Education, culture, science



Education is only integralized in culture, whether in the construction of the individual person or of institutionalized collectives

The sequence of words in the title signals the columnist's proposal: to think about the practice of training new generations by reinventing the educational common good lost in republican history. When dealing with the subject, an aggravating factor arises, the electoral time. But also an opportunity for candidates to think about their government and work plans.

In Brazil, the disputes for the vote are built by three rather boring pillars and even traitors of intentions and projects. The first is the discursive struggle in tones and meanings that are very close from candidate to candidate, which results in low-effective memorial information, which, consequently, leads voters to emotional decisions at the time of voting. The second, a heavy game of egos with a view to some prominence, which can create idolatry, but not knowledge.

Thirdly, in the name of immediate dissemination and the popular level of the discourse, technical-scientific data are completely absent or, at least, a rational explanation of a project or a desired policy for the elected candidacy.

In this electoral game, even candidates given to rational thinking in their field of work enter into the melee of the general jelly of talk and the profusion of images, which determines that a desirable democratic principle, political education, is mortally wounded. And the ship goes.

Let us think, therefore, what could revolutionize electoral thinking outside the general jam and breaking the memory of male and female voters. Let's deal with the central theme of Brazilian backwardness and mistakes, that is, the non-prioritization of education and culture. To the facts.

The 1930s in Brazil signal a greater defeat than the Getulist coup and fraud, which denied the January 3, 1938 election, stifled movements and installed a dictatorship. Within this process, the maturation of Modernism, which prioritized ethical, aesthetic and historical-political readings of Brazil, cities and states, was violated by a clumsy and artificial nationalism, very different from the thought that aimed to know and disseminate the totality of the Brazilian life made by intellectuals like the multiple and unique leader Mário de Andrade.

It is clearer, therefore, to understand why the Getulismo of occasion acted brutally to dismantle the cultural-educational experience of Fábio da Silva Prado and Mário de Andrade, the latter appointed director of the Department of Culture and Recreation in 1935 and dismissed three years later.

What happened is that, with the priorities manipulated by the São Paulo-Paulista economic-political elite reversed, the management of the Department of Culture and Recreation between 1935 and 1938, including Sérgio Milliet, Rubens Borba de Moraes, Paulo Duarte, Oneyda Alvarenga, Nicanor Miranda, Luiz Saia, Maria Aparecida Duarte, revolutionized the ethical, aesthetic and political relations of the public service and worked directly with workers, migrants, immigrants, in short, the large contingent of workers and their children. Those years of public administration carried out what we later came to call the common good, an integrated, indisputable and matrix action at the service of the people that the Republic despised, since its government priority was limited to the owners of goods and means of production of colonial and imperial extraction.

In the public action of the Department of Culture and Recreation, on the contrary, sports fields, new communication and documentation technologies, schools, playgrounds, culture centers, permanent and circulating libraries, scientific knowledge of the nascent university and already installed faculties, documentation centers , theaters, museums, erudite, popular and folk music, in short, all goods, values, human strength and planning intelligence were placed at the service of the people who needed the government, in a daily, organic and systematically evaluated way. A similar attitude was enunciated by the New Education Manifesto in 1932, therefore a revolutionary set of actions compared to the vicissitudes of teaching in Brazilian schools.

The narrated and argued phenomenon, in fact the practice of public service in that metropolis of São Paulo with just over one million inhabitants, was not a local issue. European capitals came to São Paulo and team members went to international congresses to appreciate and present public service actions. The management leader created contacts with the cities surrounding São Paulo and largely in the interior of São Paulo, where research and surveys were carried out on local popular cultures, music, dances, merriments, games, narratives and their relationship with the educational system.

He also wrote the famous letters to those in charge of culture and education in the cities of São Paulo and Brazil and, in fact, stimulated new educational-cultural practices, many of which have not yet been scientifically studied. As it was total in the place, it was total in the country, which in fact has not yet carried out those principles and those strategies of humanization in the city and in the countryside.

Strictly speaking, only cultural creation and doing can penetrate the educational spectrum and create the exchange of knowledge (from which derives the idea of ​​culture in the plural, cultures), such as science, memories, narratives, continuous readings, sayings, games, new relationships of knowledge and friendship, the well-wishing revealed in joint action.

In the same way, cultural action is the driving force behind matrices that include health, hygiene, public safety, housing and other invisible projects. And all this is essential for the training of people, students, managers, teachers, support staff and surrounding communities, but never on a circumstantial basis, but on a daily and continuous basis. Mário de Andrade encouraged the construction of municipal museums and argued that the best police officers of these equipment would be their participants, people identified with the construction, the organization of materials and the fruition of the museum space.

Considered the hallmarks of that action, 1935-1938, they undoubtedly have increased value when one thinks of the vast, diverse and unequal country. Like São Paulo yesterday and today. The distinctions do not eliminate and, on the contrary, suggest inclusions in distinctive spaces, such as urban peripheries, indigenous, quilombola and riverside communities, nomadic groups, settlers and students under special care. In all conditions of education/teaching there is everyday life (place of both forgetfulness and memory), materials willing to create, creative intelligence, ability to establish strategies, wishes for the formation of the person. What is lacking must be public-governmental action, public support organizations and encouragement of people's vocation. Whether in the local state, or in regional and state arrangements.

