ISSN 1982-6621 On-line | ISSN 0102-4698 Impresso (até 2015)

FAMILY’S MEANINGS ABOUT TEACHING WORK IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

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SENTIDOS DAS FAMÍLIAS SOBRE O TRABALHO DOCENTE NA EDUCAÇÃO INFANTIL


FAMILY’S MEANINGS ABOUT TEACHING WORK IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION


Kallyne Kafuri Alves
Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação, Vitória, ES, Brasil.
Valdete Côco
Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação, Vitória, ES, Brasil.

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RESUMO:

Este artigo focaliza o trabalho docente no campo da educação infantil (EI), a partir da pesquisa que tematizou os sentidos dos familiares sobre a EI e suas ressonâncias no trabalho e na formação docente. Na pesquisa, de abordagem qualitativa, foram desenvolvidos procedimentos de entrevistas às famílias que integravam uma fila em busca de vagas em instituição pública de EI. Com perspectiva teórico-metodológica bakhtiniana, a análise dos dados referentes aos sentidos sobre a docência na EI informa a reunião de um conjunto de elementos na composição do trabalho docente, abarcando tanto referências a amor, paciência e bondade, quanto a afirmação de requisitos formativos. Com isso, assinalam-se avanços e, simultaneamente, desafios no horizonte de fortalecer o desenvolvimento de uma profissionalidade docente, que dialogue com os sentidos sociais da EI em interface com a atenção aos processos históricos que marcam esse campo, avançando no direito à formação e na parceria com as famílias, implicando o reconhecimento e a valorização da docência voltada para as crianças pequenas.

Palavras-chave: Trabalho docente; Educação Infantil; Formação de professores; Famílias


ABSTRACT:

This article focuses on the teaching work in the field of early childhood education (EI), based on the research that thematized the family ‘s senses about EI and its resonances in work and teacher education. In the research, with a qualitative approach, procedures were developed to interview families that were in a queue searching vacancies in an EI public institution. With a Bakhtinian theoretical-methodological perspective, the analysis of the data concerning the meanings about teaching in the IE informs the meeting of a set of elements in the composition of the teaching work, including references to love, patience and kindness, as well as the affirmation of training requirements. As a result, in the constitution of teaching and search for vacancies in the EI, advances and challenges are simultaneously highlighted, in order to strengthen the development of a teaching profession, with emphasis on the right to formation and partnership with families, aiming to advance in the recognition and valorization of teaching work.

Keywords: Teaching work; Childhood education; Teacher training; Families


INTRODUCTION

Based on research that thematized the meanings of Early Childhood Education (EI) for families seeking enrollment vacancies in this stage of basic education, especially considering the resonances in the formation and in the teaching work, in this article, we focus on the conceptions of family members about the teaching work. With Bakhtinian theoretical and methodological assumptions, in the qualitative approach research, we developed procedures for a semi structured interview with each of the 23 subjects who were waiting in the queue for enrollment in a public Early Childhood Education institution (EI).

As socioeconomic data, we gathered a group of interlocutors between 16 and 58 years old: eleven mothers, four fathers, two grandparents, a grandfather, a sister, a cousin, an aunt and a subject without official kinship). About the profession, this group is made of employed and the unemployed people. The subgroup of employees reports to perform activities of a technical-administrative technician, a nursing assistant, a mail server, a banker, a secretary, a welder, a postman, yard helper, a freelancer, a firefighter, a salesman, a security inspector, a teachers and also retirees. The subgroup of the unemployed (mostly women) cites the justification of not having anyone to leave the child (since the institution attends part-time) and the work that does not require absence on all weekdays of residence, such as a manicurist, a snack maker (salgadeira), a housekeeper , micro entrepreneur (resale of products by order). In this subgroup, there are also voices of desire for return or insertion into the job market outside the home.

In the meeting with family members, we explored, as the focus of this article, two themes: the conceptions of the work developed in the EI and achievements, advances and teaching challenges. We advance that, with regard to the conception of teaching work, we have statements that make it possible to consider directions for teaching in the EI, thematizing the identity and role of education professionals in working with children. These enunciations carry characteristics in which love, patience and kindness stand out, and at the same time, training requirements (initial and continuous) in association with quality in EI. Concerning the achievements and advances, we emphasize the importance of recognizing training and investment in dialogue with families, amidst the challenges that mark the tensions in the negotiations involved with the constitution of teaching work in the EI.

In this context, we present an organization that initially delineates the context of the research, to later focus on the desired theme with the following architecture: in the first topic, we synthesize the research that provides data for this approach to teaching work, presenting its problematic , objectives and theoretical-methodological reference; in the second, with data derived from the research, we approach the first theme, referring to the conceptions of the relatives about the teaching work in the EI; in the third topic, also in the dialogue with the relatives, we focus the resonances of the statements in the field of formation and of the teaching work, considering the achievements, advances and challenges of the trajectory of constitution of the teaching in the EI. Finally, we present the final considerations, which bring together our analysis on the subject, highlighting the commitment to the valorization of teaching work, implying the recognition of a professionalism in this field, as part of strengthening EI, as the first stage of basic education.

With this proposal, we seek to foster the thematic chain linked to the teaching work, with special attention to teaching in EI, amid the challenges that integrate the right to education of young children and their families- challenges that cannot be separated from the historicity of constitution of EI. In this attention, we inform the data of each participant, in order to ensure that the different understandings of EI need to be read in interface with the consideration of their context of life, that is, especially of the time lived by the relatives. Thus, we move on to the next topic, where we present the research from which this text derives.

