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Cadernos de Pesquisa

versão impressa ISSN 0100-1574versão On-line ISSN 1980-5314

Cad. Pesqui. vol.49 no.172 São Paulo abr./jun 2019  Epub 26-Jun-2019 





IPontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), Curitiba (PR), Brazil;

IIUniversity CenterUniSociesc e Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), Curitiba (PR), Brazil;

IIIPontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR) e International University Center (UNINTER), Curitiba (PR), Brazil;

IVFaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto, Portugal;


The article aims to analyze the representations of teacher appreciation by senior Pedagogy students. In the first part, we reflect on teacher appreciation in educational policies, based on the description of the teaching profession in Brazil and its “instability”, taking the political ideology as a “social constant”. In the second part, we use the Theory of Social Representations and the understanding of educational policies, from the Core Nucleus Theory, in order to understand how the social representations of senior Pedagogy students on teacher appreciation are structured. Finally, we traced the research paths and, through prototypical analyzes, we studied the social representations of these students.



Le but de cet article c’est d’analyser les représentations qui ont les concluants du cours de pédagogie sur la valorisation des enseignants. Dans la première partie nous présentons une réflexion sur la valorisation de l’enseignant dans les politiques éducatives à partir de la description de la profession enseignante au Brésil et son “instabilibité” où les ideologies politiques sont prises en tant que “constantes sociales”. Dans la deuxième partie, nous étudions la Théorie des Représentations Sociales et la compréhension des politiques éducatives, à partir de la Théorie du Noyau Central à fin de saisir comment sont structurées les représentations sociales des concluants d’un cours de Pédagogie a propos de la valorisation de l’enseignant. Ensuite nous cherchons a retracer les chemins de la recherche et par le biais des analyses proptotypiques nous étudions les représentations sociales des étudiants.



El artículo tiene como objetivo analizar las representaciones de los estudiantes de último año del curso de Pedagogía sobre la valorización de los docentes. En la primera parte, traemos uma reflexión sobre la valorización del profesor en las políticas educativas a partir de la descripción de la profesión docente en Brasil y su “inestabilidad”, tomando la ideología política como “constantes sociales”. En el segundo, estudiamos la Teoría de las Representaciones Sociales y la comprensión de las políticas educativas, a partir de la Teoría del Núcleo Central para comprender cómo se estructuran las representaciones sociales de los estudiantes de último año de un curso de Pedagogía sobre la valorización del docente. A continuación, trazamos los caminos de la investigación y, a través de análisis prototípicos, estudiamos las representaciones sociales surgidas de estos estudiantes.



O artigo objetiva analisar as representações de formandos do curso de Pedagogia sobre valorização de professores. Na primeira parte, trazemos uma reflexão sobre a valorização do professor nas políticas educacionais a partir da descrição da profissão docente no Brasil e sua “instabilidade”, tomando a ideologia política como “constantes sociais”. Na segunda, estudamos a Teoria das Representações Sociais e a compreensão das políticas educacionais, a partir da Teoria do Núcleo Central para apreender como estão estruturadas as representações sociais dos formandos de um curso de Pedagogia sobre a valorização do professor. Na sequência, traçamos os caminhos da pesquisa e, por meio das análises prototípicas, estudamos as representações sociais emergidas desses estudantes.


In the academic period of training for teaching, other than the required learning throughout the course, students also deal with tensions, dilemmas, anxieties, yearnings and uncertainties in relation to being a teacher. The expectations to put into practice the knowledge built in the space / time of this training are many, although some are already inserted in the school context, as education workers, through paid internships or through the Institutional Program of Initiation to Teaching (Pibid). The fact is that when students are completing the course, different expectations regarding the teaching profession emerge. Among them, those related to the approval in public examinations and / or admission to private institutions take shape, once, with the conclusion of the course, these students are considered professionals of education.

Among the insecurities related to entering the labor market for teaching, the question of professional valuation is one of the predominant ones. Such a situation can be explained by the fact that, as Nosella and Buffa point out (2005, p. 15), although teachers are indispensable, they are “always transformed into villains, incompetent and guilty. In short, the front-line professionals in the real educational process take the final step in the hierarchy of the educational process”.

Given the current context of increasing devaluation of the teaching profession in Brazil, starting with wages, as researched by Gatti and Barretto (2009) and Alves and Pinto (2011), in a society under the capitalist logic, teachers with higher education receive lower income than other professions, with the same academic level of formation. In addition, educational legislation related to such training meets the guidelines of international organizations. We highlight the words of Alves and Pinto (2011, p. 622-623), which are based on Alves and Soares (2009)1: “Education in a capitalist society is the key element of qualification for work (or the prerequisite for occupations with higher prestige) and income is a consequence, that is, training and remuneration are the cause and effect of the individual’s socioeconomic position”. They are uncertainties caused by the lack of attractiveness of the teaching career and by the lack of prestige of being a teacher carried by high school students, according to Gatti et al. (2010), to associate being a teacher in basic education to little social recognition and low financial return. Or, as in Ens et al. (2018), in research on the future of graduates, that they do not project a promising professional future related to the profession for which they are being trained.

These are projections that show the discontent and discouragement in which a good part of the teachers is found, which can be proved socially by the frequent and necessary demands of investments in education for better salaries, expansion and maintenance of rights conquered and adequate conditions of work. This context of discomfort and social discredit of the teaching profession draws the general picture of “malaise” referred to by Esteves (1999). This situation historically accompanies the teacher and, judging by neoliberal educational policies, currently tends to intensify.

Faced with this situation of increasing devaluation of the teaching profession, we sought to investigate the social representations of students, some inserted in the context of formation and others already in the teaching practice, in order to identify the constituent elements of these representations in relation to the “valuation of the teacher”. We chose to analyze these social representations of graduates of the Pedagogy course, using the methodology of qualitative approach and as a theoretical and methodological contribution the Central Nucleus Theory, of Abric, in which this one articulates with the Theory of Social Representations of Moscovici, focusing on teacher appreciation in Brazilian educational policies.


