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The social representations of the concept of “learning” in Early Childhood Education

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LIMA, Iris Ferreira De [1]

LIMA, Iris Ferreira De. The social representations of the concept of “learning” in Early Childhood Education. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 11, Vol. 14, pp. 127-166. November 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


This work aims to identify the social representations about the concept of learning in Early Childhood Education, for parents/guardians and teachers, with the relevance of verifying the obviity of this concept and highlighting the importance of student education in this phase of schooling. The study was carried out in two school units, one in the rural area and the other in the urban area, both located in the Vale do Paraíba, in the interior of São Paulo. The theoretical foundation is based on the Theory of Social Representations, the reference of the Common National Curriculum Base on the concept of learning and the theories of Piaget, Vygotsky and Wallon. This is a qualitative and quantitative research, with exploratory character. The participants were 12 active teachers and 08 parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school units selected for the study. For data collection, the instruments used were questionnaire and focus group. Data were processed through content analysis and compilation through categories using Bardin’s (2009) theoretical studies and the use of the IRAMUTEQ program as reference. In view of the results, it can be verified that the social representations about the concept of “learning” between parents/guardians and teachers present significant differences regarding the expectations of the contents worked in Early Childhood Education, since the concept of learning for teachers is appropriate and familiar as a teaching practice in forming citizens in a global way, while for parents/guardians the concept of learning is directly associated with literacy action.  These differences are evidenced both in rural and urban schools. It is observed that the concept of learning is based on the practical realities of the participating groups, which, according to their values and beliefs, conceptualize it.  For both groups, the importance of Early Childhood Education becomes less care representative and more educational.

Keywords: Social representations, Early Childhood Education, concept of learning.


With the new perspectives of education for the elaboration of a Common National Curriculum Base (BNCC), this will also reflect changes in early childhood education, and it is then relevant to understand the concept of learning for the first years of schooling.

By understanding this concept, it is possible to verify the level of influence of these representations on the students’ learning, since they reflect knowledge inside and outside the school environment, considering their ability to adapt and solve problems in everyday life, being influenced agents and/or influencers in the society in which they are inserted.

Being a basis for basic education, the recognition of children as a subject of rights places Early Childhood Education as a social need, occupying, in the scenario of Brazilian educational policy, a space of significant relevance.

There is a time in which it is possible to realize that due to the “societal transformations allied to social movements and studies about childhood, the recognition of the importance of children’s education for the full development of the potentialof the human being has been intensified” (ANDRADE, 2009, p. 21).

Thus, there is an intensification in the process of expanding a small child care, focusing on the educational character, at which time it gains greater centrality in educational policies. And with the proposals of the State to have a common curriculum at the national level, the study proposed here takes as reference, the definition elaborated by the National Common Curriculum Base (BNCC, 2017), on the concept of learning in Early Childhood Education, as an object of study.

In BNCC (COMMON NATIONAL CURRICULUM BASE, 2017), the concept of learning for young children is defined as a process of integral education that must develop the necessary skills so that students can act and transform their reality, seeking to build a truly democratic society, taking into account the diversities and needs that constitute the education scenario (BRASIL, 2017).

Once the concept of learning is explicit to teachers and parents/guardians, it will be possible for teachers to guide their pedagogical actions to achieve this goal, as well as for parents/guardians it will be possible to measure the results of these actions in their practical reality.

Teachers, by having very clear the concept of learning, in all their activities, such as planning, projects, among other actions in their daily practice, will also be focused on this concept and the objective that it proposes to achieve.

Therefore, when a teacher proposes an activity, it is necessary to be clear that it should have the focus focused on the integral formation of the student, seeking to prepare the student to know the world that surrounds him, and that he should provide changes in the reality of it; because only then the activity will be really intentional, that is, the teacher’s work proposal will actually be meeting the concept of learning. But if this does not occur, the sense of the proposal is lost, the activity no longer has the objectivity to learn it.

For parents/guardians to have the concept of learning evident, they will be able to measure whether their children are learning, if they are expanding their knowledge, as well as it will be possible for them to dialogue about pedagogical practices with teachers, about teaching-learning expectations for students, and other relevant subjects when learning, in Early Childhood Education.

It is important, for parents/guardians, to know that learning goes beyond a stage of schooling, because there is much more to add to the student’s life, and that this knowledge will be part of the student’s entire journey, because knowledge will be applied throughout his/her life path. Therefore, parents need to know what the child learns at all times in Early Childhood Education, whether in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in the bathroom, in the interactive room, in the routine of entering and leaving school, in the interaction with the colleague, with the teacher, among other situations.

With each step that the student performs in the school context, he will be getting to know himself, also knowing and appropriating the world in which he is inserted, and if this stage is well elaborated, the student will have an educational basis based on a knowledge capable of promoting a learning that he will take beyond the limits of the school, and thus it will be possible to confirm that teaching and learning was efficient.

In this sense, it is necessary to be clear the starting point, the reference that justifies all pedagogical actions, this concept goes beyond one(s) or another(s) practice(s) of teaching and learning, it encompasses all the action within the school context, and elevates it to something broader, which involves various aspects of the subject’s life and its interaction with the world.

By providing teachers and parents/guardians with the obvidaity of the concept of learning, this will also broaden their horizons about teaching-learning, and the importance of Early Childhood Education for the training of students.

Therefore, the relevance of this study lies in studying the social representations of teachers and parents/guardians about the concept of learning in Early Childhood Education, through the Theory of Social Representations. This theory emphasizes the study of social relations that in this research, part of the analysis of the social context, the school, in which the subjects are inserted.

In the context of the school, individuals are influenced by the relationships established by the members of the school community, and from these relationships that are constituted the thoughts that will be anchored and objectified by the subjects, in order to remain as they are, or will be modified from the reflections made by the individuals.

Therefore, when considering the referential object, the concept of “learning”, it is important to verify whether the research participants share the same thoughts, values and beliefs or not. Just as, when reflecting on this object, whether your thoughts will be kept or modified.



The Theory of Social Representations aims to study how the construction of the subject’s internal world takes place from the social relations lived by him. From their experiences in the objective world, the subject is influenced to create his subjectivity, especially his social interactions are a constitutive factor of his subjectivity (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

Social Psychology considers man as a social being by nature, and that goes beyond the objectivity of behavior in society, is the need of the man in motion, who creates and transforms his relationship with the internal world, from the external contents, which constantly influence his process of change, even if apparently it was not observable (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

Man as a social being builds himself and at the same time builds society and history. Therefore, in order to understand this social man and his movement and transformation of/in the world, it is necessary to analyze his activity, consciousness and identity (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

Activity is understood as the relationship of constructing and transforming the world, which will simultaneously be done in the internal and external world of man, because as the subject appropriates the environment in which he is inserted, this impacts on his “psyche”, and in this way the subject becomes an eternal “becoming” of a new subject (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

Consciousness is man’s ability to make a reading of the objective world, understand this world, transform it into ideas and images, and from this information understand what is produced in the objective world, appropriating a “knowledge”. This knowledge is the appropriation of the contents experienced at work, in personal life, in social relations, which enable man to appropriate not only his present experience, but also the construction of a world, through the culture and history already made by other men over time, and to verify new ways of building his future (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

To express human consciousness the individual uses language. It is through this that the ideas are shared and the representations of the objective world are constructed collectively and with meaning for the subject, that is, from the experience in society (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007).

