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Anexos / Arquivos

Family Literacy Project: A Teaching View

RC: 11614
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5/5 - (1 vote)


MENDONÇA, Fernanda Nayara da Silva [1]

MENDONÇA, Fernanda Nayara da Silva. Family Literacy Project: A Teaching View. Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal. Edition 08. Year 02, Vol. 01. pp. 149-160, November 2017. ISSN:2448-0959


We are currently experiencing many educational transformations, especially in what concerns pedagogical activities, we have historically advanced, in a way that we decentralize the power of the teacher.  The research reported here is the work with literacy projects, whose proposal is a school open to families and the community with the intuition of, through language, to intervene in society. This proposal is being developed with teachers from the municipal school network located in the rural region of Natal, which aims to sensitize teachers about the importance of family in school and to guide them in relation to working with literacy projects. During this process we come across the genres questionnaire and experience report as an alternative of sensitization and motivation of teachers. In order to deepen the research, we study the literature on literacy offered by Kleiman (1995, 2001, 2005), on teacher education and literacy projects by Oliveira (2011), Tinoco (2008) , gender and agency by Bazerman (2006). For this, we use a qualitative methodology of collaborative character. This research brings together collaborations for literacy studies, as well as for research on teacher education, since, in the context of the research, found genres that propelled the teachers' agency to the problem of closed school.

Keywords: Teaching Motivation, Continuing Education, Literature Projects, Agency.


With the emergence of the Scholastic movement with John Dewey, created in opposition to traditionalism, we see that the student ceases to be a passive being and becomes an autonomous individual, one who builds his own knowledge, while the teacher assumes a complementary role in this relationship, becoming a "mediator".

The role of the teacher in the classrooms has changed over the years, but he has not ceased to play an essential role in the school life of the students, since it promotes an environment that favors the construction of knowledge, that is, it has become an agent bein[2]g. In addition to these roles, the role of the family is not only limited to taking the children to school, but it is also necessary to participate in their school life, including in pedagogical activities.

One way of changing this social reality in schools has been favored with the pedagogy of projects, in our case, the projects of literacy, which enable the ways of reading and writing for a certain purpose. However, these practices of reading and writing are not limited to Portuguese language classes, but to the breadth of the curriculum of basic education, even though it is fragmented. We must then relate school knowledge to social knowledge.

Working with literacy projects necessarily implies a reflection on the genres and their role in society, because it is through them that we are able to act socially. With this, the project in question seeks to sensitize teachers to the practice of family literacy, a presence that is still deficient in the community. It is necessary that the teacher encourages the participation of these parents to be in the school environment beings transforming ideas and constructors of new attitudes, but it is up to the teacher to encourage and promote a space of socialization between the families in the school space itself.

Thus, the government must also contribute to the promotion of this articulation, creating public policies to encourage and comply with this act also proposed in NCPs. However, there are factors outside the classroom that contribute strongly to the slowdown in educational policy advancements; LDB and PPP, have become unable and insufficient to cooperate with the varied and complex school situations. These professionals are "dropped" in the educational institutions and there forgotten by the authorities.

In view of such considerations it is possible to raise the following questions: Would the teacher have received the necessary motivations to embark on a 'new' pedagogical proposal (as in the case of teachers involved in the project)? How can the gêneros questionnaire and experience report collaborate in this process of teacher awareness?

Thus, the present article aims to analyze the implications of the questionnaire genre and experience report produced by teachers of the municipal school network of São Gonçalo do Amarante, metropolitan region of Natal, during the initial process of developing a family literacy project. This analysis will contemplate the gender reflections of discourse according to Sócioretorica besides observing the contributions of these reflections to the teaching-learning process and, consequently, the change in the work activities of the teaching profession.


The present article will include analyzes of the questionnaire genres and experience report developed in the semester of 2015.2 in a municipal school of SGA (São Gonçalo do Amarante), metropolitan region of Natal, through the project "The habitus of studying: constructor of a new reality of the basic education of the metropolitan region of Natal "of UFRN, financed by CAPES.

We focus on Family Literacy Studies promoting reflective sessions with the teachers of the school in question, with the aim of discussing and promoting reflections on their practices, and presenting them with pedagogy with literacy projects as a way of approaching school-family- community.

