among these actors, we can mention companies, foundations, financial institutions and philanthropic institutions.

4The practice of joining words is used by researchers in the field of research with everyday life of schools with the intention of producing a different meaning, neither the first nor the next word(s), but a third meaning, shifting the limits of the meanings and opening the possibilities for the production of other meanings.

5As we mentioned, we see an increasing number of projects that accuse teachers of promoting ideologies identified with the influence of Marxist thought and of discussing topics such as gender and sexuality, among others, encouraging students and guardians to monitor and even film teaching practices in a clear offensive to the autonomy and even the professional knowledge of teachers.

6In progress in the Commission on Constitution and Justice and Citizenship (CCJC) at the time this article was written.

7The research is developed in the context of the group ‘Dialogues School-University: training processes, curricula and everyday life’ (CNPq). In this article we had the contribution of data from subprojects of the following members of the group: Allan de Carvalho Rodrigues; Soymara Emilião; Leonardo Albuquerque; Tânia Gouvêa; Simone Alencaster.

8Oral narratives captured in conversation circles with Early Childhood Education teachers, 2018.

9The narrative is inspired by The Invisible Cities, from Ítalo Calvino (2000).

10This article is part of the Thematic Section, Resistances and Reexistences in Educational Social Spaces in Times of Neo-Conservatism, organized by Inês Barbosa de Oliveira (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) and Rafael Marques Gonçalves (Universidade Federal do Acre).

Translated by Sabrina Mendonça Ferreira and proofread by Ananyr Porto Fajardo.


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Received: July 17, 2018; Accepted: April 03, 2019

Alexandra Garcia holds a PhD in Education from the Postgraduate Program in Education at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and is an Assistant Professor at the same university. ORCID: E-mail:

Allan de Carvalho Rodrigues is a doctoral candidate in Education by the Postgraduate Program in Education at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and Technical Support Fellowship (CNPq). Teacher at Universidade Estácio de Sá. ORCID: E-mail:

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