EJA and Teaching Work in Freedom Deprivation Spaces

Paula Cabral Elenice Maria Cammarosano Onofre Maria Hermínia Lage Fernandes Laffin About the authors

Resumo:

O artigo analisa a tônica de políticas educacionais para a Educação de Jovens e Adultos (EJA), tendo como foco a modalidade nas unidades penais brasileiras. A partir desse movimento se estabelecem relações com as pesquisas no campo que tratam do trabalho de professores nos espaços de privação e restrição de liberdade. A produção, com abordagem qualitativa, é fruto de estudos bibliográficos e análises documentais. As reflexões apresentadas permitem compreender aspectos das diretrizes educacionais e de estudos na área, articulados às consequências para o trabalho docente, em vista de disputas e consensos produzidos no contexto das reformas neoliberais.

Palavras-chave:
EJA; Espaços de Restrição e Privação de Liberdade; Políticas Públicas; Trabalho de Professores(as)

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the emphasis of educational policies for Youth and Adult Education (EJA), focusing on the modality in Brazilian penal units. From this movement, relationships established with research in the field that deals with the work of teachers in spaces of deprivation and restriction of freedom. The production, with a qualitative approach, is the result of bibliographic studies and documentary analysis. The reflections presented allow us to understand aspects of educational guidelines and studies in the area, articulated to the consequences for teaching work, given clashes and consensus produced in the context of neoliberal reforms.

Keywords:
Youth and Adult Education; Spaces of Restriction and Deprivation of Liberty; Public Policies; Teachers’ Work.

Introduction

The trajectory of Youth and Adult Education (EJA) has been characterized by fragmentary state actions that initially aimed at eradicating illiteracy and, subsequently, at reducing low education levels. Although its history bears the marks of political education, in pedagogical terms certain weaknesses stand out, possibly due to involvement in the hegemonic consolidation of capital dynamics, therefore, far from a corporate project committed to the emancipation of the working class.

In this understanding, it is essential to assume that the modality has undergone determinations of the capitalist system, which requires resuming its paths along with the social relations of production, as well as in its link to the productive reorganization in the country’s capitalist expansion. This can explain the reasons why different initiatives of EJA historically point to the maintenance of social order and naturalization of inequalities forged by inclusion policies for the less favored social classes, providing “[...] capitalist accumulation as a form of social appeasement and response to the flexible accumulation process, in the face of the dangers of structural unemployment” (Ventura, 2013VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação ao Longo da Vida e Organismos Internacionais: apontamentos para problematizar a função qualificadora da Educação de Jovens e Adultos. Revista Brasileira de Educação de Jovens e Adultos, Salvador, v. 1, n. 1, p. 29-44, 2013., p. 33).

Such perspectives are reflected in the scope of educational public policies for EJA, which, as a Basic Education modality, must be offered in several spaces, including Brazilian penal institutions. Although in the last decade we have experienced an expansion of discussions in the area of EJA in spaces of deprivation and restriction of freedom (EPRL, in Portuguese), which result in legal provisions, actions and studies, it is necessary to move towards guaranteeing the right to education. In this study, with a qualitative approach and methodological procedures that involved bibliographic and documentary studies, we rely on an analysis built from a state of knowledge in the area (Romanowski; Ens, 2006ROMANOWSKI, Joana Paulin; ENS, Romilda Teodora. As Pesquisas Denominadas do Tipo ‘Estado da Arte’ em Educação. Revista Diálogo Educacional, Curitiba, v. 6, n. 19, p. 37-50, 2006.). Therefore, we propose a debate capable of building reflections on the articulations that academic research has woven with the educational public policies of EJA for the Brazilian prison system, especially concerning the directions for the work of teachers, given the clashes and consensus produced in the neoliberal context.

EJA Policy Focus

The first actions for EJA in the country occurred around 1940, according to Ventura (2001VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação de Jovens e Adultos Trabalhadores no Brasil: revendo alguns marcos históricos. EJA trabalhadores, Rio de Janeiro, 2001. Disponível em: <Disponível em: http://ppgo.sites.uff.br/wp-content/uploads/sites/296/2017/12/educacao-jovens-adultos-trabalhadores-revendo-marcos.pdf >. Acesso em: 1 jul. 2019.
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); in this period aspects of official policy in the area were drawn and proposals were created for the education of the working class since more than half of the adult Brazilian population was considered illiterate.

At the time, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sought to encourage the creation of educational programs aimed at illiterate adults. In a moment of industrialization, due to the demand for labor, it was necessary to teach and train young people and adults of the working class, because “[...] the challenge faced by the elites was to create the basic, material and ideological conditions for capital accumulation” and, at the same time, create consensus around a “conception of the world favorable to the new demands of production” (Ventura, 2001VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação de Jovens e Adultos Trabalhadores no Brasil: revendo alguns marcos históricos. EJA trabalhadores, Rio de Janeiro, 2001. Disponível em: <Disponível em: http://ppgo.sites.uff.br/wp-content/uploads/sites/296/2017/12/educacao-jovens-adultos-trabalhadores-revendo-marcos.pdf >. Acesso em: 1 jul. 2019.
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, p. 4). This period marks the handing over of professional training control to businessmen.

Di Pierro (2000DI PIERRO, Maria Clara. Descentralização, Focalização e Parceria: uma análise das tendências nas políticas públicas de educação de jovens e adultos. Educação e Pesquisa, São Paulo, v. 27, n. 2, 2000., p. 321) emphasizes that, between the 1950s and the 1980s in Brazil, EJA can be understood as deconcentrated service, characterized by the centralization of the Union’s political-pedagogical plan, which under co-financing kept its offer for the states with agreements with city halls and non-governmental organizations.

