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Transnational education: (Dis)connexions between Brazil and the New Education Fellowship (1920-1948)

Grant number: 15/06456-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2015 - September 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education - Fundamentals of Education
Principal Investigator:Diana Gonçalves Vidal
Grantee:Diana Gonçalves Vidal
Host Institution: Faculdade de Educação (FE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Ariadne Lopes Ecar ; Rafaela Silva Rabelo


In 1920, the New Education Fellowship (NEF) emerged as an international movement designed to gather educators from different countries in the belief that education could respond the new demands of a changing world. In the context of the end of World War II and the claims for peace and democracy, this fellowship, situated in the United Kingdom, gave origin to branches worldwide, including South America representation. As a strategy of disseminating initiatives and ideas, The New Era magazine was created in 1920 and in 1921 the Fellowship organized its first conference at Calais, France. Associated to The New Era were the other magazines: Pour l'Ere Nouvelle and Das Werdende Zeitalter.By 1936, the NEF had fifty-two Nations sections and groups and twenty-two magazines in fifteen languages. In South America, Argentina (1928), Ecuador (1930), Peru (1930), Bolivia (1936), Chile (1931), Paraguay (1932) and Uruguay (1932) joined the NEF. Even though in the 1930s Brazil had had several education reforms, in different states, based on New Education principles, nothing indicates that it had held a section until 1942. For a brief period, 1942 to 1948, the Fellowship Headquarters' reports included D. Nina Celina, from the Ministry of Education, as secretary of Brazilian Section, leaded by Lourenço Filho. Nevertheless, nothing else was reported of Brazilian activities regarding New Education and the references to this Section ceased in 1948, although the NEF existed until 1966 when became the World Education Fellowship.The core issue is to understand how Brazil was intertwined to the NEF transnational movement without being directly related to it. It offers an opportunity to operate by dis-comparison: instead of following the strings of the net, searching for vestiges to build a possible connexion. As Marcel Detienne (2004) said, the methodological approach stands on comparing the incomparable. In order to do that, the research will focus on magazines and people, initially limiting the scope to Nina Celina and M.B. Lourenço Filho, to whom will be aggregate Fernando de Azevedo and Anísio Teixeira, preeminent Brazilians educators at the time and international key-figures of the New Education movement. (AU)

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