Hentschkes Studie über Bildungspolitik in Brasilien unter Getúlio Vargas geht weiter über die reine Analyse von nationalen Debatten, Institutionen und Gesetzen hinaus: Das Werk thematisiert sowohl die Wirkung regionaler Politik auf die „nationale Rekonstruktion“ des Landes als auch das beschränkte Ausmaß, in dem die Politik tatsächlich auf regionaler, kommunaler und individueller Schulebene umgesetzt wurde.
englischToday education is one of the weakest spheres of the public sector in Brazil. However, those who suggest a return to Getúlio Vargas's self-styled “social democracy” are misguided by the magnificent visions, impressive efforts to increase the State"s cognitive capacity, and far-reaching social legislation of his era. This study goes beyond the analysis of national debates and laws and explores the implementation of education policy from the national to the regional, municipal, and individual school levels in two key states, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul. Hentschke shows that Vargas's reforms were characterized by a technocratic modernization philosophy, a dualist concept of education, political indoctrination, and the aim of cultural and ethnic homogenization. Such a policy left little room for genuine inter-governmental co-operation, had no ear for critical educators and inspectors, and by-passed teachers. Real progress was possible but it resulted from remarkable grassroots initiatives, rather than an increasing infrastructural power of the State. The population explosion and populist campaigns of the post-war period further undermined Vargas era public policies. This book should be of special interest to historians, social scientists, experts in education, and all those working on German Lutherans and the educational activities of Catholic orders in Brazil.
Jens R. Hentschke is Professor of Latin American History and Politics at Newcastle University, U.K.
This is an accurate historical and political study of institutional change and education policy in Vargas's Brazil that explains the significant impact Rio Grande do Sul had on the nation's political transformation. Hentschke combines insights obtained from archival research, interviews, and a vast secondary literature with a rigorous theoretical analysis and fluent style. This work undoubtedly fills a lacuna in the research on Brazil's education system. It is a remarkable and original contribution to the academic debate on Brazil's rocky way towards development.
Gilberto Calcagnotto, German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg