In general, Brazilian public policies have been directed towards the modernization of all sectors of society. In order to do so, it invests heavily in technology, seeking to achieve higher stages of development of productive forces and political and social organization. It is also invested in the formation of public opinion with the aim of disseminating a new culture, an ideal of modernity, with the computer and all advisory technology being the symbol of this new era. In order to guarantee technical and scientific progress, it is invested in the reform of educational systems, since the school is given the role of the human resources that this modern society needs to function. Education has no other purpose than boosting the country’s production structure. To this end, technical-economic progress is adopted as a central element in the orientation of educational processes, following the policies that international organizations, companies and institutions – especially those of the World Bank (IBRD) – adopt for Latin America.
Salles (1992: 107-132), analyzing the proposal of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Regional Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC), which provides guidelines for educational systems reform of Latin America and the Caribbean in the document “Education and Knowledge – Axis of Productive Transformation with Equity”, elaborated in 1992, says that it does not take into account or make reference to the processes of each of the societies involved – societies not yet imbued of scientific spirit.
That technical progress, by its instrumental nature, can not constitute an end of education, much less an end to society itself, since technical and industrial modernization does not necessarily imply the modernization in a broader sense of society, or political , social or cultural.
In Brazil, the use of information technology in education intensified in the 1980s and 1990s, in order to meet the demand of the new society. Palangana and Bianchetti (1992: 133-163), analyzing the requirements of the new information society, point out the need to form a qualified workforce in electronics. Direct work has been replaced by supervised or supervised work, with the tasks agglutinated, requiring new technical and social skills, as well as a great capacity for communication. New skills are required by the new worker, among them cooperation, the socialized character in the actions of interacting, of thinking strategically, of planning, of responding creatively to new situations, abstract reasoning, selective attention, critical reflection, domain of symbols and language mathematics. This has also required other strategies to train this worker. These include recycling, training and adaptation, with the operationalization of these strategies being necessary both for traditional educational systems and for new teaching modalities based on the intense use of communication and information technologies.
However, as the modern labor market will be increasingly restricted, since the 1970s, the World Bank’s policy for the education sector for Latin American countries, according to Fonseca (1999: 70-3), is a selective politics, that is, low-cost programs at the level of elementary education that meet the needs of elementary education and offer the student the necessary professional training to transform the product of his work into income; to a minority, located in urban centers, secondary and higher education, taking into account the labor absorption capacity of the modern sector of the economy and the demands of technicians for the private sectors.
To achieve this selectivity, the strategies proposed by IBRD are external evaluation, administrative decentralization, cost reduction, charging for higher levels of education, flexibilization of formal education, offering more training to teachers and less training stricto sensu, favoring light and inexpensive training, such as on-the-job training, distance learning and faster courses. This is all based on the Bank’s internal research, which shows that “students’ performance is no longer dependent on teacher training, but rather on what they call ‘instrumental packages’, that is, textbooks, pedagogical material, etc.” (Fonseca, 1999: 73).
In the perspective of this policy, economic growth is no longer seen as a struggle against the economic dependence of the underdeveloped countries on the developed ones and becomes a race in favor of the integration of all the countries. The nationalist strategies used by Brazil in the 1970s and 1980s gave way to integrationist-internationalist strategies. Economic growth ceases to be thought from its own results only to be conceived as an articulation of these with the purposes of social and political development of society. It tries to unite the economic, political and social logic, but the one that prevails is the economic one.
The result of the subordination of the educational proposal and its ideals – equality of opportunity, participation, decentralization and autonomy – to politics and economic rationality is the disregard of the autonomy of the educational sector. “Education will not have this, an end in itself, being its instrumental objectives for economic development” (Fonseca, 1999: 67).
The movement of insertion of the technology in Brazil begins in the decade of 30, with the first period getulista. Until the end of the eighties the model is interventionist and strategic, linked to military interests. In the 70’s, projects began to appear for the installation of companies in the civil area linked to the information technology sector, and the Ministry of Planning, through the Coordination of Electronic Processing Activities (Capre), was responsible for controlling imports and exports of electronic products , and for the analysis of these projects.
In 1979, responsibility for the policies came from Capre and began to be managed by committees directly subordinate to the National Security Council (CSN), especially the Special Secretariat for Informatics (SEI). SEI, the executive body of the CSN, was responsible for regulating, supervising and fostering the technological transition in the country, that is, coordinating the National Information Technology Policy, since investing in this area was fundamental for the development of the national economy. However, according to Oliveira (1997: 24), the connection between the SEI and the CSN was questioned by many, who pointed to the “danger of having computer-related actions coordinated by an agency that was confused with the history of the military dictatorship.”
The major objective of the technological capacity building projects, both in the civil and military sectors, was
dominate the technology so that it does not further increase the technological gap that separates the country from the world capitalist economic centers, since this sector is becoming one of the pillars on which is based the new cycle of capital accumulation worldwide, besides being component of various technologies, including warfare. (Moraes, 1995: 20)
To achieve this goal, Brazil was defined by the computerization of society, through the establishment of public policies that allowed the construction of a “proper base based on a high level of scientific and technological capacity, capable of guaranteeing national sovereignty in terms of security and development “(Moraes, 1993: 17). The country sought to secure space in the technological race, both in the civil area, at the market level and in the military area, in a geopolitical-warlike dimension. However, this nationalist-protectionist policy of informatics generated a conflict of interest between local and international elites – mainly the US (IBM and Burroughs) – who hoped that Brazil was only a user and not a producer of Science and Technology. In Brazil, this discussion was extended throughout the 80’s. Among those who defended the market reserve for the national industries, stood out Ms. Cristina Tavares, for whom
“without national technology, that is, without the cycle, from the technology of the project to the use of technology, no country will be sovereign and, consequently, the problems of the working class will be greater “(Tavares and Seligman, apud Oliveira, 1997: 25). Opposing the deputy, were Senator Roberto Campos and the leaders of Fiesp and the National Council of Industries (CNI), which sought to open the domestic market to imported products and the installation of foreign industries in a situation equal to those of national capital.