It is an institution located in the rural area of ​​the city, the school acts in the morning and evening shifts, with 9 classes from the 1st to the 9th year, that is, fundamental I and II. They are a multi-grade class (1st, 2nd and 3rd year), a 4th grade class and a 5th grade class in the morning, and the afternoon classes run from 6th to 9th grade, with the support of 10 teachers in the total.


According to Soares (2009), in Brazil, the term literacy was first used in the book "In the world of writing: a psycholinguistic perspective", by the author Mary Kato, in the year 1986. Years later, this word is used again in the cover of the book "Literacy and literacy" in 1988, by Leda V. Tfouni, and Ângela Kleiman's "The meanings of literacy" in 1995. Due to the need to coin a new nomenclature for this new vision of education that the country began to see, came the word literacy, which, etymologically, is an attempt to translate the word literacy, English term. This, in turn, comes from the Latin littera, which can be translated by letter.

According to Kleiman (2005) we can not treat as synonyms literacy and literacy, since one is contained in the other. The teaching of reading and writing is one of the literacy practices that children experience, considering that coding and decoding words can be one of the processes to act in society, engaging in political, economic, social and educational discussions, among other actions civic Thus, in this work we assume the concept of literacy as "a set of social practices that use writing, as a symbolic system and as technology, in specific contexts, for specific objectives" (KLEIMAN, 1995).

Given that the context of the research occurs in a community where many parents do not yet master this practice of literacy literacy, this is characterized as one of the justifications in which parents give because they do not feel able to help their children at school, or feel comfortable in the school environment.

To live in society, it is not enough for us to be present, but to intervene in the environment, and reading and writing is the way we can interfere, and the way this learning process is established was rooted in our culture. A large part of the population believes that dictation of words, syllabic separation, copy of texts, isolated grammatical studies, essays, etc. are ways to effectively practice reading and writing, and if any of these processes do not occur is proof that schools are teaching wrong.

Ribeiro & Maimoni (2006) emphasize how reading and writing were key to the great revolutions and how it intensified hierarchically the arrest of power by those who dominated it. The same happens in today's society, where the word is the element of power, who makes use of reading and writing to give voice to their points of view excels others.

Experiencing this fact motivates parents and teachers to believe more in the potential of their children and students, since in the proposal of literacy students are no longer silenced and have a voice in society, which used to be restricted to the upper classes.

But such actions and results are only possible when using convincing strategies that encourage the awareness of teachers who will become more autonomous and their classes more critical, showing their students that the learning space is not limited to the classroom.

Therefore, every individual, even before they are literate, are already literate individuals, because they are inserted in a society and interact in this environment, influencing and being influenced by the culture, this defining personality. It is necessary to realize that it is not enough for us to learn to read for reading, or to write for writing, but to read and write for social participation. Many schools still do not recognize the importance of re-signification of teaching, and especially of reading and writing practices. This shows the difficulty in uprooting this traditional aspect still so cultural.


Literacy studies are also about the agentive nature of practices, in which all actors involved in actions are agents of literacy. According to BAZERMAN (2006: 11) the agency "provides us with means by which we reach others through time and space, to share our thoughts, to interact, to influence and to cooperate." Since the authors are agents, people who through their writings have increased and changed the thinking and action of the community. To do so, these shares are made through discursive genres (Bakhtinian conception).

Bakhtin, in contrast to the Saussurian studies, saw that language is not restricted only to a social fact that starts from the need for communication, it is also speech, non-individual in nature linked to social structures. Thus, language provides a social transformation, since it establishes relations of power and conflicts. Given the social evolutions, the ideologies of a people live in constant change, therefore, this influence and modifies the language. Based on these primary and fundamental conceptions, it is observed that literacy studies are very close to them, since part of the premise that the language (oral or written) is capable of transforming the individual's social reality.

Taking possession of this vision of verbal interaction in language, we observe the importance of communication and with it the statement, which for Bakhtin is the basic unit of the language of an ideological nature, that is, it can not be understood outside its social context. We realize that one of the biases of literacy studies is to sensitize the other and this practice is done through statements, and these statements logically are loaded with ideologies, because it is from the argument that we stimulate the other to reflect on the problems in their social contexts and urge them to develop strategies in an attempt to change that reality.

