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Cadernos de História da Educação

versão On-line ISSN 1982-7806

Cad. Hist. Educ. vol.22  Uberlândia  2023  Epub 07-Ago-2023 


Creation and implementation of the University School of Maranhão Foudation University (1968-1980)1

Samuel Luis Velázquez Castellanos1; lattes: 5639830901440817

Wilson Raimundo de Oliveira2; lattes: 3885191636300955

César Augusto Castro3; lattes: 2060977814636465

1Universidade Federal do Maranhão (Brasil).

2Universidade Federal do Maranhão (Brasil).

3Universidade Federal do Maranhão (Brasil).


This study the process of creating and implementing the University School of Maranhão Foudation University is studied (1968-1980), its trajectory and the movements that outlined it as an Application School. Social changes in Maranhão society are addressed which interfere in the political-educational strategies that require investigating the schooling processes, the attempts to modernize this teaching level to the state one and the role played by the federal University and the University School in a balance of tensions between strategies and tactics. Cultural History is used as a theoretical-methodological assumption to cross and analyze the representations about the referred institution from newspapers, official documents, and school archives. It is concluded that the functioning of the Application School was affected by the lack of space/time dedicated to the imposition of the school regulation, restructuring itself only from 1980 onwards according to professors and technicians of the University.

Keywords: Maranhão; Schooling; “Colégio Universitário”


Neste trabalho estuda-se o processo de criação e implementação do Colégio Universitário da Fundação Universidade do Maranhão (1968-1980), sua trajetória e os movimentos que o conformaram enquanto Colégio de Aplicação. Abordam-se mudanças sociais na sociedade maranhense que interferem nas estratégias político-educacionais que exigem indagar os processos de escolarização, as tentativas de modernização deste ensino a nível estadual e o papel ocupado pela Universidade Federal e pelo Colégio Universitário num equilíbrio de tensões entre estratégias e táticas. Usa-se a história cultural como pressuposto teórico-metodológico para cruzar e analisar as representações sobre dita instituição via jornais, documentos oficiais e arquivo escolar. Conclui-se que o funcionamento do Colégio de Aplicação ficou comprometido pela falta do espaço/tempo dedicados à imposição da ordem escolar, reestruturando-se só a partir de 1980 segundo professores e técnicos da universidade.

Palavras-chave: Maranhão; Escolarização; Colégio Universitário


En este trabajo se estudia el proceso de creación e implementación del Colegio Universitario de la Fundación Universidad de Maranhão (1968-1980), su trayectoria y los movimientos que lo conforman como Colegio de Aplicación. Se abordan cambios sociales en la sociedad maranhense que interfieren en estrategias político-educacionales que exigen indagar procesos de escolarización, intentos de modernización a nivel estadual y el papel ocupado por la Universidad Federal y por el Colegio en un equilibrio de tensiones entre estrategias y tácticas. Se utiliza la historia cultural como principio teórico-metodológico para cruzar y analizar las representaciones sobre dicha institución vía periódicos, documentos oficiales y archivo escolar. Se concluye que el funcionamiento del Colegio de Aplicación fue comprometido por falta de espacio/tiempo dedicados a la determinación del orden escolar, reestruturándose a partir de 1980 según profesores y técnicos de la universidad.

Palabras-clave: Maranhão; Escolarización; Colegio Universitario


The role of the school in the political and cultural formation of the Brazilian national state is a topic that has been discussed since the 19th century. Despite the limits imposed by the nineteenth-century society based on slavery, the influence of Enlightenment thought boosted the search for the most appropriate methods for popularizing primary and elementary education; alternatives that went from schools of first letters in the middle of the century, to graduated schools in the last decades, already in the transition to the republican period. As for the latter, under the modality of school groups, they responded for the first time to the attempt at architectural, organizational, and curricular standardization of Brazilian primary education. Its materialization, however, was quite variable, subject to the historical processes of expansion of schooling that differ in each region of the country (FARIA FILHO, 2000; SOUZA, 2013). Regarding secondary education, numerous obstacles were placed against its regulation: the absence of its own place, the predominance of private institutions, the almost absolute freedom of composition of curricular programs and flexible ranking (PALMA FILHO, 2005).

In the middle of the 20th century, with the influence of the pioneering intellectuals of the “new education” or “new school” and, under the molds of the reforms of Francisco Campos (1931) and Gustavo Capanema (1942), a movement was attempted towards to give secondary education a pedagogical order; the serial curriculum began to impose itself, dividing itself into two cycles or stages: the junior high school course (which varied between four and five initial years) and the high school course (the final two or three years), which points to an increase in the number of gyms and schools (DALLABRIDA, 2009). In these institutions studied those who should apply for a vacancy in higher education; but still under the influence of New School educators, who mainly aimed at the quality of secondary education, application gymnasiums linked to the Philosophy faculties of the federal network were idealized, to provide supervised internship activities to undergraduate students - future teachers.