Reflecting on the valuation of the teaching profession in Brazil is the challenge we propose for this study. This is because there is no doubt that the defining characteristic of today’s teacher’s career is undoubtedly instability. Such a brand refers to the valorization of “being a teacher” and has in its political ideology its macro regulation2, which functions, as Campos (2003), based on Doise (19933), as one of the social constants in which social representations are anchored).

According to Guareschi (2000, p. 43), ideology can be defined at least in four different ways: worldview, but static; deceitful and mystifying; set of symbolic forms that serve to create or maintain social relations; and set of symbolic forms that serve to create, or reproduce, asymmetrical, unequal relations of domination. The author explains that the last two meanings of ideology approach the notion of social representations, but do not present a negative or pejorative dimension.

Based on the meanings of these conceptions, we can assume that changes arising from the social, political and economically globalized world sometimes potentiate and alter social dynamics. It is in this sense that Gimeno Sacristán (2003, p. 50) conceives of globalization as “phenomena, processes in progress, very diverse realities and tendencies that affect different aspects of culture, communications, economics, commerce, international relations, politics, the world of work”4 and, consequently, the teaching career.

Having said that, it is evident that if social life has been pervaded and organized by several unstable references, it is legitimate to defend that the same occurs in school - although it is certain that education is something that cannot be referred to the training received solely in this space / time. According to Ens and Donato (2011, p. 79):

The transformations that invade the school walls seem to be anchored in the largely unplanned changes in contemporary society. They are transformations that interfere both in the organization of the school and in the forms of relationship of the teacher’s work, as well as in the way students and teachers learn.5

In relation to the instability of the teaching career, this is due to the fact that education in Brazil is currently embedded in constant processes of change that, according to Abdalla (2015, p. 191), are historical and were not given by “decrees, norms and ordinances. [They were] procedural, were constituted “in time, by the dynamics of the articulation between subjectivity (will to change) and objectivity (objective conditions for changes to occur)”6.

From this perspective, it must be recognized that Brazilian educational legislation does not show a predictable dynamic, because it is dependent on an international policy in which situational / local processes and dynamics are ignored or relegated to a lower plane. The ideals that cross public policies, among them educational ones, were anchored in “arguments for quality, competitiveness, productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness”7 in the 1990s, as indicated by Shiroma, Campos and Garcia (2005, p. 428). At the end of the twentieth century, the authors continue, based on studies carried out in World Bank documents (20008), “an explicitly economicist shift from a bias towards a more humanitarian aspect in educational policy, suggested by the growing emphasis on concepts of justice, equity, social cohesion, inclusion, empowerment, opportunity and security became evident”9 (SHIROMA; CAMPOS; GARCIA, 2005, p. 428).

In addition to being able to see at a global level the increasing homogenization of educational policies and their alignment with the needs of the business sector, the documents produced by the official bodies, on the other hand, state that they are aimed at solving the problems diagnosed, whose unknowns have always been ignored. The problems arising from this mismatch make the educational process seem almost impracticable, for example, in as much as the course of the current teaching profession is mutually tangible by the consequences of a “process of extending the concept of teaching and management and restriction of the theoretical formation and the time of formation that, consequently, can lead to the deintellectualization of the teacher”10 (EVANGELISTA, TRICHES, 2012, p. 185).

It is necessary to analyze and understand the situation of teachers in Brazil, under the framework of State reforms implemented since the second half of the last century, in particular after the promulgation of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil (1988) and of the approval of the current Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education - LDB n. 9,394 / 1996 - and resulting legislation (BRAZIL, 1988, 1996). It is in this juridical order that the current bases for the definition of the educational policies and, in particular, for the formation and valuation of the teacher are established.

On the one hand, the Brazilian Federal Constitution (1988), in chapter III, item V, of art. 206, includes aspects related to the valuation of the teaching worker when establishing:

V - valuation of teaching professionals, guaranteeing, according to the law, career plans for the public teaching profession, with professional salary floor and entrance only by public competition of tests and titles, ensuring a single legal regime for all institutions maintained by the Union.11 (BRAZIL, 1988)

On the other hand, LDB n. 9.394/1996, to assure what has been established by the Federal Constitution, defines, in its article 67 and complementary legislation, how education systems should promote the valuation of education professionals, ensuring according to the statutes and career plans of public teaching.

Regulations such as these have in recent years defined educational reforms and / or policies at the national level, following guidelines of multilateral organizations, which have replaced efficiency and effectiveness in their documents with a humanitarian discourse. With this direction, the social constants translated in the legislations began to treat the formation of the teacher as the only element necessary for the professional valorization.

In Brazil, in 1998 was created the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Primary Education and Valorization of Teaching (Fundef), replaced in 2007 by the Fund for the Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and for the Appreciation of Education Professionals (Fundeb), and was launched the Education Development Plan (PDE) (BRASIL, 2007b) and its complementation, as well as Decree no. 6,094 / 2007, which provides for the Plan of Goals and Commitment All for Education (BRASIL, 2007a).

More recently, the National Council of Education instituted, through Resolution n. 2, of July 1, 2015, the National Curricular Guidelines for Initial and Continuing Higher Education of Professionals of the Magisterium for Basic Education. This resolution, in its chapter VII, deals with the valorization of teachers’ professionals. From this chapter and its respective articles, items and paragraphs, we highlight:

Art. 18. Education systems, networks and educational institutions are responsible for ensuring the valorization policies of teachers in basic education, who must have ensured their education, as well as a career plan, in accordance with the legislation training and management plans, as defined in the national common base and in the training guidelines, according to the PDI, PPI and PPC12 of the institution of higher education, in articulation with the systems and education networks.13 (BRAZIL, 2015)

The recurrent use of the term “training”, present in educational legislation to emphasize one of the dimensions of teacher appreciation, tends to hold teachers accountable for their own formation and for their own (dis) appreciation. This is because thinking about education requires teachers to have access to cultural capital in their institutionalized state, since many do not have the cultural capital in their incorporated state, that is, their habitus14, acquired in the family environment, because this “depends mainly on the capital incorporated by the whole family”15 (BOURDIEU, 2013a, p. 84).

The acquisition of this capital in its incorporated state occurs from an early age, assimilated unconsciously, since it is transmitted in a natural way. In the dominant class, it can be understood as a privilege, even in informal situations to provide a differentiated education, because socially valued and recognized by the school. Thus, from the outset, the quality of contact with the school environment, with books, foreign languages, etc., is socially enhanced.

