The Challenges of Education in Brazil

The Challenges of Education in Brazil

Edited by Colin Brock & Simon Schwartzman

Oxford Studies in Comparative Education. Series Editor, David Phillips. Oxford, Symposium Books, 2004


This collection of papers is the outcome of a series of seminars held at the University of Oxford between January and March 2003 under the auspices of the Centre for Brazilian Studies and the Centre for Studies in Comparative and International Education, later published by Symposium Books in 2004.

Publications on education in Brazil in English, whether articles or books, are relatively few, and so we hope that this volume will make a significant contribution to the understanding of contemporary issues in all major sectors of the country’s educational provision and performance. The collection is also being published in Portuguese in Brazil, and in the best interests of both sets of readerships it was decided from the outset to invite only Brazilian contributors. To achieve this required considerable financial assistance, in respect of which we are most grateful to Professor Leslie Bethell, Director of the Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford and the sponsors of the Centre. We would also like to express our thanks to Margaret Hancox, formerly Administrator of the Centre.

The seminars were conducted at the University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies, and, although open to all, constituted an important component of the MSc programme in Comparative and International Education which , together with the doctoral programme, is a major area of development in this field in the United Kingdom. We are therefore also grateful to Professor David Phillips, Director of the Centre for Comparative Studies in Education, for his support of the seminar series, as well as in his capacity of Series Editor of Oxford Studies in Comparative Education , Within which this volume resides.

Most of all we are grateful to all our contributors who, without exception, gave considerable time and care to their preparations, and tremendous involvement and enthusiasm to their presentations. All are extremely busy professionals, and most are – or have been – practitioners within the Brazilian system, often at very senior levels. They understand all the problems, the achievements and the nuances from real experience within, and this undoubtedly lends a cutting edge to their contributions.

Given language differences and unfamiliar terminology, the editing of the various manuscripts has been a considerable task and would not have been possible without the most able and willing efforts of our Editorial Assistant, Kimberly Ochs, to whom we are most grateful.

It has been an honour and a pleasure to act as editors to what we consider to be an important contribution to the resources available for the study of education in Brazil.

Colin Brock and Simon Schwartzman


Simon Schwartzman, The Challenges of Education in Brazil

João Batista Araujo e Oliveira, Expansion and Inequality in Brazilian Education

Francisco Soares, Quality and Equity in Brazilian Basic Education: facts and possibilities

Maria Helena Guimarães Castro & Sérgio Tiezzi, The Reform of Secondary Education and the Impementation of ENEM in Brazil

Cláudio de Moura Castro, Brazilian Technical Education: the chronicle of a turbulent marriage

Maria C. M. Figueiredo & Robert Cowen, Models of Teacher Education and Shifts in Politics: a note on Brazil

Eunice R. Durham, Higher Education in Brazil: public and private 

Maria Helena de Magalhães Castro, The State and the Market in the Regulation of Higher Education in Brazil

Elizabeth Balbachevsky, Graduate Education: emerging challenges to a successful policy

Notes on Contributors