On October 29, 1984, the Law on Informatics was approved by the National Congress (Law No. 7,232), imposing restrictions on foreign capital and making legal the state’s alliance with national private capital in the face of external interests. The market reserve should last eight years, until national industries could compete with foreign production. As a consequence, according to Oliveira (1997: 26), there is a significant growth of Brazilian industry, and in 1987 the country is ranked as the sixth largest market for microcomputers in the world.
In order to stimulate and stimulate the computerization of Brazilian society, it was necessary to extend the applications of informatics to all sectors and activities of society, in order to dynamize and perfect the realization of projects of social transformation, seeking with this the solution of problems of energy, health, education, agriculture, transport. At this juncture, education was considered the sector capable of “ensuring the construction of an acceptable and proper modernity” (Moraes, 1993: 17), despite the delay and difficulties that this sector had been presenting to accept the innovative and the modern. It would also be up to the education to articulate the scientific and technological advance with the cultural patrimony of the society and to promote the interactions that were necessary.
For the implementation of this policy it was necessary to train highly qualified human resources for the new system. Until 1985, universities presented themselves as the main trainers, but as there was a need to increase the quantity supply, the task of contributing to the formation of human resources was attributed to 1st and 2nd grade education. The aim was to guarantee Brazil’s “place as a country capable of developing and using the main technology produced in the 20th century” (Oliveira, 1997: 27).
However, in the late 1980s the nationalist-protectionist political model went into crisis and negotiations began to redefine IT policy in Brazil. Several factors contributed to the crisis of the nationalist model, among which Tapia (1995: 277-286) highlights: the weakening of the Sarney government, discredited by civil society; the political erosion of the nationalist sectors, which have lost the support of the state, industry and civil society; the technological backwardness of the Brazilian industry; the pressure of the United States; international trends with the strategic redefinition of the market and competition between companies – the large national groups wanted freedom to make associations with foreign capital without commitment to any strategic project.
Negotiations aimed at the elaboration of a new industrialization strategy, according to the international trends, resulting in a new behavior of the national companies, the redefinition of the relations with the foreign capital and the content of the action of the State, for which it was necessary redefine the overall design of development and the various sectoral policies.
This strategy is strengthened, according to Tapia (1995: 287-321), with the election of Fernando Collor de Melo in 1989. Legitimized by the ballot box, the Collor government imposes itself as a strong government and mobilizes civil society in favor of change which he intended to introduce into the political and economic life of the country. Adopting a liberal and anti-protectionist stance, it defends the opening of imports, the end of differential treatment between domestic and foreign companies, the substitution of subsidies and special exemptions for tariff protection.
It begins to develop actions to implement the new policy-encouraging competitiveness, reducing the role of the state in the economy with the privatization program, opening up trade, changing legislation – while developing actions to dismantle the instruments of politics protectionist industry. However, many internal contradictions arise, which makes the process slow and difficult to negotiate, increasing market instability.
After several proposals and negotiations between the government, the industrial sector and the National Congress, on October 23, 1991, the amendment of the Information Technology Law (Law 8248) was approved. The changes consisted of “no restriction on foreign capital (…); government controls over manufacturing and imports of computer goods as of October 1992; reduction of the scope of incentives and the deadline for eight years … “(Tapia, 1995: 314-315). In this way, the market reserve model ends and a new phase in Brazilian information technology policy begins, whose characteristic is the search for competitive integration at an international level.
It changes the political strategy of the country, but the goals of education remain the same, that is, it remains the task of education to boost the country’s economic production structure, contributing to the formation of qualified human resources, but now within this new perspective.
Information and Education Policy
Operationally, according to Moraes (1995: 21), the purpose of the use of Informatics in Education was to develop and train human resources in computer science, to elaborate and develop pilot experiences at educational level, besides the development of educational software, preserve national values and stimulate local industry and research.
The roots of this process lie in the 1970s, when Brazilian universities began to hold seminars to discuss the use of computers in teaching, to develop experiments using technology as an instrumental resource, and to write documents and articles on the subject.
In 1975 Unicamp promotes exchange between its researchers and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the famous MIT in the United States, highlighting Seymour Papert and Marvin Minsky. From this exchange is born a project to use computers in education, using the language LOGO – developed by Papert -, being involved in it an interdisciplinary group of specialists in the areas of computing, linguistics and educational psychology. From 1977 the project began to involve children, under the coordination of two masters in computing.
UFRGS, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, also developed similar experiences, supported by the studies of Piaget and Papert. The Laboratory of Cognitive Studies (LEC) of the Institute of Psychology explores the potential of the computer with the LOGO language, with public school children who presented learning difficulties, seeking to understand and understand the logical-mathematical reasoning of these children as well as the possibilities of intervention with them in order to promote the autonomous learning of these children.
We can see from the origins of the process of introducing informatics in education, a fact that persists to this day, that is, educators and teachers are almost excluded from these processes. Projects for the use of technology in education involve technicians and experts from areas related to technology but do not involve professionals directly involved with education – classroom teachers.
Parallel to the first experiences developed in universities, the MEC begins to show interest in the area, which is evidenced in the National Development Plan (II PND – 1975/1979) and in the Sectorial Plan for Education and Culture (III PSEC – 1980/1985) , which point to “the use of educational technologies and computer systems as possible catalysts for the advantages of improving the quality of education” (Moraes, 1993: 18) and the importance of keeping up with progress in the area through the updating of technical-scientific knowledge.
Meanwhile, the MEC does not assume responsibility for the area. This is the responsibility of the Special Secretariat of Informatics (SEI), which, in 1980, created the Special Education Commission to carry out studies on the applicability of informatics in education, follow Brazilian research in development, American and power, with these subsidies, generate norms and guidelines for the area of informatics in education.
In the following years – 80s -, the initiatives are no longer exclusive to universities. Based on experiences in other countries, actions aimed at bringing computers to public schools are beginning. To guide these actions two seminars are held, at the national level, from which the guidelines to be given in the process of introducing informatics in Brazilian education were defined.
