OSWEGO — Two faculty members from SUNY Oswego’s School of Education were the only attendees from the United States at Brazil’s second National Conference on Education, held recently in that nation’s capital, Brasilia.
Dr. Alfred Frederick, distinguished service professor in curriculum and instruction, and Dr. Tania Ramalho, professor of curriculum and instruction, were observers at the vast gathering that involved thousands of delegates from throughout Brazil.
The conference was the culmination of a four-year nationwide discussion of education issues that involved 3 million people, from secondary and college students to parents, teachers, administrators and educators’ unions.
Frederick was closely involved with the state of Piaui’s discussion, having been invited to present there in 2013 on diversity in education as a result of his ongoing work in that state and others since the 1990s.
“Piaui has come a long way,” Frederick said, noting that the top performing secondary school on the recent national exam was a public school in Piaui.
The national conference was organized around seven axes that included colloquia, recommendations and voting on proposals that emerged from the grassroots discussions: The National Education Plan and the National Education System; Education and Diversity; Education, Work and Sustainable Development; Education Quality; Democratic Administration, Popular Participation and Social Control; Valuing Professionals in Education; and Financing Education.
Frederick and Ramalho attended the sessions on education and diversity.
“This is a very ambitious democratic project taking place in Brazil under the government of President Dilma Rousseff, the first woman to lead the country,” said Ramalho. “Professor Frederick and I felt it was a privilege to participate as observers.”