On the other hand, cultural capital in its institutionalized state is related to the attainment of the diploma, insofar as the individual obtains an “institutional recognition”, allowing the “comparison between the graduates and even their ‘exchange’ (replacing them for each other in succession)”16 (BOURDIEU, 2013a, p. 87, emphasis added). We know that institutionalized cultural capital will hardly supply the lack of cultural capital in its embedded state, since most teachers have their origin in disadvantaged social classes, deprived of the incorporated cultural capital valued by school institutions. This aspect is pointed out by Gatti and Barretto (2009, p. 15), in a research that highlights who are the undergraduate students in Brazil.

[...] these are students who had difficulties of different orders to reach higher education. They are students who, mainly due to financial constraints, had few resources to invest in actions that allowed them greater cultural wealth and access to reading, cinema, theater, events, exhibitions and trips. And this change of profile has had implications for undergraduate courses, which are having to deal with a new cultural background of the students.17

Therefore, it is not enough to treat the teacher’s appreciation only from his or her formation. Elements such as training, remuneration, career and working conditions, among others, are factors to be considered in the “valuation of education professionals”, as highlighted in axis VI of the document/reference of the National Education Conference of 2014 (NATIONAL FORUM OF EDUCATION, 2013, p. 63-82), an object of teacher mobilization and debate. This was incorporated into the National Education Plan (BRASIL, 2014), in its article 2, item IX, goals 15, 16, 17 and 18 and respective strategies in which the teacher professional is valued (Table 1).


15 National policy for the training of education professionals dealt with in items I, II and III of the caput of art. 61 of Law no. 9,394 of December 20, 1996.Specific training of higher level, obtained in course of degree in the area of knowledge in which they work. After 1 year PNE 100% of primary school teachers - Teachers of basic education with higher education: 77.5%;- Teachers of the final years of primary education with higher education in the area in which they teach: 44.6%;- High school teachers with higher education in the area in which they teach: 54.9%.
16 Teacher training in basic education, at postgraduate level. Until the last year of validity of the PNE (2024) 50% of professionals Teachers of basic education with postgraduate education: 34.6%.
Continuing education in its area of activity. 100% of professionals Teachers of basic education with continuing education: 33.3%.
7 Equivalence of the average income of the professionals of basic education to those of other professionals with equivalent educational level. Until the end of the sixth year of validity of this PNE (2020). 100% of professionals Average income of primary education teachers in relation to the average income of other professionals with the same educational level: 52.5%.
18 Existence of career plan for the professionals of basic education and public superior of all educational systems, having as reference the professional national salary floor (PSNP). Up to two years of PNE (2016) 100% of professionals There is no indicator do follow the goal.

Source: Prepared based on PNE (BRAZIL, 2014) and PNE Observatory.

Although the PNE (BRAZIL, 2014) points to promising measures of valuation of education professionals, per se, as text, it does not guarantee compliance. To do so, it is necessary to combine several factors, among which the following stand out: political will in the perspective of generating new actions and legislative formulations to increase the valorization and the desired professional formation; greater investments in education; in addition to opening up, more and more, the possibilities of participation of the school communities and society in general for the formulation of the necessary referrals and monitoring of the planned actions.


In formulating the Theory of Social Representations (TRS) in the 1960s, Serge Moscovici (2003) articulated psychology with sociology, situating his theory in social psychology. From the concept of collective representations of Durkheim, Moscovici (2003, p. 79) considered that for the constitution of a social representation, in addition to the collective factor, there is the individual, insofar as it “takes as its starting point the diversity of individuals, attitudes and phenomena, in all their strangeness and unpredictability. Their goal [was] to discover how individuals and groups can build a stable, predictable world out of such diversity”18. For “social representation is a particular mode of knowledge whose function is the elaboration of behavior and communication between individuals”19 (MOSCOVICI, 1978, p. 26).

Moscovici (2003, p. 184) points out that “a representation is both an image and a texture of the imagined thing which manifests not only the meaning of things coexisting but also fills in the gaps - what is invisible or absent from these things”20. According to the author, the main function of the representations is to “make familiar something unfamiliar, or even unfamiliarity” (MOSCOVICI, 2003, p. 54), becoming present in the communication processes. As Jovchelovitch (2002, 80) explains, “social representations are not an aggregate of individual representations in the same way that the social is more than an aggregate of individuals”21.

In his discussion of how to analyze social representations, Jovchelovitch (2002, p. 81) explains that this “should focus on those processes of communication and life that not only engender but also give them a peculiar structure. These processes [...] are processes of social mediation”.22

Regarding the processes of social mediation, the author states that, in communication, the

[...] mediation between a world of different perspectives, work is mediation between human needs and the raw material of nature, rites, myths and symbols are mediations between the otherness of an often mysterious world and the world of human intersubjectivity: all reveal in one measure or another, the search for sense and meaning that marks human existence in the world.23 (JOVCHELOVITCH, 2002, p. 81)

From these perspectives, one can understand that teacher appreciation is permeated by processes of social mediation, since their work involves giving sense and meaning to what they do in the space / time of the school.

To explain the emergence of social representations (RS), Moscovici (1978, 2003) proposed two processes responsible for representing an object, labeling them anchoring and objectification, which are interconnected in the constitution of a representation, which means that one depends on the other to generate or even reproduce representations. The relationship of these two processes is thus made explicit by Moscovici (1978, p. 176): “objectification shows how the represented elements of a science integrate themselves into a social reality [and] the mooring [anchorage] allows one to understand how they contribute to model social relations and how they express them”.24

However, in order to analyze social representations, it is necessary to go beyond the simple observation, since, according to Marková (2017, p. 363), they are produced in “heterogeneous interactions between groups and their specific contexts, they produce a variety of styles of thinking and communication, some of them based on consensus, others on dissent and contradiction”.25 A social representation, continues the author, “presupposes the transformation of one type of knowledge into another; and the transformation of various types of knowledge is pertinent to specific socio-historical and cultural conditions”.26

This is why, when we go beyond the level of observation, says Alves-Mazzotti (2008, p. 20), “about what goes on ‘in the head’ of individuals”, we seek to understand how and why “perceptions, attributions, attitudes and expectations are built and maintained”, to which we ask ourselves: what is the representation about valuing the teacher? Who is interested in this performance? Aware that they, when produced, according to this author, “resort to socially rooted and shared systems of meanings”, psychosocially appropriated by individuals and / or groups, in function of social constants.