In 1981, the First National Seminar on Informatics in Education, promoted by SEI, MEC and CNPq, was held in Brasilia, which, according to Oliveira (1997: 29), is the starting point for discussions on informatics in education, involving national and directly linked to the educational process. In this seminar the position was taken that the use of the computer should be seen as an auxiliary tool of the teaching-learning process. According to Oliveira (1997: 30-31), several guiding recommendations that influence government policy up to now have emerged: that informatics activities in education were marked by cultural, sociopolitical and pedagogical values of the Brazilian reality; that the technical-economic aspects were not defined in terms of market pressures, but in terms of the socio-educational benefits they could generate; that the government would provide resources to develop research and experiment activities on the use of computers in education; that the use of computational resources should not be considered as a new panacea to confront problems of basic education or as a substitute for the lack of teachers and elementary instructional resources; that pilot projects of experimental character be created in universities, with the purpose of conducting research on the use of information technology in the educational process.
In 1982, the Second National Seminar on Educational Informatics was held in Salvador, Brazil. The main theme was “The impact of the computer in the school: subsidies for a pilot experiment of the use of the computer in the Brazilian educational process, at 2nd level level”, counting on the participation of researchers in the area of education, computer science, psychology and sociology. Aiming to collect subsidies for the creation of pilot centers, among the recommendations of the researchers stand out:
The need for the presence of computers in school was seen as an auxiliary means in the educational process, it should never be seen as an end in itself, and as such should be subjected to the purposes of education and not determined. It was further reinforced by the idea that the computer should aid the development of student intelligence as well as develop specific intellectual abilities required by the different contents. It was also recommended that computer applications should not be restricted to the second grade according to the initial proposal, but should seek to meet other levels of education, emphasizing the need for the team of the pilot centers to have an interdisciplinary character, such as an important condition to ensure proper approach and research success. (Moraes, 1993: 20)
2.1. Pilot Centers – EDUCOM Project
In 1981, after the 1st Seminar, MEC released the document “Grants for the implementation of informatics in education”, generating legal instruments for the creation of the National Commission of Informatics in Education, which was created in 1983, under the Special Committee on Informatics in Education (CE / IE), within the scope of the SEI and subordinated to the National Security Council (CSN) and to the Presidency of the Republic, composed of representatives of MEC, SEI, CNPq, Finep and Embratel. According to Moraes (1993: 21-2), they had the responsibility to develop discussions and implement actions to bring computers to Brazilian public schools, that is, to propose the basic orientation of the information technology use policy in the teaching-learning process , observing the objectives and guidelines of the Sectorial Plan for Education, Culture and Sport, the National Informatics Plan and the Basic Plan for Scientific and Technological Development of the country, as well as supporting and monitoring the implementation of the pilot centers.
The Brazilian Project on Informatics in Education (EDUCOM), recommended by the scientific community, was prepared in 1983, constituting a proposal for an interdisciplinary work aimed at the experimental implementation of pilot centers, which were considered as relevant instruments for the computerization of society Brazilian, since they aimed at national training and a policy for the sector. The Project was defined as:
an intersectorial experiment of an essentially educational nature, where each federal public entity participates, not only paying for part of the estimated resources, but also accompanying its planning, execution and evaluation, according to its institutional vocation, combining efforts to guarantee impact of the intended objectives. (Funtevê, apud Oliveira, 1997: 34)
Such objectives, according to Moraes (1995: 21), were the same as those of the general computer policy of the country. In order to operationalize them, the Brazilian universities were invited to apply as the headquarters of the pilot centers. Of the twenty six public higher education institutions that applied, five were chosen – Unicamp, UFPE, UFMG, UFRJ, UFRGS. The centers were officially inaugurated in July 1984.
Also in 1984, MEC took the lead in the process of computerization of education, signed an agreement with universities and the Brazilian Center for Educational TV Foundation (Funtevê) – a federal government body responsible for coordinating and supervising the application of educational technology – to start activities of the centers. The Centro de Informática Educativa (Cenifor), which was created in 1982, linked to the Special Secretariat of Informatics (Seinf-MEC), has its regimental attributions reformulated to better adapt to the coordination, funding and transfer of resources aiming at the financing of the Educom Project. Cenifor, according to a Funtevê document, quoted by Oliveira (1997: 35), was also aimed at promoting the integration of pilot centers and ensuring the transfer of information to other structures of the federal network and also to the state and municipal networks of teaching; to follow the activities developed by the centers, in addition to promoting the activities of discussion about the use of information technology in the educational process with other sectors of society.
However, in 1985, with the end of military rule and government transition, functional changes occurred in federal institutions with consequent changes in political and administrative orientation. The new administration of Funtevê understands that research is not a priority, effectively dismantling Cenifor, which relegates the pilot centers to a difficult financial situation, being supported only by the MEC.
In Moraes’s view (1993: 23), a new phase of the process began in 1986 with the creation of the Advisory Committee on Informatics in Education (CAIE / MEC), made up of scientists of recognized competence in the country, from different segments of society. The Committee recommends the approval of the Immediate Action Program on Informatics in Education of the 1st and 2nd grades, with the objective of creating a support infrastructure for the state secretariats of education, training teachers, encouraging the decentralized production of educational software, integrating researches that were being developed by the various universities and allocate financial resources in the MEC budget to 87, in order to offer the operational support and continuity of the informatics actions in the education that were in development.
According to Moraes (1993: 23), the Program proposed the convergence of educational sector efforts to the search for technological autonomy in the country and the national capacity for Brazilian society to be able to assume its own process of information technology, collaborating for the socio-economic and political development of the country. One of the first actions developed was the evaluation of the Educom Project. Still according to Moraes (1993), the final report said that despite the problems, the pilot centers were developing the activities that they proposed, and there were no doubts as to their real possibilities in achieving the proposed goals; also recommended the maintenance of technical and financial support to the centers, greater exchange between peers, greater incentive to research.
In 1987 the MEC Secretariat of Informatics assumed responsibility for the actions of educational computing and for the coordination of the Educom project, transferring the first resources to the centers. It is the first national contest for educational software, the implementation of the project FORMAR – specialization courses in information technology in education lato sensu, held at Unicamp, dedicated to teachers of the various State Secretariats of Education and Federal Technical Schools – and the realization of the Day of Informatics in Education, in Florianópolis, in order to elaborate the three-year plan of informatics in education.
