Teaching in the interior of the country – Marcelo Santos Nascimento (UFS) and Raul Soares Bomfim’s (UFS), review of “Education in the backlands: memories and experiences of teachers in the high backlands of Sergipe (1950 – 1970)” organized by Cacia Valeria de Rezende

Cácia Valeria de Rezende | Image: Imprensa Oficial de Sergipe

Abstract: Educação no sertão: memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950 – 1970), is the book by Cácia Valeria de Rezende that addresses the trajectory of teachers who work in the semi-arid region of the state of Sergipe, placing emphasis on projects and pedagogical practices to combat illiteracy among children, young people and adults.

Keywords: Teachers, Literacy, Sertão.


The book Educação no sertão: memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950 – 1970), authored by Cácia Valeria de Rezende, published in 2017 by Editora Diário Oficial do Estado de Sergipe (EDISE), is a research of master’s degree that aims to unveil the life path of country women who became teachers and who gave the countryside its most precious asset: education. The work analyzes the trajectory of 21 educators from the semi-arid region of Sergipe in a time frame that covers the period from 1950 to 1970, a period marked by the presence of the cangaceiro Lampião and the great droughts in the region.

The author Cacia Valéria de Rezende is from Nossa Senhora da Glória. She has a degree in Pedagogy and History from Unit, as well as a postgraduate degree in Clinical and Institutional Psychopedagogy from Faculdade São Luís de França. She also has a master’s degree in Education from Unit and a member of the Academia Gloriense de Letras and specializes in Entrepreneurial Education from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). In the construction of this book, structured in XX chapters, the author used English social and cultural history to understand the customs, mentalities, values and traditions attributed to the backlands school, as well as oral history to weave part of the social memory of school representations.

Chapter one briefly contextualizes the cultural, economic and historical aspects of the northeast with the aim of leading the reader to understand the political processes in the ruralization of education, which aimed to build nationalism and a “civilized” society, where it was necessary to be literate, but it went further: in Sergipe, attempts were made to stop rural exodus and “parasitism” in large settlements. However, the public policies adopted were not always efficient in meeting the population’s demands, as they presented problems ranging from the physical structure of these schools to issues related to the training of teachers who would work on society’s literacy, without forgetting the fiasco of the Brazilian literacy movement. of young people and adults (MOBRAL), which produced the figure of the semi-literate.

The chapter on screen presents clear, easy-to-understand language, making it easier for the reader to understand the emergence and expansion of education in the Northeast and in Brazil through a chronological sequence presenting documents and statements from the time, which enables a better understanding of the events that occurred. . However, the text has a greater focus on the emergence of MOBRAL and the education of young people and adults and the negative results of the literacy movement for this public. Thus, regarding children’s literacy, the text does not clarify the failure of this group’s literacy.

Chapter two aims to reveal the traditions, customs and values of rural people, as well as unravel the skein of memories, memories and stories of country people who lived in the high backlands of Sergipe. Based on these experiences, we seek to recall the situation of school education in the region. For the author, education in the high backlands was based on emancipatory values transmitted through the teachings of families, the church and community rules, that is, an informal education that aimed to transmit the values, traditions and customs of that time. Among some of these teachings, work was central to social life, so that many poor children were forced to go to the countryside in order to produce and reproduce food, which led them to abandon their studies. One of the first forms of teaching was done orally, teaching children to have dignity and credibility through exchange relationships.

Another point addressed in the same chapter is the migratory process caused by the problems of drought and food shortages, leading young people to abandon school in search of survival. In the mid-19th century, education in the sertão of Sergipe began to be provided by itinerant teachers, who taught farmers’ children to read, write and perform basic mathematical operations. Farmers and small farmers hired country teachers who knew how to read, write and count, thus serving the most vulnerable populations. It is important to mention that the presence of these teachers was due to the lack of schools in the rural area of the State of Sergipe.

The author explores relevant issues, such as the role of women in the training process in the backlands, makes use of statistical data on the

number of schools and legislation, in addition to the reports and experiences of residents to praise the teaching process in the sertão of Sergipe. It also brings up infant mortality rates and the causes of learning difficulties, the rural exodus as a choice for quality of life and the role of the State in the management and organization of school space. However, the author failed to clearly and precisely address pertinent themes that permeate Brazilian socio-historical formation, such as child labor as a consequence of school dropout, patriarchy and coronelismo as a power relationship. She also failed to criticize the State in the management of social policies, such as education, and highlight the incidence of repeated ideals. An example of this is when the author discusses how schools were constituted as school units.