That said, we find it difficult, because of the social constants in which they are anchored, that the representations, because they are in the midst of a game of forces emanating from multiple relations of economic and political power, lead social classes and civil society organizations to perceive and value this or that. As Jodelet (2001, p. 21) points out, social representation is “a form of knowledge, socially elaborated and shared, with a practical objective, and that contributes to the construction of a reality common to a social set”.27 Therefore, social representations,

[...] as systems of interpretation that govern our relationship with the world and with others - guide and organize conduct and social communications. In the same way, they intervene in varied processes, such as the diffusion and assimilation of knowledge, individual and collective development, the definition of personal and social identities, the expression of groups and social transformations.28 (JODELET, 2001, p. 22)

Therefore, we consider the theoretical contribution of the TRS to be able to interpret the RS of Pedagogic trainees about teacher valorization. Through the apprehension of these representations, we hope to overcome the realization and understand, at least in part, how and why perceptions, attitudes and expectations about teacher valorization were constructed and regulated by the educational policies derived from Law n. 9.394 / 1996. We emphasize, in this perspective, the Federal Constitution of 1988, in its art. 206, which defines as one of the principles of education “V - valorization of school education professionals, guaranteed by the law, career plans, with entrance only by public competition of tests and titles, those of public networks”,29 with writing given by Constitutional Amendment n. 53/2006 (BRAZIL, 2006).

For the apprehension of the constituent elements of social representations, beyond the immediate realization, we will use a “psychosocial look”, having as support the Central Nucleus Theory (TNC), of Abric (2001), since it is based on the theory of Moscovici, expanding it to provide a useful structural analysis.


The proposal of the TNC, by Abric, is to understand how social representations are organized internally, identifying the elements that integrate the central and the peripheral system, being, therefore, a structural approach. In this sense, according to Abric (2000, p. 36), “The game and the interaction between the central and the peripheral system appear as fundamental elements in the updating, evolution and transformation of representations”.30

The theory proposed by Jean-Claude Abric (TNC) is a structural approach of the TRS, which allows to unveil the contents of a representation and how they organize themselves. In the author’s own words, his theory proposes that “the organization of a social representation presents a specific characteristic, that of being organized around a central nucleus, constituting itself in one or more elements that give meaning to the representation”31 (ABRIC, 2000, p. 31), while the central nucleus

[...] is determined, on the one hand, by the nature of the represented object, on the other, by the type of relations that the group maintains with that object and, finally, by the system of values ​​and social norms that constitute the ideological environment of the moment and of the group.32 (ABRIC, 2000, p. 31)

The main functions of this nucleus, according to Abric (2000), are the generating and organizing functions. The first gives meaning to the other elements that constitute representation. By the second, the other elements that make up the representation are related, acquire meaning and are stabilized. In this way, the central nucleus (NC) reveals its qualitative dimension, since “it is not the massive presence of an element that defines its centrality, but rather the fact that it gives meaning to representation”33 (ABRIC, 2000, p. 31). The author further clarifies that “it is the identification of the central nucleus that allows the comparative study of representations”34 (ABRIC, 2000, p. 31).

The internal organization of a certain representation is constituted of central and peripheral elements. In any RS, in addition to the central / core system, there is a peripheral system, which brings together its other elements. Because they are around the CN, the elements of the peripheral system “constitute the essence of the content of representation: its more accessible, livelier and more concrete components”35 (ABRIC, 2000, p. 31).

Based on the TNC of Abric, we sought to understand how the social representations of the trainees of a Pedagogy course on teacher appreciation are structured. That said, in the next item, we present the research paths.


In the production of the data we favor the use of the free association technique, with 28 students graduating from the licentiate course in Pedagogy of a university in the State of Paraná. The test, according to Nascimento-Sehub and Camargo (2000, p. 296), “consists of a lexicographic analysis, in which the empirical index: ‘word’ corresponds to the ‘indicator’ element of a social representation” (Authors’ griffins).36

Students were asked to write five related words from the “teacher appreciation” inducer, which would immediately come to mind and then rank them in order of importance and justify the choice of the most important word.

The responses to the inductor (139), after being tagged, were processed in EVOC software, version 2000.

In addition to the evocation, the students answered a questionnaire in profile, which confirmed the feminization of the teaching profession, since of the 28 students 26 were female. As to age, 16 students were between 20 and 25 years old, four between 26 and 30 years old, four from 31 to 35 years old, three between 36 and 40 and one aged between 41 and 45 years.

Most of the graduates (22) were already active in basic education. Among these, nine in early childhood education, 12 in the early years of elementary school and one in all stages, as they monitored students. Concerning the employment relationship, five students had a work contract and 14 were trainees. The other three enjoyed a Pibid scholarship.


At the conference of protocols used for students - 28 respond to the word association test - we found that they registered at least four of the five requested words. From the total of words checked (139), only two were modified: “remuneration” for “salary” and “continuing training” for “training”. The corpus for the analysis consisted of 52 different words.

Traditionally, as Wachelke and Wolter (2011) have indicated, investigations, to know what elements and how they are structured in a given RS use the EVOC software as a resource to verify the way of structuring the elements of an RS, since “the structure of a RS demands the identification of the central nucleus” (ROUQUETTE; RATEAU, 199837, apudWACHELKE, 2008, p. 115).

Based on the Central Nucleus Theory of Abric, we have identified, with the help of EVOC software (version 2000), the elements that possibly compose the social representations of the Pedagogy graduates concerning the proposed inductor “teacher appreciation”. Table 2 summarizes the results of one of the programs (Rangfrq) of this software, in the two test response situations (initial evocation - OME, hierarchy of own responses - IMO).