The creation of these gymnasiums, provided for in Decree-Laws No. 9,053, 12 March, 1946, and No. 9,092, 26th March of the same year, materialized from the College of Application of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Brazil, ‒ today, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In the following decades, there would be a timid expansion of these educational institutions as the referred colleges/faculties - embryos of federal universities - appeared in other states2 . In addition, given the precariousness of public education and the social advantage of studying in secondary schools that are so advanced from a pedagogical point of view, these establishments had to select their students, refining their audience through qualifying exams.

However, not even within the federal universities would it be possible to guarantee any uniformity of this level of schooling. With Law No. 4.024, December 20, 1961, which maintained and even reinforced the division into vocational and preparatory courses, unified only in the expression secondary education, it was determined that:

The university may establish University Schools to teach the 3rd (third) grade of the school cycle. The same way, it may establish University Technical Colleges when there is a higher course in which the same studies are carried out. In the habilitation competitions, no distinction will be made between these schools and those that come from other secondary education establishments (BRASIL, 1961, p. 60-61).

The figuration of the Colégio Universitário3 in accordance with legal provisions. High school institution offering the 3rd year of high school (3rd year of high school as of Law No. 5,692, August 11, 1971), which becomes a College of Application by its internal regulations of 1972, expanding it if, in 1974 for the three years of the 2nd degree and in 1980 for the eight years of the 1st degree; finally, this school establishment plays a role in the process of expansion of schooling so claimed in Maranhão by school and non-school actors presented “[...] as their own systems, open, oriented towards reciprocity, linked by interdependencies of the most diverse types and that form specific figurations among themselves due to their interdependencies” (ELIAS, 2001, p. 51).

In this sense, our problem is based on inquiring to what extent the process of creation and implementation of the Colégio Universitário on the university campus, until its transfer to Vila Palmeira on the outskirts of São Luís from 1980 onwards (the moment when a new cycle in its trajectory, consolidating itself as Colégio of Application was it influenced by the relations of forces established between the imposition strategies instituted by the state and/or government via legal provisions and the appropriation tactics invented by teachers, directors, deans and students? Thus, to analyze and discuss this process of creation and implementation of the Colégio Universitário da Fundação Universidade do Maranhão (1968-1980), its trajectory as a differentiated institution and the movements that tried to conform it as Colégio of Application, when approaching the social changes in society maranhense that interfered in the political-educational strategies that demand to investigate the processes of schooling, the attempts to modernize this teaching at the state level and the role played by the Federal University and the University College in a balance of tensions between impositions and resignified practices, beyond the comparison with other enforcement colleges in different states with different dictates, is the purpose of this article. Thus, the temporal cut is necessary, since, given the historical circumstances that made it appear and establish itself, this school produced a school culture capable of distinguishing itself both from gymnasiums and application schools already consolidated in some parts of the territory. national, as well as other educational institutions within the scope of Brazilian universities, such as the Colégio Universitário of the Federal University of Viçosa, at that time federalized and with its own identity profile or school culture; heterogeneous spaces defined by differentiated practices, as indicated in the following table.

Square 1 Gymnasiums/Application School and University School 

1948 of Application of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Brazil Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1949 School of Application of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bahia Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1954 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Minas Gerais Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1954 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Rio Grande do Sul Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1958 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Recife Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1959 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Sergipe Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1961 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters of the University of Santa Catarina Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1965 Application Gym of the National Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters of the University of Juiz de Fora Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1965 University School of the Rural University of the State of Minas Gerais Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946
1968 University School of Fundation University of the State of Maranhão Decree-Law Nº 9.053, March 12, 1946

Search: Authors, 2023.

As an empirical corpus, we used data collected from printed newspapers available at the State Public Archives, having as a selection criterion those that were part of the temporality in focus, that recorded themes related to the “Colégio Universitário” and that presented longer periods of circulation in order to identify the representations, complaints, conflicts and concessions recorded about the institution, and data examined in official documents and in the school archive to understand the tactics of appropriation invented by the inserted actors, according to the impositions established by law by the state and/or government; information that was identified, crossed and analyzed in light of the theoretical-methodological assumptions of cultural history that help in the understanding of different conceptions, positions and practices that mark the differentiation through representations and different ways of doing.

The view of Maranhense education

In Maranhão, the educational scenario designed in the 19th century entered the Republic with primary education given over to neglect and secondary education restricted to the city of São Luís, where the Liceu Maranhense, alongside a growing number of private schools, played a central role in training of the children of the elite, preparing them for the higher education that they usually attended in other more developed states or even abroad. A situation that underwent some alterations as a result of the republican claims that emerged: the model school attached to the normal school, with the purpose of constituting a field for the teaching training of normalist students, aiming to develop the curriculum and apply the teaching methods to be disseminated in primary schools, which gained an organized form from the institutionalization of school groups; the implementation of the first colleges of higher education in the capital (Law in 1918, Pharmacy in 1920 and Dentistry in 1925); and the first secondary education establishments in the interior of the state from 1926 onwards (CASTELLANOS, 2010).