THE RESEARCH: CONTEXT OF DATA COLLECTION

As we have reported, the research that provides data for these reflections focused on the meanings about EI that emerge in the voices of the children’s relatives, in the context of the queue for enrollment in a public institution that is part of a municipal education network. In capturing the statements of the families, in the initial moments of the approach with the institution, we inquire what EI senses emerge and how these meanings dialogue with the field of the formation and the teaching work, observing, in the expectations of the families, the themes that stand out in the dialogues about EI. We established the objectives of knowing the subjects, gathering the statements about EI and analyzing the meanings that emerge from the families when they address theme of EI.

In the observation of families, as a theoretical-methodological reference, we are based on Bakhtin (199320062011) as the basis of the reflections on the human condition and the different possibilities of being and directing our attitudes in the complex reality of the world. In the movement to place ourselves responsibly in the world, we seek to sustain ourselves in Ball (200220042005), to address the reflections on the educational reality, especially considering politics as a text of the policy cycle and the implications of contexts. In integrating the educational reality in the social negotiation of the issues in dispute, in Rosemberg (20012002a2002b2010) we base ourselves on policy issues, with emphasis on training in the specificity of the EI field, resorting to the defense of children to equal access, in the face of the denunciations that have been informing the picture of inequalities that plagues the public offer of this stage of basic education.

With this theoretical-methodological framework, in a qualitative perspective, we conducted a semi-structured interview procedure with the first 23 relatives who were in the queue of places for registration of a public institution, located in a peripheral neighborhood of a city that is a component of the metropolitan region, in the Southeastern Brazilian Region. We understand that this context has proved to be relevant to urge the dialogues, considering the efforts of the subjects in the search for enrollment in the public EI. We used an interview script composed of five central points, including the profile of the respondent, the profile of the child, the characterization of the family, the indicators referring to the relations between the family and the institution that culminate in this search for a vacancy and, finally, an open space to include this thematic and observations that were instigated in the act of the interview with each subject.

Integrating the queue in the expectation of vacancies, we accompany for two days the mobilization of a community to try to guarantee their right to education. It was a sunny and hot week, typical days of the end of November spring in Brazil, little wind, almost nonexistent. During the day, the few shadows gave way to the sun in the late hours, so the queue had to change sidewalks. In the evening the sun softened, with the weather requiring other kinds of protection. In this context, mediated by many words, noises, gestures and looks with different nuances, we carried out the research on the obstacles between the chairs (many beach chairs), mattresses, plastic benches, baby strollers, cardboard used to sit, bodies exhausted by staying standing for many hours etc. We live the Bakhtinian theoretical-methodological perspective, which teaches us responsibility, understanding and attentive listening to the other as the possibility of forwarding information, that is, in our case, to seek to see the process of teaching through the eye of the other (of families), what we call surplus vision (BAKHTIN, 2011). Inspired by this concept of the field of philosophy, we allowed ourselves to unleash a completeness in those elements that alone we could not observe, and with that we tried to evidence the negotiations, working with the accumulations that are present in this field, that move transformations in the trajectory in EI, especially, with its affirmation as the first stage of basic education.

With the data, we gathered reflections on the conceptions of EI, the institutional configuration, the pedagogical work and the teaching work in this context. In this article, we focus especially on the teaching work, exploring two associated themes, related to the conceptions about the work developed in the EI and its achievements, also advances and challenges of the teaching work, which we will develop in the following topics.

CONCEPTIONS OF THE TEACHING WORK IN CHILD EDUCATION

In the teaching agenda, we began to develop the first theme, referring to the conceptions of the teaching work in the EI evidenced in the statements of the family members. As we have said, we understand, from the Bakhtinian perspective, that the words of the family members bring together different meanings, composing the discursive chain present in social interactions (BAKHTIN, 2011). Thus, in the emergence of the struggle for access to a place in EI, a multiplicity of meanings directed to teaching, allowing to compose an expanded repertoire of descriptors – especially complex and sometimes paradoxical – that brings together words close to the concepts ruled by the academic field (linked to the defense of the development of a professional teaching) and also allegations that can be associated with aspects closer to the family. On the whole, relatives, when asked about the teaching work and the pedagogical work carried out in the institutions, reiterate the centrality in the adult, even if they have the child in the horizon of their most direct concerns.

Without disregarding the mediating importance of adults – in this text, our dialogue refers especially to teachers – data show that we still have much to invest in the itinerary of the IE to overcome the adult-centered character present in this recognized field and, why not to say, reaffirmed by families. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of not inferring – in a simplistic and lightened way – a blame for teaching in this area, since we are dealing with a society in which children are not recognized as interlocutors on equal terms.

Understanding that educational institutions are not far removed from the broader social context, we call attention to the efforts that need to be made to move forward in the historic relationship with families in EI (VITORIA, 2017) and the recognition of children as subjects of rights to protection, to the provision of their needs and especially to participation (SOARES, 2005). It should also be remembered that it is in the field of EI that some reflections have been produced as well, with a view to problematizing the adult-centered character in working with children, with the collective participation of children and adults in significant projects, in an emancipatory perspective from the first months of age (DAHLBERG; MOSS; PENCE, 2003BARBOSA, 2014SANTOS; FARIA, 2015).

Given this relational question, already well explored in the literature, which evidences, in the negotiation of decisions, the emphasis given to adults in society and, consequently, to teaching in school institutions, we begin to explore the diversity present in family members’ statements. Diversity produced amidst concerns, expectations and anxieties in this meeting with EI (which would gain new intensity if enrollment were achieved) and especially with teaching.

