Political pedagogical project: weaknesses and potentialities experienced by nursing university professors


Iraneide Ferreira MafraI; Norma Valéria Dantas de Oliveira SouzaII; Marcela Costa FernandesIII; Luiza Mara CorreiaIV; Lucia Helena Garcia PennaV
INurse, Hospital of Clinical Dermatology, State of Rio de Janeiro - Brazil, Nurse, Family Health Strategy, Graduate in Stomatherapy Nursing, School of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil email:
IIAssociate Professor, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, Permanent Professor, Post-Graduate Program and Vice Director, School of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro- Brazil, email:
IIIGraduate and Master in Nursing from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Occupational Nurse, Nurse of the Family Health Strategy, Rio de Janeiro- Brazil, email:
IVMasters in nursing and Professor, Department of Maternal-Child Nursing, School of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Mastering at the Anna Nery School Nursing Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, email:
VAssociate Professor, Department of Maternal-Child and Program Strico Sensu Graduate School of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Pro-scientist, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Email:

ABSTRACT: The object is the difficult and easy integration of knowledge between the areas and subareas that comprise the Political Pedagogical Project of the Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (ENF / UERJ). Objectives: To identify the perception of teachers on the Political Pedagogical Project NFE / UERJ and highlight the advantages and difficulties experienced by teachers regarding the integration between the areas and subareas of the curriculum. This is a qualitative and descriptive study, developed at ENF / UERJ with 13 professors. A semi-structured interview was used to obtain the data and content for the analysis technique in the treatment of information. Factors that hinder integration were more expressive, rigid postures of the teachers and immaturity of the students in the proposed curriculum. Among the facilitators were pointed out the innovative philosophy of the curriculum, proper designed, it can promote integration and contemplate with quality professional training of nurses.

Keywords: Nursing; curriculum; higher education; integration.




The object of this study are the difficulties and facilities on the integration of knowledge between the areas and sub-areas that make up the Political-Pedagogical Project (PPP) of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (ENF/UERJ). This object consists of an excerpt from the research The curriculum of the faculty of nursing at the UERJ: an analysis of the integration between the areas of knowledge, in which the it addresses the PPP of this school and its philosophical teaching-learning concept.

The desire to investigate this object emerged from discussions between the social actors that comprise the ENF/UERJ, on the importance of continuous monitoring and dynamic of the PPP, which has difficulties and facilities for its implementation and which has as its goal a proposal of integrality, articulation and interdisciplinarity of the teaching-learning process.

The objectives of this study were: to identify the perceptions of teachers on the Political-Pedagogical Project of ENF/UERJ and highlight the advantages and difficulties experienced by these teachers regarding the integration between the curriculum's areas and sub-areas.


The Political-Pedagogical Project of a teaching institution seeks to clarify the theoretical-methodological foundations, objectives, type of organization and forms of action and assessment of the institution. It also, aims to show a direction and an explicit sense for a collectively established commitment. As well as in its construction and development, two aspects should be disclosed and interconnected: the design and implementation1.

In this perspective, it was opted to substantiate the PPP of ENF/UERJ in theoretical frameworks that had educational conceptions of democratic character, which assert the concept and the practice of citizenship and allowed the criticism and reflection, to meet the reality of society. This option also is articulated with the profile of nurses which desire to graduate with the ability to intervene in the health/disease generator process, categorizing the risk groups and proposing health care actions that result in improving the well-being of people from the production of knowledge and from technical, educational and political actions2.

Seeking to achieve this profile, the curriculum construction of ENF/UERJ if guided by a critical education, in so far as the meaning of critical while philosophical construct is related to the category of totality; thus, the criticism is placed as a fundamental element for a dialectical conception of the reality. Education from this perspective also promotes questioning reflection, revolutionary and liberating truth of man, because it seeks an articulated and dialogged shared learning, not permitting the authoritarianism of the educator on the knowledge of the student, thus avoiding an oppressor and oppressed relationship of among those involved3.

The curricular structure of ENF/UERJ covers three areas of knowledge: the first is characterized as Assistance Area, in which include theoretical-practical knowledge which underpin nursing care in individual and collective; the second is the Fundamental Area, that by sustaining the nursing actions covering theoretical-practical knowledge of education, research and organization of the work process, in addition to the historical-philosophical bases of the exercise of nursing; and finally, the third is called Biological and Social Bases of Nursing, composed from disciplines that belonged to the former basic cycle (anatomy, sociology, nutrition...). These areas comprise a number of disciplines (subareas) articulated and integrated with each other, forming a curriculum based in the perspective of the entire health-disease generating process2.