Identity is, therefore, the representation of the subject about himself, considering it as totality, but at the same time seeks his singularity in confrontation with the other. And because it is a social being, in constant transformation, identity “is a continuum of representations of its being in the world.” (BOCK; FURTADO and TEIXEIRA, 2007, p.145). Therefore, Social Psychology has contributed to understand how man in society does, thinks and acts before the world.

Starting from this point of view, other scholars propose to understand these social representations made by man to understand and verify the transformations both in the objective and subjective world sofa.

Durkheim was the first to identify social objects, which can be imaginary or real, such as an event, a psychic or social material, a phenomenon, an idea, a theory), as social mental productions, in a study of “collective ideation”. It also defines the concepts “individual representations”, being the object of study of psychology and “collective representations”, as an object of study of sociology.

In the 1960s, based on social psychology and Durkheim’s proposal on representations, Serge Moscovici, in his studies proposes the concept of social representations, so representations are based on “social ideations”, which marks a new look at social psychology proposing the study of social representations from the subject’s relations with society , and that can be understood through the symbolic behavior manifested in their habits, values, beliefs, etc., which are present in our daily lives.

For Moscovici (2011), social representations circulate, intersect and crystallize continuously, through words, gestures, meetings, which, in the face of shared communication between the subjects, become almost tangible in the daily world.

Thus, man living in society actively participates in social processes, being a preserving or transforming agent of these, and that at the same time impact on his personal experience in the face of experiences of being in the world (MOSCOVICI, 2011).

Therefore, “socially representing involves understanding the values and beliefs that make up a society. Representations arise from the need to understand the unknown, to make stable what causes instability.” (CHAMON, 2009, p.41).

The social man lives in a world in which things are constantly changing, and when faced with the new ends up having to create a representation about the unknown, that is, the instability of each act of knowing the world, ends up generating a purpose of familiarization, making what is not known something known, and this process occurs over everything collectively , where knowledge is built and shared among all in society (MOSCOVICI, 2011).

An observable way of this process of knowing and sharing social representations is done by the social man through language, which is the symbolic way to organize his thought, but the way of thinking and what he thinks depends on representations, that is, depends on whether or not the subject has the representation of such “object” (MOSCOVICI, 2011).

According to Moscovici, (2011, p. 51) ” […] if we think before we speak and talk to help ourselves think, we also speak to provide a sound reality to the inner pressure of these conversations, through which we connect with others.”

Communication in society has the fundamental role of favoring the subject’s ability to represent the world’s thought, so that others can also understand, appropriate representations and share, thus constituting culture, history and human nature itself (JODELET, 2001).

As Jodelet (2001, p.22) defines social representation “[…] is a form of knowledge, socially elaborated and shared, with a practical goal, and which contributes to the construction of a reality common to a social set.”

Therefore, it is worth mentioning that the school is a social environment, full of representations, which are shared by all members involved in the learning teaching process, in a practical way contained in the daily life of the subjects who know through the collective the way of thinking the society in which they are inserted.

The school is then an environment of socialization and represents for society a formalization recognized by the collectivity of transmission of socially accumulated knowledge.

According to Chamon (2009, p.3), […] ” although there is individual appropriation/reconstruction of social representations, they overflow the mental life of the isolated individual and form a reality of their own, composing the identity of a social group, guiding and justifying their social practices.”

As Moscovici (2011, p.40) states, the collective process penetrates as a determining factor within individual thought, these social representations appear, almost as material objects, because they are the product of the actions and communication of the subject.

It is also in the school that the individual has access to representations, being able to represent, preserve or modify them in the interaction process.

According to Jodelet (2001), social representations enable the subject to understand the world in which he is inserted and to rule it, through reinterpretation and elaboration of concepts, without thus individuals becoming appropriate dwellers.

This appropriation, is the way to make the subject aware of the world in which he is inserted and at the same time aware of himself, while being in the world and transforming agent of this.

Moscovici (2011) points out that a representation is a form of practical knowledge, connecting a subject to an object, and in this sense to quantify this knowledge it is necessary to consider the experience, the references and conditions from which it is produced, and above all how this representation is employed in the social context.

Then, in order to understand the school context, it is necessary to understand the various social representations contained therein.


Brazilian education with the intention of promoting integral human formation and the construction of a more just, democratic and inclusive society has had great challenges to be faced.

With the Common National Curriculum Base, the State fulfills this role of proposing changes, since it is necessary to promote and guarantee all students opportunities, permanence, learning and development as a right, and thus equity and equality will be present in fact in the educational process, providing a quality and significant education for the Brazilian population (BNCC, 2017).

In this sense, the Common National Curriculum Base (2017) and curricula are identified in the communion of principles and values that recognize that education has a commitment to global human formation and development, in its intellectual, physical, affective, social, ethical, moral and symbolic dimensions.

However, it is important to consider that in Brazil, with the autonomy of the federated entities, the marked cultural diversity and deep social inequalities, seeking equity in education, emphasizes the need for differentiated curricula appropriate to each system, network and school institution. (BNCC, 2017).

In this sense, it is necessary to verify whether it really fits the proposition of a national curriculum, in the face of such a diverse educational scenario and with very significant social inequalities.

Thus, BNCC (2017) proposes that in the area of education can work with the necessary skills for students to have an integral education, and thus be transforming agents of their reality, building a society with equity and equality, but considering the diversities and needs of all subjects involved in the school process.

Considering the term competence, the conceptions elaborated in the BNCC (2017), to explain the focus of this proposal and definition of the term, highlights that for Early Childhood Education, the focus of the school curriculum, will be to value and use the historically constructed knowledge about the physical, social and cultural world to understand and explain its reality collaborating to build a better society. To achieve this goal, pedagogical practices in schools should develop significant skills in students.

These competencies encompass according to the BNCC (2017), exercise the intellectual curiosity of students, using the own approach of the sciences, which is, investigate, elaborate and test and then formulate and solve problems, based on the knowledge of different areas.

It should develop the aesthetic sense, through various artistic and cultural manifestations, whether local or worldwide.

Propose different ways of using languages: verbal and/or verbal-visual (such as Libras), to provide different contexts to generate opportunities to express ideas and feelings that lead to produce mutual senses and understandings

Propose actions for students to have access to and use digital technologies in their daily lives, advising communication, and also produce knowledge and facilitate problem solving.

To lead the subjects to appropriate the knowledge and experiences of the world in which they are inserted, enabling them to understand the relations of the world of work and the ability to make their choices assertively.

Develop an ethical positioning in students, considering human rights and socio-environmental awareness, respecting oneself, the other and the planet.

To enable students, actions that promote self-knowledge, learning to deal with their emotions and that of others, establishing adequate interpersonal relationships, welcoming and valuing the diversity of individuals and social groups, without prejudices of origin, ethnicity, gender, age, skill/need, religious conviction or any other nature, recognizing itself as part of a collective with which it must commit.

In this way the student will be led by the school to build either at the individual or collective level, inclusive, sustainable and supportive ethical principles, in order to in fact become a participatory and transformative citizen of a society.

Considering the proposal of education and the competencies presented in the BNCC, it presents a structure in which one can understand each stage of schooling for education, considering in this work the stages of Early Childhood Education.