At the outset, we found that only six of the 139 words evoked by the students met the cut-off criteria adopted in this paper to run Rangfrq38, that is, 6 of minimum frequency (f) and average order (OM) 3. The prototypical analysis expressed in the Table 2 shows that three elements (training, respect and recognition) occupy the same quadrants, in the two situations (initial evocation - OME, hierarchy - IMO), the first two in the first quadrant and the last one in the third quadrant.

According to the students’ responses, the probable central nucleus of SR “teacher appreciation” is constituted by the elements of formation and respect, since they are those who remained in the first quadrant in the situation of hierarchy (IMO). In the central nucleus, are located the elements of greater symbolic meaning, that is, promptly evoked by the majority and with OM less than three. These elements / contents are the most rigid, difficult to transform, since, according to Abric (2000, p. 33), they define “the fundamental principles around which representations are constituted”.39


Freq>= 12 OM<3 1st quadrant - probable central nucleus
Formation 17 2,941 20 2,850
Respect 21 1,667 21 1,952
Salary 19 2,421
Freq>=12 OM<3 2nd quadrant - 1st periphery
Salary 19 3,368
Freq <12 OM>=3 3rd quadrant - contrast zone
Dignity 6 2,500
Recognition 10 2,500 10 1,600
Freq<12 OM>=3 4th quadrant - 2nd periphery
Dignity 6 4,000

Source: Prepared by the authors, based on data generated by EVOC 2000.

When we look at the picture of four houses, the words that constitute the probable central nucleus (see IMO in Table 2), according to the average order of evocation, are respect and formation, and the first appears most often (21). The training element was the one that obtained the highest OM (2,850), in this quadrant.

The participants demonstrate that the word respect, when being hierarchized, assumes the sense of professional valorization, as is evident in the accounts:

I believe that when you value someone’s work respect comes first, value is in respect as a person and professional. (Trainee 16)

Respect is essential in human relations, being what I consider the first step to achieve professional appreciation. (Trainee 20)

Respect is necessary in any profession and in the area of education it is necessary to rescue the appreciation of the teacher so that society perceives the importance of this professional. (Trainee 28)

Another element about the professional valuation, salary was pointed out by 19 participants, with significance level (2,421), in the situation of initial evocation (OME), but in the IMO hierarchical situation, it was located in the 1st periphery (f 19, OM = 3.368). The salience of this word, in the professional and personal dimension, is evident in the trainee 8’s account: “The teacher for having the role of citizen educator, the teacher should have a great salary, because to form is not an easy task”.40

Although the salary for the profession is highlighted since its inclusion in the Federal Constitution of 1988, by Constitutional Amendment n. 53/2006, and as one of the principles of education “VIII - national professional salary floor for the professionals of the public school education, under the terms of federal law”41 (BRAZIL, 1988, 2006), the adequate remuneration for the category is not a reality. We find that, according to the National Education Plan Observatory (OPNE) indicators in relation to goal 17, although there is only a few years left to finish the originally planned term (2020) by which it is expected to equalize the salaries of public school teachers with the other categories with the same level of education, in 2015, only 52.5% of teaching professionals had equivalent wages, according to data from the National Household Sample Survey (Pnad), from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) ) (BRAZIL, 2007a).

In this salary bias for teachers, we find in Brazil a policy considered to be unsuccessful in the United States, dictated by meritocratic logic, whereby “bonuses” are given to teachers as compensation for low wages (PNE OBSERVATORY, 2017). They are devices such as these that make up the neoliberal scenario, taking into account the logic of the market, as they anchor themselves, according to Feldfeber (2007, page 446, our translation) in

[...] redefinition of the teaching career through work flexibility, merit-based salary, performance-based incentives, incentives to attract “the best” to the profession, “objective rules” assessments, certification and definition mechanisms and national and international standards.42

Based on the impacts of educational policies on educational interactions, we can say that the question of recognition raised by approximately 36% of students, but with the highest symbolic value in the IMO (1,600), in the 3rd quadrant, indicates that this theme is important from the point of view of the participants, for the appreciation of the teacher and for society, as evidenced in the statements:

I believe that recognition is intrinsically linked to the appreciation of the teacher, because in the eyes of many, anyone can be a teacher. Faced with this the devaluation of the profession is clear and reaffirmed in the remuneration of the professional. (Forming 17)

The teacher is very devalued, the community in general does not recognize the teacher as someone of great importance to society. (Forming 26)

In the first and second peripheries and in the zone of contrast, the elements of the peripheral system are located. Generally, the elements that make up this system relate more to the daily experiences of individuals, showing more individual characteristics. However, according to Abric (2000, p. 34), the peripheral system is not “a minor component of representation; on the contrary, it is fundamental, since it is associated with the central system and allows anchoring in reality”.43 Consequently, even in the author’s words, the peripheral system is “a very pertinent indicator of future modifications or an indisputable symptom of an evolution in situations where the transformation of a representation is in progress”.44

It is interesting to observe that the only element present in the 1st periphery - “salary” (f = 19, OM = 3.368) - and in the IMO situation, in the spontaneous evocation occupied the 1st quadrant.

In order to ensure respect, a compatible salary and working conditions are essential for training. However, when they talk about training, some do it in isolation, which is proven in the argument of the 9th grader when he states: “The teacher needs to be valued with regard to his training, since he needs to be always researching, updating himself to improve his teaching practice”.45 With the same meaning, trainee 12 points out: “For a real appreciation of the teacher is essential to have a good initial training and conditions so that it is always improving, and can participate in continuing education”.46 In turn, trainee 11 emphasizes the value of training for professional identity: “It is of great importance to put first the training of the teacher as a professional of the area, because its valuation is important for the professional and personal identity”.47

These statements show that the representations of these students, somehow, are anchored in possible effects of educational policies, to define teacher education as a solution for the precariousness of Brazilian education.

As for the element “dignity”, evoked by six trainees, although remembered belatedly (OM = 4,000, in the initial evocation), therefore located on the 2nd periphery, in the ranking situation (OMI), occupied the zone of contrast. Some trainees emphasize their importance for the realization of respect, a strong element of the NC of this representation. The meaning of the argument “The teacher is only valued when he still has his dignity as a respected human person”,48 of the 18th grader, alludes to this valuation.

