Fátima Pereira

Idealizar a Vida, Gerir o Presente e Projectar o Futuro: O Governo da Infância nos Discursos em Formação Inicial de Professores


Ph.D in Education Sciences
Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal


Amélia Lopes


May 18, 2007


Curriculum Vitae


The inquietude guiding this study emerges from the intention of knowing and understanding childhood conceptions that are expressed at, or related with, primary initial teacher training, in Portugal since April 1974, presuming that they might point out directions and meanings for childhood government at the school institution and, therefore, clarify some other basic social dimensions: the re-institutionalization of childhood and the social space that settles in it; the professional component of teaching; and the relations between school institution crisis and modernity social crisis. The study develops itself on a network of relations of theoretical and empirical conceptions, following a dialectic-hermeneutic perspective, which configures a multi-referential problem enunciation focused on the discursive management of the crisis of modern childhood, the professional component of teaching and the school institution in late modernity. Such network of relations constitutes a map, organized around conceptual constellations about modernity and the subjectivities and sociabilities referred in the speeches that narrate it, with special emphasis on late modernity and its relations with childhood and the school institution. Integrated in the same network is the epistemological field of childhood, the specificity of Portuguese situation with respect to the referred crisis and the space that initial teacher training occupies in it. Moreover, integrated in the network are conceptions revealing the language dimension on the constitution of the social world and its ontological and epistemological specificities. The morphological dimension of this study consists on the configuration and social mapping of narratives about childhood that were identified in the interpretation of speech fields produced with content analysis: 'childhood as a social project', 'idyllic childhood', 'childhood with a proper place', 'productive childhood', 'childhood at risk'. The narratives about childhood, in initial teacher training, are not limited to formation types or particular forms of speech. Yet, they reveal speeches that are interlaced in a polyphony and complex temporality, allowing one to catch on to the management of modernity crisis. The focus of this management is the government of childhood on late modernity, which seems to show the configuration of a multidimensional and contradictory social space for childhood, and a diffuse and uncertain re-institutionalization of it, with heterogeneous directions. The subjectivity implicated in childhood government is no longer the consensual and unitary social construct that modernity tried to implement, arising from this study a conflictuous dimension, capable of generating ambiguities in childhood school education.