All social spheres are linked by statements (oral or written), that is, they are permeated by language, aiming at specific goals making use of styles, thematic content and compositional constructions that are embedded in the statement and meeting the need for communication. Each field uses the language to construct its statements that are relatively stable and these are called genres of discourse.

Given the multiplicity of the genre, we must also recognize the plurality of literacy (s). We live in an ever-changing society, as well as the re-signification of reading and writing practices, Rojo (2009) makes us reflect on this important observation:

We can say that, due to globalization, the world has changed a lot in the last two decades. In terms of the demands of new literacies, it is especially important to highlight the changes related to the media and the circulation of information (ROJO, 2009, p.105).

In this way, we see this need for 'new literacies' in the formation of teachers, who in our research claim to be ignorant of their work with 'literacy projects' and lack the motivation to embark on this 'new' conception. This motivation does not come from school management, neither from the city hall nor from its fundamental partner, the families.

It is evident that with new information and communication technologies (ICTs), new practices and literacy events have emerged and are appearing at all times, for this reason the schools, and consequently, teachers must re-adjust their practices from their context . We realize then, in our meetings with the teachers, that the gender most used by them is the report of experience, a way of letting go. We came to the conclusion that it is through this genre that we can change the reality of the school's faculty, that reality is local, but it resembles many others.

Thinking about literacy is to consider the myriad of social practices that involve reading and writing, they can be scholarly and non-scholarly. For Rojo (2009, p. 107), working with multiple literacy means to "ignore or erase the literacies of the local cultures of their agents (teachers, students, school community) and put them in touch with the valued literatures, universal and institutional ".

Therefore,[…] "genders shape the thoughts we form and the communications through which we interact" (BAZERMAN, 2006. P. 23). The situation described by Bazerman evidences the situations of discussions in the meetings between teachers that we promoted in our project, the gender narrative is something cognitive, all the positions of the teachers are based on their experiences, be they aspects of the classroom or rescuing their memories school children.


Family literacy studies are being pioneered in countries such as the United States, Australia and Canada, with Family Literacy Programs. According to Caspe (2003) the term "family literacy" is being studied by some biases, they are:

(1) to describe the study of literacy in the family, (2) to describe a set of interventions related to the development of literacy of young children, and (3) to refer to a set of programs designed to improve literacy skills more than one member of the family (Britto & Brooks-Gunn, 2001; Handel, 1999; Wasik et al., 2000)

We believe that for the development of any of these aspects it is necessary to have a more sensitive view of the teachers, since these are the agents responsible for making these family members present at school.

An alternative to approaching school and family is through literacy projects, which was defined by Kleiman (2000) as:

[…] a set of activities that originates from a real interest in the life of students and whose realization involves the use of writing, that is, the reading of texts that, in fact, circulate in society and the production of texts that will be read, in a collective work of students and teachers, each according to their capacity. The literacy project is a social practice in which writing is used to achieve some other purpose, which goes beyond mere learning of writing (the learning of formal aspects only), transforming circular objectives such as "writing to learn to write" and " read to learn to read "in reading and writing to understand and learn what is relevant to the development and realization of the project (KLEIMAN 2000: 228).

In this way, the literacy projects start from a problem situation detected in the community, and from there, it looks for ways to intervene, through the discursive genres, in the community with the intention of collaborating to solve the problem. This way of conducting the learning teaching process requires the teacher to be flexible, that is, to be always willing to listen to the other agents involved in the project, and accept the various changes that may occur during the project.

We understand that studying these concepts and applying them in our family literacy project will bring great contributions to the development of this concept, since we are immersed in a rural community whose culture is to believe that only the school is in charge of educating its children, view that "illiterate or uneducated" parents feel unable to collaborate with any knowledge. However, from the point of view of literacy, reading and writing practices at home and the experiences of parents are fundamental for the improvement of the process of teaching learning.

Teachers, students and families involved in a work, whose objective is to participate actively in the problems faced by the community in an attempt to solve them, makes us intervene in the dictatorial model that still live the residents of this community, spontaneously assuje.


For the realization of the literacy project in Guanduba, we need to involve the school community as a whole, for that, we had to initially apply a questionnaire with the teachers. We had a return of 7 questionnaires answered, we soon noticed a deficit in the teaching staff.