The evaluation report of the 1993 Educom Project, as Moraes (1995: 22), basically reiterates the same problems detected in the 1980s regarding the transfer of resources, which was leading to the emptying of the pilot centers.
2.2. Educational Information Centers – CIEDs According to Oliveira (1997: 45-6), the Formar project, one of the actions developed by the CAIE, aimed to train teachers and technicians from municipal and state education networks throughout the country to work with to become catalytic agents in their education networks. These professionals had the task of enabling the implementation of Educational Information Centers (CIEDs) in their respective states and municipalities and training other teachers in their place of origin. The first course in Informatics in Education took place in 1987 at the Educom (Nied) of Unicamp, and was attended by 52 teachers and technicians from 24 states, as students, as well as components of the pilot centers in the teaching staff.
The course’s guidelines were not only to train technicians to work with informatics in education, but also to form a critical mass of educators capable of defining the best way to use this technology, analyzing their contribution to the teaching-learning process and rethinking, if necessary , his own teaching methodology.
The CIEDs began to be implemented in 1988 and were, according to Moraes (1993: 24), in computerized learning environments, integrated by interdisciplinary groups of educators, technicians and specialists, using computational programs of use / application of educational computing. These centers had as purpose to attend students and teachers of 1 ° and 2 ° degrees, of special education, and to the community in general; they should be centers for radiating and multiplying information technology for public schools and those who are responsible for preparing a significant part of Brazilian society towards a computerized society.
With this, the actions are no longer concentrated at the federal level (MEC) and now count on the participation of the Municipal and State Secretariats of Education, leave the scope of universities and begin to occupy public schools. In the agreement signed between the MEC and the Education Secretariats for the installation of the CIEDs, the MEC assigned the assignment, in lending, of equipment and financing of part of the initial expenses, and to the Secretariats the allocation of personnel, physical facilities, complementation of expenses and maintenance of equipment. According to Moraes (1993: 24), each CIED would have the technical / financial support of the MEC, without the imposition of mechanisms and procedures; each state would define the directions of the proposal, according to the technical-operational capacity in terms of human resources to be trained and depending on their political will.
Analyzing the proposals of the CIEDs one can see that, in general, all have a common axis. Mesmo que o objetivo fosse que cada estado deveria definir o rumo de sua proposta, na prática isso não se efetivou, pois os professores foram capacitados num único curso – projeto Formar -, oferecido pela Unicamp, e seguiram a linha adotada pela proposta do curso.
The philosophical line that underpinned the experiences of the CIEDs was the genetic epistemology of Piaget, which brings a vision of the learner as an active constructor of their own structures intellectuals. The researchers who supported the work were, for the most part, psychologists – the documents do not mention educators and researchers from other areas – and a cognitive approach, following psychopedagogical principles. In order to operationalize this theoretical line, teachers should be “trained” to be able to use the LOGO language and they became known as mediators or facilitators. The projects focused on the areas of Special Education, needy children, street children and people with disabilities.
learning. As the focus of the projects was centered in these areas, a vision of the use of technology as “therapy” as a way of solving educational problems and that had been deepening over time. The computer is defined in all proposals as an educational tool and should be used to equip students in the areas of greater demand in the labor market: system operating system, word processors, database, spreadsheet, programming languages and manipulation of utilities. The sessions in which the students had contact with the computer were held once or twice a week, lasting more or less 45 minutes each, in extra-class hours, becoming professional courses for adolescents aimed at the consolidation of technical capacity and the deepening of programming.
While operationally this was the practice that presented itself, the discourse followed another bias. The objectives of the proposals were the formation of the integral man for the full of citizenship, the development of human potential, the offering of new possibilities for social integration through professional qualification. For CIED / ES the methodological procedures of teachers / mediators are based on educational proposals that lead to the valuation of the individual in society, through the development of their logical reasoning, in the search for harmonization with oneself and with the environment in which one lives. (CIED / ES, 1993: 89) For CIED / RS, informatics, in its applications in the pedagogical space, is present in the sense of offering students and teachers resources that enrich the didactic strategies. Your objective is to enable the student to efficiently integrate with the surrounding reality, from the development of the discernment, from the understanding of his or her own way of learn. Thus, teaching fails to privilege the mere transfer of knowledge, already developed in the various fields of human activity, and emphasizes the importance of interaction conscious of each individual with their environment, which will enable a more significant state of harmony and internal coherence. (Canabarro, 1993: 99)
In addition to a line common to all the proposals, it is possible to perceive a great distance between the objectives and the actions developed by the CIEDs, which shows the lack of a proposal of its own, founded and contextualized. Again, teachers were left at the mercy of a speech and practice imposed from above.
2.3. National Program of Educational Informatics – PRONINFE According to Oliveira (1997: 48), even with the creation of CIEDs, the National Educational Informatics Policy was not yet fully defined. Seeking contributions and recommendations from researchers, technicians, entrepreneurs and authorities in the area, in order to define the model of educational computerization to be followed by the Brazilian government, was carried out in 1987, in Florianópolis, the “Jornada de Works of Informatics in Education: Subsidies for Policies”. Among the recommendations made by the participants, Oliveira (1997: 48) emphasizes: promotion of research and studies on the political, pedagogical and social impacts of computer use in education; preparation of education professionals, in order to reconcile the use of computer with the teaching-learning process; implementation of a human resources training policy that is not determined by industrial and market interests; rejection of positions of defense of the computer in the education that has like origin the technical idiom.
Based on these recommendations, the National Educational Informatics Program – PRONINFE, integrated to the National Secretariat of Technological Education / MEC, was developed in 1989, as a matter of priority, to encourage the continuous and permanent training of teachers, technicians and researchers in the field of educational informatics technology, at all levels and modalities of teaching, recognizing its importance as an instrument capable of enriching pedagogical strategies and stimulating the emergence of new methodologies that encourage participation, creativity, collaboration and initiative among students and teachers, aiming at improving the quality of education. (Brazil, 1993: 71)
For the development of its purposes, the Program provided support for the creation and implementation of Information Technology Centers in Education distributed throughout the country, taking into account the teachings primary, secondary and higher education and special education, together with the Secretariats of Education, Universities and Federal Technical Schools. These centers were divided into three distinct categories, according to their fields of action: Information Centers in Education of 1st and 2nd grades (CIEd), Centers of Informatics in Technological Education (CIET) and Centers of Informatics in Education Superior (CIES).
