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Colonialism, democracy and education in public higher education: the political participation of the students in the academic communities in the public universities

Grant number: 13/22612-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2014
Effective date (End): September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Political Behavior
Principal Investigator:Douglas Aparecido de Campos
Grantee:Douglas Aparecido de Campos
Host Investigator: Boaventura Sousa Santos
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade de Coimbra (UC), Portugal  


The democratization of the University remains a current movement in Brazil. The sense of the universalization that presupposes a Public Education quality supported by the three pillars teaching, research and extension are supported today democratically by government policies and by society and by Brazilian Constitution. According to Habermas (2001) democracy revolves around the transformation and not around the mere accumulation of ideas. Not enough ideas if there is no resolution or a discussion of proposals and intentions and closing with the real transformation. This process of democratization had direct influences of the period of colonization because we have suffered historically and in our relations between Portugal and Brazil. According to Santos (2002) also experienced a period of transition in which these colonial influences are present. The mechanisms of internal democracy of the University as collegiate organs, academic centers, boards and commissions and other collective spaces of deliberation and political participation are emptied and uncharacterized. Translate to the legitimate spaces for political participation for spaces of technical deliberation and administrative decisions. According to Santos (2004) there is a "proletarianization of the teacher staff". We go beyond the proletarianization reaches the administrative staff and student staff, so the three classes that support the University. In our view, the greatest intensity it falls in the student staff by the total absence of participation in all areas of the University. This fact is aggravated in that the University, still unprepared to receive the new communities coming affirmative action does not updated and does not intensify the ongoing training internally to act in this new reality. This new internal community has new features and the University with this position to go on with the same functionality mechanisms (unilateral) of its sectors obstruct the effective participation mainly of the student staff. Although we have regulations that give the rights students staff to that important decisional instances of the University, still not have the warranty of the participation that can be present in didactical process that occur in the University. In this context, this research project has the goal to investigate the factors that provoke that despoliticization inside of the academic community mainly those that culturally affect and create this omission unmeasured of the student staff in the deliberations of the sectors of the University ensure the right of the participation of all. According Habermas (2001), every time that a research go study the means of the social action, as is the case of this study, he always will must to consider the questions related to the problematic of the rationality. As say Freire (2001), is not the scientific knowledge that is rigorous, because the rigorously is located just in the method/methodology of the approximation to the object, in our case, through of dialogicity. The collect of the data will be realized on the two Public High Teaching institution (Universities) one in Brazil and other in Portugal just for the historical proximity between colonizer and colonized and the deeply of the influences from those relationship. We will use as methodological tool interview, questionnaires (applied electronic way) to the students, beyond official and informal documental analyses and in both institutions. We hope in the end answer to this research question: What is the level, the cause and how occur the despoliticization in higher education in the Universities? We will hope to develop a book and scientific papers, to contribute for the future discussion that involve the creation of new and actually curriculum in the Universities and plan of the further research that go on investigating the actions of the graduates students in them professional activities, analyzing the effects of this despoliticization in their careers. (AU)

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