The management of EJA changed in the 1990s, through the predominant cities’ offer of Basic Education to young people and adults. During this period, educational reforms end up conditioned by the government’s goals of fiscal adjustment, promoting an erasure of the borders between the public and private sectors. Among other problems, EJA faces the dispersion of government funding sources and the imbalance of resource distribution (Ventura, 2001VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação de Jovens e Adultos Trabalhadores no Brasil: revendo alguns marcos históricos. EJA trabalhadores, Rio de Janeiro, 2001. Disponível em: <Disponível em: http://ppgo.sites.uff.br/wp-content/uploads/sites/296/2017/12/educacao-jovens-adultos-trabalhadores-revendo-marcos.pdf >. Acesso em: 1 jul. 2019.
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, p. 25).

Some strategies adopted by the education networks confirm the mentioned difficulties, among which are indications about the falsification of statistical data and the partnerships with non-governmental organizations, as pointed out by Di Pierro and Haddad (2015DI PIERRO, Maria Clara; HADDAD, Sérgio. Transformações nas Políticas de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Brasil no Início do Terceiro Milênio: uma análise das agendas nacional e internacional. Cadernos Cedes, Campinas, v. 35, n. 96, p. 197-217, 2015.). The consequences of this were: the minimization of state action and the expansion of private philanthropy, a setback concerning the global movement to consolidate the Right to EJA and the naturalization of provisionality, improvisation and precariousness in all aspects (structural, material and professional) of its offer.

In this way, programs aimed at EJA have kept people out of the Basic Education schooling processes, in many cases offered by devices that only generate a certification. This gives a utilitarian and instrumental character to the modality, insofar as it supports a very reduced conception of education, aligned with “[...] the option of being an economy inserted in the world market in an associated way and subordinated to the central nations” so that we continue to develop economic activities requiring low investment in the educational field (Rummert; Ventura, 2007RUMMERT, Sonia Maria; VENTURA, Jaqueline Pereira. Políticas Públicas para Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Brasil: a permanente (re) construção da subalternidade-considerações sobre os Programas Brasil Alfabetizado e Fazendo Escola. Educar em Revista, Curitiba, n. 29, p. 29-45, 2007. , p. 41).

In this process of productive restructuring, in which one of the ways out is the intensification of the exploitation of workers, from an economic point of view, public policies of EJA are necessarily subject to the logic of capital reorganization.

From the 2000s onwards, in an analysis of EJA policies, Di Pierro and Haddad (2015) highlight four important aspects. The first refers to the expansion “[...] of the declaration of rights of young people and adults, which now covers high school and professional education, including people deprived of their liberty”, which leaves, in the authors’ opinion, “[...] ample space for practicing law to close the gap that separates laws from policies that guarantee citizens’ rights” (Di Pierro and Haddad, 2015, p. 213). They also highlight the social challenge of legitimizing the culture of educational rights, with effective actions and the participation of society to pressure and overcome the insufficiency of educational policies.

With these two points, it is important to draw attention to the fact that global declarations in defense of the right to education were enough to make them effective. By bringing this reflection to discussions in the context of EJA in EPRL, some authors, such as Sauer and Julião (2012SAUER, Adeum; JULIÃO, Elionaldo. A Educação para Jovens e Adultos em Situação de Restrição e Privação de Liberdade no Brasil: questões, avanços e perspectivas. Documento - Referência. Brasília: Ministério da Educação; CNE; Seminário Educação nas Prisões, 2012.), and Julião (2013JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. Educação para Jovens e Adultos em Situação de Restrição e Privação de Liberdade no Brasil. In: JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. Educação de Jovens e Adultos em Situação de Restrição e Privação de Liberdade: questões, avanços e perspectivas. Jundiaí: Paco Editorial, 2013. P. 15-46. ), signal that we have overcome the stage of recognition of the prisoner’s right to education, especially after the approval of regulations in the area in 2009, making it necessary now to move towards the construction of public policies that make this right effective.

In this regard, Onofre and Julião (2013ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano; JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. A Educação na Prisão como Política Pública: entre desafios e tarefas. Educação & Realidade , Porto Alegre, v. 38, n. 1, p. 51-69, 2013., p. 53) describe the “[...] effervescence of actions from different segments of society, from federal and state organs, from entities” for the implementation of the National Guidelines to offer EJA in penal institutions, imbued with the role of elaborating public policies and mechanisms capable of responding: “[...] how should education for adults in situations of liberty deprivation be carried out?”.

Although the right to come and go of individuals in situations of liberty deprivation is temporarily suspended, they have their other rights guaranteed by law, such as education with the intention of “[...] promoting social integration and knowledge acquisition, which can assure them a better future when they regain their freedom” (Onofre, 2011ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano. O Exercício da Docência em Espaços de Privação de Liberdade. Comunicações, Taquaral, v. 18, n. 2, p. 37-46, 2011., p. 38). For Aguiar (2009AGUIAR, Alexandre. Educação de Jovens e Adultos Privados de Liberdade: perspectivas e desafios. Revista Paidéia, Ribeirão Preto, v. 6, n. 7, p. 201-212, 2009.) and Julião (2016JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. Escola na ou da Prisão? Cadernos Cedes , Campinas, v. 36, n. 98, p. 25-42, jan.-abr. 2016., p. 35), the challenges today are posed in the elaboration of political-pedagogical propositions that have as a reference axis “[...] the understanding about the subjects of EJA”.