Considering the growing computerization of Brazilian society and the need for scientific knowledge and the development of computer technology specific to the education sector, the PRONINFE (Brazil, 1993: 73-4) highlighted among its guidelines: priority to basic and applied research; training of human resources; production and evaluation of educational software; search of a basic configuration of equipment, of reduced cost, produced by the national industry; channeling of financial resources for the “state of the art” survey, training and improvement of researchers, research and studies on the impact of informatics in the educational sector, construction and use of adequate computational tools and evaluation of the system.
In 1991, Informatica Educativa gained a place in the law that regulates the Information Technology Policy in Brazil, being the responsibility of the MEC the responsibility for the implementation of actions of formation of resources Information technology. To this end, funds for the implementation of Educational Informatics Centers and implementation of Proninfe actions were included in the budget.
Although some research has emerged during this period, they have not been able to break with the technocratic and technocratic model because, although politics is nationalist, technique and technicians who supported this policy were tied to American ideology. Until the beginning of the 1990s, the logic of the model is greater accumulation and concentration of capital and income (via technocrats), which all subject to the precept of greater rationality, greater efficiency and greater productivity. The questions democratic ownership of knowledge and the more equitable forms of appropriation of wealth produced by society as a whole have not yet been sufficiently put into practice by the technicians and even by many researchers involved with educational computer projects. In short, until the beginning of the 1990s there is still a subordination to the international technological standard – also valued by sectors considered national – which has generated a still technicist, elitist and excluding political process. (Moraes, 1995: 21)
A technicist process, elitist and exclusive, because the politics of Informatics in Education in Brazil has been presented as a parallel story to that of the Brazilian Educational Policy, for to take place apart from the formal procedures for the definition and evaluation of public policies, eliminating from the decision-making process not only educators and the scientific community, but the Congress itself National. It is a technocratic policy, even though after 87 the MEC was able to take on the task of defining the policy of computerization of public education as one of the activities of the National Program of Informatics in Education.
In the 90s, what we see is the maintenance of a system in which teachers are, as always, directed from the outside. Policies and strategies are developed by governments, companies and organs, national and international, and arrive at school with the aim of putting it on the right path, relegating educators to extras in an assembly that includes very high and sponsors, with little left for teachers, who should be the main actors in the process.
According to the information contained in the home page of the National Research Network (Brazil, 1996b), the Internet has been present in Brazil since 1988, at the initiative of FAPESP / SP, UFRJ / RJ and LNCC / RJ, connecting the computers and networks of Brazilian universities and research centers to the United States. In 1989, with the growth in academic demand for Internet connection, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) created the National Research Network (RNP), with the purpose of structuring and maintaining a national backbone that integrates the state networks, access to the Internet to the interior, providing educational services and stimulating the emergence of network applications in various areas of knowledge. Even if the greatest demand was academic, the MEC, responsible for public universities, was not involved in the implementation and maintenance of RNP.
From 1991 to 1993 – the first phase of RNP – the assembly of the backbone occurred. At the end of 1993, according to the information contained in the Network’s website (Brazil, 1999a), RNP already served eleven connections at speeds of 9.6 to 64 Kbps. Parallel to the implementation of the structure, RNP began to disseminate Internet services to the academic community through seminars, assembly of thematic repositories and training, seeking to stimulate the formation of an awareness about its strategic importance for the country.
Since 1994, with the increase of institutions connected to the network, the demand on the backbone has increased. In parallel, it was realized that interactive applications were not feasible at speeds less than 64Kbps. Thus, the period from 94 to 96 was dedicated to the assembly of the RNP Spine Phase II (Brazil, 1999a), with a much faster infrastructure than the previous one.
With the aim of “fostering the development of Internet services in Brazil; recommend technical and operational standards and procedures for the Internet in Brazil; coordinate the allocation of Internet addresses, domain name registration, and the interconnection of backbones; collect, organize and disseminate information on Internet services “(Brazil, 1996a), the Ministries of Communications and Science and Technology created the Internet Steering Committee (CG), which constituted more than 15 working groups in order to develop actions in areas considered strategic for the country. The CG was created by Interministerial Ordinance No. 147, dated May 31, 1995, with the participation of the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry Science and Technology, Telebrás System, CNPq, representatives of Service Providers, academic, business communities, users and a network specialist. Even one of these working groups was to deal with issues related to education, again the MEC does not participate in the decision-making process.
Once the infrastructure was ready, RNP began to redefine its role: the backbone would no longer be restricted to the academic world to serve all sectors of society. Thus, in May 1995, commercial Internet in the country began. One can see here again the logic imposed by international organizations. The public sector prepares the infrastructure and, when this is working, delivery in the hands of the private sector, which will benefit technically and economically from the system.
With this reorientation of focus, the Internet / BR Information Center was created to support the emergence of network providers and users. Manufacturing companies of computer goods have passed to support RNP by providing equipment, software and financing activities. From 1996 to 1998, there was an increase in the capillarity and speed of the lines, with RNP having five international connections, which made it possible for Brazil to record extremely high rates of growth in Internet use as of 1995, rates above the world average, growth which has increased since the year 2000 with the entry into operation of the providers of free access.
The RNP then entered its third phase in 1999 (Brazil, 1999a). Following the trend of academic networks in the rest of the world and forming part of the strategy to consolidate the Information in Brazil, RNP is committed to promoting the updating of the Brazilian academic network with the construction of a new high-performance backbone – RNP2 – which aims to encourage the development of a new generation of networks in the country, allowing Brazil to integrate with the US initiative “Internet2” . In October 1997, RNP and ProTeM  – Multi-Institutional Thematic Program in Computer Science, with the support of CNPq, unleashed a joint action to stimulate the implementation of high-performance metropolitan networks, with 14 consortia participating in the initiative. The objective is to promote, in the different Brazilian states, the deployment of advanced network applications and services based on Networks High Speed Metropolitans .