The enunciations signal meanings that inform conceptions of teaching work, mediated in the perspective of the other as interlocutor of actions. Initially, we highlight an interlocution driven by an expectation of family substitution, observing references to EI professionals as females, without indicating possible distinctions between teachers and auxiliaries. These findings cannot be dissociated from the historical context of the feminization of the teaching career, especially in the work with young children (CERISARA, 2007CAMPOS, 2012), nor of the problematic (also present in the field of research), bringing together teachers and auxiliary professionals who work with children (VIEIRA, SOUZA, 2010EDIR, 2015LIMA, LEAL, 2016MONÇÃO, 2017). If, among the professionals, it is possible to observe the tensions arising from the inequality in the conditions of recognition and valorization of their work, in this initial meeting with the IE, it seems that the statements of the relatives do not make any distinctions in the functions related to teaching. To highlight this first set of questions, we selected the following event:

Researcher: And, for you, what is Early Childhood Education?

Maria (37 years old): Ah, the teachers giving love, giving affection to the children, talking, hugging, saying that they love children too. Because we’re not there to talk to them on a day-to-day basis, just at night even if we’re home. So they have to replace people, right? Be in the mother’s place, right ?! Ah, I imagine, a teacher who has patience, just like Tias {quotes the names of two female teachers – a teacher and an assistant – who work together in the same room in which she attends the oldest son, two years old, who is already enrolled in the institution}, they are very good Aunts for {cites the name of a child}.

Recognizing the multiple needs of the children, it is necessary to reflect on the discussions about the problematization of the banalization of the teaching profession (BALL; MAGUIRE, 2011, page 188), due to the expectations related to the occupation of a place of substitution (mother and / or family), adding, as centrality of the teaching work, responsibilities related to the needs of children’s affection, composing meanings that mark the history of the constitution of EI. With this, we observe that, even if it refers to Elementary School, Freire’s reflection is still timely, as an inspiration for the development of actions in EI:

The attempt to reduce the teacher to the condition of an aunt is an ‘innocent’ ideological trap in which, it is tried to give the illusion of sweetening the life of the teacher, {but} what is tried is to soften her capacity to fight or entertain her in the exercise of fundamental tasks (Freire, 1997, p. 25).

Starting from Freire (1992), we observed the need to seek democratic paths in the supply and service of education, especially when we deal with the specificity of EI, which brings together adults and young children, composing an educational process consistently shared with families. In this direction, we remember that, generally speaking, it is the families that take the children to the institutions, nourishing this meeting on a daily basis – not without disagreements and confrontations – with their presence in the institution (CÔCO; ALVES, 2017).

Continuing this problematization involving affections, we also highlight an expectation of work with children different than those offered by families – being better – using elements of love for the profession linked to innate attributes (gift), especially children’s love, including minimizing the professional recognition related to remuneration:

Researcher: And how do you think the person who’s going to be with the child should be?

Edson (50 years old): I think educators have to be a lot better than the mother in dealing with children. As it says, one has to have the gift to take care of a child, right?! It’s no good for you to go into day care for money, for financial gains. You have to have the gift and like the child {…}. For me, the person has to go to work because he likes children, not money. {…} I think the person having the gift of liking a child, there is no money that pays for it. So the best quality you have is the gift of liking a child and not the salary.

These issues remind us of the challenge of advocating for a humane and democratic pedagogy that does not disregard issues related to affectivity while being attentive to the specificity of EI. A specificity marked by the challenge of articulating actions of care and education, towards the integral development of children. In this sense, the qualification of the work in the EI is implicated in the strengthening of teaching. In the discussion of teacher professionalism in EI, still with Freire, we pointed out the importance of a pedagogy that does not surrender to “… pure technical training”, in the horizon of “{…} a future that can be created, built, aesthetic and ethically and polically for us, women and men “(Freire, 1997: 92), so that we may invite to think that EI pedagogy can be (re) invented in the dialogue between the many needs and expectations that stress this field.

In this task, some data add, in the composition of expectations, certain personal experiences, as we can exemplify with the following event:

Edson (50 years old): Boy, if it were you, my son, there, right? If I liked my son, I would pass on to that person anyway. If the educator treated my child well, I would treat her a lot better and praise her more. A son is a son, right?! It’s no use getting you one salary a month, in the front you do one thing and behind you do another {…}. So I think a person, to get a child to take care of, has to have enough responsibility with this child. And especially having a child, to know what a child is, right?! {…}. It is no use to take care of the children of others if you do not have a child as well and do not know what a “headache’ of having a child is.

Still dealing with the expectations of family members, together with the issues raised so far, we bring another group of elements that will inform the desire for the meeting with a person always very good, who will captivate the children, as we portray with the presentation of the following statement:

Edson (50 years old): I think day care is a second home, and it’s a second mother. So she has to put the two together, she {the child} has to leave the arms of one mother and go to another {…}. That’s what I told you, right?! If you have a good aunt, it is the child with the heart, as if it were her son, she will know how to control these two situations. The way you treat one, you’ll deal with another. And, together, the children will end up making a friendship … The aunt has to be a mother, first, to know how to give love and love to the child too {…}. In my way of thinking, it is to try to do things for the child and to get closer to the child with whom you will live in that period.

With this, the data has informed us how complex the relations between the family and the school in the EI is, with implications in the processes of recognition of the teaching in this field. A relationship whose substitution logic can be referred to the sense that the EI is not yet legitimized as a right of the children, and the need for the family to have this assistance emerges more strongly. Given this need, the EI would remedy the absence of the families. Expanding these problematizations, it is important to reiterate the intentions of children as the center of educational work. With this, we understand that the senses informed by the families invite to transpose a romantic logic to the perspective of care with the other, affirming the responsibility to a dignified life (BAKHTIN, 2011), attentive to the varied dimensions of the human in all the professions and, also in the magisterium.