The gap between the recognition of social law and its guarantee makes it impossible for us to firmly affirm that we have won the debate around what is most basic: access to education. This is evident, considering the education in prisons in the country, from what the data points out: less than 10% of the incarcerated population is involved in formal educational activities (Brasil, 2017).

The third point raised by Di Pierro and Haddad (2015, p. 213), added to the other two, which refer to the right to EJA, deals with the institutionalization of this modality in the “[...] framework of public Basic Education policies, based on activism around numerous programs that have given rise to experimenting with various strategies”. Thus, the results from this may have been insignificant, but they can serve as a reorientation to the public policies of the modality.

The fourth line refers to the necessary confrontation with what

[...] converges with the recent international and national agendas of educational policies, with the predominance of an instrumental reading of what is lifelong learning, which, aiming at economic competitiveness, seeks to meet (including through privatist strategies) requirements of qualification for the labor market, to the detriment of the integral formation of the subjects, and without commitment with the universality of the right to learning. Facing this “wave” leads to the strengthening of the debate of ideas and the capacity for the political articulation of civil society to affect national and international forums (Di Pierro; Haddad, 2015, p. 214).

As discussed in the studies of Lima (2007LIMA, Licínio. Educação ao Longo da Vida: entre a mão direita e a mão esquerda de Miró. São Paulo: Cortez, 2007.; 2010LIMA, Licínio. A Educação Faz Tudo? crítica ao pedagogismo na ‘sociedade da aprendizagem’. Revista Lusófona de Educação, Lisboa, n. 15, 2010.; 2012LIMA, Licínio. Aprender para Ganhar, Conhecer para Competir: sobre a subordinação da educação na ‘sociedade da aprendizagem’. São Paulo: Cortez , 2012.), Canário (2003CANÁRIO, Rui. A Aprendizagem ao Longo da Vida: análise crítica de um conceito e de uma política. In: CANÁRIO, Rui (Org.). Formação e Situações de Trabalho. Porto: Porto Editora, 2003. P. 189-207. ) and Ventura (2013VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação ao Longo da Vida e Organismos Internacionais: apontamentos para problematizar a função qualificadora da Educação de Jovens e Adultos. Revista Brasileira de Educação de Jovens e Adultos, Salvador, v. 1, n. 1, p. 29-44, 2013.; 2017VENTURA, Jaqueline. A Noção de Educação ao Longo da Vida e a Educação de Jovens e Adultos. In: DANTAS, Tânia Regina; LAFFIN, Maria Hermínia; AGNE, Sandra Aparecida. Educação de Jovens e Adultos em Debate: pesquisa e formação. Curitiba: CRV, 2017. P. 53-71.), the expressions Permanent Education, Lifelong Education, and Lifelong Learning were similarly defined in texts from the educational field. But in the neoliberal state, based on the prescriptions of international agencies, there was a shift from this conception to economic rationality, by replacing the idea that we learned throughout our lives by the need to seek professional training for the rest of our lives. In other words, these statements hold that education or lifelong learning is the solution for the world’s education crisis, as well as for the economic crisis, as it presents itself as an alternative to overcoming unemployment, for example.

The principle of human educability, which of course extends throughout life, is not discussed; the repercussions of changes in social relations in educational processes are also ignored. However, Ventura (2013VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação ao Longo da Vida e Organismos Internacionais: apontamentos para problematizar a função qualificadora da Educação de Jovens e Adultos. Revista Brasileira de Educação de Jovens e Adultos, Salvador, v. 1, n. 1, p. 29-44, 2013.; 2017) presents contributions to reflect on an instrumental reading of lifelong learning in the concepts disseminated by international organizations, especially the World Bank and UNESCO, regarding the notion of lifelong education, based essentially on the qualifying function attributed to EJA.

The qualification, associated with the training of simple labor to serve the market, alongside the other two functions advocated for EJA, repair and equalization, “[...] points to human incompleteness and the creation of a solidary and heterogeneous society” (Ventura, 2013VENTURA, Jaqueline. Educação ao Longo da Vida e Organismos Internacionais: apontamentos para problematizar a função qualificadora da Educação de Jovens e Adultos. Revista Brasileira de Educação de Jovens e Adultos, Salvador, v. 1, n. 1, p. 29-44, 2013., p. 30). As Ventura (2013, p. 41) argues,

[...] the consensus on the proximity of the notion of ‘lifelong education’ with the EJA was built in a hegemonic way in Brazil, despite apparently being associated with advanced and democratizing concepts and policies for the area, fits perfectly with the order and ‘tone’ of the international politics associated with it. The political-ideological notion [...] materialized in the Delors Report (and in the Hamburg Declaration) is neither neutral nor unintentional. On the contrary, it is a fundamental contribution to weave and maintain hegemony through the control or alleviation of dissatisfactions, by promising and proclaiming education as the only possible way for social changes, perceived exclusively as an individual rise within the limits of the system; and, at the same time, conceal and/or deny the possibilities of structural transformations of capitalist society, class contradictions and conflicts and the exploitation of the labor force, by adopting income and consumption as the foundations of social hierarchy.

In this line, the individual becomes responsible for the pursuit of their continuous and permanent process of professional formation, perfecting or extending their abilities, skills, becoming more easily employable, adaptable to the market demands.

What is the role of EJA in EPRL and its Teachers?

In the intention to understand the dynamics referring to public politics for EJA in EPRL, we sought to develop analyses of the documents that base its norms, with focus on aspects that deal with objectives and consequences of these norms, regarding the teachers in these institutions, both in terms of performance and training process.