The project expects from each metropolitan network the development, prototyping and testing of new network applications; the provision of fiber and optical fiber infrastructure between the academic participants and local telecommunication operators, and the exchange of experiences and training activities (Brazil, 1999a). It is expected that by 2001 these teaching and research are operating high performance networks, making use of several types of advanced interactive applications with multimedia technology – video conferencing, diagnostics remote doctor, access to virtual libraries and museums, distance learning. After this step, the integration, at the national level, of these metropolitan networks, forming the first the national high-speed backbone – RNP2 -, as well as the Internet2 connection in the United States, allowing Brazilian education and research institutions to integrate that initiative, forming partnerships with American universities for the development of new applications and services.
2.5. National Program of Informatics in Education – PROINFO
Following the same line of previous programs, a new National Program for Informatics in Education (Brazil, 1997a) was presented by the MEC in 1997 – prepared by the Education (SEED) and sponsored by IBRD. The explicit objectives of such a program are to improve the quality of the teaching-learning process, to enable the creation of a new cognitive ecology in school environments through the adequate incorporation of new information technologies in schools, providing an education focused on scientific development and technology and educate for a global citizenship in a technologically developed society where information will play an increasingly strategic role.
However, throughout the discourse, other objectives are explicit and implicit, such as: “reducing the differences in the opportunity of training among students in the public education system and those of the private school, is increasingly computerized “; disseminate technology in Brazilian schools in order for students to acquire knowledge about computers, to enter in the competitive labor market. It is also intended to ensure public education a high standard of quality, efficiency and equity, and to modernize school management within the models of the Brazilian economic model (Brazil, 1997a).
Indeed, it is still unclear what the Program’s goal is today. In a statement to Folha de São Paulo, Claudio Salles, director of Proinfo says that “we can not leave an illiterate generation “while Pedro Paulo Poppovic, Secretary of Distance Education of the MEC, responsible for the elaboration of the Program, says that” it is indisputable that you have to know how to computer to get a job. With the computer at school you professionalize all the teaching “(Folha, 1998). According to Pretto (1999: 19), “this has often been the introduction of new technologies in education. An attempt to put the school in line with the so-called modern times “, this being also the argument used in many others
The current program, despite having a certain openness, since it took into account the discussions held at the III Ordinary Meeting of the National Council of State Secretaries of Education – CONSED -, maintains the same technocratic essence of the others.
A small number of educators and researchers have been developing a more critical stance against federal technicalism and international and national pressures, in order to “sell (Moraes, 1995: 23) of dubious quality and alien to the social and cultural reality of the Brazilian people, valuing more the mercantile aspect than the pedagogical. However, such a position has not shown sufficient strength to break with the logic of Brazilian public policies.
Behind the whole governmental discourse on improving the quality of public education one can see the influence of the logic of the market – schools represent great potential consumer of the technology -, which can be perceived in the testimony of the advisor of the Secretary of Science and Technology of the State of Rio Grande do Sul: This is in the interest of many people. It is in the interest of computer manufacturer that wants to sell computer and a good market is to computerize schools. This is in the interest of schools that have already are tired of just watching computer on television, in advertising, in the newspaper. They want to have one. So this goes to meet the desire of many people.
For the first phase of PROINFO (Brazil, 1997a), biennium 97-98, a cost of R $ 476 million was foreseen for training and support, acquisition of equipment, adaptation of facilities physical, cabling of schools and NTE (local networks) and costing of the teams. In the presentation of the guidelines of PROINFO, the Program expresses that a guarantee of optimization of the large resources invested lies in the respect to the pedagogical-administrative autonomy of the state education systems, which led the MEC to propose the decentralized implementation of the Program, making it flexible and contextualized. This avoids the risks of ignoring local peculiarities, directions already developed and efforts developed or under development by other administrative spheres, the chances of success. (Brazil, 1997a)
However, in the other sections, the way in which the actions were articulated does not allow us to understand how this will be operationalized. The program provides for decentralization in the process of approval of the projects, in the implementation of the NTEs by regions, but again to centralize when organizing the NTEs and evaluate the results.
The drafting of the state projects should follow the roadmap approved by the CONSED, respecting the national guidelines of the MEC, which should be forwarded for analysis and approval. Gives In the same way, schools should elaborate their projects following the guidelines of the state project, and the projects of the schools should be analyzed by a judging committee constituted in each state. Projects approved in the States should be referred to the Ministry of Education for analysis, and the latter may request changes or complement of information.
In the evaluation section, the Program a monitoring and evaluation process, with the definition of performance indicators that will measure, in addition to the physical results of the Program, the impact of technology on the educational process and improvements in the quality, efficiency and equity of 1st and 2nd grade education. The establishment of monitoring criteria and indicators should participation of the Secretariat of Evaluation and Educational Information of MEC – SEDIAE. In order to determine the starting point of the evaluation, it should be carried out by the SEEC / MEC SEDIAE Statistics) a census on the current situation of computerization of the Brazilian public school (zero mark of the evaluation). The evaluation of the Program should include indicators such as: indices of repetition and avoidance; reading and writing skills; understanding of abstract concepts; ease in problem solving; intensive use of information from various sources; development of teamwork skills; customized education implementation; access to technology by students from less favored socio-economic classes; development professional and teacher appreciation. (Brazil, 1997a)
In the general recommendations for the preparation of the Centers of Educational Technology – NTEs (Brazil, 1997b), it is explicit how the equipment configuration and the work, reaching to define the dimensions, lay-out and material of the rooms and furniture.
There is doubt as to how it is possible to respect the pedagogical-administrative autonomy, the local peculiarities, with so many directives to be followed and with a single organ the final acceptance and the evaluation of the work. A consequence of this can already be detected when visiting the home-pages of the NTEs . In general, there is a same axis that organizes the work. Theoretical bases remain the Piagetian assumptions. The objective of the work is the insertion of the student in the globalized world. All work with “project pedagogy” following the guidelines of the National Curricular Parameters – PCN. The emphasis of the work is centered on the use of text editor, graphics editor, spreadsheets, database, Internet, which are used to operationalize such projects. Again the computer is seen as “auxiliary tool” / “didactic resource”, the teacher is seen as “facilitator” who will be prepared by “multipliers”, who must disseminate “the same” to many. It can be seen that the perspective presented does not go much further than the work done by the CIEDs.