Within the limits of this article, we emphasize that we find family members who are sensitive to the causes of children, both with positions of attention to teachers’ behaviors – and may even indicate more fiscalizing logics than the right to follow-up – as well as full confidence in the institution. Still in relation to the expectations of the meeting, the attributes linked to kindness, patience and the premise of sending an equal education for all, without any distinction between children, has gained a lot of restatements. We present below an event with these aspects:

Edson (50 years old): Try to make things for the child to have more love with this person who will stay with her, right!? And have lots of patience. Because a child, you have to have patience with a child, children have that stuff, right?! There are a children that are moody. There are days that they are full of love to give to their “aunt’, there are other days that she/he is that rebellious {…}. It is taking care of children equally. Not having the best, nor the worst one. It is not because it is a child she/he is rebellious and the other is not going to make a difference. You have to treat them both as equals {…}. Ah, a teacher who has patience. A patient teacher who knows how to deal with children. Because it’s not easy, man! Even more from a year and a few months, for the two years begins to give a job. So you have to have a lot of patience.

In addition to patience, the relatives emphasize the need for the teacher not to show sadness or other negative feelings. Linked to this dimension of delicacy, there are also expectations of firmness in the direction of the educational processes directed at children, according to the following event:

Tainá (21 years old): {…} As I imagine {thinks}. She has to be a sweet person, but she has to be a steady person! Because children need discipline. So, I think it has to be this way, polite, treat them well, because she will be the role model of the child, the majority of the day. So I think this way, a firm, delicate person who is kind with children.

Thus, these expectations seem to indicate elements for establishing a relationship of trust with the institution of EI, whose resonances transcend the spaces of the institution, marking the lives of children and their families, according to the following event:

Manuelle (25 years old): They have a lot of patience. Love is immense. At least here, when my niece went to school, that was quite safe right here. The {teacher} woman has a lot of love for her. It’s no use calling attention. You have to give attention and love as well. Understood!? So, it is the basis. My niece says till today. Ah, I studied here! And she asks: My cousin is going to study where I studied, Auntie!? Like this. It’s a base!

From the references to teaching that have hitherto been highlighted, if love for children appears as a strong characteristic, the need for a more incisive way of training as a fundamental principle of teaching work with small children resounds in the field of teacher training and work recidivism on the theme of liking children as a prerequisite in the development of teaching work in EI (CRUZ, 2001). In any case, we do not propose to dichotomize these dimensions, we seek to encourage the analysis of human relations in a Bakhtinian perspective, through which we understand that love is an element that adds positive dimensions to the realization of human actions, including work. However, in order not to trivialize the profession, there is the need to establish it as a principle of non-indifference to the other, to recognize it in its existence, to disregard the lyrical love that sometimes appears in the statements of relatives. Thus, it seems to us pertinent to consider, as one more challenge of this field, the task to informing about its work. Through this, the dialogue with families is strengthened, adding new elements of significance for the thematization of teaching work.

From this reflection, we do not disregard the fact that it is healthy to add to the teaching profession the perspective of affection and of love for the other, which we learn from Bakhtin (2011), but we defend that it occurs in all spheres and dimensions of the human, the children and their families and among the working group in the institution. We understand that, for development in teaching, it is not enough to defend the love to children; it is necessary to advocate for better working conditions and the right to training, recognition of children as legitimate, unique subjects and rights to participation in educational processes, especially those addressed to them. In this sense, we hope that the concept of love can be turned to the world, as inspired by Arendt (1972, 157):

Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to take responsibility for it, and with such a gesture, save it from the ruin that would be inevitable If it were not for the renewal and coming of the children and the youngsters. Education is also where we decide whether we love our children enough not to drive them out of our world and abandon them to their own resources, and not to wring out of their hands the opportunity to undertake something new and unforeseen for us, preparing -as rather than in advance for the task of renewing an ordinary world.

In this panorama of the challenges involved with the task of composing, including the active participation of children in the renewal of the world, it is also important to problematize the conditions, recognition and valorization, adding the reflection of the challenges inherent in the training of educators (CAMPOS, 1999COCO, 2012). In this sense, we began to emphasize the data more related to the expectations of training (initial and continued), in the heart of the discussion of quality in EI. In the following event, together with the attributes treated previously, the qualification is highlighted in the expectations indicated:

Eliete (37 years old): Ah, I hope they are people who have qualification, specialization. People who really skilled in this activity. Patient. Here, so far, they have never left to be desired, no.

So, we can say that the training agenda is not restricted to the struggle of the social movement of teachers, since the sense of a specialized teacher, who is trained to work with children, is included in the repertoire of family expectations. It is necessary to remember the legal bases that indicate the necessary training for the teacher to practice the profession (BRASIL, 1996):

Art. 62. The training of teachers to work in basic education will be carried out at a higher level, in a Degree course, of full graduation, in universities and higher institutes of education, admitted, as a minimum training for the exercise of teaching in in the first four grades of elementary school, the one offered in the middle level in the Normal modality.

In the sense of training, integrated to the discussion of the quality of IE, we captured data that indicate the specific professional formation for IE as an “attractive” in the search for enrollment in the public institution:

Lorena (31 years old): {we inquired about what attracted her to the job offer} Actually the teaching, the structure … And the academic formation of the teachers.

Thus, in the approach to the data presented in this theme, it is worth remembering the marks of a path that adds new elements with the affirmation of EI within basic education. This recent process, established through the achievements of social movements, reveals new elements in the composition of the legal bases of the profession (BRAZIL, 198819962015). This effort demonstrates elements that have become the trajectory of EI, observed in the research, in particular, through the “stuttering” of family members when they are asked more in depth about the understanding of the work performed in the EI institution.