The New School ideas that, in the 1920s, influenced several state reforms until they converged to the federal sphere in the Vargas government, with the Ministry of Education and Health under the management of Francisco Campos (1930-1932) and Gustavo Capanema (1934-1945) , had also been gaining ground in Maranhão, by provoking some “[...] pedagogical innovations [...] that would[m] culminate in the reform of primary education on March 2, 1932, [which modified and expanded] the actions of Escola Modelo and school groups” (CASTELLANOS, 2010, p. 136). However, the unstable political environment4 of the 1930s, with the frequent change of interventors. The government mandate of Paulo Ramos (1936-1945) which coincided with the Vargas dictatorship of the Estado Novo (1937-1945), despite having promoted an administrative reorganization of a centralizing nature responsible for some rationalization of the public service, including improving the organization of the of teaching, it was not enough to transform the educational reality of the state.

This inertia overcome during the long period of the victorious oligarchy (1945-1965), even with small improvements in the 1950s, such as the expansion of school groups and the creation of the Catholic Faculty of Philosophy, which was a pioneer in the training of teachers at a higher level in that state, facing, on the other hand, serious difficulties to sustain themselves without the financial support of the public power; reason why this institution could not do much to revert the penury in which Maranhão education found itself. State education system dragged for decades between the improvisation of physical facilities, the lack of human resources, the pedagogical unpreparedness and the way of organizing school education that advanced at a slow pace, given that these institutions in number far below the need, were quite limited in their service capacity, mainly due to the reduced teaching staff (PINTO, 1982); professionals lacking qualifications and remuneration with difficulties in dedicating themselves to teaching and the scenario of total abandonment that reached the 1960s provoked a public outcry for measures.

The Directorate of Public Instruction should better supervise the sectors that are under its administrative supervision, especially the attendance of teachers in our primary schools. We have received complaints that some primary school teachers have been missing a lot, which harms the students. The second primary year teacher, from Grupo Escolar Barbosa de Godois, has not been in the classroom for a month, leaving the students deprived of her educational assistance. This has already become an abuse and this abuse cannot and must not continue, because it sacrifices the student's instruction. There are primary school teachers who only live on leave, easily earning their monthly salaries. The complete anarchy in which public education finds itself, in the State, accounts for this almost daily absence of certain female teachers who teach in our primary schools. Not long ago, we were told that a teacher who teaches at the Casa da Previdência had said that she didn't go to classes because she didn't need to teach, she had enough to live on and she could stop working. What a poor mentality! There are educators who are passionate about the cause of primary education. They earn a starvation wage, which does not compensate for the mental energy spent on the daily patriotic mission of instructing those who yearn to learn and are thirsty for knowledge. The blame for everything is the indifferentism of those who run the state government, who turn a blind eye to public education in this land, paying a derisory salary to the teachers of our primary schools (JORNAL PEQUENO, 1960a, p. 2)

Despite the criticism being directed at the teachers, who are charged with due “educational assistance” and more engagement in the “patriotic daily mission of instructing”, even though they receive “a starving salary”, it is concluded that “the fault of everything” is from the government and its “indifferentism”. It can be seen in this sense that the lack of investment in education, which in this case mainly involves the state's lack of concern regarding teacher training and professionalization, was generating concerns whose effects on the political situation cannot be ignored.

In this context, popular discontent with the current power structure in the state was strong, which in a way represented a continuation of the coronelista pact. Claims in favor of modernizing the political system were particularly manifest among young high school and college students in São Luís. Select group formed by the Lyceum and the Normal School (state), the Luís Viana College (municipal), the Technical School and the Agricultural College (federal) and even the private schools, called high schools by Law 4,024, 20 December 1961, which could only serve a small portion of the school-age population corresponding to that level; in addition to the few existing faculties, most of which were grouped together under the name of Universidade Católica from 1959. Students who found in the journalistic press the privileged space for the dissemination of their ideas, creating important places of action in these cultural devices; appropriation tactics in use that point to organized resistance in opposition to the power that is instituted via imposition strategies, “[...] true sleight of hand, which is introduced by surprise into an order. The art of 'striking' is the sense of occasion” (CERTEAU, 2012, p. 101). According to the “Student Column” of Jornal Pequeno, it was denounced that:

To perceive Maranhão in its very serious political crisis [was] to feel an unprecedented uneasiness. It [could] not be admitted under any circumstances that the young students of our land do not see the great amount of mud that covers our state. I don't want to be a political party, but I want to be an independent politician, when in this short chronicle, I offer my classmates a support of faith and hope for a better Maranhão. I wish I had the opportunity of a leadership, which would revolutionize all this ineptness existing in Maranhão. I wish I had the power to ban dogs that howl in our state. I would like to have the chance of conquest that would show everyone that the blood of a person from Maranhão can be worth the glory of his state. I don't care about spilling it, I don't care about being drastic and sincere, I don't care about life without glory. I cannot believe that young people with young spirits manage to sell or exchange their ideals for public office (JORNAL PEQUENO, 1960b, p. 5).