According to the scientific report of the project “Mapping Academic Production on Education and Information Technology and Communication on the Internet” , in general, the home pages of the NTEs have not been updated since their creation, the content is restricted to the program developed in 1999, they do not provide texts or articles nor links to other sites. Many of Existing links to the site itself are not active. This demonstrates that the capabilities of the network are not being used. Instead of exploring the characteristics of dynamicity, hypertextuality and actuality that the network offers, we see the continuity of the characteristics of the written text in the paper support, that is, the crystallization, the staticity, the closure.
NTEs are configured as support structures for the computerization process of schools. On the basis of what is presented in most home-pages, it is concluded that this support is very more technical than pedagogical, since it does not advance in questions that are central to education, among them, the use of the potentialities of the network.
It is also envisaged that the NTEs will have “a prominent role in the process of forming the National Network of Informatics in Education, acting as communications hubs to interconnect the schools linked to Internet points of presence and the National Research Network (RNP). In this way, substantial economies of scale in telecommunications of the Program “(Brazil, 1997a). However, none of the documents available on the Proinfo website  explains how this should be operationalized and not even to the other government agencies involved in the issue.
We also feel the lack of reference, on the Proinfo website, to the General Telecommunications Law (LGT) and the Telecommunications Services Universalization Fund (FUST), considering them as educational policies. The most surprising is that in the meeting to discuss and outline Proinfo guidelines with the so-called multipliers – the teachers and teachers responsible for NTEs – that took place in Brasilia from May 3 to 7 1999, there has been no discussion of the process of said law. Neither in programming nor in the final report is there a single line about the connection between schools and NTEs. Observing in more detail the program of the meeting perfectly visualizes the emphasis on the use of educational software and the strong presence of the industry responsible for the production of software. (Pretto, 1999: 21).
For him, the network is one of the fundamental elements and some countries – England, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Chile – have experienced this. However, in Brazil, although there has been a progress in several areas in the direction of the implantation of an academic and educational network, one still perceives a political will not to consider the network as the structuring element of new pedagogical processes. The documents continue to reinforce an emphasis on the use of educational software rather than on connection policy.
This is because “putting public schools connected to the Internet is one of the important means to strengthen the production of knowledge and culture of children, adolescents, teachers and community. It is an important structuring element that can enable the school to move from the level of simple consumer, to that of producer of knowledge and culture ” (Pretto, 1999: 24). To do so, it is necessary to understand the role of telecommunications policies and the responsibility of entrepreneurs working in the area, as well as the need to define clearly a plan that guarantees the access of schools and public libraries to the network, an important step in this direction being the regulation of FUST.
Considering the private sector more efficient and effective than the public sector, the Brazilian government opted for the privatization of the telephone system as one of the actions of the promote the economic and social development of the country.
The importance of telecommunication services in the development of the economy and society of any nation is unquestionable. A telecommunications sector capable of meeting demand efficiency and effectiveness of these services is a key governance tool, not only to achieve sector development objectives but also to promote the establishment of other economic and social development policies. (Silva, 1999)
As part of the process of privatization of various sectors of the Brazilian economy, the government proposed and, on July 16, 1997, the National Congress approved Law 9,472 – General (LGT) – which provides for the new way of organizing telecommunication services in the country, the creation and operation of a regulatory body, the National Telecommunications Telecommunications – Anatel – and other institutional aspects. In its Article 81, LGT provided for the creation of a fund with the objective of obtaining additional resources to cover the portion of the cost exclusively attributable to the fulfillment of the universal service obligations of the telecommunication service provider, which could not be recovered by operating service efficiency (Brazil, 1997c).
According to the enacted law, the executive should, in 120 days, present the regulation of the article with the creation of the Universal Service Fund for Telecommunications – FUST. O which was evident during the time the draft regulation dealt with was the divergence of interests of the various segments involved in the universalization of services.
As already stated, the LGT was approved without the regulation of art. 81 which establishes the creation of FUST. Prior to privatization, “with the telephone system in the hands of the state, has achieved a universal access plan that guarantees the connection of schools and now, privatized the system, there is still doubt about how this will be achieved “(Pretto, 1999: 23).
The National Telecommunications Agency (ANATEL), which aims to “promote the development of telecommunications in the country in order to provide it with a modern and efficient infrastructure, telecommunication infrastructure, capable of offering adequate, diversified and fair prices throughout the national territory “(Brazil, 1999b). carry out studies and formulate proposals related to its objectives, fundamental principles or matters of strategic interest “.
The Committee on National Information Infrastructure – C-INI – constituted a group responsible for Education. The mobilizer of the group, Murilo César Ramos, says that it is the responsibility of the Anatel, through the C-INI, to seek the normative means at its disposal so that all this infrastructure is put in fact at the service of the processes and educational means capable of taking Brazil to the fullest socio-economic, political and cultural development. Within C-INI, education will then become a kind of link between all the initiatives to be taken, in the fields of government services, health care, technology, INI builders and even electronic commerce. For only a broadly educated Brazil can aim to be part of the Information and Knowledge Societies that will prevail in the coming decades, already in the 21st century. (Ramos, 1999a)
The policies that involve the relationship between education and telecommunications begin in 1962, when Law No. 4.117 / 62 – Brazilian Telecommunications Code -, in its art. 104, established that would be “adopted a special tariff for the educational programs of the States, Municipalities and Federal District, as well as for private institutions of education and culture” (Ramos, 1999b).
From 62 to 93 the law was ignored. Only in December 1993, Presidential Decree No. 1,005 established the first special, experimental tariff to be used in the Televias project for the Education, focused on elementary education. During its validity nothing was done for its application, since it did not even exist Televias project for the Education. The Decree was replaced almost a year later by No. 1,352, which extended the special tariff to the National Research Network (RNP). This, in turn, was replaced by another one, No. 1,589, in August 95, which limited the special tariff to dedicated lines for access to the Internet, making it unique to the public and private university system. Even with charging no longer having the planned reduction (90%) in the first Decree, it was very difficult to achieve its application with the reduction provided for in other Decrees of 50% in tariffs.
