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The First Competitive Examinations for Teacher Selection: The Construction of Order without Didactics

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2014.511104    2,169 Downloads   2,795 Views  

ABSTRACT

The main purpose of this article is to analyze the competitive examinations (concursos) developed for the hiring of public school teachers in Brazil in the XIX century. An analysis of these competitive examinations explaining the characteristics that the government required of people whom it wished to hire as teachers represents an important approach to recovering the history of teachers, which the history of teacher training programs and Didactics itself seems to hide. The research on which this article is based has the goal of discussing the history of the subject from the standpoint of analyzing the exams for teacher selection, namely the content, skills, and characteristics required of an individual to be hired as a teacher in a public school. Considering that Didactics is the subject from which future professionals acquire everything that they must know and the skills necessary to be a professional, we dig into the history of this school subject related to the history of Normal Schools (teacher training schools) in Brazil. We also present the analysis of the competitive examinations for teacher selection, considering the content, skills, and characteristics required for an individual to be hired as a teacher in a public school. In our attempt to analyze this process, we highlight legislative acts from 1809 to 1880 related to the hiring of teachers in the Primitivo Moacyr collection. These sources contain the respective exams and procedural documents for the following years: 1876, 1878, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1885, and 1886. All evidence appears to indicate that although the competitive examinations, including all official apparatus, were conducted as a matter of appearances only, their legitimacy was still provisional, as suggested by both the procedural documents and some legal documents. We conclude that the knowledge required to hire teachers was not Didactics but behavior because, in countries such as Brazil where the “welfare state” was never completely constructed, the school served as the first “reception room” of the state, and the elementary school teacher, always a woman, was the “receptionist”.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Pessanh, E. (2014) The First Competitive Examinations for Teacher Selection: The Construction of Order without Didactics. Creative Education, 5, 913-923. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.511104.

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