For BNCC (2017), the structure of Early Childhood Education includes ensuring the right of learning and development of students, through six (06) axes that are defined as: Living, Playing, Participating, Exploring, Expressing, Getting to know each other. These axes will be worked considering five (05) fields of experience, which are: The i, the other and the nodes; Body, gestures and movements; Strokes, sounds, colors and shapes; Orality and writing; Spaces, times, quantities, relationships and transformations.  These fields of experience will be comtemplados and organized according to three (03) groups of age groups that are: 0 to 1 year and six months; 1 year and seven months to 3 years and 11 months; 4 years to 5 years and 11 months.

The six (06) structuring axes for pedagogical practice proposed in the BNCC (2017), ensure the rights of learning and development, through interactions and games that are pertinent to basic education for children from 0 to 5 years, with an educational intentionality present in all pedagogical practices in Early Childhood Education.

In order for this goal to be achieved in Early Childhood Education the BNCC (2017), proposes that educational practices in school units should promote the coexistence of children with other children and adults, favoring interactions between subjects and stimulating respect between cultures and differences between people.

It emphasizes that play should occur in different forms and in different spaces and times, contributing to expand and diversify students’ knowledge through the valorization of games and the development of actions that awaken imagination, creativity, emotional, bodily, sensory, expressive, cognitive, social and relational experiences.

In Early Childhood Education should also be a democratic and active space of the student in the face of school management and the proposed activities, such as promoting moments in which students can choose games, materials and environments, promoting. Thus, the student can develop skills to decide and position themselves, in view of the proposed situations.

The school should also be the space to expand knowledge about the culture in which the student is inserted and other cultures different from his, using different types of materials and resources that can promote knowledge and learning, exploring different resources inside and outside the school.

Through structured practices the student should explore movements, gestures, sounds, shapes, textures, colors, words, emotions, transformations, relationships, stories, objects, elements of nature, through productions in arts, writing, science and technology.

To opportunist the subject in the school unit moments of expressing themselves in a creative and sensitive way, establishing an appropriate dialogue through different languages, making it possible for them to make hypotheses and discoveries, issue opinions and ask questions, to meet their needs, emotions and feelings as well as clarify their doubts about the world what is around.

These actions should also enable the student to build his/her identity (personal, social and cultural), underscoring the positive image of himself, through various experiences that the school, family and community can promote to students, whether through care, interactions, games or different languages.

On the other hand, the five (05) fields of experience are described in the BNCC (2017), considers that schools should work based on field 1, social interactions to form perceptions about themselves and about others, must participate in social relationships and care people to build their autonomy and sense of self-care, reciprocity and interdependence with the environment.

Therefore, it is necessary to create opportunities for students to have possibilities to expand the way of perceiving themselves and others, of valuing their identity, of respecting the differences, which constitute us and make us human beings and unique in their essence.

In field 2, the proposal is to work the body, through different languages, offering the child to know and recognize their emotions, bodily functions and in their gestures and movement, to identify their potentialities and limits. Faced with this body awareness, the student will be able to understand what is safe and what is risk, also learning to take care of oneself, and maintain their physical integrity.

In Early Childhood Education, through playful practices and social interaction, children are led to take care of the physical, oriented towards independence and freedom, being able to explore and experience a diverse repertoire of movements with the body discovering different ways of being in the world, without feeling subjugated.

In field 3, the orientation is to experience different forms of expression and language, having access to different artistic, cultural and scientific manifestations. It should also provide students with the authorship and create their own productions.

These school practices favor from an early age that the child develops his/her sensitivity, critical sense, the ability to appreciate, manifest and produce, in view of their artistic experiences and experiences.

In field 4, it emphasizes the importance of oral language, with actions that can favor speaking and listening, expanding vocabulary and also developing the internalization of more complex linguistic structures and the conception of written language.

The many possibilities of bringing the child closer to reading and writing, makes it develop its hypotheses for learning to be and write, as well as the understanding of writing as a representation of orality.

And in field 5, the focus is on inserting the child into the world through various spaces and times, quantities, relationships and transformations, favoring the observation of phenomena, the manipulation of objects, the investigation and exploration of everything around them. Through these actions the student will raise hypotheses and will seek answers for them, so he will know better the world in which he is inserted.

BNCC (2017) also presents a synthesis of learning, describing for each field of experiences what is essential for the student to learn, so that the transition from Early Childhood Education to elementary school is efficient. This synthesis will guide those involved in the educational process of the country, with regard to what will be expected for a quality transition, with the objective of interacting and continuing the students’ learning, making these elements presented in the synthesis, reference indicators for all the work performed in the first stage of Brazilian Early Childhood Education (2017).

Both the axes and the experiential fields according to the BNCC (2017), need to be worked in order to consider the three (03) age groups and the first two are characteristicized by students of day care centers comprising the age group from 0 to 01 year and 6months and the other range from 1 year and 7 months to 3 years and 11 months , and later the range of 04 to 5 years and 11 months comprising the preschool students. However, these age groups cannot be considered rigidly, because especially the groups of age groups can present children with different characteristics, with pace of learning and development who will need a pedagogical practice that respects these differences, facilitating the learning and overcoming of the stage of Early Childhood Education so that the transition to elementary school in an appropriate and effective way.

In Early Childhood Education there is also the evaluation process, considering that the child is in a certain phase of development and that in its context there is care, play and educating. The evaluation should include the daily practice of teaching and learning, thus building a continuous process of educational development.

Based on this point of view, the evaluation in Early Childhood Education must be formative, that is, the one that “[…] contributes to the regulation of ongoing learning in the sense of the targeted areas.” (PERRENOUD, 1999, p.77).

In Early Childhood Education the process of evaluating is continuous and daily, with the possibility of visualizing the result that is desired, but it is not only this end, but above all through diversified activities and significant records, that the teacher will contribute to the student’s learning, verifying their advances, their permanence and setbacks in the face of the learned contents. Thus, learning is not only of the student but also of the teacher, who needs to reflect, evaluate and learn new ways of teaching to act consciously of their role (PERRENOUD, 1999).

Taking this perspective of evaluating in Early Childhood Education, the objective of retaining or promoting the student loses its meaning, and begins to have the sense of following the evolution of the student, and verify how much he progressed before what was offered to him in the context in which he is inserted. This is confirmed in the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education, Law 9.394: Art. 31, “in Early Childhood Education, the evaluation will be done by monitoring and recording its development, without the objective of promotion, even for access to elementary school.” (BRASIL, 1996).

Evaluating is a complex process that involves a critical view of the teacher about his pedagogical practice, inserted in the school context full of demands and diversities, which impact on the expectations of parents, students, principals, coordinators, community, State and the teacher himself, but it is inherent for the school to know how much the student has progressed and because of this there is a resource to be established for this , and if it is well understood and applied it will have reached its goal (RAIZER, 2009).


Throughout the history of education many contributions have come from different areas of study, for a better understanding of the child and his process of development and learning, more specifically from the eighteenth century, the child comes to be seen by society as a subject with needs and object of expectations and care. In this sense, many ideas emerged as ways to educate children.

As the theoretical contributions, from Piaget, Vygotsky and Wallon, to understand the process of development and learning of the child.

For Piaget, and his theory based on interactionism, a concept that emphasizes that the individual learns from the relationships he establishes with the environment in which he is inserted, considering all his culture and history. The subject is a being who acts with the environment, and it is in this process that he is able to acquire knowledge about the world. But for the acquisition to be effective, it is necessary to verify the level of the cognitive structures of the same, that is, the subject is only able to learn if he cognitively can reflect on his knowledge. For him it was important to know how the subject then acquired knowledge and thus constitute themselves as human beings, different from other beings (TRISTÃO, 2010).

