The UFBA Graduate Program in Education was created in 1971 in the School of Education, to offer a Master's program primarily for faculty members from Schools of Education. The initial project consisted of in-service training and received applications from faculty members of Schools of Education of higher education institutions in the states of Bahia, Sergipe and Alagoas, with immediate admission and course completion within three years. Initially, foreign visiting professors linked to UNESCO/BRA/70/10 project collaborated with the program, and, in 1972, the British Council began a cooperation as well. The area of concentration of the Master Course in Education, as defined in 1972, was Educational Research, which expanded to Teaching and Applied Social Sciences in 1975. After a curriculum reform between 1983 and 1987, the area of concentration became Brazilian Education.
As the FACED/UFBA Graduate Program in Education developed during the 1980s, the Doctorate Program in Education started to be planned. In 1992, based on teaching practice and scientific production the program was implemented, being approved by CAPES in 1995. In 1993, PPGE was reorganized, focusing on lines of research, strengthening the scientific investigation of processes and demands directed to us. In order to meet the dynamic of knowledge production in the contemporary world and specially at FACED, taking into consideration new research groups and professors’ mobility, PPGE lines of research have been widened and/or modified, leading to a curricular reorganization in 2006 based on:
- providing more dynamism to the presented training;
- reducing the duration for the completion of theses and dissertations;
- stimulating the act of researching as a training principle, and a culture production as well, as a mean to provide a more dynamic curriculum that enables students to creatively manage their own training within the research groups, as, for example, by excluding compulsory courses per lines of research; accrediting activities previously without credit, such as Dissertation Project and Thesis Project; creating new courses and removing others. In this way, it reduces the minimum accreditation for the completion of Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Not only following society transformations, theses measures also intended to comply with CAPES recommendations. Such changes made in the curriculum framework became effective in 2007. As a result, and to make the lines more consistent (considered diffuse by CAPES), PPGE reorganized its lines of research as: Curriculum, Information and Training; Philosophy, Language and Pedagogical Praxis; Policy and Education Management; Education, Body Culture and Recreation; Education and Diversity; Education: History, Work and Society.
Thereafter, studies and changes were considered for the Program regulations, outdated in comparison to the progress seen in the training and curriculum. In 2009, the collegiate composition was changed for: one representative for each line of research (coordinators), four faculty members directly elected by the group of permanent professors, and two student representatives, one from each level (master's and doctorate). Such composition allowed for a deeper articulation between the collegiate and the lines of research, more representative participation of faculty and students, in addition to more professors committed to a political, strategic and operational administration of the Program. In 2013, as a result of the imbalance perceived in the intellectual production of the permanent faculty, which reduced the Program’s qualified publications average, an external commission was created to assess PPGE’s faculty members. Based on the commission’s opinion, the Program collegiate decided to relocate some faculty members with low production to collaborator, leading to the termination of the line Education: History, Work and Society, whose professors were relocated. Following these adjustments, the line Philosophy, Language and Pedagogical Praxis changed to “Languages, Subjectivation and Pedagogical Praxis”. PPGE/UFBA, thus, is organized in the five lines of research below:
- Curriculum, Information and Training;
- Languages, Subjectivation and Pedagogical Praxis
- Policy and Education Management
- Education, Body Culture and Recreation
- Education and Diversity
Up to 2016, PPGE had 819 master’s and 426 doctorate alumni, contributing to faculty members’ qualification for universities in Bahia and some parts of the northeast region. Additionally, PPGE alumni have occupied office jobs in the federal, state and municipal educational system. Moreover, the Program has been relevant to the qualification of faculty members of other Brazilian regions and abroad (because of CAPES programs for students from the American continent and Portuguese speaker countries, and of agreements between the Organization of American States and Brazilian universities). During this time, the program also collected substantial experience in advanced studies, becoming an important center of education research in the Brazilian northeast as well other regions of the country. PPGE also offered two classes outside its headquarters – Minter, for faculty members of two state universities from Bahia countryside: State University of Santa Cruz – UESC in 1994 and State University of Southwestern Bahia – UESB in 2007.
In order to reach a higher grade in CAPES evaluation, the program has been focusing in the following actions:
- improvement of existing administration tools and the creation of new guidelines and means aiming at a substantial enhancement of the Program’s performance indicators, according to CAPES assessment criteria.
- a more participative administration, promoting integration and accountability of the entire faculty for the consolidation of the Program.
- integration between faculty and students in order to globally enhance the Program’s performance indicators (quantitative and qualitative)
- individual deadline monitoring for theses and dissertations completion, especially the most critical cases, which has been key to a significant improvement of students’ inflow and outflow
- evaluation of professors for faculty accreditation renewal;
- organization of the Program’s legal landmark, with the sanction of resolutions on accreditation, accreditation renewal and supervision, qualifying exam, aid to faculty and students, according to the Education document from CAPES;
- use of normative instruments, strategies and support to encourage the increase of production among faculty and students, and, especially, faculty-students conjoint production;
- a better delimitation of the permanent professors, based on relevant production criteria;
- admission processes only to professors that fulfill the requirements for production;
- financial aid for faculty members to attend events for which their complete work has been approved or to hold scientific events;
- encouraging faculty to carry out postdoctoral studies or similar programs.