In Brazil, the development of EJA’s guidelines for institutions of freedom deprivation and restriction begins in the first half of the 2000s, in parallel with the increase in the number of people deprived of liberty. According to data from the National Penitentiary Department (DEPEN) and by estimates, the Brazilian population in prison is now approaching 800,000 (Brasil, 2017). This means that in the last two decades the number of people deprived of liberty has increased by almost 900%.

This has led us to tie discussions about the educational offer in prisons and the role delegated to EJA teachers in these institutions, which has been understood as the phenomenon of hypercarceration (Wacquant, 2008WACQUANT, Loïc. O Lugar da Prisão na Nova Administração da Pobreza. Novos Estudos - CEBRAP, São Paulo, n. 80, p. 9-19, 2008.; 2011WACQUANT, Loïc. As Prisões da Miséria. Tradução: André Telles. Rio de Janeiro: Zahar, 2011. ), the result of the adopted penal model, under North-American inspiration, mainly in countries considered peripheral. With this in mind, both education in prisons and the work of teachers, with a view to what has been outlined about their role and in the penal state, need to be analyzed in an integrated way to the project of global economic development and the place of each of the nations, given the strategies presented in a historical and political course.

More than understanding the representations of teachers about their own work and the space in which they operate, it is necessary to investigate what is attributed to teachers in the different political projects in dispute for economic development. In the neoliberal reform context education is inserted, as advocated in UNESCO’s documents, as a tool to promote “[...] cohesion, social justice, equality and equity”, gaining territory in the discussion about the prison system crisis, reflected by the overcrowding of penal units and the growth of organized crime (UNESCO, 2009). UNESCO’s reports published in Brazil - Educating for freedom: trajectory, debates, and proposals for a project for education in Brazilian prisons (2006) and Education in prisons in Latin America: law, freedom, and citizenship (2009) - founders of EJA policies in EPRL, are based on the defense of education as an instrument that contributes to “[...] create equal opportunities, that is, to promote a more just society” (UNESCO, 2006UNESCO. Educando para a Liberdade: trajetória, debates e proposições de um projeto para a educação nas prisões brasileiras. Brasília: UNESCO; Governo Japonês; Ministério da Educação; Ministério da Justiça, 2006. Disponível em: <Disponível em: http://www.educadores.diaadia.pr.gov.br/arquivos/File/eja_prisao/educando_liberdade_unesco.pdf >. Acesso em: 12 jul. 2018.
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, p. 66 ).

With this understanding, education becomes the central element, if not the main responsible, for the process of resocialization, theoretically objectified throughout the penal system. In this analysis lies the promise that, with access to education in prisons, people will be able to achieve better living conditions, through employment (UNESCO, 2009UNESCO. Educação em Prisões na América Latina: direito, liberdade e cidadania. Brasília: UNESCO; OEI; AECID, 2009. Disponível em: <Disponível em: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001626/162643POR.pdf >. Acesso em: 12 jul. 2018.
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, p. 69).

In this line of interpretation, education appears, albeit latently, as a possible solution for the reduction of crime and even its recurrence. This is reflected in the work of the teacher who needs, to handle such a mission, to be a super professor (Evangelista, 2012EVANGELISTA, Olinda. Políticas Públicas Educacionais Contemporâneas, Formação Docente e Impactos na Escola. In: ENCONTRO NACIONAL DE DIDÁTICA E PRÁTICAS DE ENSINO ENDIPE, 16., 2012, Campinas. Anais... Campinas: Junqueira & Marin Editores, 2012. Livro 1. P. 39-51. , p. 39). Policies for teacher training from the 2000s need to be understood in the face of what is proposed by programs for teacher training in Latin America, as they seek a teacher model that is a “[...] versatile and flexible protagonist.” This implies, at the same time, an overload and precariousness of the teaching work.

Our concern in bringing this discussion shares the notion that such speeches validate the intention to delegate to the teacher the

[...] responsibility to solve social and economic problems, a perverse strategy that obscures the present hegemonic interests, besides generating for the teacher several kinds of wear and suffering (Evangelista, 2012EVANGELISTA, Olinda. Políticas Públicas Educacionais Contemporâneas, Formação Docente e Impactos na Escola. In: ENCONTRO NACIONAL DE DIDÁTICA E PRÁTICAS DE ENSINO ENDIPE, 16., 2012, Campinas. Anais... Campinas: Junqueira & Marin Editores, 2012. Livro 1. P. 39-51. , p. 39).

This competent, adaptable teacher, also capable of learning throughout life (UNESCO, 2009, p. 185), is responsible for “[...] educating for peace, enabling subjects on processes of self-correction and change of behavior.” Such ideas reinforce the accountability of the subjects for their own conditions and are recurrently present in the documents dealing with EJA in prisons.

Therefore, the social importance of the school in prison demands a reflection on the role played by this institution in a society characterized by the capitalist mode of production, because - although subjected to prison dynamics, power relations, alliances or interests - the school can be a space of possibilities, however, it cannot be it by itself, but only when it is present in the prison context. This space as an educational possibility goes through the need for a critical analysis of the formation and performance of the EJA teacher in this context.

Approaches of EJA Field Research in EPRL

Given the bases of educational public policies for EJA in EPRL and some directions for the work of teachers in these spaces, we selected for analysis a set of studies in the area that focus on aspects of teaching. The searches carried out at the Digital Bank of Theses and Dissertations of the Brazilian Institute of Science and Technology (BDTD/IBCT) presented 1 thesis and 7 dissertations on the subject, and in the Portal of Journals of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) 8 scientific papers were found, totaling 16 productions published between 2008 and 2017, as shown in Chart 1.

Chart 1:
Research on EJA in EPRL and the Work of Teachers

In reading the research, we seek to identify aspects that help us to understand how researchers in the field have discussed educational assumptions of EJA in EPRL, because of their specificities and consequences for the work of teachers in these spaces.