The relationships of strength among the elements of the SR “teacher appreciation” of the 28 Pedagogy graduates, verified by the similarity analysis (ROUSSIAU, 2002), showed that the strongest relation was between training and respect (.76), followed by respect and recognition (.53) and respect and dignity (.23). In the matrix of co-occurrences, generated by the AIDECAT program of EVOC software, this same force was identified between dignity and training. In view of the rules for assembly of the maximum tree of these relationships (PECORA, 2011), the number of participants for calculation49 was reduced to 17 (Figure 1).

In addition, analyzing the context of issuing these words, with the help of the LISTVOC program of EVOC (2000), it is verified that the hierarchical respect element as the most important element by 21 students, with OM of 2,850, surpassed the relevance attributed to training f = 20, OM = 2.850). The importance of the salary element, which in the initial evocation was in the first quadrant (f = 19; OM = 2,421), in the assignment status of its importance (IMO) fell to the 1st periphery (f = 19, OM = 3.368).

Source: Authors’ elaboration.


Thus, in the social representations of the participating students, training not only deserves respect for itself, but also that the teacher’s salary proves to be an important dimension for them, since when the salary was more valued by the participating students, this occurred in the context in which the words respect and training were declined in response to the inductor “teacher appreciation”.

Aware that “We must be careful not to reify the description and always remember that it is a description, not a list of the ontological constituents of a RS” (LAHLOU; ABRIC, 2011, p. 20.7), the analyzes presented do not end in themselves, because, as these authors explain:

[...] in other words, any scientific description in general is only a means to an end. […] No one would pretend that the maps are the territories themselves, and in that sense all maps can be criticized as arbitrary, approximate, and “false”. However they remain useful. (LAHLOU, ABRIC, 2011, p. 20.6)

The meanings and senses of the representations of the students participating in this research reveal, in part, the educational policies that are macroregulating the expectations of the trainees about teacher appreciation and the action of the teachers. It is in these policies that the resources used in formulating the representations of these students, future teachers, are anchored, for, as Moscovici (2003, p. 221) explains, “our ideas, our representations, are always filtered through the discourse of others, that we live from the collectivities to which we belong”.50


The scenario constructed by the analysis strategies and criteria used allows it to be evidenced that the “training” required for this professional deserves “respect”, “recognition” and “salary”, as RS reveals about the “teacher’s appreciation” of those students of Pedagogy. These dimensions conform to the sense of valorization of teaching as expressed in CNE / CP Resolution n. 2, of July 1, 2015, third paragraph, of article 18:

The valorization of the teaching profession and other education professionals should be understood as a constitutive and constituting dimension of their initial and continuing education, including, among others, the guarantee of construction, collective definition and approval of career plans and salary, with conditions that ensure a work day with exclusive dedication or full time to be fulfilled in a single educational institution and allocation of 1/3 (one third) of the workload to other pedagogical activities inherent to the exercise of teaching.51 (BRAZIL, 2015)

However, about the consonance of the aforementioned legislation with the SRs on “teacher’s appreciation” of these trainees, we return to Moscovici’s (2003, p. 314) dialogue when, explaining to Marková about the birth of the idea of ​​social representations, clarifies being “difficult to know how an idea is born in someone’s mind”, because “there is always a transference of conjunctures, interests and intentions”,52 In other words, it is in the “set of forces established within the framework of power relations, constituted by economic and political groups, social classes and other organizations of civil society”53 (BONETI, 2012, p. 27) that educational policies are generated.

According to Boneti (2012, p. 27), the State presents itself as an “agent that transfers civil society from decisions that fall outside the scope of the correlation of force between different social segments”,54 which makes it appear to be a political priority the appreciation of the teacher.

But in the vein of this policy, despite the indication of the third paragraph of Resolution CNE / CP n. 1/2017 on how the state considers teacher appreciation, we still agree with Ball (2002, p. 3) that expressions such as “Reforming schools, reforming teachers and terrors of performativity” translate the role of educational reforms in recent decades, since they brought to the fore a new restructuring of teacher’s work, which came to be understood as new forms of work, revealed significantly in the precariousness of working conditions and the appreciation, especially, of the teacher’s salary.

In this sense, we infer that the representations of these trainees in Pedagogy on teacher appreciation are not anchored only by tensions generated by a simple transfer of social, economic and political forces, but also by a conjunctural transference of different sets of global or local interests that are values, beliefs or patterns of behavior, cultures of particular groups or individuals (FRANKEL, 1987). Such representations also translate into hope and hopelessness, as indicated in the testimony of the trainee 17: “I believe that recognition is intrinsically linked to the valuation of the teacher ... the devaluation of the profession is clear and reaffirmed in the remuneration of the professional”.55

We are not unaware that the dynamics of Brazilian education are dominated by tensions and uncertainties, which can be observed within the spaces and time of formation and professional performance, since many of the students in our study already work in schools. At the same time that they are formed, defending the inclusion and universalization of education, they seem to be asking themselves, “How to do this?” “How to teach and learn or learn and teach?” “How to deal with inequality and diversity?”, among other issues.

When the teacher performs a work “submitted to the logic of capitalism and its contradictions ... between the intensification and the precariousness of its work”56 (KUENZER, 2011, p. 677-679), it will find uncertainties and tensions. If, on the one hand, the demands in their work are intensified by the challenges of contemporary school, on the other, the value of this professional seems increasingly utopian in terms of salary and political and social recognition.

This is corroborated by Gatti et al. (2010), in research with young people who attended high school in public and private schools, which indicate admiration for those who choose to be a teacher, but consider this choice loaded with sacrifice, little valued by society and poorly paid.

Therefore, for a true appreciation of the teacher, it is fundamental to equate problems related to the adequate remuneration, working conditions and initial and continuous training of this professional, which enable his respect and social recognition.

However, some questions need to be answered in future research by us or others. Among these: what and in what aspects will be measured, by public policies, the future of the teaching profession in Brazil and what will happen with the teachers? Who will favor or prejudice the training proposed and conducted for these professionals? Which principles will gain power and which will be ignored? Is this training oriented towards a comprehensive education of the human being, or will the market definitely be the main regulator of education?