For this, he proposed a practical approach to analyze the child behavior, and verify how thought was constituted, considering the stages of development.

Piaget also points out that the acquisition of knowledge is gradual, but for progression to be positive, the subject would need to establish a balancing process. The balance would be consolidated as cognitive structures were able to process new knowledge (CARVALHO, 2005).

At first, the subject would suffer an imbalance, which would be for example the doubts, problems, wills and needs to be met, which would encourage the individual to seek to solve these dilemmas. For this, he would direct his efforts to this end and thus learn new things, effectively the acquisition of a new knowledge (TRISTÃO, 2010).

The balancing process would be a compensation system, between the possible requests of the environment and the needs of the subject to supply them. Therefore, learning for Piaget would be the consolidation of knowledge in a lasting way from balancing, through the experiences acquired in the interaction with the environment.

With each search for balance, it would occur in a different way according to age groups, so the mental schemes and actions applied by the subjects would depend on the level of cognitive development of the same, which underlies its concept of scheme of action or mental scheme (TRISTÃO, 2010).

Piaget points out that the schemes of action are those that the subject uses to adapt and organize the environment in which he lives, as these schemes are coordinated, differentiated and later internalized and with the help of language, they move to forms mental schemes, or rather by saying forming the individual’s thinking (TRISTÃO, 2010).

With the acquisition of mental schemes the subject does not need to act directly with the environment, but becomes able to anticipate actions before performing them, through thought, as an internalized action. These interiorizations are becoming increasingly complex and abstract. The subject then begins to think and understand abstractions, which is fundamental for learning time, mass, space, speed, distance within other fundamental concepts for learning.

Learning in piaget’s postulates would be a cycle, which involves the state of cognitive balance of the subject, but in view of the environment in which it is inserted and the need for interaction with it, the subject would suffer the imbalance, so he would need to resort to mental and action schemes to adapt to the environment, assimilating and accommodating the new knowledge, and thus returning again to the state of equilibrium.

Carvalho (2005), says that such positioning confirms the emphasis it attributes to balancing as the main factor of development, because a discovery always involves assimilation and accommodation of cognitive structures, a set of regulations and compensations.

This balancing process, involving assimilation and accommodation, happens throughout our life, but that occur differently according to the various stages of cognitive development of the subject, so in each stage there is the applicability of action schemes and different mental schemes.

Carvalho (2005) points out that if development involves ordered and successive stages and depends, fundamentally, on the balancing process, school learning is subordinated to the thought structures already built by the child.

Piaget, addresses four types of stages of development, which would be the first stage the sensório-motor, the second stage the preoperative, the third stage the concrete operative and finally the formal surgical stage (TRISTÃO, 2010).

In the first stage, motor sensório that comprises the age group from zero to two years of age. In this phase, the child had presented a development that comprises reflex behaviors, the organization of perceptions and habits and later motor sensory intelligence (PIAGET, 1989).

As Tristão (2010) describes for the newborn, the first behaviors are motor sensors reflexes, such as suction, when the baby feeds. Over time, the baby emits this behavior in front of other objects, then impulsively passes to interact with the world and its reflexes become more complex, and thus the newborn begins to have habits and perceptions about the environment in which it is inserted. In the next phase the child begins to recognize the stimuli of the environment and respond to them in a more organized way, but still the child is centered on himself, does not differentiate objects from people, and their behaviors are more directed to their impulses to meet their needs. When the phase of motor sensory intelligence arrives, the child has already gone through the previous stages, his behavior has progressively been modified and becoming increasingly complex, reaching the schemes of action. With each action the child gets to know the world that surrounds it better, and then goes from differentiating objects, recognizing people and perceiving a world outside of itself.

Considering learning, this phase of development is important, because the child is already able to construct the category of object, space, causality and time. The child is now able to perceive the object and/or person; develops coordinated movements in space and recognizes its own body, perceives the relationships of cause and effect, perceives the order of events that happen in its routine, and in a way manages to analyze the world around it, leaves the self-centered phase and passes to have feelings in relation to objects and people, such as joy or sadness, success or failure.

The second stage that corresponds to the preoperative corresponds to the range would be two to seven years old, which is characteristicized by the appearance of language, making the child able to narrate his past actions and anticipate his future actions, verbally expressing his behavior.

For Piaget, language enables the child to start socializing actions, to imitate and emit sounds by establishing communication with the other, and egocentric speech also emerges, which are the monologues that the child establishes with himself. These new behaviors, in the preoperative phase, favor to constitute thought. In this phase also stands out the symbolic games and the child’s ability to relive his own life through play, and when making these games also arise the questions about the world, the “whys” appear as a way to seek explanations the facts, but as he still has an egocentric speech, the answers to his questions are still through intuition , since the child does not yet have the capacity of mobility and reversibility that will be presented in the next phase (PIAGET, 1989)

The child also develops his first senses of value and morals, starting from interaction with others, for example, the child is not aware that lying is something bad, but begins to think about when an adult tells him that this is not good (TRISTÃO, 2010).

In the specific operative stage that begins around seven years and extends until the age of twelve, a phase that also corresponds to the period of schooling, and that there are many changes in the behavior of the subject in relation to socialization, his thought, his rational operations and his affection.

The child in this phase begins to have more autonomy of his thoughts, begins to perceive the rules and respect them, reflecting on his actions and thus leaving his impulsive conducts aside and now begins to “decide” how he will behave in the face of situations, In this sense the child seeks to better understand the cause and effect relationships in his actions and give explanations about his attitudes. The rules and collective games become interesting, the child seeks to dispense his attention to play and share with the other (PIAGET, 1989).

At this stage learning has a great leap because the child is now able to have no more conservation of substances, volume, weight, length, surfaces, as well as time and space like adults. The thought of reversibility is also characteristic in this stage of development and learning, as well as the notion of number and mastery of aritmetic operations.

As Piaget (1989) states, the passage from intuition to logic occurs in the second childhood, through the construction of groups and groups, constituting organizations of groups, which are solidary and balanced.

This phase is also marked by the child’s ability to have mutual respect, to have feelings of justice, to understand concepts such as honesty and companionship, significantly expanding their repertoire of learning and applicability in their practical reality.

After this significant leap in thought, language and behaviors, the last stage begins for Piaget, which begins at the age of twelve and extends into adulthood.

In the formal stage the child enters the stage of adolescence, marked by many emotional changes, but also of abstract thought, based on hypotheses, which Piaget calls hypothetical-deductive, that is, now he is able to reflect on the facts, raise hypotheses and deduce the conclusions based only on these. The adolescent believes in the omnipotence of his reflections and convictions, seeks life purposes and as he becomes an adult, feels the need to cooperate with society, idealize projects and perform personally and professionally, which will then be the apex of learning and development in Piaget’s vision (TRISTÃO, 2010).

Therefore, Piaget’s theory emphasizes that the acquisition of knowledge, part of the experiences that the subject establishes with the environment in which he is inserted, and that this process occurs through stages, with successive new forms of learning. Thus, the subject builds his knowledge in the face of the situations problems that need to analyze, act and solve them, which generates an imbalance to later occur accommodation and assimilation, returning the individual again to the state of balancing, and thus effectively the acquisition of knowledge, this occurs throughout life, ensuring a continuous process of learning.