These historical vestiges show that there were progressive consciences favorable to changes in that archaic administrative structure that characterized the state of Maranhão, paving the way for the emergence of party leaders in tune with the developmental policy in vogue in the country, who seem to point out examples of subjects, facts and deeds from times gone by that may have had repercussions on student ideas. “I wish I had the power to banish dogs that howl in our state” and “I cannot believe that young people with young minds manage to sell or exchange their ideals for public office”, seem to be similar expressions to the expression of César Augusto Marques, in 1874, when reporting “To the Readers” of his work, telling them that it was being published at a good time and with the support of what he called “[...] true journalists of this Province, [who believed] in the justice against so many dogs that attack everyone and even bark at the moon” (MARQUES, 1874, p. 9), evidencing in this expression the political disputes present between people and institutions, with newspapers being privileged spaces for attack and defense ( CASTELLANOS, 2017).

These statements also refer us to the expression published in A Revista (1853) by the high school teacher Sotero dos Reis, when they exonerated him from the position of director of the Lyceum: “The petty revenge of the Paços and the base envy of the Rafaés is satisfied! Yesterday, in the third and final discussion, the personal law decreed our dismissal [...] It is beyond doubt, since, from time to time, the unhealthy malsã policy of the land penetrated the Lyceum” (JORNAL A REVISTA, 1853 , p. 4, emphasis added).

Relation of forces that is at the beginning “[...] of an intellectual creativity as tenacious as it is subtle, tireless, mobilized waiting for any occasion, [appropriation tactic] spread in the terrains of the dominant order” (CERTEAU, 2012, p 102). Ideology supported by the enthusiasm of those who believed in industrialization as the main way out to get Brazil off the map of underdevelopment. It was at the height of this political movement that federal deputy José Sarney was elected governor of the state in the 1965 election, receiving the so-called “powers to banish the dogs that howl[va]m in our state”, apparently; however, it gave rise to a new oligarchy legitimized by the discourse of progress and modernization that benefited the civil-military coup of 1964, which called itself the “democratic revolution of 64”, which imposed its longest dictatorship on the country (1964-1964). 1985).

In that government (1966-1970), under the modernizing sign of “Maranhão Novo”, some actions aimed at changes in the sense of boosting the economic development of the state within the political strategy of the civil-military regime, which consisted of promoting the capitalist economy to guarantee social order. In this sense, there was investment in major infrastructure works, such as the opening and paving of roads through the interior of the state, the construction of the Boa Esperança hydroelectric plant (inaugurated in 1970) and the Port of Itaqui, whose works began in 1966; vertices of the “Maranhense miracle”, as that period became known, in allusion to the “Brazilian miracle” invented by the civil-military dictatorship in those years. “Energy and transport would constitute infrastructural aspects for the next step, which would be industrialization and the setting up of large agricultural projects in Maranhão” (PINTO, 1982, p.84).

However, this new economic dynamic produced effects contrary to social balance, especially when one takes into account that capitalist pressure on rural properties, many of which are inhabited by squatters, caused an intense exodus of this population with the migration of numerous families to the capital. , where there were no job opportunities for all this contingent of idle labor, despite what the government advertised, and there was also a lack of urban structure in São Luís to meet the educational, public health and housing demands of the popular population, generated by the demographic explosion which then began. This disorderly urban expansion ended up creating a picture of socio-spatial segregation, the contrast between luxury and poverty was clearly visible; social instability that gave rise to demands for urban, public and private services, to meet the different demands of these social groups. From this historical configuration emerged, among other government actions, actions to expand education at the state level. Imposition strategies that “[...] thanks to the postulate of a place of power, elaborate theoretical places capable of articulating a set of physical places where forces are distributed” (CERTEAU, 2012, p. 102); however, they are mobilized and even transformed in the confrontation with appropriation tactics, in this case, of the instituted socio-spatial segregation that “[...] points to a skillful use of time, of the occasions it presents and also of the games it introduces in the foundations of a power” (CERTEAU, 2012, p. 102). In other words, silent and even unconscious struggles that in figurational analysis, “the struggle of individuals with the constraints of their interdependence also never completely lose their meaning, even when individual constraints [are] of another kind” (ELIAS, 2001, p.95)

In the final years of the 1960s there was some progress in the provision of public education. Faced with popular pressure for places in primary schools, the Education Department declared that “[...] in the form of a government recommendation, the problem [was] practically solved, with the installation and operation of new intermediate shifts in most groups schools in the capital and the interior.” (O IMPARTIAL, 1966, p. 4). An emergency measure, which at the same time overloaded the system without the structure to adequately serve so many students, made it imperative to build new buildings with the subsequent hiring of teachers and opening of enrollments.

Still in that decade, with the Secretariat of Education under the management of José Maria Cabral Marques (1967-1970), the state's action was felt in the schooling processes through the following strategies: the João de Barro Project, started in 1967 from Chapadinha, Itapecuru and Vargem Grande, which consisted of creating schools in the rural areas of Maranhão municipalities as a way of combating illiteracy and the “social marginality of these populations”; the Bandeirante Project, which in 1968 began to install gymnasiums in several cities, including São Luís, expanding access to Secondary Education, until then strongly dominated by the private network; the TV Educativa Project, implemented in 1969 with the aim of popularizing Secondary Education, mainly in the capital, including courses for young people and adults, while contributing to the qualification of teaching staff (KREUTZ, 1982; PINTO, 1982).