Of the 7 questionnaires answered, 6 teachers are married and have children, being only a single. In this way, teachers are interested and anxious to participate in the "family literacy project", since they recognize the importance of the family and of the whole community in the school environment, described by one of the teachers as a "necessary link for the satisfactory development of students "(JN).

Graph 1 - Residency of teachers. Source: researcher's collection
Graph 1 – Residency of teachers. Source: researcher's collection

Based on figure 1, we can see that most of the teachers do not reside in the community, so it is a simple community with little study, considering that the main source of income of its inhabitants are the factories of ceramics, textiles and agriculture. In addition, because it is a small city, many teachers have relatives who reside in the community, and for that reason they have a close relationship with many families.

Among the teachers who already have children, all report their activities to their children, such as follow-up at school, during the activities of the home, research work and encouraging studies. However, they show up with "lack of time" to go to school to attend parent-teacher meetings, so they become contradictory in their accounts, as they find it essential to narrow the bonds between family and school.

From the reading of the questionnaires of the teachers we realized that the participation of the family in the school is limited, often restricts only the presence of these in the act of enrollment. Those parents who get involved just go to school on commemorative dates and the majority of those present are the mothers, given the still archaic family configuration, because they care for the home and the children while the parents work outside. As teachers make these observations in their questionnaires, they become "research professors".


They are involved in this research teachers with a lot of career time, 32 years, and beginners, with 4 years of experience. Time does not measure the capacity of any professional, on the contrary, their experiences make them even more capable of helping students to build their knowledge. In teaching, considering the life history of the teacher tells a lot about the professional that is, and consequently, the professional that can become, since to reflect his life history and his performance is a way to rethink their practices.

The teacher A.S. tells of her difficult life, taking care of her siblings and the house when she was a child, this became a prime factor in ensuring today her daughter a life focused on the studies: "Many people want me to enroll my daughter in these government projects that inserts the young people in the labor market, but soon I rebuke saying how hard I work so that my daughter only studies. For this reason, even with so many difficulties, such as lack of time, the teacher tries to participate fully in her daughter's school activities.

Actively participating in the school life of the children is merit for a few, some of the teachers reported needing or needing to work more than one shift to ensure quality teaching for their children, and for that reason their participation in the school is limited. With this, it is observed that despite preaching family life as an important aspect for the school success of students, they can not apply this concept in their own home.

"I had a student who did not interact with anyone and did not progress in reading and writing, but when he was now, he 'desarnou' and is reading better than anyone … I met his mother and she told me that now the boy talks on facebook and is even dating. So… Like this… we conquer the student first, and then that achievement extends even home … she was happy with the boy's change. "(V.A.)

We can observe in this assertion that it is an account of one of the teachers who are part of the 'family literacy project', the teacher's pleasure and sense of accomplishment when receiving the recognition of a mother, who started with the construction of a friendship between teacher and the student. It seems to us that the situation described by the teacher had been lost in her memory, and when she remembers herself she feels fulfilled and admired by the other teachers.

This means that the participation of the family in the school not only favors the student, but also the teacher, who feels more confident, more stimulated and more gratified by the positive return of such dedication, thus strengthening the relationship.


Education is constantly changing, always in an attempt to improve the process of teaching learning, not only for the students, but also for the teachers, given that they not only teach, but learn from their students and their experiences. Therefore, literacy projects favor this environment of knowledge exchange.

With this, we realize that the teachers of the school in question feel the need to learn to work with projects, since they do not have the support of the higher instances with the provision, for example, of a continuous formation. This situation implies the demotivation of this class. However, the absence of authority and technological support does not imply that it is impossible to design.

When applying the questionnaire genres and experience report we perceive that such texts favored this motivation, the questionnaire projects a researcher feeling, opening a range of ideas and initiatives for a possible change; and the experience report is already part of the discourse of this professional class, be it analyzing classroom situations or rescuing their school memories, a sense thus boosted through discursive genres.

As we make use of these genres we are emerging the role of "agent", the civic power that reading and writing can emerge within their community, giving voice to the previously muted teacher.  It is in this environment of constant transformation that the genres must be inserted. Of course we can not standardize these practices and texts, but we must adapt them to the situations that are being offered.


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[1] Graduated in Letters, Portuguese language qualification and literatures by UFRN and post-graduate of PPgEL.

[2] We adopted the author's concept of author Charles Bazerman. This concept will be further elaborated.

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