From this conception of areas and subareas, it breaks the fragmented vision of education and if it works with a set of knowledge that can complement and allow nurses take care of the human being with an integral, problematizing and wide vision on the health-disease process. Such a conception favors the criticism and reflection on the part of the nurse, with greater possibilities to transform reality in which it is inserted.

In this innovative educational process, it demonstrates some resistances both the teacher as the student in learning in a different way than usual. It is easier to propose the knowledge which discusses the needs of another. It is also easier to get ready knowledge of what came to participate in its construction, i.e. the student's desire, often do not construct knowledge, but receive it systematized from the teacher4.
Conversely, it is also be possible to develop a pedagogical proposal unlike many of which are implemented in the areas of education, given that the curriculum of ENF / UERJ is in force since 1996, based on the paradigm full-autonomy-dialog, this is in the critical education and the problematization, even empowering high scientific technical standard and ethical nurses5.

However, everything that is new, different and/or unknown brings estrangements and difficulties; but, depending on the context experienced, there are also facilities, wealth and gains. Thinking about these difficulties and facilities, and desiring to contribute to the development as idealized in the curriculum of ENF/UERJ, we chose to carry out the present study, having as fundamentals to conceptions teachers in relation to the curriculum proposal of ENF/UERJ.


We proceeded to a qualitative and descriptive study, at the School of Nursing, State University of Rio de Janeiro. The subjects were thirteen teachers responsible for conducting the Subareas, developing theoretical and practical knowledge units, contained in the three areas of the curriculum. The teachers were selected from the following criteria: effective teachers (contested positions), working on the first through ninth period and teachers who developed their activities in the current curriculum for at least two years.

The information collection was carried out in December 2010 and January to may 2011. The data was collected by semi-structured interview, recorded in MP3 player, after ensuring the anonymity of the participants, giving them the letter E (interviewee) followed from the order number in the study and signing the Term of Free and Informed Consent. The project was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Pedro Ernesto (protocol 2,760 / 2010), taking into account the ethical requirements of Resolution no. 196/1996, of the National Health Council.
The information were examined by means of the thematic content analysis technique, following the steps recommended for obtaining unit records (URs), that lead to units of significance which, in turn, enable the attainment of categories6.7. After application of the method, the category emerged Areas and Subareas from the Nursing Curriculum: facilitating and hindering aspects of integration, divided into two subcategories: Aspects that hinder the curricular integration and Aspects that facilitate the curricular integration.


Areas and sub-areas of the nursing curriculum: facilitating and hindering aspects of integration

The teachers pointed out facilitating and hindering aspects in the implementation of the curriculum; however, such as the hindering aspects have emerged in greater quantity and with greater thoroughness of discourses of subjects, we opted to start the presentation and analysis of data for this subcategory.

Aspects that complicate the curricular integration

There was a predominance of the elements that hinder the integration of areas and subareas, composing 33.8% of the total of URs. Of this percentage, the dominant unit of meaning refers to the individual characteristics of teachers and professionals, as well as the sometimes inappropriate behaviors from students and corresponding to 7.3% of URs.

As For the characteristics of the teachers, the reports were about the adoption of inflexible postures and authoritarian actions before the proposal of articulation of knowledge, hindering the integration between the areas and sub-areas of knowledge of the curriculum. This may result in the weakening of the philosophy curriculum, which has among its priorities the training of critical and reflective nurses, from the construction and development of knowledge throughout their academic education.

The students began to practice the nursing consultation, only that, on account of which they learned in the sub area [...], which was to get the patient's history, they tried to do it there too, as it was a single patient. And there, the professor of sub area [...] began to criticize saying that it was not to do that. Then, I saw that I was missing the integration. I understand that some of my colleagues who have a more rigid posture, of greater domination have such difficulty to integrate. (E3)

Regarding the student body, the complicating aspect was the predominant reduced student interest in the learning and development of some content and little commitment and attention with the classes. In this sense, they cited the absences in the classroom while the teacher develops the knowledge and the little interest in carrying out complementary studies, used by the teacher as a strategy for the articulation of knowledge.