Vygotsky proposes to study in his theory what he determines of superior functions, which would make man different from other animals, thus understanding the culture and evolutionary history of the human species.

This scholar, and his socio-historical theory, underscores a different form from Piaget’s theory of learning. For him, learning does not take place in direct contact with the object of knowledge, but through mediation. The individual would be able to manipulate instruments, together with coordinated movements and improvement of their perceptions, and through this cognitive and motor process, learning would then provide the development of the subject (TRISTÃO, 2010).

Thus, an stimulus can be mediated by a memory already experienced or by another person, who would lead to the same answer. The subject would not have to interact with object to actually issue the expected response, as for example, putting his hand on the socket can be avoided by the child by remembering to have already taken a shock and /or by a warning from an adult, and not exactly having to take the shock again, to acquire the knowledge of not putting his hand in the socket.

Vygotsky (1998), also points out that the instrument would be the facilitating resource for the subject to have in his action a support, and intentionally, he can act on the world. The child also uses imitation to manipulate instruments, and when emitting repetition behaviors, it improves its performance until it reaches the expected response, that is, the act of imitating the other is also able to develop new learning, which will be used throughout the subject’s life. Since the subject has the intentionality in his actions, in this sense he becomes able to modify the environment in which he is inserted, thus becoming a transforming agent of his history and culture.

The instrument, therefore, is the external resource that facilitates actions with the environment, but child also has the internal resource applied to solve internal psychological issues of the subject, what Vygotsky, calls symbols or signs (TRISTÃO, 2010).

The signs or symbols, would be not only an object in itself, but an object with cultural significance, as is the case of language, which represents the main cultural sign of man.

Language has the function of social exchange and generalized thinking. Tristão (2010, p. 165), states that “generalizing thought refers to the function of language of ordering the real, grouping all occurrences of the same class of events, objects or occurrences under a given concept”.

Language in babies is still rudimentary and more emotional, focused on practical action and only from the age of two that the child passes to make an association between language and thought, attributing meaning to their communication.

Language is a social process in which the child in need of communicating with the other learns to speak and later internalizes this speech thus generating thought. In the transition from communicative speech to internalized speech, the child moves from the expression of speech aloud, gradually to internalized speech that is thought, that is, the child stops narrating his actions to think about them.

The behavior of the subject would be directly linked to his social experiences, which would guarantee his development as a human being.

As Tristão (2010) points out, the subject needs beyond the instrument and the symbol, the mediation of the other to acquire learning and development, that is, his ability to deal with the world in which he is inserted, through his skills, attitudes and knowledge.

In this sense, Vygotsky presents the concept of proximal or close development zone to better explain how the child learns and develops from its interaction with the environment.

The proximal development zone would be the distance between a child’s actual level of development and what is expected to reach, that is, its potential level of development. (TRISTÃO, 2010).

The learning would take place from what the child already knows how to do (real development zone), and after a while with the mediator (an adult or a more experienced companion) offering instructions for a new behavior (proximal development zone), the child would be able to learn and perform the behavior alone, now without the help of the mediator (potential development zone) (CARVALHO , 2005).

Thus, the figure of the other is of fundamental importance for the child to learn and develop, thus contributing to the formation of the being in an integral way, favoring the interpersonal and intrapersonal maturation of the subject. This process, however, depends on the child’s level of maturity, cognitive capacity and social interaction, but it is a continuous process that will occur throughout their development.

In this sense Vygotsky differs from Piaget, because it does not consider learning in linear stages, but in a continuous cycle of knowledge, that is, each time the child reaches the potential development zone, it has gone through a process of learning, acquiring and consolidating a new knowledge, later it is ready for a new learning, and so on.

However Vygotsky and Wallon propose an interactionist conception for the child’s development, considering the constitution of the child as a social subject within a concrete culture, which contributes to his formation as a subject.

This conception comes against the thoughts of Wallon, who also points out that learning does not take place in gradual advances in mental and linear structures in relation to development. Wallon (2010, p.33) “demonstrates that, very differently from this, human development is marked by advances, setbacks and contradictions and, in to better understand it, it is necessary to abandon linear conceptions of analysis and interpretation”.

For Wallon (2010), the child goes through different stages throughout his development process, being possible to demarcated some of them, because they are characterized between moments of greater interiorization and others more focused on the outside.

Based on these references, the theory proposed by Wallon, based on affectivity and intelligence, considering the conditions and characteristic of the stage of development, there will be an alternation of moments, time of greater introspection and time of greater extroversion.

For Wallon, the child is constituted of a system that integrates his actions in a process of functional balance that involves motricity, affection and cognition, but in which each stage of development describes a particular form of action that predominates over the others. In social interactions the child begins to imitate the outo, and this shows that she internalized the model, building a mental image based on it. The ability to reproduce the actions, which the child later begins to imitate, but to differentiate himself from the other, recognizing his own self. The conflicts arising from their interactions with other people, it enables the child to form collective representations, which expand their access to the symbolic environment and the culture in which it is inserted (OLIVEIRA, 2007).

Like Piaget, Wallon (2010) indicated that a child has his development marked by internships. In the internship, affective partner, which characterizes the age group from zero to one year of age, is considered by the scholar as the impulsive stage in the first three months and later becomes emotional, the child interacts with the world through his affective emotions and creates a world with its own meanings through tonic expressions.  The baby from its relationship with the environment gradually touches its motor movements more coordinated, and thus affectively differentiating emotions through the world in which it is inserted.

In the second sensório-motor stage, which comprises the age group from one to 3 years of age, in the first eighteen months the child presents sensório-motor behaviors, and later passes the projection turning more to the outside, that is, at this stage foreign relations and intelligence, which is eminently practical, and thought is projected in motor acts.

The child knows the world through investigation and exploration, and cognitive thinking is centered on subjective sincretism, that is, on phenomena such as fabulation, contradiction, tautology and avoidance. In this phase, imitation and discourse aspects, based on the other is characteristic, which favors the acquisition of language.

From 03 to 06 years, the child is in the personalistic stage, at this stage the child begins to differentiate from the other and to give meanings to his own action, with the advancement of speech and intelligence, characteristics of this stage is the concreteof personality (GALVÃO, 2000).

At this stage the personality and self-awareness of the subject are formed, because it is reflecting sometimes by opposition to the adult, others by imitation of these, the child learns to repeat social behaviors and thus aligning his posture in relation to the world.

In stage four that corresponds to the age group from six to eleven years old, the child has conceptual thoughts, which will take her to the next stage that is marked by the ability of abstraction and symbolic reasoning to thought. For Wallon, the child moves from conceptual thinking to the acquisition of more complex functions such as voluntary memory, attention and associative reasoning (WALLON, 2010).

In the last stage, which already comprises adolescence, from the age of eleven, there are great physical and psychological changes, further accentuating affectivity in this phase, internal conflicts and sternums arise, providing the subject also a phase back to himself and self-affirmed, to better cope sound his transformations (GALVÃO, 2000).

However, for Wallon, development remains in process throughout the subject’s life, and that affectivity and cognition will be dialectically present throughout its existence, “[…] always in motion, alternating in the different learnings that the individual will incorporate throughout life.” (WALLON, 2010, p.36).

In view of the conceptions presented, it can be verified that development and learning are complementary processes, when interacting with the environment that surrounds the subject, directly or indirectly, expands his motor, cognitive and emotional capacity in this way constitutes his intelligence and affectivity, providing the individual in fact to differentiate himself from other animals, because he is able to reflect on himself and on the world , transforming and modifying the medium that is inserted.