Chapter three narrates the advancement of school education in the interior of Sergipe, reporting the interests of local politicians who interfered in the application of resources from the national primary education fund, characterizing a great waste of federal aid. A greater number of rural schools were built, which resulted in a large number of primary teaching positions disputed and negotiated by local politicians and occupied mostly by lay teachers, even leading to negotiations with local political leaders.

One of the problems with this policy was the low salary, so that few teachers with a teaching degree were willing to practice the profession, and over the decades there was a sharp and demotivating cut in the amounts received by teachers. As a result, in the state of Sergipe, middle-class Sergipe girls once again had their aspirations for federal and municipal positions, and thus, the poor class had the opportunity to take up teaching, since the vacancies filled by the middle class were unfilled.

For salary reasons, men were reluctant to train as teachers, which favored the insertion of women in the educational job market, showing the process of feminization of education, a phenomenon that was reflected throughout Brazil.

 

The feminization of teaching. Rosario Genta Lugli | Image: Univesp

The number of teachers filling vacancies in schools was low, and untrained women started teaching, which caused a deficiency in student teaching. This replacement of teachers occurred due to the low salaries paid to qualified teachers. Dropout rates, grade repetition of students and a shortage of trained teachers were seen in the interior of Sergipe, with the rural population being the most affected by the literacy process. This situation shows the irresponsibility of the State in compromising the education of the majority excluded population. There, in the sertão of Sergipe, there were no high approval rates due to the ineffectiveness of the State’s educational policy, since teachers were chosen by political leaders. These teachers were unable to perform their job duties because they did not have training in the field of pedagogy. In these State interventions, trained and qualified teachers were left out of this process, as they did not have political sponsorship.

Another question raised by the author is in relation to the distribution of schools, since the places where these school units would be located were spaces where politicians or sponsored people had their homes. Meanwhile, the social demands of the sertão of Sergipe were swallowed up by the personal interests of politicians. Due to these political conflicts, schools were removed from some spaces due to a lack of professionals, as teachers were moved to work in distant locations, which made it difficult to get to and from school.

The chapter in question uses important authors and dates to understand and criticize the role of the State in formulating quality educational policies, demonstrating the author’s commitment to seeking reliable sources. There is, however, a lack of analysis on the “halt vote”, which was often used as a form of exchange for work. Furthermore, there is a repetition of ideas, especially when addressing political conflicts.

The book Educação no sertão, as we see, is a detailed investigation of the history and education of the Northeast region of Brazil, with a specific focus on education in the sertão during a brief period of the last century. In general, the author achieved her objectives, effectively using the “memories” of women teachers. It encourages the reader to reflect on cross-cutting themes that permeate school education and should be read and discussed by professionals in the areas of Education and Applied Human and Social Sciences.

Summary of Educação no Sertão: Memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950-1970)

  • Introdução
  • 1. “Sol de Fogo”: O sertão do Nordeste, a política pública de ruralização da educação e as campanhas de alfabetização
  • 2. A constituição do campo educacional no alto sertão sergipano
  • 3. Fazer-se professora no alto sertão sergipano
  • Considerações finais: uma peça
  • Apêndice A
  • Apêndice B

Reviewers

Marcelo Santos Nascimento (UFS) has a degree in Social Work from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), a social worker at the Centro de Referência de Assistência Social- (CRAS) and a member of the Grupo de Estudo e Pesquisa Marxistas (GEPEM/UFS). ID LATTES: https://lattes.cnpq.br/0176905173480944; ID ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8322-5376; Email: [email protected]

Raul Soares Bomfim (UFS) has a degree in Pedagogy from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), member of the Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação Ambiental de Sergipe. He works on the topics of Environmental Education and animations in learning processes. ID LATTES: http://lattes.cnpq.br/6940419234963530; ID ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0005-6795-0937; E-mail: [email protected].


To cite this review

REZENDE, Cacia Valeria de. Educação no Sertão: Memórias e Experiências das Professoras no Alto Sertão Sergipano (1950-1970). Aracaju: EDISE, 2017. Review by: Marcelo Santos Nascimento; BOMFIM, Raul Soares. Teaching in the interior of the country. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.12, Jul./Aug., 2023. Available at <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/reflective-backcountry-scholarship-marcelo-santos-nascimento-ufs-and-raul-soares-bomfims-ufs-review-of-education-in-the-backlands-memories-and-experiences-of-teachers-in-the-high-ba/>


© – Authors who publish in Historiographical Criticism agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation based on their texts, even for commercial purposes, as long as due credit for the original creations is guaranteed. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 12, Jul./Aug., 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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Teaching in the interior of the country – Marcelo Santos Nascimento (UFS) and Raul Soares Bomfim’s (UFS), review of “Education in the backlands: memories and experiences of teachers in the high backlands of Sergipe (1950 – 1970)” organized by Cacia Valeria de Rezende

Cácia Valeria de Rezende | Image: Imprensa Oficial de Sergipe

Abstract: Educação no sertão: memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950 – 1970), is the book by Cácia Valeria de Rezende that addresses the trajectory of teachers who work in the semi-arid region of the state of Sergipe, placing emphasis on projects and pedagogical practices to combat illiteracy among children, young people and adults.