Both the thesis, the dissertations, and the articles selected for analysis propose debates through which they pass: the role of EJA in the prison system in the face of the alleged resocialization and the right to education, as well as the attributions conferred to teachers in the face of the conditions of the teaching work and the absence of a policy for initial and continuing training. Given these axes of discussion, we seek to identify in the studies the prevailing conceptions and themes related to EJA in EPRL and the work of teachers in these spaces. This set of information allows us to verticalize the analyzes, to later understand the Brazil appropriations of guidelines from international organizations present both in documents that structure public policies for education in penal units as well as in studies in the area.

The Right to Education: a guarantee of re-socialization?

As for the role of EJA in the prison system, research indicates a correlation between education and the promotion of re-socialization, the main objective of criminal execution in our country. There is no unanimity among researchers about what resocialization is, used as a synonym for recovery, reintegration, reintegration, (re)education, etc. This effusive character of the terminologies can also be observed in legal documents and requires analysis because if under the positivist aegis the social function of the penalty used to carry a curative intent, this idea was gradually being replaced by the search for inclusion (in the labor market) after a conviction is served. Both the healing relationship and the inclusion relationship merit problematization considering the processes of segregation of the incarcerated subject and the precarious conditions imposed on them. Furthermore, it does not make sense to reintegrate someone who is already socially inserted, even under subordinate conditions. In this sense, we defend the concept of a return to extended social life.

It would be important to ask ourselves about the contradiction that exists between the mass diffusion about the importance of re-socializing people in deprivation of liberty and, at the same time, the absence of a definition not only of the concept but of public policies that favor it. In this sense, thinking about how such fluidity denotes - in our reality - elements for understanding the social function of penalty and prison.

This re-socializing ideal may feed on the distance that society maintains from prisons, from this lack of dialogue, from the interactions of penal institutions with other state spheres that are decisive for the effectiveness of the current criminal enforcement policy. In this regard, Vieira (2008VIEIRA, Elizabeth de Lima Gil. Trabalho Docente: de portas abertas para o cotidiano de uma escola prisional. 2008. 137f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2008., p. 57) asks how it would be “[...] to educate a subject for a society from which they remain so distant?”

Julião (2014JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. Políticas de Execução Pena no Brasil? Questões, avanços e perspectivas. In: JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes; RITA, Rosângela Peixoto Santa. Privação de Liberdade: desafios para a política de direitos humanos. Jundiaí: Paco Editorial , 2014. P. 11-39., p. 22) indicates that two philosophical parameters today guide legislative policy and criminal enforcement; one of them is based on individual responsibility, while the other is oppositely based on the historical and social relations of each subject. It is worth mentioning that these two currents are also present in the mapped productions, with a predominance of approaches that link the right to education to personal duty or commitment.

It should be noted that making the subject responsible for their process of change for the return to the extended social life reveals a logic that it strengthens the ideal defended by most of the researchers analyzed regarding the notions of learning or education throughout life, present in the guidelines of international agencies, especially UNESCO.

This conception is based, in part of the analyzed researches, in the defense of an educational process through which one can “[...] learn more and better throughout their trajectory”, as they would be capable of “[...] taking the subject imprisoned from this provisional status to enroll them in a long-term education perspective” (Bessil, 2015BESSIL, Marcela Haupt. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional: um estudo da psicodinâmica do trabalho. 2015. 217f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015., p. 90; 2017). This purpose would be configured as a “[...] humanizing, critical, emancipatory and liberating educational process” (Carvalho, 2014CARVALHO, Odair França de. Entre a Cela e a Sala de Aula: um estudo sobre experiências educacionais de educadores presos no sistema prisional paulista. 2014. 279f. Tese (Doutorado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, 2014., p. 05). In this line, education assumes, in addition to the task of reintegrating the subject through the educational processes it promotes during their stay in prisons, the mission of showing that, after the conquest of freedom, they must continue learning (throughout life) to ensure, by their effort, better living conditions for themselves, as if it depended only on each individual.

Under this direction, most of the research analyzed reiterates that in the EPRL there must be “[...] a re-education aimed at the rehabilitation of the preparation for life in freedom”, with the teaching of reading and writing, learning a craft and acceptance of social rules (Bessil, 2015BESSIL, Marcela Haupt. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional: um estudo da psicodinâmica do trabalho. 2015. 217f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015., p. 127; Bessil; Merlo, 2017BESSIL, Marcela Haupt; MERLO, Álvaro Roberto Crespo. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional. Psicologia Escolar e Educacional, São Paulo, v. 21, n. 2, p. 285-293, 2017.).

Therefore, this idea of lifelong learning must remain in constant suspicion, as it can be safeguarded in the yearning for a so-called emancipatory education, behind which there are dubious interpretations. One, in a sense in which the subject would build through the educational process some freedom for their thinking; the other, who, by themselves could (supposedly) independently and freely conquer the condition of citizens, due to their commitment/merit as a critical, emancipated subject, able to rethink their actions, to design new projects of life, transforming the social relationships established before the deprivation/restriction of freedom. Concerning this issue, it is worth asking: how EJA in EPRL could educate people to make them “critical, solidary and fair in the face of an experience that depersonalizes them and uproots them from their original society, with the proposal of (re)educate and (re)socialize them?”(Onofre, 2013ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano; JULIÃO, Elionaldo Fernandes. A Educação na Prisão como Política Pública: entre desafios e tarefas. Educação & Realidade , Porto Alegre, v. 38, n. 1, p. 51-69, 2013., p. 144).