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1ALVES, M. T. G; SOARES, J. F. Medidas de nível socioeconômico em pesquisas sociais: uma aplicação aos dados de uma pesquisa educacional. Opinião Pública, Campinas, v. 15, n. 1, p. 1-30, 2009.

2We emphasize here, among macro-regulations, government interventions.

3DOISE, W. Logiques sociales dans le raisonnement. Paris: Delachaux et Niestl, 1993.

4In the original: “fenômenos, processos em curso, realidades e tendências muito diversas que afetam diferentes aspectos da cultura, as comunicações, a economia, o comércio, as relações internacionais, a política, o mundo do trabalho”.

5In the original: “As transformações que invadem os muros da escola parecem estar ancoradas nas mudanças, em sua grande maioria não planejadas, da sociedade contemporânea. São transformações que interferem tanto na organização da escola como nas formas de relacionamento, de trabalho do professor, bem como na maneira como os alunos e professores aprendem.”

6In the original: “decretos, normas e portarias. [Eles foram] processuais”, constituíram-se “no tempo, pela dinâmica da articulação entre a subjetividade (vontade de mudar) e a objetividade (condições objetivas para que as mudanças possam ocorrer)”.

7 In the original: “argumentos em prol da qualidade, competitividade, produtividade, eficiência, e eficácia”

8 WORLD BANK. Educational change in Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank: SHD. Available at: <>. Accessed on: Sep 23. 2000.

9 In the original: “uma guinada do viés explicitamente economicista para uma face mais humanitária na política educacional, sugerida pela crescente ênfase nos conceitos de justiça, equidade, coesão social, inclusão, empowerment, oportunidade e segurança”.

10 In the original: “processo de alargamento do conceito de docência e gestão e a restrição da formação teórica e do tempo de formação que, por consequência, pode levar à desintelectualização do professor”.

11In the original: “V - valorização dos profissionais do ensino, garantindo, na forma da lei, planos de carreira para o magistério público, com piso salarial profissional e ingresso exclusivamente por concurso público de provas e títulos, assegurando regime jurídico único para todas as instituições mantidas pela União.”

12Institutional Development Plan (PDI), Institutional Pedagogical Project (PPI) and Pedagogical Course Project (PPC).

13In the original: “Art. 18. Compete aos sistemas de ensino, às redes e às instituições educativas a responsabilidade pela garantia de políticas de valorização dos profissionais do magistério da educação básica, que devem ter assegurada sua formação, além de plano de carreira, de acordo com a legislação vigente, e preparação para atuar nas etapas e modalidades da educação básica e seus projetos de gestão, conforme definido na base comum nacional e nas diretrizes de formação, segundo o PDI, PPI e PPC da instituição de educação superior, em articulação com os sistemas e redes de ensino de educação básica.”

14“The habitus, that is, the organism that the group appropriated itself and which is appropriate to the group functions as the material support of the collective memory: the instrument of a group tends to reproduce in the successors what was acquired by the predecessors or, simply, the predecessors in the successors. The social inheritance of the acquired characters, which it assures, offers the group one of the most effective means of perpetuating itself as a group and transcending the limits of biological finitude in order to safeguard its distinctive way of existing” (BOURDIEU, 2013b, p. 125). In the original: “O habitus, isto é, o organismo do qual o grupo se apropriou e que é apropriado ao grupo, funciona como o suporte material da memória coletiva: instrumento de um grupo, tende a reproduzir nos sucessores o que foi adquirido pelos predecessores, ou, simplesmente, os predecessores nos sucessores. A hereditariedade social dos caracteres adquiridos, assegurada por ele, oferece ao grupo um dos meios mais eficazes para perpetuar-se enquanto grupo e transcender os limites da finitude biológica no sentido de salvaguardar sua maneira distintiva de existir”.

15In the original: “depende, principalmente, do capital incorporado pelo conjunto da família”.

16In the original: “comparação entre os diplomados e, até mesmo sua ‘permuta’ (substituindo-os uns pelos outros na sucessão)”.

17In the original: “trata-se de alunos que tiveram dificuldades de diferentes ordens para chegar ao ensino superior. São estudantes que, principalmente pelas restrições financeiras, tiveram poucos recursos para investir em ações que lhes permitissem maior riqueza cultural e acesso a leitura, cinema, teatro, eventos, exposições e viagens. E essa mudança de perfil trouxe implicações para os cursos de licenciatura, que estão tendo de lidar com um novo background cultural dos estudantes.”

18In the original: “toma, como ponto de partida a diversidade dos indivíduos, atitudes e fenômenos, em toda a sua estranheza e imprevisibilidade. Seu objetivo [foi] descobrir como os indivíduos e grupos podem construir um mundo estável, previsível, a partir de tal diversidade”.

19In the original: “social representation is a particular mode of knowledge whose function is the elaboration of behavior and communication between individuals”.

20In the original: “uma representação é ao mesmo tempo uma imagem e uma textura da coisa imaginada que manifesta não apenas o sentido das coisas que coexistem, mas também preenche as lacunas - o que é invisível ou está ausente dessas coisas”.

21In the original: “as representações sociais não são um agregado de representações individuais da mesma forma que o social é mais que um agregado de indivíduos”.

22In the original: “deve concentrar-se naqueles processos de comunicação e vida que não somente se engendram, mas que também lhe conferem uma estrutura peculiar. Esses processos [...] são processos de mediação social”.

23In the original: “mediação entre um mundo de perspectivas diferentes, trabalho é mediação entre necessidades humanas e o material bruto da natureza, ritos, mitos e símbolos são mediações entre a alteridade de um mundo frequentemente misterioso e o mundo da intersubjetividade humana: todos revelam numa ou noutra medida a procura de sentido e significado que marca a existência humana no mundo.”

24In the original: “a objetivação mostra como os elementos representados de uma ciência se integram a uma realidade social [e] a amarração [ancoragem] permite compreender o modo como eles contribuem para modelar as relações sociais e como as exprimem”.

25In the original: “interações heterogêneas entre os grupos e seus contextos específicos, produzem uma variedade de estilos de pensamento e comunicação, alguns baseados em consenso, outros em dissenso e contradição”.