For Ramos (1999b), what can be concluded from the long hiatus between Law 4,177 / 62 and Decree 1,005, with the consequent “hail of decrees to deal with so simple, however fundamental, subject to the destiny of the country, is that until today the challenge of Education has not been accepted, even minimally, by the telecommunications sector. ” For him, the tariff issue the theme of Education at C-INI, and his expectation, expressed in his address at ANATEL, was that “Brazil should not enter the 21st century without give the most perfect synergy possible between telecommunications and education, thus redeeming the still unfulfilled promise of the 1960s. “
Considering that, in the face of the speed of the contemporary world, there seems to be some slowness in this area that can be interpreted as demonstrating the difficulty pointed out by Ramos in education policies in relation to telecommunication systems, we are concerned about the issue of access, of the connections of the schools, because “if we do not have policies that considered to be a priority, what we will have is the maintenance of the same centralized system, but now with a significant increase in maintenance costs for schools, since they will be equipped with these technologies “(Pretto, 1999: 26).
In schools, technologies are seen as an additional tool, an auxiliary tool of the pedagogical process sedimented decades ago. Viewed from this angle, the right place for them it is not the classroom where they could be widely and democratically used, but the confinement and protection of computer labs; Its function is to, via applications (editor of texts, spreadsheets), support classes. We warn of the fact that, in this way, these equipment will quickly become obsolete due to the speed of market renewal and probably not useful in a short time. Access to the network is a condition but not sufficient for the transformations that [become necessary in education]. This is because if the perspective is to connect without working in the search for the emancipation of the teacher and student, what we will see will be a mere repetition of what we have already seen – is this past ?! – happen with textbooks and other experiences of educational innovation.
Who knows, in the near future we will not see the Ministry creating commissions to analyze softwares and sites and, later, to classify them with the known stars. (Pretto, 1999: 27)
The National Curricular Parameters – PCN, referring to the third and fourth cycles of elementary education, in its introductory volume, dedicates a section to expose the need of the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education, also indicating how this should be done.
Analyzing the document we can see the explanation of two different and contradictory conceptions regarding the use of technology in education, giving the idea that a part of the document was written by one person / group and the other by another person / group, each one following different theoretical lines.
One of the conceptions in the document explicitly states that ICTs, besides being information vehicles, enable new forms of ordering human experience, with multiple reflexes in the cognitive area and in practical actions, by enabling new forms of communication and knowledge production, thereby generating transformations in individual consciousness, in the perception of the world, values and forms of social action. A conception that understands that the school is part of the world and that to fulfill its function of contributing to the formation of individuals who can fully exercise their citizenship, participating in the processes of transformation and construction of reality, must be open and incorporate new habits, behaviors, perceptions and demands.
In this perspective, the document warns that the mere presence of new technologies in school is not, by itself, a guarantee of higher quality in education, since the apparent modernity can mask traditional teaching based on reception and memorization of information. Faced with this, it is important to “think about what education we want to offer our our students, so that the incorporation of technology is not only the ‘old’ transvestite of ‘modern’ “(Brazil, 1998: 141).
The document (Brazil, 1998: 140) also states that technology should be used to generate higher quality learning situations – to create learning environments in which the problematization, reflexive activity, critical attitude, decision-making capacity and autonomy are privileged. Likewise, it says that it is necessary to think of proposals that meet the interests and needs of each region or community in the country, which are discussed and elaborated jointly with the school community, which is not restricted to decisions and recommendations From others .
In contrast, there is a series of recommendations on how the computer with the students should be viewed and used, which explains the second conception present in the document. It is implies uniformity and imposition at national level. Among the aspects that “should” be considered, the document (Brazil, 1998: 150-2) highlights how teachers should organize students and the dynamics of work in the computer lab, the kind of posture that the teacher should adopt in front of the students and the machines. Visibly you can see that nothing has changed. It remains a prescription imposed on teachers, as if they were unable to build their own work dynamics. The “old” manuals of textbooks seem to be in full use.
The “recipe” mode is so marked that it goes so far as to present “basic procedures that must be taught and constantly reminded of the students” (Brazil, 1998: 152), since “Repeatedly save the job to the computer memory or floppy disk” until “do not place your finger directly on the monitor when pointing something on the screen.” It’s completely out of purpose.
that such recommendations are contained in a document which claims to be only “parameters” and not a national levy. Every community, interacting with the computer, logo he discovers what basic procedures he must follow, without the need for such external impositions.
As in all other documents dealing with the insertion of computer technology into education, the computer is seen as a tool and a mediation tool used in “Separate teaching proposals”, separate from the other proposals developed in the classroom, and should complement each other, not as an integral part of any proposal pedagogical This perception that the computer is an “auxiliary” or “complementary” tool implies separation, compartmentalization, simplification, proper to the model of the positive sciences, to which the Brazilian pedagogical model is still linked.
It follows from the view that the computer allows the interaction with a great amount of information, presented in an attractive way, by its different symbolic notations or that the students are “motivated” to use data search procedures and to socialize information and knowledge. Along these lines, it is justified by the argument that are presented in a “readable and good-looking way”, going further: “the quality of the presentation invites reading” (Brazil, 1998: 148). The argument that “the same”, via computer, is “more attractive” to the student – as if this were the only purpose of using these technologies! – demonstrates the lack of a more in-depth knowledge of each of the languages, of each logic, of the human being’s need to interact with these different ones so that their educational process is as meaningful and consistent as possible. THE attractiveness must be a consequence of the articulation between these logics and languages, and not the inverse, and this can not be achieved with isolated “didactic proposals”.
Among the eight specific documents of the areas of knowledge, only those of Mathematics, Geography and Portuguese Language refer to the use of ICT, all within the same line presented in the introductory document, emphasizing the instrumental use of the computer for the construction of specific knowledge of each area.
Although NCPs are part of a broader educational policy, encompassing projects such as PROINFO, TV school, National Textbook Program, Distance Education, educational quality, the document in the text dealing with ICTs does not show any level of linkage and articulation with these projects, seeming to consider that all public schools Brazilians are already computerized, lacking only the “recipe” of how to use this technology so that the objectives of this policy can be achieved and the result of the evaluation expected.