Almost all research - Vieira (2008VIEIRA, Elizabeth de Lima Gil. Trabalho Docente: de portas abertas para o cotidiano de uma escola prisional. 2008. 137f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2008.), Onofre (2009ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano. Educação Escolar na Prisão na Visão dos Professores: um hiato entre o proposto e o vivido. Reflexão e Ação, Santa Cruz do Sul, v. 17, n. 1, p. 227-244, 2009.), Laffin and Nakayama (2013LAFFIN, Maria Hermínia Lage Fernandes; NAKAYAMA, Andréa Rettig. O Trabalho de Professores/as em um Espaço de Privação de Liberdade. Educação & Realidade , Porto Alegre, v. 38, n. 1, p. 155-178, 2013. ), Penna et al. (2016PENNA, Marieta Gouvêa de Oliveira; DE CARVALHO, Alexandre Filordi; NOVAES, Luiz Carlos. A Formação do Pedagogo e a Educação nas Prisões: reflexões acerca de uma experiência. Cadernos Cedes , Campinas, v. 36, n. 98, p. 109-122, 2016.), Amorim-Silva and Antunes-Rocha (2017AMORIM-SILVA, Karol Oliveira de; ANTUNES-ROCHA, Maria Isabel. O Trabalho Docente em Prisões: considerações acerca da formação. Trabalho & Educação, v. 26, n. 1, p. 203-217, 2017.), Duarte (2017DUARTE, Alisson José Oliveira. Processo de Constituição da Identidade Profissional de Professores na Educação Escolar de uma Unidade Prisional de Minas Gerais. 2017. 149f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Minas Gerais, 2017.), Barcelos (2017BARCELOS, Clayton da Silva. Educação Escolar na Prisão: os significados e sentidos das professoras que atuam em unidades penais de Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul. 2017. 167f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 2017.) - warn us about the following contradiction: “[...] the prison institutions theoretically propose to positively modify the conduct of the interns without providing any type of preparation to the technical team that proposes to achieve this objective” (Prado, 2015PRADO, Alice Silva do. Educação nas Prisões: desafios e possibilidades do ensino praticado nas Unidades Prisionais de Manaus. 2015. 107f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, 2015., p. 59).

The aspects mentioned about the capacity of education to develop social reintegration bring consequences to the work of teachers in these spaces. In general, the attributions given to the educational offer in terms of re-socialization extend to teachers. Bessil (2015BESSIL, Marcela Haupt. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional: um estudo da psicodinâmica do trabalho. 2015. 217f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015., p. 174; Bessil; Merlo, 2017) signals that, through their work, teachers expect from their students “[...] more autonomy, that they can make more conscious choices and awaken [...] the search for reflection for new choices.” In this same sense, Vieira (2008VIEIRA, Elizabeth de Lima Gil. Trabalho Docente: de portas abertas para o cotidiano de uma escola prisional. 2008. 137f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2008., p. 106) argues that the primary objective of prison education (resocialization) cannot be achieved in the precarious context of prisons, and thus requires “[...] a greater commitment on the part of the teacher promoting a transformative educational process, capable of forming solidary bonds.”

For most researchers, the school and the classroom remain the spaces that are most compatible with the ideas of (re)socialization, even in the face of numerous contradictions presented. Thus, despite the countless adversities and difficulties arising from the permanent tension between the objectives of education and the logic of prison, all the research analyzed agree that “[...] some positive results related to school activities can be achieved, giving us hope for the near future” (Prado, 2015PRADO, Alice Silva do. Educação nas Prisões: desafios e possibilidades do ensino praticado nas Unidades Prisionais de Manaus. 2015. 107f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, 2015., p. 60).

About the right to education, a discussion present in all surveys, it is worth highlighting two most frequent points of the analyzed studies: the neglect of this right, because of the limited educational offer to subjects in deprivation or restriction of freedom; the denial of access to education by the imposition of choice of only one activity that can generate punishment remission, among which are work, study, and reading.

As Jordão and Wanderley (2014JORDÃO, Maria Perpétua Socorro Dantas; WANDERLEY, Paula Isabel Bezerra Rocha. Adoção de Cidadãos Presos e Formação de Professores para a Prisão: Ações de Fraternidade Política e Direitos, aproximando a extensão universitária da ASCES e da UFPE no agreste pernambucano. Revista Eletrônica de Educação, v. 8, n. 2, p. 373-387, 2014., p. 383) state, the fact of wanting to study implies the abdication of other rights, reveals that the school in prison is not in line with democratic principles, as it can serve as a mere instrument to support security, as a way of occupying people in EPRL, making the “[...] classrooms spaces of containment” of the system.

Therefore, as part of the authors of the productions selected in our survey, particularly Onofre (2009ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano. Educação Escolar na Prisão na Visão dos Professores: um hiato entre o proposto e o vivido. Reflexão e Ação, Santa Cruz do Sul, v. 17, n. 1, p. 227-244, 2009.; 2013) and Laffin and Nakayama (2013LAFFIN, Maria Hermínia Lage Fernandes; NAKAYAMA, Andréa Rettig. O Trabalho de Professores/as em um Espaço de Privação de Liberdade. Educação & Realidade , Porto Alegre, v. 38, n. 1, p. 155-178, 2013. ) argue that the EJA professor in EPRL must assume a political position, in defense of education as a human right and remain available for dialogue and confrontations that may arise from this position.