In highlighting the development of children, when they can enjoy the right to daily living in EI, family members wander between I don’t know or I think, showing the questions and possibilities to infer about the pedagogical work in EI. In addition, they also emphasize the need to communicate the work done, in order to create other and new forms of understanding, as well as conquer new partners in the course (CASANOVA, 2011). Defending the idea that we form one other, altering meanings of acts and words, we observe that the listening of family members allows us to deal with the experiential ideological force (BAKHTIN, 2006) that has been emphasizing the actions of care, affection and love for children in the work in EI.). Attentive in the problematizations of the field of teaching in the countryside (BALL; MAGUIRE, 2011), we have recovered the assertions regarding the inseparability between caring and educating as elements of the development of teacher professionalization in the field of EI (CERISARA, 2007KISHIMOTO, 2002). In this perspective, we try to highlight new elements in the complexity of the interactive process between adults and children in EI that, especially in the dialogue with families, inform these new possibilities of analysis on the work done. Data on teacher education, the institutions structure and the educational processes indicate advances in the community’s recognition of the work carried out in the institution, resounding with the idea that communication between institutions and family members is a formative aspect and requires to be increasingly encouraged, in the search for a re-signification of the sense of EI in the social scene. In this movement to recognize the challenges involved in finding the different needs of children, teachers, institutions, families, educational networks, society … -and also to consider this meeting as an element of formation for all those involved, drawing attention to the political consequences derived from educational attitudes. Once again talking with Freire, we remember that he says:

One of my concerns at the time, as valid as it was today, was with the political consequences that such a kind of father-child relationship, extending later in teacher-student relations, would have to do with the learning process of our incipient democracy. It was as if family and school, completely subjugated to the larger context of global society, could do nothing but reproduce an authoritarian ideology. I recognize the risks we face when confronting problems like this. On the one hand, that of voluntarism, actually a kind of bullying idealism, which lends to the will of the individual a force capable of doing everything; on the other, mechanistic objectivism, which denies any role to subjectivity in the historical process. Both these conceptions of history and of human beings end there by definitively denying the role of education. The first, because it attributes to education a power that it does not have; the second, because it denies any power to it (FREIRE, 1997, p. 22-23)

Highlighting the complexity of the educational role, in articulation with the training of all those involved, within the horizon of affirming democratic principles, we bet on the perspective of recognizing the tension between the different needs, seeking to strengthen teaching professionalism in articulation with the strengthening of partnership with families. This partnership seems especially important in the current context of the devastation of social rights (ANPED, 20172018). Recognizing the threats to public education, especially those related to vacancies for EI, we are betting on the social struggle as a potential element for affirming the advancement and maintenance of the right to education, as well as for the re-signification of the social reality of EI, in the sense that, through the right to education, we can offer other forms of conception about the practices and the work accomplished, an understanding that we seek to explore in the next topic in which we will approach the achievements, advances and challenges of teaching work in EI.

ADVANCES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE COUNTRYSIDE

Moving on to the second theme, which addresses the achievements, advances and challenges of the teaching work, we reiterate the idea that “… the formation of professionals is an indispensable condition for a quality child education, understood as an effective welfare policy and education “(VIEIRA, 2010, p. 8). Regarding the formative processes, especially those that are articulated to the professional exercise, we cite the dialogue as a place of possibilities, understanding that multiple contacts can form a logic of forming each other. Hence, without abandoning investments in guaranteeing teachers’ (initial and continuing) right to formation, we note that meetings with children, work mates, family members and the community in general also move the training processes.

In these movements, in the subtleties that integrate the common and shared life of working with young children, it is important not only to have the child as the horizon of the process, but also to observe that they can be important interlocutors: interlocutors in the deliberations of educational work group and close interlocutors of families. The research data reiterate that the children report the lived, contributing in the production of the meanings that the relatives attribute to the educative work accomplished. In a Bakhtinian view, we emphasize the formative character of dialogue, in which the other, in this case, children, in communicating with one another and communicating the lived in the institution (involving discoveries, learning and also difficulties and constraints), provides elements to the formative processes of families about EI.

In the complexity of teaching work in the EI, the commitment to dialogue, as a recurrent fact in the statements, informs the expectation of good relations with teachers, echoing in confidence, according to the following event:

Matheus (16 years old): Ah, I think a good relationship, right?! Because, if you do not have it, how the teacher, if you do not have a good interaction with a mother, how will you pass on good trust? For the mother of the child. So, I think you have to have a good relationship between them there, to pass on a good intention, trust, not to worry about. And know that the child is in good hands from the moment he is left in daycare.

Thus, family members emphasize the importance of dialogue and interaction through discursive experience, allowing us to infer that with dialogical experiences, the possibilities of forming and developing in a constant and continuous interaction with the individual statements of others are amplified (BAKHTIN, 2011), a process that provokes, therefore, what Bakhtin calls alterity. In our perspective, an indispensable concept for the constitution of a teacher’s identity and formation (implied by the listening – and consideration – of the other), composing a formative process together, recognizing our alteration from the words of the other. In the following event, we highlight the descriptions of the learning aggregated by a mother in the interaction with the institution (in the previous year, due to having obtained the registration for her first child):

Carla (25 years old): {asked if she talks to her children about EI} About the nursery. And she said: Eep! Everyday when he comes home from school! I ask: And then, son, what did you do today? {…} Everyday when he arrives from day care. {speaks the child’s name}: What did you do in school? Did you play in the playground? What happened? Everyday! Wow! {starts to get excited}. I spend half an hour just talking about day care. Everyday! {Ask about how you imagine the teacher working with the child}. This one I do not know. Same last year. I did not know her. I arrived apprehensive. You leave your child here without knowing … who is going to be the professional who is going to stay! … Who will change the diaper … Because we, mothers, change, pick up, look, stay. Now someone else who is from the outside, you do not know. Last year I was apprehensive of leaving her. Now this year I know … the {name} is a wonderful person, {name of the teacher} … they are people like that! Wonderful! {question about the child’s interaction with other children}. Look, at first I was angry, {the child’s name} came biting, this week I even gave a little show there, because he fell in the playground, got his nail. But do you know what I’ve learned over the years? That it’s no use fighting you with a teacher, because a child comes home bit or red. Because at home sometimes she falls and you lose control of the child! Imagine here, in the day care! Then I got it off {…}. It’s normal, natural! One bites the other, sometimes because of a toy, sometimes one wants the toy, then the other wants … Bate. That’s right, of course they have to look after the kids , but sometimes it’s a one-minute thing. Then I learned to understand it {…}. But at the beginning, no. Understood!? But now, calmly {lifts his head up} I saw it’s normal! {laughs}. Never! This year, I’ll be the best mom in the group. Because this year, I had these experiences … So this year, eep! It will be great!

