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Mind the Gap Between Science, Teaching and Education

Challenges for Enacting Bold and Transformative Visions in Science Education

Series:

Glauco Silva, MarcÍLia Barcellos and Elisabeth Souza

Abstract

In the last years, Brazilian politicians have been through a crisis that has affected several sections of the population, as well as some important and contradictory changes. The 2013 protests, the presidential electoral race in 2014, and subsequent events that led to the process of the very controversial president’s impeachment are important events that contextualize the current moment in Brazil. The polarization between conservative thoughts and progressive social movements have become strong and evident. Consequently, this controversial and delicate moment imposed by politics places Brazilian schools in a dilemma and an associated spread of radical attitudes. On the one hand there is the defence of a ‘School without Party’, which intends to be technical, apolitical, without ideologies, reduced to the function of transmitting information. On the other hand, there is a history of liberating and transforming education, emphasizing reflection on and through action, as it was figured by Paulo Freire. Although the university frequently relates itself to the second perspective, its practices in the education of teachers do not create conditions for the emergence of a critical and liberating education. Our aim with this chapter is, firstly, to relate the recently political phenomena with the increase of the distance between the school, science content and reality (the gap!). From this vantage point, we are going to present our bold vision based on Freire’s perspective of a liberating education, grounded on our concrete experiences. We are going to emphasize the urgent need to rebuild that relation as a way to overcome the technical and apolitical formation of science students and teachers departing from a correlated and dialogical education.