In 2013, the Program faculty counted on 35 permanent professors, 10 collaborators and one visiting professor; in 2014, there were 34 permanent professors and nine collaborators; in 2015, there were 35 permanent professors and nine collaborators; and in 2016, there were 34 permanent professors and three collaborators.
It is important to highlight that since 2012 a retirement process of PPGE faculty members has begun. In 2014, five professors retired and all of them requested for accreditation extension, through PROPAP (Special Program for Participation of Retired Professors in Graduate Research and Extension Activities, under Resolution n. 04/96)
In 2015, four other professors retired, three of them having requested for accreditation extension through PROPAP, and, in 2016, two more retired, having requested for extension as well. Most of the retired professors, thus, kept working in the Program, even though some of them did not offer new vacancies for new students’ supervision, having committed to complete only the ongoing supervisions.
Considering the expected reduction in the Program faculty members, a curriculum analysis process was carried out among professors from UFBA and other close universities, to find out professors for accreditation, according to the criteria established by the area. These measures already presented effects, such as the accreditation of new professors starting from 2015.
The retirements and the offering of new vacancies for professors who fulfill the production requirements only, has affected the offering of vacancies for the Program, reducing the usual 100 vacancies to 80 for each admission process. As for the students, by the end of the 2010-2012 triennium, there were 252 regularly enrolled (94 master’s and 158 PhD candidates). By the end of 2013, there were 259 regular students (110 master’s and 149 PhD candidates); by the end of 2014, 167 regular students (58 master’s and 109 PhD candidates); by the end of 2015, there were 137 students (39 master’s and 98 PhD candidates); and by the end of 2016, 167 regular students (63 master’s and 104 PhD candidates).
Innovative training experiences
Since 2013, PPGE has been developing activities to encourage the involvement of faculty members and students in the Program, in addition to stimulating all of them to dialogue with each other. We observed that the activities had been isolated to each group or line of research with a lack of articulation between them. Among these activities is an inaugural class or a seminar in the beginning of every semester, with renowned researchers addressing a cross-sectional topic, appealing to everybody, thus providing a theoretical deepening and debates on the selected topic.
Another activity aimed at the aforementioned purpose is the broadcasting, through “Faced Web” Radio - https://blog.ufba.br/radiofaced/, of all the seminars and some dissertation and thesis defenses organized by the Program and research groups linked to it.
The radio broadcast via web goes beyond the purpose of content listening, but it also allows online chat participation, with people connected to the website and people who are actually in the event.
This dynamic, found in horizontal means, in network, enables that faculty and students, absent for any reason (conducting research or engaging in other activities outside Salvador, and even those students who are engaged in other kinds of work), can participate in the event, with access to the content and proper interaction.
Also, the audio file is available on the radio podcast, linked for access at the Program website, at any time, anywhere. Another action that integrates faculty and students and makes the training activities more cohesive, is the conjoint planning between professors of different classes but of the same activity or compulsory courses, seeking to overcome fragmented and individualized training practices, which, historically, have been a part of the university culture.
The Program also seeks to financially support and disseminate the seminars organized by PPGE research groups, so that all students interested in these specific topics may participate in and interact with renowned researchers of the topics.
Another action of the Program is the financial support to graduate researchers to participate in events acknowledged by the scientific community, provided that the researcher has an approved paper presentation.
The purpose of this rule is to qualify the Program’s scientific production, integrate our researchers with other groups in Brazil and abroad in order to increase networking and possible institutional agreements.
Researchers are also advised to, after presenting the papers and debating among colleagues, reorganize the work and forward it to journals for publication.
Another innovative experience is the development of digital systems for enrollment and admission of candidates, eliminating the need for on-site enrollment and hard copy documents.
To that end, addressing a request from PPGE, UFBA developed a specific system for candidate admission to all Graduate Programs, comprising all phases of the admission process (access it in: https://sipos.ufba.br/).
This action is forward-looking because it establishes another Graduate Program culture, which is aligned with present-day context and focuses on the digital environment and its potentials for the development of more agile and horizontal processes. It also promotes the so-called “digital inclusion” for professors and students, right on the beginning of their studies.
PPGE does not provide distance learning activities in its curriculum framework. Nonetheless, some faculty members use “Moodle” or “Schoology”, and group discussion in social media (such as Facebook), as a tool for backing classes and developing practices based on online education. PPGE has also used communication channels (web conferencing, video conferencing) for external committee members, from Brazilian or foreign universities, participate even when it is not possible for them to be in Salvador.