Every year, popular pressure for vacancies in public schools grew, so that it was necessary to build new teaching units. In the message addressed to the Legislative Assembly at the beginning of 1968, the governor highlighted the following as major achievements: the delivery of new school units in the capital and in the interior in number of 200; the progress of the João de Barro and Bandeirante educational projects; the multiplication of enrollments in primary and secondary education; support for the newly created Federal University, in order to increase the number of vacancies; and the “[...] functioning of the Faculties of Engineering, Administration and Pedagogy, which offer qualification opportunities for higher-level technicians demanded by the development process itself” (O IMPARCIAL, 1968b, p.8).

Despite the optimistic message, which represented education as one of the aspects of the “Novo Maranhão”, responsible for the process of economic development, in fact all the measures announced were of an emergency nature, if we consider that they were just beginning the measures in the sense of supplying or at least alleviate several deficiencies: primary education, with 66% of school-age children out of school in the interior, and 23% in the capital, until 1966 (MARANHÃO, 1967); secondary education, dominated by the private sector; and higher education, in its incipient phase.

The “Fundação Universidade do Maranhão” (FUM) and the “Colégio Universitário”

As for Higher Education, in addition to the Faculties of Law, Pharmacy and Dentistry (federal), and Economic Sciences (private), there was the Catholic University, which congregated the São Francisco de Assis School of Nursing and the Faculties of Medicine, Social Work and Philosophy, the latter comprising the Degree Courses (Letters, Pedagogy, Geography, History and Philosophy). By Law No. 5.152, October 21, 1966, the union took over control of the former Catholic University and the Federal Faculties of Law, Dentistry and Pharmacy, establishing the University of Maranhão Foundation (FUM), with the aim of conducting the process implementation and structuring of the new university that should be erected in a “[...] institution of higher education, research and study in all branches of knowledge, aiming, immediately, to contribute to the solution of regional problems of a economic, social and cultural” (BRASIL, 1966, p. 279).

As Brazil was experiencing the first years of a civil-military dictatorship and the main strategy for legitimizing the political regime consisted in the dissemination of the developmentalist ideology, whose spokesperson in Maranhão was Governor José Sarney, elected in 1965, he welcomed the arrival of the institution , mainly because “[...] it was the plan of the newly installed government [to] resort to the university for the preparation of human resources to fill and expand its staff” (PINTO, 1982, p. 185). In the following years, new units would be added to this structure, starting with the incorporation of the Faculty of Economic Sciences in 1967. At the same time, the state government established its own higher schools: Public Administration and Engineering, created in 1967; Agronomy, in 1969; and, in 1970, a Faculty of Education came into operation in Caxias to train teachers.

With the expansion of higher education in the capital, there was a great demand for preparatory courses to complement and intensify the studies of specific subjects by those who were in the last year of secondary education or who had already completed basic studies and intended to undergo qualification competitions. Fertile ground for the private education industry. Thus, the “Professor Castro” Pre-University Course provided those who wished to enter higher education in Law, Economics, Philosophy, Administration and Social Work, and could pay for classes, “[...] specialized teachers [...] classes in the afternoon and in the evening [...] enrollments open [...] at Rua Humberto de Campos (formerly Travessa do Comércio), 185, room 2” (O IMPARCIAL, 1968a, p. 8). Under similar conditions, the preparatory course for the prof. José Maria do Amaral announced to candidates for graduation in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, Engineering, Geology and Chemistry that their enrollments were “[...] open [with] a limited number of vacancies [...] classes in the afternoon and at night [...] a specialized team of university professors [and] classes start [on] March 10 [at] Rua José Bonifácio, 538” (O IMPARCIAL,1969, p. 8).

Pre-university courses that quickly multiplied as the search for those graduations grew. Fierce competition that enlivened the colonial and nineteenth-century landscape of downtown São Luís, whose mansions served as an improvised shelter for the faculties and administrative sectors of the University of Maranhão Foundation. The Rectory and the Administrative and Pedagogical vice-rectories, for example, were joined to the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters in the Cristo Rei Palace even offering its own pre-university course.

The Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of the University of Maranhão, by order of the Rectory, informs interested parties that registration for the Pre-University Course, whose purpose is to prepare candidates for Higher Education Courses in Physics and Mathematics. Not only those who have completed the 3rd year of high school can enroll, but also those who are enrolled in it. Considering the limited number of vacancies, there will be a selection test (O IMPARCIAL, 1968c, p.5).

It is necessary to clarify that the name “Pre-University Course” used in newspaper advertisements does not mean that these preparatory classes configured a course from a formal point of view. In fact, they were exercises conducted by teachers who were experienced in teaching a certain school subject and who, in practice, specialized in “approving” candidates in those selections. That is, the planning of disciplines that imposes the constant renewal of contents in line with the teaching programs and with the regulations of public education that are linked to constant changes according to the theoretical-methodological advances that are implicit in the history of the disciplines, and the need to be linked with their own conceptions and positions on the areas of knowledge and on instruction, “[...] estimating, ordinarily, in fact, that the teaching contents are imposed as such on the school by the society that surrounds and the culture in which it bathes” (CHERVEL, 1990, p. 181), are not present in these approvals of competitors as objectives of these “courses”.

