The epistemological teaching practice of the methodology of higher education

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DIAS, Vagner Neves [1]

DIAS, Vagner Neves. The epistemological teaching practice of the methodology of higher education. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. 04 year, Ed. 03, Vol. 06, pp. 92-97. March 2019. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


This exploratory and bibliographic study aims to investigate about the epistemological teaching practice of the methodology of higher education and the teacher’s education in this context. The data collected from the analysis of the collected information showed that the increase in attendance in higher education, even if it represents social achievement, caused university education to enter a crisis that exceeds the limits of institutionality, resulting from the marketization of higher education, which led to the emergence of teacher improvisation. In view of this reality, the concern with regard to pedagogical formation and the development of an epistemological awareness based on the conception that man is an active being and social relations becomes indisputable.

Keywords: Epistemology, Methodology of higher education, Teaching practice.


From the phenomenon of globalization, “the world has become small, homogeneous and plural” (MORAES, 1997, p. 125). This has made the educational process change. Thus, Strassburger and Velasquez (2012) comment that the constant search for innovative learning environments has made several investigations done focusing on the Epistemology of the Methodology of Higher Education focused on the multidimensionality of the educational process and its new framework.

In this context of changes, the role played by the teacher has received new contours, and the teacher begins to assume a more proactive, dynamic and constructive role. According to Pinto; Araújo and Fonseca (2005, p. 1), the epistemological foundations of the higher education methodology collaborate essentially to rationalize the learning teaching process. This is because the methodology of higher education needs to be understood in the university as “a practice that constitutes a specific set of scientific knowledge, with specific characteristics about teaching and research, with mechanisms and methods of intellectual exercise”.

About the learning teaching process, Coll (1994, p. 113) mentions that this occurs through the mastery of interpersonal interaction, through the way the teacher provides students with the means for them to interact with the object of knowledge. In this context, it is very important that the teacher understands its function of intermediation, because it will be such a conduct that will enable “a greater or lesser margin for the student’s self-structuring activity”. However, they mention Pinto; Araújo and Fonseca (2005, p. 4), that the educator “in his teaching practice, is faced with problems and difficulties of a formative, epistemological and pedagogical order”. Such “difficulties and impasses have direct and immediate repercussions in the academic and intellectual formation of the student”.

That said, this study aimed to investigate about the epistemological teaching practice of the methodology of higher education and teacher education in this context.


Silva (2018) mentions that several scientific surveys show deficiencies in the education of university professors. Guimarães (1997, p. 58) informs that, as a result of the net society in which we currently live, in which needs change at all times, higher education institutions end up disregarding “the registration of projects and extensionist actions”, thus losing the possibility of creating history. It happens that according to Ribas (2000, p. 62), “pedagogical practice is only perfected, by those who perform it, from their life history and reference knowledge, experiences and aspirations”, because, “it is in practice and in reflection on it that the teacher consolidates or reviews actions, finds new bases and discovers new knowledge”.

In the praxis of higher education, dialectical action is based on the tensions experienced in the day-to-day university. Thus, according to Rays (2003, p. 3), extending knowledge through university extension, it is operationalized through “a dialectical praxis (mediator between university-society-university) of critical production/reproduction of knowledge”.

However, as advocated by Pazinat (2014, p. 348), the expansion of Higher Education after a rampant increase in enrollment, “proliferation of institutions and courses has had repercussions on the destabilization of teacher education, triggering the phenomenon called teacher improvisation”.

Santos (2004) shows that university education goes through serious crises, which go beyond the limits of being only institutional, also reaching the scopes of hegemony and legitimacy. Thus, for Pazinat (2014, p. 349) the university became real factories of money (educational capitalism), lost its educational character and became a company. “In this perspective, it is perceived how important the highly qualified teacher is considered in his specific area, technical and closed” (PAZINAT, 2014, p. 352), since in the educational process the emphasis should be given to learning and not to teaching, in which the teacher saw himself as the “owner” of the situation and knowledge.