Mário de Andrade, in many documented texts and speeches, clarified what was happening in São Paulo: the totalization of education in culture, as well as the integralization of culture in educational training.

In contemporary pedagogical language, it was about the integrality of the formation of the new generations. It was, therefore, what all schools put in their PPPs, Political-Pedagogical Projects, both yesterday and today, but they were never able to carry out and comply, since they only have a few books, handouts, reduced and framed physical education, perhaps films or videos sparse, absence of local museums, research not stimulated, and this is much lower than what was done in São Paulo in those years of 1930.

The director of the Department of Culture and Recreation (like other educators at different times) never accepted the education and teaching of children and adolescents lined up in a room. Hence the sub-revolution of Parques Infantiles, with spaces prepared to unite culture and nature, education and ecology, the animated body of the children to history, the environment, the beauties and joys of life. It was expected that the parks would transform the education of childhood, adolescence and youth. The Getulist coup hindered the desire. Other later blows widened the distances between the stages of Brazilian basic education and their cultural disconnections. Education becomes an apparatus of bureaucratic command and culture an expression of individual genius. Certain culturalist elaborations collaborated for this distancing reading.

The action of the government Fábio Prado-Mário de Andrade and team creates its theory of educational-cultural integration, its strategy of changing priorities, its materiality in the maximum use of government goods at the service of the people and its principle: the totality of knowledge Solidarity must take place in the everyday life space and be understood as an educational-cultural fullness by all people participating in the actions and knowledge.

On the contrary, the forms of cultural massification of the Getulist era, associated with the strengthening of liberal capitalism and its atomized organization of work and the cultural industry, the developmental experiences that excelled in disqualified quantities, plus the dictatorship and its repercussions to this day, this whole process that we are living has split the acts of educating and creating culture, which has penetrated to the core of all forms of making art, disseminating technologies, schooling, certainly not in a beautiful set of personal and community attitudes seen in various parts of the country, but fundamentally in the government, local, state and federal actions, whose inaction, ignorance and sometimes evil determine breaks in the creative actions of cultural education and educational culture.

Even some qualified artists are incapable of building a cultural-educational thought, except in a conjunctural, fortuitous and occasional way. Therefore, non-matrix, organic, everyday and integrative, thought (at least in part) by distinguished people such as Hannah Arendt, Anísio Teixeira, Darcy Ribeiro, Paulo Freire and (unfortunately select groups) of contemporary cultural educators and creators.

With this reading, it is possible to understand Glauber Rocha's convulsive cry before his desired and postponed Brazil, according to Darcy Ribeiro's testimony at the filmmaker's funeral. “Brazil will have to succeed” – concluded Darcy.

Anyone who reads well the various government proposals that are presented today, whether guidelines, arguments, data or supposed government programs, at all levels and from all parties, does not find indubitable signs of possible actions that create leagues, welds, possible ties of revolution in the practice of the education-culture sisters. It finds some good and yet split ideas, sometimes semi or fully elitist; worse, often grandiloquent but disconnected, or in fact poor, traditional, sameness with a new name. Not even the best good will can see such signs, even though the preparation of proposals has relied on educators and cultural creators.

The columnist believes in the relevance of the proposal of modernism transformed into government action in the 1930s, that is, education is only integralized in culture, whether in the construction of the individual person or of institutionalized collectives. Paulo Freire may have intuited this revolution when he designated as “culture circles” the groups of literacy students in the process of liberating the four-hundred-year-old “animal” in Thiago de Mello's poem. Mário de Andrade was supported by people from higher education schools to produce scientific surveys with the people of São Paulo and discover their condition and interests. In one of them he was happy because illiteracy in São Paulo was rapidly decreasing. However, today we are surrounded by all sorts of illiteracy, graphic, discursive, technological and ethical.

It should be noted that several works, during the re-democratization of Brazil, came to light and revealed (albeit partially) that government action, which awakened public agents of education, culture and sports in various cities in São Paulo and Brazil to new practices cultural-educational projects, but the crises provoked by neoliberal servitude and the ebb of democracy once again put the creative processes under a nosebleed. It is therefore convenient to reinvent the game and desires.

This government action will complete 90 years in 2025, still in the government of the elected men and women of 2022. I hope Carlos Drummond is taken seriously and that everything remains a little, because perhaps the Brazilian political work has become so dusty by the liberal forms of training and education that no longer has the courage to dare or to realize apparent utopias. It would be better, however, for the revolution of creative thinking to take place.

* Luiz Roberto Alves is a senior research professor at the School of Communication and Arts at the University of São Paulo. Author, among other books, of Administering via culture: educational-cultural revolution in ex-pauliceia desvairada, 1935-1938 (Mall).


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