The courses generally operated in a single room and had their attractive power in the respect gained by the professors in recognition of the efficiency demonstrated in the “results” of the competitions, without regular evaluation of students and the course itself, or any architectural, curricular or age standardization. At the same time, the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, by offering vacancies in one of its rooms for pre-university students, reveals its concern with the quality of students who would enter the doors of the University the following year as undergraduates. Experiences that led that Faculty, directed by Professor José Maria Ramos Martins, to create the University College aimed at students who attend the 3rd year of high school “[...] and, therefore, [prepares] them to enter a higher education school. The University College [should] be up and running within a few days in the same building as the Faculty of Philosophy” (JORNAL DO DIA, 1968b, p.1).

In this case, it is already a school institution created by the current educational legislation, proposing a graded curriculum, despite offering only the 3rd year of high school. Inserted in a network of federal schools, although it was the only one in its modality, it is submitted to the evaluation of the competent body, which was the State Board of Education. Its purpose, according to Resolution No. 42 of the Board of Directors, May 20, 1968, was to:

a) contribute to the preparation of candidates for qualification competitions for admission to higher education establishments; b) provide diversified teaching for the 3rd grade [high school] in different areas; c) give appropriate guidance to the student so that he could make a professional choice. [...] (COLEGIO UNIVERSITÁRIO, 1985, p.1)

Reinforcing the historical trend of Brazilian secondary education, Maranhão maintains “different types of education for students from different social classes” (NUNES, 1979, p. 26); and this college in its origin seemed to strengthen such heterogeneity. A state where there was a dreadful educational deficit, especially at this level of education, even so there was no concern on the part of government authorities or even the university to create an institution that would serve at least the three years of the school cycle, preferring to invest in this new modality that adjusted to the immediate demand: to prepare candidates for university qualification exams, while following the pedagogical order of a regular teaching institution, following the official curriculum and being recognized by the State Board of Education, in 1969.

Initially, “the classes, supervised by the illustrious professor Gualter Gonçalves Lopes, ran from 7 am to 12 noon, including Saturdays” (O IMPARCIAL, 1968d, p. 2). Under the direction of Professor Liene Sampaio Teixeira, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters, students enrolled in the 3rd year of high school attended courses organized around a common core, such as Portuguese, Mathematics, Foreign Language (Spanish, French or English), General culture, Moral and Civic Education, and a diversified part according to the interests of the training area chosen to carry out the qualification competition at the University. In the humanistic area there were the disciplines of History of Brazil, General History, Philosophy, Sociology, Geography; in the area of ​​health and technology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Design. At the opening of the 1969 school year, there was an inaugural class.

Delivered by Professor José Maria Ramos Martins, director of that higher education school, who will address the theme, The University Integrated in the Current Development Process of the Country. The management of the COLÉGIO UNIVERSITÁRIO invites the entire faculty of the University, in addition to authorities and students in general, to attend its inaugural class (JORNAL DE BOLSO, 1969, p.4).

The University, in tune with the economic projects of the military governments that had repercussions in Maranhão in investments in infrastructure for industrial growth and the dynamization of the agrarian sector, tried to infuse in its students a productive profile and in tune with the dominant political ideas on the national scene; “[...] knowledge to be taught and behaviors to be inculcated” (JULIA, 2001, p.10) that the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters intended to transmit to those who concluded high school at the COLÉGIO UNIVERSITÁRIO. Developmental euphoria that came up against the budget limits of the University, which, in the previous year, had to resort to an agreement with the state government to guarantee the registration of surpluses in the medical area in the qualification exam, obtaining “[...] resources for the sustaining additional classes, although this solution was not total” (JORNAL DE BOLSO, 1968a, p. 4), as the competition for these contests was increasing and surpluses from other areas also put pressure on the institution for the right to a vacancy. Crisis arising from budget cuts by the union that threatened the growth of the University.

The defense of the University calls on everyone, politicians, administrators and, as the Rector emphasized, students, because budget cuts can lead to calamity. The University of Maranhão tends to grow and consolidate itself, not only by expanding its student body and improving its teaching staff, but also by implementing basic institutes and annexes, moving towards the university city and other achievements. In terms of the future, the University is the great prospect for our liberation from underdevelopment. The fight, not for its survival - which is assured - but for its affirmation as a great university must be the decision of all people from Maranhão (JORNAL DE BOLSO, 1968a, p.4).

Without a university campus, this consolidation was impossible. The dream of existence of the university city, however, seemed distant at that time of crisis. Its idealization by Poet Bandeira Tribuzzi foresaw the remodeling of the Praia Grande townhouses for this purpose, resorting to the support of UNESCO, which “provided[va] financial resources for the recovery of old houses, interested in safeguarding valuable architectural heritage, as it does in Europe [...] much more easily, in the case of [...] a university center” (JORNAL DE BOLSO, 1968b, p.6).

