The Ways to Improve Early Childhood Education
The experience and contributions of pedagogues, social scientists and writers Maria Machado Malta Campos in Brazilian basic education, especially in fields such as kindergarten, child care, the quality of education and education policy, are recognized by most of their peer educators. This will show the ways to improve early childhood education.
Graduating in Pedagogy from PUC-SP and PhD in Social Sciences from USP, he completed post-doctoral internships at Stanford and London universities.
He is a retired teacher of the Postgraduate Program in PUC-SP Education and former president of the National Postgraduate Association and Research in Education (ANPEd).
He is a member of the CNPq Education Advisory Committee and the Technical Council of Basic Education Capes.
In this interview, Maria Malta Campos detailed the points which she said were decisive for an increase in EI in Brazil.
What cannot, in any way, be lacking in early childhood education?
The integration of educational goals and attention to "care" is not only understood as aspects of cleanliness, food, sleep and health of young people, but also - and especially - ensuring individual attention, respect for children and interaction. between adults and children.
There is also no poor communication between EI institutions and families.
For educational purposes, we have National Curriculum Guidelines, which define them synthetically, around the axis of "jokes" and "interactions".
This guideline is mandatory, including for private institutions.
The BNCC for Early Childhood Education details these guidelines for three age groups, from zero to five years and 11 months.
Does early childhood education require expensive long-term changes?
I disagree with the idea that we lack guidance documents in education, especially in IE.
Since the 1988 Constitution, MEC and other official bodies, universities, NGOs and many city secretariats have produced many guidance documents for IE.
The biggest challenge we have today is translating into reality what these documents show.
Expansion of vacancies at EI has been very significant since the 2000s, but the large increase in registration and hiring educators has not been accompanied by the changes needed in pedagogy that are practiced in most kindergartens and pre-schools.
Another problem that still exists is that this expansion, especially in the case of child care centers, has not been able to address inequalities of access between regions, between population income groups, between blacks and whites, between urban and rural areas.
I also disagree that the solution is too expensive.
Often what happens is the opposite: you spend a lot of buildings that are expensive, not well planned, and located in a bad location - for example, in the ProInfancia program - and you don't have enough funds for your operations, which will be the most important.
The EI unit is still seen as a place that will give excessive obligations to children, stealing part of the natural and fundamental playing period. Is this the wrong reason?
Maybe this is part of the view of the upper middle class, I don't know.
What some surveys suggest is that it does not fit the perceptions of the majority of the population, who increasingly demand access to kindergartens that are good, at least from the age of one and a half years, to two years.
These surveys show what families expect from IE to "care for children", which contributes to their socialization - namely, that children have peers who play with and who are used to living with other adults - who learn to "eat everything", get hygienic habits and be prepared for school, especially those related to literacy.
What directors and public or private school management commissions with little resources can be done in Brazil today to improve didactic and pedagogical results in IE without high costs?
I don't know how much it costs. There are resources provided in the law to finance IE.
We need greater supervision and transparency to ensure that they reach children and not just the government.
In the case of very small, poor or without adequate municipalities, it is important to imagine ways to collaborate with states and unions, a regime regulated by law, and between the closest municipalities, with what is called a municipal consortium, already in the health sector.
And in the case of schools that have the financial resources to invest, what do you suggest?
Investing in quality must be identical to investing in education.
Especially when it comes to very young children, who have great potential for development, but at the same time are very vulnerable to risk situations.
Opening child care facilities without minimum working conditions must be considered a crime against Brazilian children.
There are important documents, published by the Ministry of Education, that define what these basic working conditions are for IE, especially for kindergartens, which serve small children.
What priorities should be sought by the government, ministries and secretariat to produce quality improvements in EI?
I think everything I answer so far applies to private and public networks and agrees with public power.
Every child, regardless of family income, has the same rights, which are determined in international documents signed by our country, since the end of World War II.
In addition, it is a mistake to think that public institutions are very different from the private ones.
In a study I coordinated, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and supported by MEC, which was published in 2010, we investigated the quality of early childhood education in six capitals of five regions of Brazil.
In these three capital cities IE private schools were included in the sample.
We verify that there is a large heterogeneity in three types of companies: private, public and public.
We find a situation that is very profitable at one and the other; both bad or bad conditions in one or the other.