Keywords: Teachers, Literacy, Sertão.


The book Educação no sertão: memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950 – 1970), authored by Cácia Valeria de Rezende, published in 2017 by Editora Diário Oficial do Estado de Sergipe (EDISE), is a research of master’s degree that aims to unveil the life path of country women who became teachers and who gave the countryside its most precious asset: education. The work analyzes the trajectory of 21 educators from the semi-arid region of Sergipe in a time frame that covers the period from 1950 to 1970, a period marked by the presence of the cangaceiro Lampião and the great droughts in the region.

The author Cacia Valéria de Rezende is from Nossa Senhora da Glória. She has a degree in Pedagogy and History from Unit, as well as a postgraduate degree in Clinical and Institutional Psychopedagogy from Faculdade São Luís de França. She also has a master’s degree in Education from Unit and a member of the Academia Gloriense de Letras and specializes in Entrepreneurial Education from the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). In the construction of this book, structured in XX chapters, the author used English social and cultural history to understand the customs, mentalities, values and traditions attributed to the backlands school, as well as oral history to weave part of the social memory of school representations.

Chapter one briefly contextualizes the cultural, economic and historical aspects of the northeast with the aim of leading the reader to understand the political processes in the ruralization of education, which aimed to build nationalism and a “civilized” society, where it was necessary to be literate, but it went further: in Sergipe, attempts were made to stop rural exodus and “parasitism” in large settlements. However, the public policies adopted were not always efficient in meeting the population’s demands, as they presented problems ranging from the physical structure of these schools to issues related to the training of teachers who would work on society’s literacy, without forgetting the fiasco of the Brazilian literacy movement. of young people and adults (MOBRAL), which produced the figure of the semi-literate.

The chapter on screen presents clear, easy-to-understand language, making it easier for the reader to understand the emergence and expansion of education in the Northeast and in Brazil through a chronological sequence presenting documents and statements from the time, which enables a better understanding of the events that occurred. . However, the text has a greater focus on the emergence of MOBRAL and the education of young people and adults and the negative results of the literacy movement for this public. Thus, regarding children’s literacy, the text does not clarify the failure of this group’s literacy.

Chapter two aims to reveal the traditions, customs and values of rural people, as well as unravel the skein of memories, memories and stories of country people who lived in the high backlands of Sergipe. Based on these experiences, we seek to recall the situation of school education in the region. For the author, education in the high backlands was based on emancipatory values transmitted through the teachings of families, the church and community rules, that is, an informal education that aimed to transmit the values, traditions and customs of that time. Among some of these teachings, work was central to social life, so that many poor children were forced to go to the countryside in order to produce and reproduce food, which led them to abandon their studies. One of the first forms of teaching was done orally, teaching children to have dignity and credibility through exchange relationships.

Another point addressed in the same chapter is the migratory process caused by the problems of drought and food shortages, leading young people to abandon school in search of survival. In the mid-19th century, education in the sertão of Sergipe began to be provided by itinerant teachers, who taught farmers’ children to read, write and perform basic mathematical operations. Farmers and small farmers hired country teachers who knew how to read, write and count, thus serving the most vulnerable populations. It is important to mention that the presence of these teachers was due to the lack of schools in the rural area of the State of Sergipe.

The author explores relevant issues, such as the role of women in the training process in the backlands, makes use of statistical data on the

number of schools and legislation, in addition to the reports and experiences of residents to praise the teaching process in the sertão of Sergipe. It also brings up infant mortality rates and the causes of learning difficulties, the rural exodus as a choice for quality of life and the role of the State in the management and organization of school space. However, the author failed to clearly and precisely address pertinent themes that permeate Brazilian socio-historical formation, such as child labor as a consequence of school dropout, patriarchy and coronelismo as a power relationship. She also failed to criticize the State in the management of social policies, such as education, and highlight the incidence of repeated ideals. An example of this is when the author discusses how schools were constituted as school units.

Chapter three narrates the advancement of school education in the interior of Sergipe, reporting the interests of local politicians who interfered in the application of resources from the national primary education fund, characterizing a great waste of federal aid. A greater number of rural schools were built, which resulted in a large number of primary teaching positions disputed and negotiated by local politicians and occupied mostly by lay teachers, even leading to negotiations with local political leaders.