In another line, Canon José de Ribamar Carvalho, who in 1968 succeeded Pedro Neiva de Santana in the rectory, opted for the construction of the campus on the left bank of the Bacanga with the works on the dam in the process of being concluded. But only in his last act as dean was “[...] delivered [...] to the university class of Maranhão, the Castelo Branco building, the first unit of the 'campus' of Bacanga, where [the Institute of Physical Sciences would function] and Natural” (O IMPARCIAL, 1972b, p.12), however, the other units are awaiting measures regarding the transfer of their facilities. With that, the University College remained in the center of the city. The competition for its selection exam seems to have increased each year, because in 1970, “[...] it was just the news that spread in the local press, [and] a large number of candidates flocked to the Faculty of Philosophy to register for the University College” (O Imparcial, 1970, p. 3). Inscriptions that in 1972 were “[...] opened in the secretariat of this establishment, located at Rua Viana Vaz, n° 280 (quinta do Macacão)” (O IMPARCIAL, 1972a, p.9).

In this new address, its internal regulations were reformulated in 1972, determining its adaptation to Law n° 5.692, August 11, 1971, which, among other alterations, extended the obligation of education (from four to eight years), dividing basic education into 1st grade, by merging primary and high school and eliminating the entrance exams to the latter, and the second grade, unifying the collegiate and technical courses through professionalization. With that, the school should offer the three years of the 2nd degree and define one or more professional qualifications, which did not happen immediately. At the time of this reformulation, the Faculty of Philosophy had already been dismembered and the was linked to the new Faculty of Education, establishing the regiment that, with the expansion of the offer, should adopt the function o School of Application, “transforming itself into an internship field, experimentation and application of the Faculty of Education” (SANTOS, 2012, p. 61).

This last change was in line with projects to modernize and expand the education system, which called for urgent measures to boost teacher training, to provide the necessary methodological renewal of public and private schools. But despite the link with the Faculty of Education and its operation in the Historic Center of São Luís, along with the other university degree courses, it lacked the proper structure to play this role, as there was not even adequate space and school time, compromising its performance as a teaching internship field, teaching and educational research laboratory.

On the other hand, there was a change in the curriculum, inserting the discipline Social and Political Organization of Brazil to the detriment of Philosophy and Sociology. Under the ideological guidance of the civil-military regime, the following curricular components should be offered: Portuguese, Mathematics, Foreign Language, Social and Political Organization of Brazil, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, History and Geography. Reconfiguration implemented slowly, so that the academic year of 1973 brought little news: it maintained the restriction of the offer to the 3rd year and the term “collegiate” remained in the enrollment notice, increasing the rigor of the selection exam. “Reconfiguration, whose dimensions can be very variable, in which individuals are linked to each other by a specific way of reciprocal dependencies and whose reproduction supposes a mobile balance of tensions” (CHARTIER, 2001, p. 12). In that sense, they were

From January 29th to February 5th, enrollment for the selection of candidates for the 3rd year of the Colégio Universitário, in the various areas, will be open. Enrollment will take place at the College's Secretariat, at Rua Viana Vaz, n° 280, from 8 am to 11.30 am. The selection will be carried out in three phases:

1st - INTERVIEW - when the content of the chosen area and the possibilities of the job market will be explained to the candidate - February 6th to 9th.

2nd - GENERAL KNOWLEDGE TESTS - corresponding to the curriculum developed in the 1st and 2nd years of high school, carried out by area, without elimination - 12 to 14.02

3° - INTENSIVE COURSE OF 2 WEEKS - knowledge of the assimilation capacity by the student, being, at the end, carried out verification tests on the disciplines taught. It will be eliminatory in nature and 4 will be the minimum passing grade.

90 vacancies will be offered, distributed 30 vacancies for each area. The registration requirement is: Certificate of good conduct provided by two professors; Certificate from the school where he completed the 2nd year of high school; Payment of the registration fee, in the amount of Cr$ 20.00 (O IMPARCIAL, 1973, p. 3)

It seems that the increasing emphasis of the School COLÉGIO was on the recruitment of candidates for higher education, who underwent a sort of leveling process from selection onwards, being then directed to one of the three specific areas in which the University's courses were organized ( socio-humanistic, health and biomedical, and exact and technological sciences), according to the profile obtained by the evaluators' diagnosis. Only in 1974 were the changes implemented pursuant to Law 5.692/1971, opening registrations:

in the period from January 16th to February 16th [...] for the 1st. and 3rd., 2nd grade series (professional specialization) at the secretariat of Colégio Universitário, in the building of the Faculty of Education at Rua das Hortas n. 109 A, from 8 am to 11.30 am and from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. We offer the following professional options: 01- Administration Technician 2- Statistics Technician 3- Secretarial Technician (O ESTADO DO MARANHÃO, 1974, p. 2).

At the same address on Rua das Hortas, next to the Faculty of Education, in 1975, the COLEGIO offered, over the 3 years of high school, a common core (Portuguese, Mathematics, Foreign Language, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Moral Education and Civic, Social and Political Organization in Brazil, Artistic Education, Physical Education and Health Programs) and a diversified part that corresponded to professional qualifications (Technician in Administration, Technician in Accounting and Technician in Secretarial). Finally, after much resistance from professors and students who were not enthusiastic about “[...] the five pavilions [...] destined to the Faculties of Law, Economic Sciences, Social Work, Education, Philosophy and University College” (O ESTADO DO MARANHÃO , 1975a, p. 8); above all, because the fame built among students and professors about those spaces by the “[...] more than two thousand students [who] study[va]m on the university campus of Bacanga [with] only two buses [.. .] city-campus traveling around the clock” (O ESTADO DO MARANHÃO, 1975b, p. 3); In mid-1975, the Faculty of Education moved to the new building known as Pombal at the time, where the University implemented the Center for Basic Studies (current CEB old) in Bacanga. There, the University School remained devoid of a school building that characterized it as a e School of Application.