Therefore, the dialogue seems to be an important element to establish learning, altering meanings about things, not disregarding the tensions due to possible divergent points of view. In the Bakhtinian vision (BAKHTIN, 1993), the encounter is one of the main agents of formative action, and in our research it was very important to approach the relationship between children, teachers and families.

In the objective conditions of life, it is important to understand that this betting on the meetings must consider that, in the meeting of the teaching work with the families, investing in constructing new meanings for the actions of the EI, many participants are present. In the following event, we portray the recognition of a mother about the difficulties she will experience in moving the meetings with the teacher responsible for the child’s class:

Tainá (21 years old): {question about how you imagine the relationship with the teacher} I think mine will be very small because, because of my schedule. Time when she enters the nursery, which is in the afternoon and I’m at work, on the internship. And when it comes to looking for it, I have not arrived either, because it is far, so my relationship with her will be very small, but my parents are very participative {…}. I had a cousin who was studying here but she left has the time. And … my cousin’s relationship, as the mother of my cousin, with the teacher, was very good. I was delighted! She passed, they talked, they became friends, until later, because she was very affectionate and treated her daughter very well. And every mother likes the person who treats the child well. Then I thought it funny that she came, crossed the street to hug, to talk to her.

Besides the articulation with families, according to official documents (BRAZIL, 19962009), the need to listen attentively as an important training path emerges as a place to produce new indicators for the day-care function. Thus, it is necessary to invest in communicating the existence and realization of EI’s own curricula, to offer other possibilities of analysis on the teaching work and to concretize, in practice, the most advanced conceptions present in the legal basis, in academic productions and in the patterns of movements social networks (CAMPOS; FÜLLGRAF; WIGGERS, 2006). Then, we turn to Bakhtin (2011) to remember that the updating of the senses is a movement that requires encounters – not without confrontations – with a view to composing new possibilities for the guidelines in question:

Meaning does not update itself, it proceeds from two senses that meet and come in contact. There is no ‘meaning in itself’. Meaning exists only for another sense, with which it exists together. The meaning does not exist alone (solitary). That is why there cannot be a sense first or last, for sense always lies between the senses, a link in the chain of meaning which is the only one susceptible, in its entirety, to be a reality. In historical life, this chain grows infinitely; it is for this reason that each of its links is always renewed; in fact, is reborn again (BAKHTIN, 2011, 386).

In the depths of this understanding, we need to understand that there is a moving space between what the various subjects want (bringing together an expanded repertoire of demands), what is prescribed in the legal bases, and what is effectively practiced within institutions, such as suggests Ball (2011, p. 13), in the understanding of the many texts that inhabit our educational field:

Policies involve confusion, legal and institutional needs, discordant, incoherent and contradictory beliefs and values, pragmatism, borrowing, creativity and experimentation, asymmetric power relations (of various types), sedimentation, gaps and spaces, dissent and material and contextual.

In the complexity involved in the discussion of these aspects, sensitivity to the field (sometimes opaque and obscure) has been shown to be necessary to recognize the processuality of the discussions in the approach to teaching work and professional practices and functions, justifying the relevance of the study on the work of teaching and training in EI specificity. With the words of family members, in the context of the search for vacancies, we seek to reflect that it is possible to idealize fairer days that keep the premises of the right to education (with professional recognition), allowing us to join with the idea that

{…} the oppressed today will only have the courage to fight if they reassess the aspirations and longings of the oppressed yesterday; what humans wanted and did not get can perhaps be achieved one day. And for victory to be achieved, we need to rescue everything: Not only what has been said and done, but also what has been desired and repressed (KONDER, 1988: 83).

Then, we understand that, in the course of EI, the desire for its supply has been a consistent demand, whose struggle has had an impact on the expansion of the service indicators, although with incipience in relation to the quantity present in the waiting lists for vacancies. A repercussion that has been nourishing new struggles, in particular, for the fulfillment of the goals established in the National Education Plan (BRASIL, 2014).

In the meetings between the surplus vision (BAKHTIN, 2011), urged by participants in the field of EI, it seems pertinent to consider the possibility of evaluating, rethinking and forwarding new forms of action with a view to promoting the strengthening of social recognition of EI and, the teaching work there. We reaffirm our belief in the formative dialogical process, understanding that

The languages of plurilingualism, like mirrors, point to each other, each reflecting in its own way a small piece, a corner of the world, forcing to guess and to grasp behind its mutually reflected aspects a wider world, with much more planes and perspectives of what would be possible to a single language, a single mirror (Bakhtin 1993: 204).

With the data presented, it is also important to consider the tension between the expectations of the families, the needs of the child, the conditions of the institutions and the professional development in the field of IE. In these challenges, it is important to reiterate the guidelines in this field, which ensure the right of the children to integrate with the institution according to their rhythm, to interact with other adults and children of the same age group and of different age groups and to play with different elements increasing their knowledge in a set of practices that seek to articulate the experiences and knowledge of children with the knowledge that is part of the cultural, artistic, scientific and technological heritage (BRASIL, 2009).