When conducting a research, it should contain a method that will guide the work in a planned way, so that the data collected can be measured reliably, thus ensuring that the results can be relevant, validating the scientific work.

For Severino (2007) science is always the link age of a theoretical mesh with empirical data, it is always an articulation of the logical with the real, of the ideal with the real, because every modality of knowledge implies a precondition, a presupposition related to our conception of the subject/object relationship.

Therefore, the epistemological phenomenon of this work focuses on the concept of learning, starting from the theoretical concept that learning is the ability to acquire knowledge for the adaptability and solution of problems in the daily life of the subject, considering the practical reality in the school environment, given the social representations of teachers and parents/guardians of two early childhood education schools, a school in the rural area and a school in the urban area, in the city in the Vale do Paraíba, in the interior of São Paulo.

The research is characterized by its exploratory character. According to Gil (2010), exploratory research is the one that most provides familiarity with the problem, making it more explicit and possible to elaborate hypotheses.

According to Severino (2007, p. 123), “exploratory research seeks to raise information about a given object, thus delimiting a work field, mapping the conditions of manifestations of this object”.

The research was applied in two early childhood education schools, presenting an adequate profile for the work to be carried out, located in a city in the Vale do Paraíba, in the interior of São Paulo.

The sample comprises 12 teachers and 8 parents/guardians. The groups of subjects approached were chosen first, starting from the number of teachers and room numbers of the school units, which defined an initial number of participants, 16 teachers and 32 parents/guardians. Subsequently, the invitation was made to the subjects, who after the researcher’s clarification about the nature of the study and stages of the research, this final number of participants was defined and closed.

For data collection, the questionnaire and the focus group interview were adopted as instruments.

The questionnaire, for Gil (2010, p. 121), is a “[…] group of questions that are applied to the interviewees in order to obtain information about their experiences, beliefs, feelings, values, interests, expectations, aspirations, fears, present or past behavior, etc.”.

For Marconi and Lakatos (2013, p. 100), the questionnaire is “[…] one of the essential instruments for social investigation whose data collection system consists of obtaining information directly from the interviewee.”

Thus, the questionnaire has the function of enabling the collected information to be translated into numbers and contribute to the quantitative analysis of the research.

On the other hand, the choice of the focus group instrument for data collection in this research was due to being a more flexible way to conduct discussions with the participants of the research on the proposed theme, facilitating the investigation process, because it will be possible to collect in a more pertinent and relevant way, and in a more concise period of time , the content required for data analysis.

According to Gondim (2003), the use of focus groups is related to the assumptions and premises of the researcher. Some researchers seek in this type of resource to gather information necessary for decision making, others use as a promoter of self-reflection and social transformation and also those who use as a technique to explore a little known theme, with the aim of offering material for new reflections and thus future research.

According to Gomes (2005), the focus group consists of a group of people selected and assembled by the researcher, with the objective of discussing and commenting on a theme, which is the object of the research, based on their personal experiences.

In a research project, according to Gondim (2003), in which the researcher relies on focus groups, it needs to be clearly focused on the purpose of the study, because methodological decisions will depend on the objectives outlined, and this will influence the composition of the groups, the number of participants, the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the same.

Gomes (2005), also highlights some relevant steps that should be considered when choosing the participants to perform the focus group as: the participants should have some experience with the theme to be discussed, so as to have elements anchored in their daily experiences; the invitation should be attractive to the participants; just as they should have the freedom to be adhered; and the researcher needs to create a trust pact with them.

The researcher should be a mediator, in front of the focus group, in order to conduct and facilitate interactions, without directing a path to the group. As Gatti (2012) states, interactions should occur on a positive side, respecting moments of development for participants, with regard to cognitive, affective and communication aspects between the elements.

It is important that the registration is carried out efficiently, to ensure the proper collection of data (GATTI, 2012). Thus, the researcher can use resources for recording that can be in audio/visual with the camera equipment, or only audio with the recorder, or other resources in which one can clearly record the subjects’ speeches.

The equipment must be arranged in the room to clearly captain the participants’ statements. Records can also be used in written annotations to contribute later to the stage of analyzing the content of the collected data. (GATTI, 2012)

It is also essential to explain to the participants all the steps that will be taken for the focus group to be carried out, as well as to request the written authorization of the participants so that the collected data can be disclosed in the research, and ensure secrecy so as not to identify the participants, thus providing that they can feel free to expose their opinions.

The time to perform the focus group must be at least ninety minutes and a maximum of three hours, and the number of participants, at least six and a maximum of fifteen people, as Gatti (2012) points out, so that the interactions are rich and not tiring, providing the deepening in the theme and greater participation of the subjects.

The transcription of the content is also a fundamental step for the researcher who must according to Gatti (2012), consider the interactions of the group members, and the contextual sequence is observed, for the assertive elaboration of the codifications and categorizations of the collected content, thus facilitating the qualitative analysis of the material.

Thus, with the focus group instrument, the researcher has the possibility to verify with the participants their opinions, as well as to verify the impacts of the opinions of others on their placements, in this sense verifying how the social representations of the concept of learning are approached by the research subjects and how they are validated or not by the group.

For Gatti (2012) when conducting the research using focus groups, it is possible to reach different perspectives on the same issue, as well as understand the ideas shared by the subjects in daily life, and verify the level of influence by which individuals are influenced by others.

Therefore, as Chizzotti (2010) points out, the quantitative approach predicts the measurement of pre-established variables, trying to verify and explain their influence on other variables, through the analysis of frequency of incidences and statistical correlations. The researcher in this case describes, explains and predicts your research data. The qualitative approach is based on data collected in interpersonal interactions, on the co-participation of the situations of the informants, analyzed from the meaning they are giving to their acts. The researcher in this case participates, understands and interprets the data of his research.

Both the quantitative and qualitative approaches will enable the researcher to enrich the work, ensuring a reliable research, aiming at the results, as well as enabling the validation and promoting new reflections on the theme addressed.

With the understanding of the instruments chosen for the elaboration of this research, I present the steps performed in the field and the applicability of these instruments.

The field of research are two schools of Early Childhood Education, located in the Vale do Paraíba, they were initially observed, in a non-participatory way, that is, only to observe the participants in the dynamics of the school units and their relationships in their premises.

This phase was performed on 04 (four) alternate days, to understand this school routine: entry of students with their parents/guardians, as well as teachers receiving them in their classrooms.

The verifications through non-participatory observation were graded by the researcher in the form of a school routine report, to help later in the analysis of the data.

The criteria for the choice of groups started from the conversation with the Direction of the school units, in which it was aligned that all active teachers would be invited in the regular rooms of the two schools and for each regular room, 02 parents/guardians would be invited to participate in the research.

Thus, the total number of initial participants was 52 people, 16 teachers and 36 parents/guardians, with the objective of reaching at least 16 participants, 8 teachers and 08 parents/guardians.

After defining the participants, the Management scheduled a date for presenting the research objective and the stages of the study that would be carried out. A meeting was scheduled with the group of teachers and a meeting with the group of parents/guardians, at different times, but on the same day. On the scheduled date, 14 teachers, 16 parents/guardians were present.

The explanation of the research was performed with each group, in relation to the questionnaires, the participants were interested in contributing to the study, but in relation to the stage with the focus group, some participants presented the argument of time availability, since this stage demands to be with the group for at least 90 minutes, so some participants preferred not to be part of this research.

