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In-service teacher education: frailties and dissonances in the struggle against school failure

This article brings results from a 3-year study conducted with a school located in the city of Diadema, and belonging to the State of São Paulo public school system. The study followed the trajectory of 52 students who took part in the Acceleration Classes Project (Projeto Classes de Aceleração) during 1999, and who went back into regular schooling in 2000 and 2001 under a regime of Continued Progression. The article concentrates on reflections about the performance of students that attended Acceleration Classes and later continued their studies in the final series of Fundamental Education (5th to 8th grades), and also on the degree of preparation (capacitation) of teachers with respect to the implementation of these actions. The case study was carried out through observations in the classroom and interviews with pupils, teachers, and coordinators. The results point to some dissonances: among teachers, on the understanding of objectives and assumptions of the Acceleration Classes Project; different degrees of teachers' involvement with learning difficulties or problems displayed by the students; the offer of teacher capacitation programs and/or preparation supervision geared towards the two projects is made only to teachers in Acceleration Classes, and not to the others. The purpose of governmental actions to deal with age-series gaps, as well as to move towards a quality school did not seem to be achieved here. On the contrary, instead of the inclusion of the excluded into the school, what was observed was their reclusion, since the improvement of pupils' performance has not been seen to.

Teacher education; School failure; Acceleration Classes; Continued progression

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