This article analyses how the Department of Education, during the first administration of Lula's government (2003-2006), addressed the diversity principle in the educational agenda, an increasingly predominant issue in the Brazilian educational debate. Initially, a documental analysis of the actions programmes and administration identified a new institutional arrangement in the Department of Education, especially concerning the diversity agenda. Twenty-four programs were developed during this period. However, these programs used distinct and sometimes contradictory definitions of diversity. It was possible to spot at least three different meanings for the term: a) social inclusion; b) affirmative action; c) difference policies. Thus, even though diversity reached a more significant level of institutionalization during Lula's government, it remains an issue of internal dispute, especially regarding how the government should respond to the demands of social movements for recognition of diversity in the public sphere.
DIVERSITY; PUBLIC POLICIES; EDUCATION; AFFIRMATIVE ACTION