On campus, its operation was even more difficult with its meager facilities being removed on a number of occasions, even occupying some rooms in the Center for Basic Studies (Prédio Pombal) and the Center for Social Sciences (Prédio Pimentão). In these improvised spaces, it continues to offer high school according to Law 5.692/1971, it presents satisfactory results in the entrance exams and its enrollments are reserved for the children and relatives of university employees (SILVA, 1987; SANTOS, 2012), which explains the absence of enrollment notices in the newspapers of wide circulation at the time. This situation lasted until the end of 1979. In the following year, there was an expansion of the offer, including 1st and 2nd grade education, which was restructured in agreement with the state government, transferring the institution to Vila Palmeira in outskirts of São Luís; moment in which a new cycle begins in its trajectory, consolidating itself as School of Application.

Final Considerations

The process of renewing primary and secondary education, envisioned by the Brazilian New Schools in the 1930s, ignited intense debates about the direction of education in Brazil and accentuated the tendency to attribute to the union the responsibility for establishing legal guidelines valid for the entire national territory. , with regard to the expansion of compulsory education; urgent task in the sense of enabling the formation of a modern, liberal and democratic society in accordance with the spirit that animated the 1946 constitution.

Between the end of the Vargas era and the beginning of the civil-military regime, such discussions were intensified at the legislative level, where the political-cultural project of standardizing schooling processes defended by liberal educators was faced with conservative proposals that defended the maintenance of a structure dualistic educational approach, responsible for the existence of propaedeutic education, usually paid (aimed at a kind of bourgeois elite with aristocratic remnants or, at most, the urban middle class) and the offer of vocational education (for the popular classes); dichotomy that was favored by Law 4.024/1961.

In this context, the gymnasiums and application schools of the federal universities, which had been designed according to the plan to standardize teaching, ended up strengthening the duality already mentioned due to the low quantity and quality of public schools. The same situation occurs in relation to other school modalities linked to higher education institutions, such as the Technical Colleges and the COLÉGIO UNIVERSITÁRIO. The latter, specially conceived as a “3rd year of high school preparatory to higher education”, had its first federal unit inaugurated in 1968, at the Fundação Universidade do Maranhão (FUM).

Attempts to reformulate and expand the COLEGIO UNIVERSITÁRIO of the FUM (its transformation into the School of Application, in 1972, and the offer of 3 years of the 2nd degree, from 1974) occurred amid the trend of educational innovation that culminated with the Law 5.692/1971, which gave a professional bias to this level of education. However, without its own headquarters where both the educational practices that guided the subjects' actions profusely and broadly could take place, as well as the pedagogical practices that operated, in individual conduct, the changes envisioned by the institution's educational project (FRANCO, 2006); its full functioning as a School of Application was compromised, as there was no space and time dedicated exclusively to the imposition of its school order (VINCENT, LAHIRE and THIN, 2001). This reality dreamed of by university professors and technicians would only be verified in the institution in question from 1980 onwards, when it would undergo a restructuring process that is outside the scope of this work.


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1English version by Camilla Vanessa Chagas Peixoto de Oliveira. E-mail:

2College of Application of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bahia (1949); Application Gym of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Minas Gerais (1954); Application Gym of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Rio Grande do Sul (1954); Application Gym of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Recife (1958); Application Gym of the Catholic Faculty of Philosophy of Sergipe (1959); Application Gym of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of the University of Santa Catarina (1961); Application Gym of the Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Juiz de Fora (1965).

3Based on this legislation, the Rural University of the State of Minas Gerais (UREMG) established, in 1965, a University College offering the 3rd year of high school. In 1969, its federalization took place with the new name of Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), which kept the College in operation and continued to have only the 3rd year of high school (3rd year of high school from Law 5.692/ 1971) throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Therefore, unlike the school object of this article, the Colégio Universitário da UFV did not extend its service to the other years of secondary education, nor was it transformed into an Application College at the beginning of its trajectory. Such changes would only occur later, namely, in 1982 (extended offer for the three years of the 2nd grade) and 2001 (regulatory alteration for the College of Application).

4 Ten interventors governed Maranhão between November 15, 1930 and August 15, 1936: José Luso Torres, José Maria Perdigão, Astolfo Serra, Joaquim Aquino Correia, Lourival Seroa da Mota, Américo Wanick, Álvaro Saldanha, Antônio Martins de Almeida, Aquiles Lisbon and Roberto Carneiro de Mendonça. Then, Paulo Ramos took over the state government and his intervention lasted until the end of the Vargas era, in 1945.

Received: December 02, 2022; Accepted: March 10, 2023

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