Thus, several institutions have been dedicating themselves to the process of continuing education for higher education teachers. In Brazil, the first body to provide pedagogical advice to the higher education teacher was the Higher Education Laboratory of the Faculty of Education in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (BERBEL, 1994). According to Pazinat (2014, p. 355), being a teacher is a complex and laborious mission, which requires responsibility and commitment, so “it requires pedagogical training, knowledge, creativity, criticality, wisdom, competence, availability and disposition”.

Thus, if, in the midst of theory and practice, there is didactics organizing the teaching process, there is also, “complementing didactics, the teaching methodology, which refers to the means used by the teacher to present the content, discuss and evaluate the students” (TEIXEIRA, 2018, p.35).

It is important to understand that teaching requires the application of methods, because true teaching occurs when in the educational sphere it is shared with the other, or with a group, experiences and accumulated knowledge. And for this to happen, it is necessary to observe techniques.

Taking into account the fact that it is in the learning process that we work with diverse objectives, Masetto (2012) mentions the need to apply various techniques, being essential that the teacher has technical knowledge about them to conduct their classes more effectively. In this sense, for this author it is necessary that the teacher:

  • have knowledge of various techniques or strategies, as well as the mastery of their use in order to be able to use them in class;
  • develop the ability to adapt the various techniques, modifying them in what is necessary so that they can be used with use by students individually or in groups (MASETTO, 2012, p. 103).

In addition to “that, by the knowledge and practical mastery of many techniques and by its ability to adapt existing techniques, becomes able to create new techniques” capable of improving and giving satisfactory answers “to the needs of its students. After all, techniques are instruments and as such can be created by those who will use them” (MASETTO, 2012, p. 103).

The epistemological bases of the higher education methodology indicate that there is no crystallized or even universal technique that can be applied mechanically. What actually exists are suggestions, which can be readapted, reorganized, reinvented by the teacher in his/her practical daily life, according to the situations presented and the proposed objectives.

Thus, it is understood that epistemologically it is up to the teacher to understand the relevant role of mediator that develops in the scope of his teaching praxis, preparing, organizing, controlling and directing the activities; and properly manipulating the most effective strategies to achieve students’ goals and learning. Therefore, it is necessary that this professional knows the reality of his students and the problem he faces, being aware of his epistemological conception.

The fundamental point of the Epistemology of the Methodology of Higher Education defends the premise that man is an active being and social relations. Thus, “knowledge cannot be transferred, but built on its connections with the other and with the world” (TEIXEIRA, 2018, p.37). In this perspective, it is up to the teacher to create circumstances capable of awakening in the student the interest in seeking knowledge. Therefore, the use of more dynamic learning mechanisms is imperative, since through these it would become possible to develop a reflexive didactic action, offering students mechanisms conducive to lead them to a state of change.


In view of the data collected through the bibliographic survey conducted, it is understood that the increase in attendance in higher education, even if it is a social achievement, caused university education to enter a crisis that exceeds the limits of institutionality, resulting from the marketization of higher education, emerging teacher improvisation, that is, professionals being hired as teachers, even if they do not have a pedagogical training , which is essential for them to act satisfactorily and develop the role for which they have been masterfully hired.

In view of this reality, the concern with regard to pedagogical formation and the development of an epistemological awareness based on the conception that man is an active being and social relations becomes indisputable. Thus, there is no ready-made formula or a universal teaching method; strategies, techniques must be applied and created according to the student’s need and reality, and these, in turn, must be creative and interactive in order to lead the student to a state of change, making him a critical being and capable of acting in a market that is increasingly dynamic and proactive.


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COLL, César. Aprendizagem escolar e construção do conhecimento. Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas, 1994.

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[1] Master in Educational Sciences, Professor, Student of the Inter-American University of Asunción – Paraguay.

Submitted: February, 2019.

Approved: March, 2019.

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