26In the original: “pressupõe a transformação de um tipo de conhecimento em outro; e a transformação de vários tipos de conhecimento é pertinente a condições sócio-históricas e culturais específicas”.

27In the original: “uma forma de conhecimento, socialmente elaborada e partilhada, com um objetivo prático, e que contribui para a construção de uma realidade comum a um conjunto social”.

28In the original: “enquanto sistemas de interpretação que regem nossa relação com o mundo e com os outros - orientam e organizam as condutas e as comunicações sociais. Da mesma forma, elas intervêm em processos variados, tais como a difusão e a assimilação dos conhecimentos, o desenvolvimento individual e coletivo, a definição das identidades pessoais e sociais, a expressão dos grupos e as transformações sociais.”

29In the original: “V - valorização dos profissionais da educação escolar, garantidos, na forma da lei, planos de carreira, com ingresso exclusivamente por concurso público de provas e títulos, aos das redes públicas”

30In the original: “O jogo e a interação entre sistema central e periférico aparecem como elementos fundamentais na atualização, evolução e transformação das representações”.

31In the original: “a organização de uma representação social apresenta uma característica específica, a de ser organizada em torno de um núcleo central, constituindo-se em um ou mais elementos que dão significado à representação”.

32In the original: “é determinado, de um lado, pela natureza do objeto representado, de outro, pelo tipo de relações que o grupo mantém com esse objeto e, enfim, pelo sistema de valores e normas sociais que constituem o meio ambiente ideológico do momento e do grupo.”

33In the original: “não é a presença maciça de um elemento que define sua centralidade, mas sim o fato que ele dá significado à representação”.

34In the original: “é a identificação do núcleo central que permite o estudo comparativo das representações”.

35In the original: “constituem o essencial do conteúdo da representação: seus componentes mais acessíveis, mais vivos e mais concretos”.

36In the original: “consists of a lexicographic analysis, in which the empirical index: ‘word’ corresponds to the ‘indicator’ element of a social representation” (Authors’ griffins).

37ROUQUETTE, M.-L.; RATEAU, P. Introduction à l’étude des représentations sociales. Grenoble: PUG, 1998.

38To decide the cutoff points (minimum frequency = 6 and OM = 3): 28 being the total of participants, 20% of them = 5,6. Then the intermediate frequency - that shown in Table 2 in the column “cutoffs” was 12.

39In the original: “os princípios fundamentais em torno dos quais se constituem as representações”.

40In the original: “O professor, por ter o papel de formador cidadão, é considerável que ele tenha um ótimo salário, pois formar não é tarefa fácil”.

41In the original: “VIII - piso salarial profissional nacional para os profissionais da educação escolar pública, nos termos de lei federal”.

42In the original: “redefinición de la carrera docente a partir de la flexibilización de las relaciones laborales, salario basado en el mérito, premio al desempeño, incentivos para atraer a “los mejores” a la profesión, evaluación basada en “reglas objetivas”, mecanismos de acreditación y definición de estándares a nivel nacional e internacional”.

43 In the original: “um componente menor da representação, ao contrário, ele é fundamental, posto que associado ao sistema central, permite a ancoragem na realidade”.

44In the original: “um indicador bastante pertinente de futuras modificações ou um sintoma indiscutível de uma evolução nas situações onde a transformação de uma representação está em andamento”.

45In the original: “O professor precisa ser valorizado no que diz respeito a sua formação, pois necessita estar sempre pesquisando, se atualizando para melhorar a sua prática docente”.

46In the original: “Para uma real valorização do professor é fundamental que se tenha uma boa formação inicial e condições para que sempre esteja se aperfeiçoando, podendo participar de formação continuada”.

47In the original: “É de grande importância colocar em primeiro lugar a formação do professor como um profissional da área, pois sua valorização é importante para a própria identidade profissional e pessoal”.

48In the original: “Só se valoriza o professor quando este ainda tem sua dignidade de pessoa humana respeitada”

49The formula for calculating similarity is: Eo / n.

50 In the original: “nossas ideias, nossas representações, são sempre filtradas através do discurso de outros, das experiências que vivemos das coletividades às quais pertencemos”.

51In the original: “A valorização do magistério e dos demais profissionais da educação deve ser entendida como uma dimensão constitutiva e constituinte de sua formação inicial e continuada, incluindo, entre outros, a garantia de construção, definição coletiva e aprovação de planos de carreira e salário, com condições que assegurem jornada de trabalho com dedicação exclusiva ou tempo integral a ser cumprida em um único estabelecimento de ensino e destinação de 1/3 (um terço) da carga horária de trabalho a outras atividades pedagógicas inerentes ao exercício do magistério.”

52In the original: “difícil saber como uma ideia nasce na mente de alguém” [...] “há sempre uma transfertilização de conjunturas, interesses e intenções”.

53In the original: “jogo de forças que se estabelecem no âmbito das relações de poder, [...] constituídas pelos grupos econômicos e políticos, classes sociais e demais organizações da sociedade civil”.

54In the original: “agente repassador à sociedade civil das decisões saídas do âmbito da correlação de força travada entre os diversos segmentos sociais”.

55In the original: “Acredito que o reconhecimento está intrinsecamente ligado a valorização do professor [...] a desvalorização da profissão é clara e reafirmada na remuneração do profissional”.

56In the original: “submetido à lógica do capitalismo e às suas contradições [...] entre a intensificação e a precarização do seu trabalho”

Received: June 22, 2018; Accepted: January 22, 2019

Translated by Silvia IacovacciV


Society of Medicine and Surgery of Campinas (SP), Brazil; ;


The discussions in the meetings of the research group Politics, Teacher Training, Teaching Work and Social Representations (POFORS) from PUCPR, propelled in 2017, the completion of this Article by having educational policies and social representation as a theoretical input in the analysis of research in teacher training. At the end of the year we performed a word association test, starting with the inductor “teacher appreciation” with Pedagogy students. As we moved into 2018, with exchanges between professor Rui Trindade and the group’s coordinator, in the course of her post-doctorate in Universidade do Porto. The exchanges within the group intensified after the systematization of data, based on the perspectives on “teacher appreciation” as well as those from each one of the authors of the text.

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