A less discussed aspect was raised in the works, which can help us to think about the inherent contradictions in the relations between the right to education and the logic of prisons - the understanding of historical, political and economic aspects that support international law, the basis of policies for prison education in Brazil. As Prado (2015PRADO, Alice Silva do. Educação nas Prisões: desafios e possibilidades do ensino praticado nas Unidades Prisionais de Manaus. 2015. 107f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, 2015., p. 89) warns, it is part of the “[...] capitalist dynamics interested in the formation of a large workforce”; therefore, during the 20th century, efforts have been made to elaborate a legal framework, devices for regulating the time of incarcerated people, through work and study, for professionalization.

There is, therefore, a movement that has been articulated since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, through international agencies, on the definition of global parameters for education, among which BM, UNESCO, the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and others. In the dynamics implemented by such agencies lies the key to understanding the paradox that is configured in the prison system, between the dissemination of the right to education in the field of discourse and the lack of its material guarantee in real contexts. Given this, the solutions presented by international organizations for this and other problems appear to be necessary reforms.

For this reason, the documents originating from these agencies as educational policy guides reveal not only prescriptions but also a “[...] discourse justifying the reforms that, prepared in other contexts, needed to build local consensus for their implementation.” In addition to producing the reform, “[...] they also exported the technology of making reforms”, as they make clear in their documents: “[...] the 1990s was the time to formulate the first generation of reforms, now it is time to implement them” (Shiroma; Campos; Garcia, 2005SHIROMA, Eneida Oto; CAMPOS, Roselane Fátima; GARCIA, Rosalba Maria Cardoso. Decifrar Textos para Compreender a Política: subsídios teórico-metodológicos para análise de documentos. Revista Perspectiva, Florianópolis, NUP; UFSC, v. 23, p. 427-446, 2005., p. 429-430).

The mapped productions mention part of the documents produced by international agencies, mainly by UNESCO, but do not dwell on their analysis and, in some cases, take them as a basis to defend the right to education in EPRL without necessarily presenting a critique of its foundations. In this sense, some notions are reinforced, concerning what is expected of the school in the prison system and expectations arising from that, for the work of teachers, committed to the construction and maintenance of the hegemony of the capital itself. To reflect on the educational project of EJA in EPRL, with a view to the emancipation of the working class, we need to assume that the modality has undergone determinations by the capitalist mode of production, seeking ways to break with this logic.

Teaching Work: between responsibilities and (un)purposes

In most of the analyzed studies, the notion persists that teachers have among their purposes to carry messages of optimism, to have responsibility in the commitment assumed when working with education in this context, to teach how to read and write, to support “[...] formation of values; help to think and live better in society and impose limits” (Bessil, 2015BESSIL, Marcela Haupt. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional: um estudo da psicodinâmica do trabalho. 2015. 217f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015., p. 90; Bessil; Merlo, 2017). It would be up to the teacher, in this approach, “[...] to insist on the teaching and learning process that contributes for the student to associate, problematize, seek solutions and intervene in reality with autonomy and independence” (Bessil, 2015, p. 89).

The studies by Menotti (2013MENOTTI, Camila Cardoso. O Exercício da Docência entre as Grades: reflexões sobre a prática de educadores do sistema prisional do estado de São Paulo. 2013. 129f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, 2013.), Andriola (2013ANDRIOLA, Wagner Bandeira. Ações de Formação em EJA nas Prisões: o que pensam os professores do sistema prisional do Ceará? Educação & Realidade, Porto Alegre, v. 38, n. 1, p. 179-204, 2013.), Carvalho (2014CARVALHO, Odair França de. Entre a Cela e a Sala de Aula: um estudo sobre experiências educacionais de educadores presos no sistema prisional paulista. 2014. 279f. Tese (Doutorado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, 2014.) and Jordão and Wanderley (2014JORDÃO, Maria Perpétua Socorro Dantas; WANDERLEY, Paula Isabel Bezerra Rocha. Adoção de Cidadãos Presos e Formação de Professores para a Prisão: Ações de Fraternidade Política e Direitos, aproximando a extensão universitária da ASCES e da UFPE no agreste pernambucano. Revista Eletrônica de Educação, v. 8, n. 2, p. 373-387, 2014.) point out that EPRL education has a central role in training citizens to live in society, a fundamental element for social reintegration. Bessil (2015BESSIL, Marcela Haupt. A Prática Docente de Educação de Jovens e Adultos no Sistema Prisional: um estudo da psicodinâmica do trabalho. 2015. 217f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 2015., p. 93; Bessil; Merlo, 2017) complements this idea when explaining that the school, acting in prisons, aims to “[...] rescue the citizenship of people living in situations of liberty deprivation.” In addition to this idea, for most researchers, especially Andriola (2013), Carvalho (2014), Duarte (2017DUARTE, Alisson José Oliveira. Processo de Constituição da Identidade Profissional de Professores na Educação Escolar de uma Unidade Prisional de Minas Gerais. 2017. 149f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Minas Gerais, 2017.) and Barcelos (2017BARCELOS, Clayton da Silva. Educação Escolar na Prisão: os significados e sentidos das professoras que atuam em unidades penais de Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul. 2017. 167f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 2017.), EPRL teachers are agents of transformation responsible for “[...] becoming aware of their potential as active, reflective and intellectual scholars and professionals” (Andriola, 2013, p. 187). EJA in prisons, in addition to contributing to the social and psychological recovery of people deprived of liberty, provides opportunities for professionalization in conjunction with income generation (Andriola, 2013, p. 181).

Based on the previous notes, we can infer that there is still a corrective and behavioral educational bias in the researchers’ discussions. This is evidenced by the somewhat mechanistic ideas that education should promote certain changes, transformations, and awareness for new attitudes/choices to individuals deprived or restricted of freedom. Considering these tasks related to education, we should think about the consequences or risks of this type of argument about teaching work, considering the reality of the prison context in its relations with the current social, economic and political order.

To deconstruct certain readings about EJA in EPRL and possible responsibilities (of EJA and teachers), it is essential to understand the specificities, the marks of EJA teaching in prisons and the working conditions of teachers.

Teaching also ends up being marked by violence and by the unpredictability of the dynamics of these spaces. Teachers, as well as students, are affected by everyday violence as shown by studies in the area. In addition to this, there are unhealthy conditions that interfere with the working conditions, the lack of infrastructure, instability in terms of functioning, the scarcity of teaching materials and the relationships experienced with the other professionals in the system, almost always strained by the limitations that safety rules impose on the pedagogical work.

But even in the face of the difficulties found in these spaces, the well-being signaled by education professionals working in EPRL stands out, as they demonstrate a sense of personal and professional fulfillment in the face of the work they develop in these contexts. The malaise that the insertion in the prison space can cause to the teacher, allied with an inadequate organization of their work routine regarding the class schedules, the compromise of the school days by the security system’s interferences, the rotation, the academic performance, nonattendance and dropout of students, and the low wages, are compensated, as indicated by the analyzed studies, by a source of teaching well-being, by the recognition of their value (in their view and that of the students), the respectful relationship and trust that they build. However, in this regard, it is advisable to build a closer look at the constitution of feelings of appreciation and recognition for teachers who work at EJA in EPRL.

Amorim-Silva and Antunes-Rocha (2017), Duarte (2017DUARTE, Alisson José Oliveira. Processo de Constituição da Identidade Profissional de Professores na Educação Escolar de uma Unidade Prisional de Minas Gerais. 2017. 149f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro, Minas Gerais, 2017.) and Barcelos (2017BARCELOS, Clayton da Silva. Educação Escolar na Prisão: os significados e sentidos das professoras que atuam em unidades penais de Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul. 2017. 167f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Educação) - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, 2017.) discuss the educators’ representations about prison education and indicate the need to think not only about the identity of teachers in these spaces, the responsibilities assumed by teachers and the way they relate to their work, but also on the formation and constitution of their pedagogical practices.

For Penna et al. (2016PENNA, Marieta Gouvêa de Oliveira; DE CARVALHO, Alexandre Filordi; NOVAES, Luiz Carlos. A Formação do Pedagogo e a Educação nas Prisões: reflexões acerca de uma experiência. Cadernos Cedes , Campinas, v. 36, n. 98, p. 109-122, 2016., p. 120), there is the invisibility of EJA in EPRL in the initial training of teachers, which requires questioning how the university curriculum has been set “[...] the training demands of educators to work in the prison system.”

The lack of training makes the insertion of teachers in the prison context even more tense, as it requires “[...] re-elaborating fear as a condition of permanence in employment” (Amorim-Silva; Antunes-Rocha, 2017, p. 214). In this regard, Onofre (2009ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano. Educação Escolar na Prisão na Visão dos Professores: um hiato entre o proposto e o vivido. Reflexão e Ação, Santa Cruz do Sul, v. 17, n. 1, p. 227-244, 2009., p. 08; 2013) signals the need to create “[...] collective training spaces in which educators can dialogue”, reflect, exchange experiences to build articulated political-pedagogical projects, aligned with the educational objectives of these spaces and subjects. It becomes essential, more than thinking about methodological issues, “[...] to turn our eyes to this professional, providing them with better support in the conduct of their work, taking into account their knowledge and knowledge already produced through experience” (Amorim-Silva; Antunes-Rocha, 2017, p. 215).

Therefore, the gap in terms of training ends up being mentioned in all selected researches, and there is a consensus that public policy for the EJA modality has not yet been consolidated in the deprivation of liberty spaces.

Important Considerations (or Alerts)

The centrality that teachers assume in the speeches about the importance of the offer of EJA in EPRL has been presented as very fragile, given the lack of investments destined for teacher training. Although the approval of the National Guidelines symbolizes a milestone for EJA in EPRL, the current scenario requires “[...] public policies that meet the previously mentioned demands (training, setting, salary and professional appreciation, objective and subjective conditions of work)” (Onofre, 2013ONOFRE, Elenice Maria Cammarosano. Políticas de Formação de Educadores para os Espaços de Restrição e de Privação de Liberdade. Revista Eletrônica de Educação , São Carlos, v. 7, n. 1, p. 137-158, 2013., p. 214).

Two points draw attention in the studies: one refers to the optimistic tone used by researchers, in general, dealing with the theme under a time frame (the 2000s) that marks the discussion and implementation of policies for EJA directed to individuals in deprivation and restriction of freedom; the other, denouncing the lack of spaces, including academic space, for discussions about the EJA modality in incarceration context, that is, the absence of research on the theme that helps to mainly think about the initial and continuing training of teachers. It is also worth noting that the productions announce the absence of training for EJA teachers in EPRL, but they do not always give us clues to the theoretical framework from which these formations could develop.

We also point out, in this sense, a necessary reflection on the bases on which training proposals for these teachers are laid. It is important to ask, in our analyses, the assumptions of policies for teacher training, implemented since the nineties in Latin America, which defend the standard of a teacher that is “[...] protagonist, polyvalent, flexible, or the super professor” (Evangelist, 2012, p. 39).

The production indications for thinking about the Brazilian EJA project in EPRL encourage us to understand more clearly the bases from which we have started, our defenses and prospects in terms of educational public policies, in view of the challenges arising from the conditions experienced in these spaces. If we do not, we continue to be at the mercy and service of proposals based on concepts that we share.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    22 June 2020
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    23 Sept 2019
  • Accepted
    03 Dec 2019
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