Thus, on this date, 30 questionnaires were delivered by the researcher to the participants, among the 30 questionnaires distributed, 20 questionnaires returned to the researcher, and 12 questionnaires were answered by the teachers and 8 questionnaires were answered by the parents/guardians, and all 20 questionnaires answered were used in this survey.

In the next stage, the teachers and parents/guardians were scheduled to date the focus group, and the 12 teachers and the 08 parents/guardians who participated in the first stage of the research also attended, thus closing the final group of participants in this research.

A focus group was held with the teachers and a focus group with the parents/guardians, through two meetings, one in each school unit. Each interview lasted 1h20min, with each group.

To perform the focus group, the researcher previously elaborated the questions that would be addressed to the participants, as a script, in addition guided the members of the groups how to proceed before the questions so that everyone could dialogue and everyone could hear clearly and objectively the placements of each participant.

As Flick (2013, p. 119) states, the focus group instrument is ” […] an alternative to interview individuals and use group interviews in which the same question is asked to several participants, who answer one after the other”, allowing the group to establish an orderly communication, respecting the speech time of all subjects who are in the group, thus favoring a better data collection.

Among the guidelines scored, the participants were emphasized that the researcher would ask questions and that it would give each one the opportunity to answer. Each participant should listen to the colleague’s response and later could comment or complete the speech of the same, and it is important for the members of the group to listen carefully to the placements and try not to interrupt the other’s speech so that the placements were finished more assertively.

The group was also informed that it would be important to collect their statements by recording, so that the researcher could later be transcribed and the researcher could analyze this content. After all agreed to the request for the recording, the focus group was performed.

These instruments were necessary to ensure the data in a reliable way for the subsequent quantitative and qualitative analysis, in order to offer significant results.

The collected data were analyzed through content analysis, which “is a methodology for processing and analyzing information contained in a document, in the form of discourses pronounced in different languages: writings, orals, images and gestures” (SEVERINO, 2007, p.121).

For Bardin (2009) content analysis involves a set of communications analysis techniques in order to achieve systematic and objective procedures for describing the content of messages. Thus, obtain indicators (quantitative or not) that allow the inference of knowledge related to the conditions of production/reception (inferred variables) of these messages.

Therefore, content analysis will search through categories to analyze what is behind the different forms of discourses, analyzing and interpreting the subject’s speech, in search of information that sticks to the research and offer the researcher data necessary to reach significant results, in a reliable way. The path that Bardin (2009) proposes for the elaboration of content analysis will be exemplified in the figure below:

Figure 1 – Structure of the Content Analysis Method

Source: Prepared by the author. 2020

For the next stage, the structuring of the categories, the researcher sought the help of the IRAMUTEQ software, to help in the processing of the collected data.

Currently there are several software that help academic-scientific research to separate and organize information, through the location and segmentation of text(s), such as interviews, documents, among others, facilitating the analysis of qualitative data.

The software IRAMUTEQ (Interface de R pour les Analyses Multidimensionnelles de Textes et de Questionnaires), was created by Pierre Ratinaud, in France in 2009, and in Brazil this software began to be used in 2013, initially applied in research aimed at the study of social representations, so it was chosen by the researcher with coherent resource for this work.

The IRAMUTEQ software processes text data and provides results such as descending hierarchical classification (CHD), classical textual analysis, specifications, similarion, and word cloud. With these results, the researcher can search for information, associate data and explore the content in order to make data analysis faster, with scientific rigor necessary for a research work.

For the applicability of the IRAMUTEQ software, the researcher used the material recorded with the participants in the realization of the focus group, which was transcribed, and constituted the corpus for qualitative analysis.

With the use of the IRAMUTEQ software, the coding processing was performed, which provides a dictionary of words, demonstrated by means of a dendogram, which is used as a basis for careful analysis of the data and verification of categories.

Thus, with the data processing, by the software IRAMUTEQ, 05 categories were obtained, which represent the words that obtained the highest percentage in terms of the mean frequency between themselves and the difference between them.

With the results obtained by the software and by the detailed analysis of all the collected material, the researcher organized these contents representative of the participants’ statements about learning in Early Childhood Education in 05 categories that were structured, starting from the contents: learn, child, teacher, school (rural /urban) and school community.

The categories were organized, thus enabled the composition of the registration unit, according to the participants’ statements about these certain contents, which later facilitated the structure of the context unit and thus more adequately identify the contents necessary for the elaboration of the results.


In view of the results obtained, it can be identified that the groups studied present the four attributes that characterize them, initially as a primary group and later, become a functional group, because their members play defined roles in society, in view of the process of schooling and child care.

Each member already has his/her awareness of belonging to the groups, and is based on their relationships with other groups, on their personal needs and on their interests, to confirm their identity to the collective.

As for the type of cohesion for teachers, it is clear the cohesion of the task, in which the members are very involved with the activities they perform, considering this intrinsically valuable, interesting and challenging.

Thus, within the school environment, the cohesion of the task occurs because the teacher has well defined his role and objectives as presented by public policies and legislation that guide Early Childhood Education, which defines that pedagogical work should contemplate the being as a whole (physical, psychic, social and educational), providing through pedagogical work presented in 06 learning rights and through the fields of experience , that the child can develop completely, thus becoming healthy and happy, a concept reified about learning in education from 0 to 06 years.

This type of cohesion can be more clearly verified in the group of teachers, because they have well defined their pedagogical practical actions as well as the students’ schooling objectives.

For parents/guardians, the objectives are based on the concept of schooling their children, but it is still not clear in their social practical reality the best way to achieve this goal, as pointed out in the answers given by the group members both in the questionnaires and in the focus group.

In the case of the group of teachers there is a higher degree of isoformism, that is, the individual objectives of each teacher and the objectives of the group of teachers are similar, compared to that of parents/guardians, in which the individual objectives present differences in the objectives of the group, in relation to the concept of learning.

For teachers, the concept of learning is more aligned with the profile of the concept reified by BNCC (2017), since for teachers the integral training of the student as a social being is more important than just making the student read, write and do account, and this is already being applied in the reality of teachers.

It is important to highlight that in an education in which educational cycles take place and at each stage there are legal documents that guide these cycles, for teachers access to this information is direct so that they can put into practice in their daily activities with students, but for parents/guardians this access is often done by the interpretation of the group of teachers’ members, so the formation of a new concept of learning in this sense part of the collective (laws, norms, manuals, etc.). for the patient group and subsequently to the parent/guardian group.

The groups are influenced and exercise the power to influence, in the case of teachers who represent the influence of the minority group, considering within the school in relation to the community, although based on normative data, still failed to change the opinion of parents/guardians, about the concept of learning.

For parents/ and guardians the concept of learning in Early Childhood Education still includes literacy, and the common concept that children need to learn to read, write and do account, although they are aware that students should be less charged before this learn at this stage.

At this point, the concept of learning for parents/guardians is centered on their practical reality, since their objective is to provide their children with more “peaceful” access to elementary school, in this sense social representations are based on what this group understands as necessary to meet their social expectations.

It can also be verified that intentional play is important and is present in the statements of both parents/guardians, as well as in the teachers’ statements. However, for teachers the social representation of this speech is already in the practical reified concept, while for parents/guardians, the familiarization of the concept is still in the process of elaboration and non-appropriation, that is, although they have the concept reified assimilated, in practice they still question intentional play as learning.