In the struggles to ensure the present purposes of the guidelines, especially in asserting the axes of interactions and play as support of work with children, the formative dimension is included, recovering the premise of the indivisibility of care and education actions (BRASIL, 2009). In this purpose, we inquire about the insistence on a pedagogy focused on the transmission of knowledge (informing the imposition of schooling models), weakening the strength of the encounters that emerge in the daily work.

Considering the conception of social policies as an intervention of the public power, in the sense of hierarchical ordering of options between needs and interests explained by the different segments that make up society (ROSEMBERG, 2002a), we understand that in the struggle for equal opportunities (ROSEMBERG, 2002b), it is indispensable to consider the social forces present (BAKHTIN, 2006). With them, in the oscillation between the “ups and downs” that arise, and that sometimes strike us and discourage us to continue, we can also (and especially) urge ourselves to actively participate in the agendas in disputes. In sum, we call for the mobilization of efforts to continue the struggle with a view to asserting the right to EI (ROSEMBERG, 2002b).

Considering also the conception of the policy cycle proposed by Ball (2011), composed of the context of influence, text production, practices, results and effects and political strategies, we reflect on social forces (BAKHTIN, 2006), amid so many blows, there are many obstacles and vector forces in the wheel of the EI. Thus, it is necessary to analyze the analysis of this whole process, in the memory of the past, the present and the future (BAKHTIN, 2011), which mobilize the research and the exercise of reflection and formation of the movement of living with the other, of being a teacher in the strength of the many others who constitute the work in the EI.

These forces, together with our supports, induce us to follow paths in an adventure of confronting the giants that arise, act and change in the action of labor, for example, in the movement in which we seek to avoid closure, unity, homogeneity and to recover a potential energy, a centrifugal force (FIORIN, 2006) that guides the diversity, the heterogeneity, as to the constitutive dialogism of discourse. Thus, strengthened with the voice of the other, moving the formative dialogical process, we bet on leverage the teaching work in EI in the challenges of the present, in the dynamics that involves struggle, revolution and responsibility, since we believe that

The field of education is committed to changing society. And it must be, because without the utopia of a better world education would have no meaning. The educator is committed to this change. However, the researcher has a commitment to the production of knowledge; seeks the necessary visibility to understand what relations are established in the space and times of insertion in the field and what can be learned from this researched universe (KRAMER, 2009, p. 35).

Taking this idea, we point out the way in which the context of this work is situated and indicate that this is a reading, among many others about the meanings of EI for families seeking enrollment in this stage of basic education. The senses that resonate in the formation and in the teaching work, from the words of the relatives, show a place where the formation is constant, the struggle is incessant and the dialogue instigating, after all we cannot give up the effort of “} to promote situations in which professionals, children and families establish relationships of belonging, so that they feel an integral part of the institution “(NUNES, CORSINO, DIDONET, 2011, 78).

Recognizing the challenges inherent in pedagogical work, we recognize that the statements are not different from each other, nor are they sufficient for each other (BAKHTIN, 2011). They complement each other and dialogue on the same theme, informing different meanings and indicating ways to work and teacher training. In this way, aware of the forces that exist in the dynamic of life that is complex, procedural, tense and intense, we turn to the final considerations, searching for the synthesis of the reflections proposed in this article, in the perspective that

{…} this reality of knowledge is not finished and is always open. Everything that exists for knowledge is defined by itself and, in principle, determined in every sense: everything that persists in the object, as that resisting knowledge and which has not yet been identified by knowledge, persists as a pure problem of knowledge, and not as something of value outside of it … knowledge ignores such opposition of values (BAKHTIN, 1993, 32).

In this movement, we highlight the challenges of belonging to the field of EI, teaching and teacher education, with the forces that pull us backwards, which press our research and our experiences in the academy … but that, to the same extent, can stimulate us, to reflect on the problems of our trajectory and the challenges of our time (CÔCO, 2013). We understand that it is impossible to leave this circuit without being disturbed by the existence of the other, without interacting with our peers, even if it is by silence, by disagreement. Thus, in presenting the families’ statements, we also open some possibilities of work, to understand, for example, the communication between the various partners that make EI fundamental to the teaching practice. All of this is still in the consideration that this work occurs in the collective and in the understanding of the importance of the protagonism of the children in this communication.

In this process of communication and dialogue between teachers, families and children, it is important to consider the course of EI, thus making visible how this stage is still new in the eyes of society and, in this way, the problems arising from relations in the challenges of the present, in the incessant search for meaning for the human condition (JOBIM, SOUZA, ALBUQUERQUE, 2012) are not ignored, strengthening a circuit in which training and access to knowledge are the main energies for the EI we want (KRAMER, 2001).

In this unfinished way, we idealize the responsible (and also responsive) act to our dissatisfaction in this world. We dialogue with each other, sensing EI, and return to the analysis with the idea that the encounter with these words can change the working context. We understand that opening oneself to listening to the other propels the force to escape from centralizing actions, enhancing teacher training. As we mentioned, we seek a centrifugal force, we want to negotiate the senses that emerge in social relations. We recognize the possibility of alterity, not only looking forward to the future, but, above all, revolutionizing the present, affirming children’s right to a quality EI and this certainly includes guiding about the teaching work, marking the analyzes dated in the bosom of so many others that can be made, which even consider other people’s words, which can be said with and from this text.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

For the final considerations, we mark the perspective that EI senses that emerge in the contexts of search for vacancies express many informative entries that go from the near ones, in which we focus, in this text, more closely the relations with the professionals of the institution, even the most extensive, linked to public educational policies. Families communicate the challenges in approaching the EI and these challenges are both in the expectation of finding the place and in the learning that results from this partnership. In the teaching work, the family emphasizes the recognition of professional training, the importance of quality and the bet in the public EI, in an interface that also highlights the emphasis on the logics of affection and patience with children, in the process of building trust in teachers.

