Mauá Working to Become an Educator City

By Malachias, Rosangela; dos Santos, Maria E. Rosa et al. | Planning and Changing, Fall 2015 | Go to article overview

Mauá Working to Become an Educator City


Malachias, Rosangela, dos Santos, Maria E. Rosa, de Aguiar, Lairce Rodrigues, Planning and Changing


Articulating thoughts in order to know the other, the world and yourself.

(Weffort, 1996, p. 41).

It was 57 years ago that Mauá, a Brazilian county was placed in the "ABC," a metropolitan region from Sâo Paulo city, and acquired its administrative and political emancipation. The seven cities from the "ABC" region are: Santo Andre, Sao Bernardo, Sâo Caetano, Diadema, Mauá, Ribeiräo Pires, and Rio Grande da Serra. Each city is independent, but they work together in a consortium demanding progress and development for the entire region. The industrial expansion of Sâo Paulo city attracted workers from everywhere and the seven cities (counties) placed in the "ABC" region also developed as industrial and dormitory cities. In 1883, the Sâo Paulo Railway had a small station called "Pilar." In 1926, this name was changed to Mauá Station, in honor of the entrepreneur Baron of Mauá.

Nowadays, the Mauá income has not been sufficient to completely support its 417,500 habitants. However, despite its economic situation, Mauá is also known by the high quality of its Municipal Education System. This evaluation comes from the population, who are politically aware, and struggling for citizenship. It can also be explained by two educative principles: "democracy" and "quality." A Democratic Management works to regularly promote training of public teachers and administrators, stimulating their participation in conferences and exchanging of pedagogical practices.

Planning a New Curriculum

Mostly administered by women, the educational system includes approaches to issues of gender and race equity in the municipal curriculum. For the next three years (2014 to 2016), the main goal of Mauá is to win the UNESCO award as an "Educator City."

The Educational Policy, developed by democratic and popular governments of Mauá, was collectively written by its civil society (teachers, managers, principals, administrative staff and community-parents, students, civil society). In 2010, a Referendum of Curriculum (MAUÁ, 2012) for the Municipal Network, planned by the Secretary of Education, gave theoretical and practical support for curricular choices with implications for the students process of learning.

The contents of the final document were carefully thought and debated during their time for HTPC (Horário de Trabalho Pedagógico Coletivo) or Collective Pedagogical Work, a space and time in which the theoretical mainstream put together the practices that are daily lived in each one of the 40 municipal schools. Important results came from this work such as the revision to the methodologies and the setting of new goals for the different levels of teaching, e.g., local and national culture as music and dance were integrated in the childhood education such as "Rythms of Brazil Project" and "Sambrincar Project." For one year, both of them were directed to children and teachers, in order to insert native knowledge inside of municipal schools.

The Social Quality of Education is the main principle for the Mauá educational system and it demands the knowing of contexts and scenarios of the city. Mauá is a dormitory town composed of workers from different regions of Brazil. In its 65 years of political emancipation, many problems can be found, such as, poverty, violence and low financial resources. However, the population diversity offers cultural richness and innovative solutions as the search for the title of Educator city given by UNESCO. Its history, cultural diversity, economy and development level are some necessary aspects to reach democratic access and a better education. Planning is always the best way to enhance this quality.

Actions were made to empower the network of 40 municipal schools and build a new curriculum. Actions included: educational meetings, seminars, lectures, pedagogical workshops, poetry festival, conferences, partnership for research with higher education institutions, survey about Adults Education needs, and regular meetings with faculty and experts. …

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