For parents/guardians to create another identity in the face of beliefs and values not yet familiar with the group generates instability. Although the concept of learning is already widely shared by the group of teachers, it has not yet been sufficient for the elaboration and appropriation of the group of parents/guardians.

This is also confirmed in the face of the questioning of the groups about the importance of Early Childhood Education, because while teachers continue to score about forming a social being capable of being in the world and transforming it, offering the child a different world model, parents/guardians still reinforce the values and beliefs of their social representations, which is the need to prepare the child for literacy. But, these agree with teachers in terms of preparing the child to be more independent and autonomous.

Given the socialization of the groups, there is an objective determination of the context in which individuals are inserted in society with concrete possibilities, whether well-defined material or social (rural area and urban area, public education, among others), there is also a historical formation of personal needs according to the lifestyle and ideological transmission that justifies personal needs (reading and writing and future perspectives) which reinforces the parents/guardians’ statements in the face of their children’s literacy.

Regarding the perception of learning, both groups stated in their statements that they perceive that children (children and/or students) have learned in daily life, and that there is an exchange of this learning since what the child learns at school she takes home and vice versa.

In this sense, the concept of learning ends up being reinforced and at the same time reconstructing itself in this interaction of the subjects in different contexts in the social reality, because this exchange goes beyond the school unit and the child’s home (children/students).

It is also important to emphasize that the attitudes of the members of the groups are based on affection, which lead people to be pro or against a social object.

Given the social representations about learning in Early Childhood Education, this concept is appropriated by groups differently, because their social actions are also based on different affections, which justifies their choices (or not), given the needs of their daily lives.

However, it can be considered that the daily needs of both teachers and parents/guardians are based on close social representations: with regard to what influences learning and with regard to public power and its contribution to students in providing support to the school, professionals and the community.

Social representations are also close in relation to the credibility and proximity of the teacher in the life of the rural school student inside and outside the school unit and social representations are close to the influence of the teacher on the students’ learning. It is observed in the speech of parents/guardians and teachers that beliefs and values are shared throughout generations and this contributes to reaffirm the social representations that the teacher influences the students’ learning.

It is also within social groups that there is the space for the problematization of daily life, to trigger new relationships and affective bonds for the expression of opinions and feelings. What can be observed when participants comcant rural school and urban school, their speeches are affective and express feelings about the place, people and interactions they maintain.

The participants point out that comparing the urban school and the rural school, the distancing of the teacher in relation to the students, and a gradual influence of the teacher in the student’s learning in the urban area. The statements also confirm the social representations that the groups have about the differences between the rural school and the urban school, that is, that people in the rural environment are closer, affective and participate more actively in the activities inside and outside the school unit, and this influences the student’s learning. In urban school, people are more distant, seek less affection and participate less in activities inside and outside the school unit.

The groups are familiar with these concepts that mark the differences between the rural school and the rural school, which in our society is widely shared, whether in collective relationships, in groups, or individual.

However, it is interesting to note that in the statements of both teachers and parents/guardians there is a categorization reaffirmed by the groups about the relationships between people, which are getting more distant and that ethical values such as respect and appreciation of the other are gradually decreasing.

The participants also share the concept represented by them that learning in the rural area is richer, as the child has access to experiences and experiences that in the urban area he does not have, which favors a broader learning, and the construction of more dynamic and efficient knowledge.

Regarding the social representations of the groups about improvements that can contribute to the students’ learning, both groups share that there is a need for support outside the school unit, that for teachers the concept is based on the broader social context, is a collective representation, which reflects the concepts already familiar.

For participants, the concept of learning in Early Childhood Education is also influenced by representations that go beyond those presented by the groups that are inserted in the school context, it is a language already shared in the broader social relations and justified by the needs and practical realities experiences by the members of the groups participating in the research.

Therefore, the data reflect that the participating groups are intertwined by interpersonal bonds, which defines their identities as teachers and parents/guardians, made strong in the face of caring and teaching the child, but that there are still shared powers and multiple actions among the members, which end up making the concept of learning diffuse, because in the search for the satisfaction of each group, with individual affections involved, directly impact on actions that reflect on the teaching and learning process in Early Childhood Education.


The research was carried out with the objective of verifying the social representations of teachers and parents/guardians about the concept of learning, seeking through research in the context of the rural school and the urban school to analyze whether or not there are differences and similarities in relation to this concept.

In view of the data collected, it can be verified that the concept of learning for teachers is based on legal and educational procedures, which over the years were shared through academic knowledge, and which was gradually constructed and elaborated by teachers, and that, given the familiarization with the concept, they became part of the practical reality of teachers.

It is because of this familiarity of the concept that teachers began to share this knowledge with parents/guardians, who are in the process of constructing and developing the “new concept of learning”, leaving the context of literacy and/or intentional play, to learn that promotes the formation of the citizen in a global way that can bring this knowledge throughout their life.

The concept of learning is under construction for parents/guardians due to their social representation that Early Childhood Education needs to prepare the student for the next stage that is elementary school, however this is a process of continuity of pedagogical work of formation of being in society, which for teachers this is already an appropriate concept.

It can also be verified that the concept of learning was not shared by groups as assistanceor so or as support to parents/guardianworkers, but as a concept more focused on content learning, which also reflects a change in Early Childhood Education in the historical, social and cultural context in the region where the research occurred.

The research also brought data in which it can be confirmed that Early Childhood Education is an important step for learning students who are in the age group of zero to six years, for all participants of the research, contributing to the next stages of students’ learning.

However, with different representations, for parents/guardians to meet their practical needs to promote conditions for the child to continue their studies more calmly in the face of the challenges of the following years of schooling, already for teachers this focus is considered, but goes beyond that is the formation of the citizen in its entirety, able to insert itself in the social context in an assertive and effective way, promoting ample knowledge that they can enjoy over the long life.

In this sense, it can be seen that the expectations of teachers and parents/guardians differ in relation to pedagogical contents, that is, what the school teaches in Early Childhood Education does not meet the expectations of literacy of parents, but are convergent in the face of the need to promote a playful learning, with an intentional play, which favors the healthy, happy and effective learning, which also comes against the collective representation of Early Childhood Education, reified in the guidelines of education as described in the national reference of Early Childhood Education, in the learning manuals for Early Childhood Education, elaborated in the city in the interior of São Paulo etc.

It can be verified that the social representations of the concept of learning between the groups participating in the research did not present significant differences between the school of the rural area and the urban school, the knowledge shared in both contexts are based on similar representations, which favors a uniformity about the concept of learning in different school realities.


It was identified that the social representations about the concept of learning between parents/guardians and teachers presented significant differences regarding the expectations of the contents worked in early childhood education, since the concept of learning for teachers is appropriate and familiar as a teaching practice in forming citizens globally, while for parents/guardians the concept still remains as literacy (knowing how to read and write).  It can also be verified that these differences are evidenced both in rural and urban schools. Thus, the concept of learning is based on the practical realities of the participating groups, which according to their values and beliefs conceptualize it. It should also be considered that the concept of learning is taking new identity from the relationships between the subjects active in the school units, who share and elaborate the importance of early childhood education no longer as care, but as an educational education.


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[1] Professional master’s degree in Education. Specialization in Human Resources Administration with emphasis on development organizations. Graduation in Pedagogy. Degree in Psychology.

Submitted: October, 2020.

Approved: November, 2020.

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