Brazilian Culture: An Introduction to the Study of Culture in Brazil

By Fernando de Azevedo; William Rex Crawford | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER FOUR
THE REFORM AND UNIFICATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

The movement of educational reform and its effect in Brazil -- The reform of 1928 in the Federal District -- The revolution of 1930 -- The Ministry of Education is created -- The reform of Francisco Campos -- The reorganization of secondary and higher education -- The question of religious teaching -- The Church and the State -- The Manifesto of the pioneers of the new education -- The Fifth National Conference of Education -- Toward educational reconstruction in Brazil -- Conflict of tendencies -- The educational policy of the Federal District ( 1932-1935) -- New cultural and scientific institutions -- The foundation of the University of São Paulo -- The first Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters -- The University of the Federal District -- the Constitution of July 16, 1934 -- The quantitative expansion of secondary education -- The process of democratization -- The first professors of secondary education trained in Brazil -- The regime implanted on November 10, 1937 -- Tendencies toward unification of the educational system -- The renaissance of the nationalist spirit -- The University of Brazil -- The National Faculty of Philosophy -- The new factors of expansion and cultural unity -- The library movement -- Radio broadcasting and educational motion pictures -- The cultural activity of the Ministry of Education -- Toward the defense of our artistic traditions -- The organization of national statistical services.

OBSERVERS HAVE CONSIDERED as the culminating point in the movement of educational reform in Brazil, the reform of 1928 in the Federal District, which became the most intense center of irradiation of the new ideas in pedagogical techniques. Some historians of education have not hesitated in affirming that with the reform substantiated in decree no. 3,281 of January 23, 1928, we entered resolutely upon a new phase of the history of Brazilian education.1 Whatever may be, however, the point of view

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1
"In a visit made recently to various schools of the District, and renewed just now," writes Prof. Lourenço Filho at that time, -- "I had the impression that not only is there prevalent a vigorous desire to make teaching more progressive, and free it from the routine of decades, but the conviction that the material transformation of the equipment of schools will be almost complete in the present administration. Preparations are being made to construct five large school buildings. The foundations of the normal school are being laid; according to the plans that have been approved, it will be the largest and will have the best plant of any institute of the kind in South America. Furniture and teaching materials are being replaced . . . If the reform did nothing else, it would be magnificent. But it is doing more, and doing it splendidly. As a result of an official decision, the teachers are coming together in courses of specialization. And in its extension courses, the Brazilian Education Association is patiently carrying out one of the university functions which the University of Rio de Janeiro has not yet started: that of passing on higher culture to primary school teachers, thus perfecting their culture, broadening their philosophic point of view, and trying out the new discoveries of scientific technique. . . . Sr. Fernando de Azevedo has acted in masterly fashion, and the gods have given him opportunities which never appear together; the firm decision of the District Government to engage in administration rather than in politics; fermentation of ideas among the teachers, who had been prepared by the Brazilian

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