Education and Social Policy in Brazil: Alternatives to Higher Education
This paper adopted as a stepping stone to the idea that the present crisis in public higher Education is interwoven with the movement of State reform implemented by the Brazilian government in recent years. Policies for higher Education, in this scenario, are analyzed by pointing at their paradoxes and effective consequences related to the processes of institutional diversification and differentiation, expansion and privatization in this educational level. Through a historical-epistemological approach, we propose to characterize that the Educating State has turned in more recent years into an Evaluator State of Educational Policies, to indicate why this has occurred, and also to demonstrate that the paradigm of the emerging university, based on the production of knowledge through research and its diffusion through teaching and extension, is being implemented in the Brazilian reality. The Educating State must guarantee well being. As such it must provide education without controlling it. If it can not do so as State, let alone as government, as governments are mere education administrators. Guaranteeing education as a public asset means, among other things, supporting social participation initiatives in education, since education as a public asset must foster social participation and develop citizen awareness. If education does not incentivate critical and self-critical thinking, participation, responsibility and respect as well as the contact with those different, inclusion and equity, it does not play its role as public asset. This analysis will take place in an interdisciplinary way since while respecting the statute of each science, it aims at generating a new thought, taking place at the threshold of Legal, Political, Social and Educational Sciences. Our discussion will be based on theoreticians such as Freire (1996), Bobbio (1987), Carnoy (1997) and others, to show that it is necessary to analyze these issues from many points of view.
Keywords: Public Policies, Higher Education, Educating State, University
Dr. Martha Abrahão Saad Lucchesi
Professor and Researcher, Researcher at the University's Research Unit on Higher Education, University of Sâo Paulo