We understand that each sense suggested by the family suggests a renewal, proposes to do teaching in EI from other points of view, negotiating meanings with the other stages of education in interface with the social scene, revolutionizing the traditional, monological and rigid doing that inhabits our history. In the interaction with the families’ words, promoting an animated conversation, we believe that listening to the other encourages us to establish other points of reference, which can help to compose new initiatives of dialogue, adding new elements to the guidelines under discussion.

With this article we point out the possibility of interacting with families to move the forces to mark the EI, more and more consistently, with the proximity to the senses linked to play, interactions and learning with culture. We set out on the path of teaching struggles, with attentive listening, to think our practices and our formations, learning from the other’s gaze, with an active listening, that urges us to move in front of the disciplinary, rigid, monological and monopolizing aspects which threaten our prospects for joint work in EI. Hence, we mark the utopia, which feeds our centrifugal force, of a world in which everyone can make their voices sound, suggest, question and constitute learning. Lastly, these lessons enable us to refine our perspectives – without requiring consensus – to strengthen EI and, thus, to develop professionalism in this field.

As we have seen, in the two axes of analysis proposed in this article, conceptions of teaching emerge with the expectations of family members. These expectations have probably gained new meanings in the course of the new relationships that will be established with the institution (when enrolling the children, in the case of those who get vacancies).

We reiterate that routine contact between institution and family is valued, signaling that dialogue and conversation stand out as important elements in the interaction with the institution, both to overcome the senses and to negotiate them, given that we perceive the family members’ demands with the institution’s professionals, especially the teacher. They charge, in addition to training for working with children, affection, love and dedication to all of them in the same way. Emphasis is placed on concern, care and attention as essential practices for teachers in EI, which reaffirms the specificity of work. The feeling of motherhood in the teaching profession is still very present, and it is necessary to re-significate the practices so that the family members integrate the perspective of care as an educational principle in EI and not as an alternative to family absence.

Regarding the family members’ expectation regarding the teacher training that attends to the specificities of working with the child in EI, family members expect that the professionals will be patient, loving, kind and caring people. Furthermore, it is possible to observe that family members already identify the need for training that meets the specificities of EI, regarding the care and education of a young child. Communication between EI institutions and families as well as between families as a place of learning and mutual formation gains relevance. From this, we indicate this place of dialogue as a possibility to (in) train on the work performed in the institution, including considering the children, in this process, the possibility to mark other senses about EI in the community.

With these aspects, we emphasize the legitimacy of the right of children and their families in terms of access to EI and struggles for better working conditions, ranging from the infrastructure of institutions to the time of individual and collective planning and access to study / training materials and work, for example. We also emphasize the need to affirm a career plan that highlights the specificity of teaching in the IE, which involves recognizing the challenges of working with young children and their families, such as physical work, more constant dialogue, compliance with legal guidelines and the inseparability between caring and educating. This in order to re-signify the logic of teaching work in EI as easy, with little impact on the training of children and that does not require a teacher with systematized epistemological knowledge for the exercise of this function, incorporating this recognition to the salary valorization and the affirmation of the formation initial and continued as fundamental aspects.

This set of analysis is fundamental to the training and teaching work in EI, considering the Bakhtinian view that we can learn from the gaze of the other. We recognize that, from this perspective, other studies need to be carried out, nourishing the visibility of the multiple senses in the negotiation of this theme. We also point out the importance of finding the senses of families with the teachers’ senses about EI because these senses exist and need to be heard in order to contribute to the field of work and teacher training in IE.

We understand that, from the point of view of the processuality of the senses, from listening to the other, we can re-mean conceptions of IE and work in IE. This desire is justified insofar as we observe the discrepancy of the statements of struggle and the affirmation of the teaching profession among the statements of the relatives about the approach of the right to IE and associated themes. This means understanding the historical processes that mark teaching and interpreting the statements that arise in the context of affirming a quality IE, both for the children and for the professionals who work in it.

We consider that there is still a lot to be said about the possibilities of forwarding the research, but for now, we mark the idea that, for the teaching work, the importance of communication between families and professionals, in the perspective of the exercise of an eminently collective work, which includes families and public policies for children as fundamental elements for the practice of teaching practice. For training, there is still the prospect that it is possible to establish mutual learning in the process of approaching effective work in EI and that the senses can be negotiated, reconfiguring the concept of EI, when it departs from the premises advocated by the field. We observe how much we can learn from listening to another. Thus, in this procedural movement, is the incompleteness of our studies and, in the incompleteness of our eyes, we open ourselves to the other words – here addressing the possible readers of this text -, in the belief of the surplus vision, in the Bakhtin’s proposed process of meaning and, in this case, to strengthen academic knowledge in the field of EI’s work and teacher training.

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Received: March 15, 2018; Accepted: June 11, 2018

Contact: Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação, Av. Fernando Ferrari, nº 514, Goiabeiras, Vitória|ES|Brasil, CEP 29.075-910

*

PhD student and Master in Education by the Graduate Program in Education of the Federal University of Espírito Santo. Member of the Research Group “Training and Activities of Educators” (GRUFAE). Research scholar of the Coordination of Personal Improvement of Higher Education. E-mail:<kallynekafuri@hotmail.com>.

**

Professor of the Post-Graduate Program in Education at the Education Center of the Federal University of Espírito Santo. Coordinator of the Research Group “Training and Activities of Educators” (GRUFAE) and Tutor of the Tutorial Education Program Connections of Knowledge: Education Project. E-mail: <valdetecoco@hotmail.com>.

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