One of the problems with this policy was the low salary, so that few teachers with a teaching degree were willing to practice the profession, and over the decades there was a sharp and demotivating cut in the amounts received by teachers. As a result, in the state of Sergipe, middle-class Sergipe girls once again had their aspirations for federal and municipal positions, and thus, the poor class had the opportunity to take up teaching, since the vacancies filled by the middle class were unfilled.

For salary reasons, men were reluctant to train as teachers, which favored the insertion of women in the educational job market, showing the process of feminization of education, a phenomenon that was reflected throughout Brazil.

 

The feminization of teaching. Rosario Genta Lugli | Image: Univesp

The number of teachers filling vacancies in schools was low, and untrained women started teaching, which caused a deficiency in student teaching. This replacement of teachers occurred due to the low salaries paid to qualified teachers. Dropout rates, grade repetition of students and a shortage of trained teachers were seen in the interior of Sergipe, with the rural population being the most affected by the literacy process. This situation shows the irresponsibility of the State in compromising the education of the majority excluded population. There, in the sertão of Sergipe, there were no high approval rates due to the ineffectiveness of the State’s educational policy, since teachers were chosen by political leaders. These teachers were unable to perform their job duties because they did not have training in the field of pedagogy. In these State interventions, trained and qualified teachers were left out of this process, as they did not have political sponsorship.

Another question raised by the author is in relation to the distribution of schools, since the places where these school units would be located were spaces where politicians or sponsored people had their homes. Meanwhile, the social demands of the sertão of Sergipe were swallowed up by the personal interests of politicians. Due to these political conflicts, schools were removed from some spaces due to a lack of professionals, as teachers were moved to work in distant locations, which made it difficult to get to and from school.

The chapter in question uses important authors and dates to understand and criticize the role of the State in formulating quality educational policies, demonstrating the author’s commitment to seeking reliable sources. There is, however, a lack of analysis on the “halt vote”, which was often used as a form of exchange for work. Furthermore, there is a repetition of ideas, especially when addressing political conflicts.

The book Educação no sertão, as we see, is a detailed investigation of the history and education of the Northeast region of Brazil, with a specific focus on education in the sertão during a brief period of the last century. In general, the author achieved her objectives, effectively using the “memories” of women teachers. It encourages the reader to reflect on cross-cutting themes that permeate school education and should be read and discussed by professionals in the areas of Education and Applied Human and Social Sciences.

Summary of Educação no Sertão: Memórias e experiências das professoras no alto sertão sergipano (1950-1970)

  • Introdução
  • 1. “Sol de Fogo”: O sertão do Nordeste, a política pública de ruralização da educação e as campanhas de alfabetização
  • 2. A constituição do campo educacional no alto sertão sergipano
  • 3. Fazer-se professora no alto sertão sergipano
  • Considerações finais: uma peça
  • Apêndice A
  • Apêndice B

Reviewers

Marcelo Santos Nascimento (UFS) has a degree in Social Work from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), a social worker at the Centro de Referência de Assistência Social- (CRAS) and a member of the Grupo de Estudo e Pesquisa Marxistas (GEPEM/UFS). ID LATTES: https://lattes.cnpq.br/0176905173480944; ID ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8322-5376; Email: [email protected]

Raul Soares Bomfim (UFS) has a degree in Pedagogy from the Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), member of the Grupo de Estudos e Pesquisas em Educação Ambiental de Sergipe. He works on the topics of Environmental Education and animations in learning processes. ID LATTES: http://lattes.cnpq.br/6940419234963530; ID ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0005-6795-0937; E-mail: [email protected].


To cite this review

REZENDE, Cacia Valeria de. Educação no Sertão: Memórias e Experiências das Professoras no Alto Sertão Sergipano (1950-1970). Aracaju: EDISE, 2017. Review by: Marcelo Santos Nascimento; BOMFIM, Raul Soares. Teaching in the interior of the country. Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n.12, Jul./Aug., 2023. Available at <https://www.criticahistoriografica.com.br/en/reflective-backcountry-scholarship-marcelo-santos-nascimento-ufs-and-raul-soares-bomfims-ufs-review-of-education-in-the-backlands-memories-and-experiences-of-teachers-in-the-high-ba/>


© – Authors who publish in Historiographical Criticism agree to the distribution, remixing, adaptation and creation based on their texts, even for commercial purposes, as long as due credit for the original creations is guaranteed. (CC BY-SA).

 

Crítica Historiográfica. Natal, v.3, n. 12, Jul./Aug., 2023 | ISSN 2764-2666

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