I'm tired of recommending texts to be read and they are not [...]. It is going around the seats to see the number of students outside of the classroom, when the classroom is happening. (E1).

Teacher inflexibility found in the subjects' statements of fact becomes an obstacle for the integration process, as it can make it impossible for a teacher to understand and appreciate the knowledge of another teacher. This inflexibility can compromise even the dialog, approximation and exchange of information between them, which are fundamental for the integration of knowledge.

Now the students' posture is also complicating factor, because there is need for the student to realize that knowledge is not only a means or information on the teacher, but is constructed from the sum of these means should be sought and diverse forms, which makes that the student is also co-responsible for their learning.

The second more prevalent unit of meaning, corresponded to 5.1% of URs, and brought the idea that the composition of the subareas periods and their development throughout the course may be one of the more difficult for curriculum integration. Therefore, according to reports, the developed contents do not complement each other, i.e. there is a link between them which makes it possible for the student bring the learning of a sub-area to another and, thus, associate and articulate the knowledge learned.

The educational process aims to ensure citizenship, constituting a kind of program ordered by the curriculum that prepares students for specific skills and the exercise of rights and duties. In this perspective, the curriculum needs to be understood as a program to achieve results, and aiming at a better performance, represents a path of executions articulated to disciplinary practices8. Thus, the elaboration of a curriculum should be planned and orderly with the aim of establishing relations between areas and sub-areas, thus enabling greater understanding between teacher/student, which ensures a more critical and reflexive acting professional9.

Another issue flagged, and also limiting the integration comprises multiple teaching activities and work arrangements from twenty hours a week for several teachers. These activities often occur within the college, where a single teacher is inserted and committed with various responsibilities, both in the sub-area of ​​which they are part, as with research projects, extension, and / or tasks in latoand stricto sensu graduate courses. In addition, some teachers still have (an)other labor(s) link(s). This situation also impacts negatively on the proposal for curriculum integration, because it reduces the professor's presence at the school and, consequently, their participation in the institutional programming, in addition to hindering the personal and teamwork recognition and interaction.

I confess that are professors that I don't even know. It is on account of my workload. I am a professor that works only 20 hours, so I don't spend so much time here, and it is more in the morning, because of this, the professors that work only twenty hours do not have much contact with the problematic aspects of the institution. (E13).

Another point considered detrimental to the curriculum is the type of employment of teaching staff, because the subjects pointed to the growing number of contracted teachers, which are not part of the full-time teachers, generating a high turnover rate. In the recruitment of the majority of part-time teachers, does not prioritize their previous training of pedagogical practice oriented, but their qualities as a specialist in the subject. In addition, by having reduced workload - focused only on the relative time/class/student, low wages and a short contract period, there is the difficulty for the teacher hired to create an identity with the institution to grasp the theoretical-methodological basis of the curriculum.

[...] we are forced to hire teachers to stay with the students, teachers who have had no preparation to implement the proposed curriculum established in our school. (E9).

It was found that the lack of explanation about the proposal for curricular integration, as soon as the first approximation of faculty and students with the teaching-learning process of ENF/UERJ, results in great difficulty to understand their philosophy, and thus develop the pedagogical proposal.

On the one hand, the students arrive at graduation with an education profile based on the fragmentation of knowledge and present knowledge deficits, bringing difficulties that interfere with the learning process related to higher education. This situation requires more dynamism and empowerment of teachers and indispensable participation of the student in the construction of knowledge10,11.

In the end, there is a very large accommodation, because the new do not understand, the old feel cumbersome, and there is a lack of leadership at these times in promoting this integration. (E10).

On the other hand, there are a large number of teachers trained in the traditional paradigm and also students enrolled in universities, which had their elementary and high school education, guided by transmitter models of knowledge10,11. This context makes it difficult to break and overcome for a liberating education, even when inserted into a curriculum with an integrative teaching proposal12.

In the speeches from the subjects, there emerged another consideration, that the organizational model and the university work process often lead the teacher to individual work. Each teacher is responsible only for their part, with no concern for the institutional as a collective. Also scored was that the University prioritizes the type of evaluation based on notes, contrasting them with the educational philosophy of ENF/UERJ, who recommends the conceptual and procedural evaluation.

The facilitator aspects towards curricular integration

This subcategory was relevant in the URs, presenting an apparition percentage of 5.7%. Also the meaning unit that has considered the pedagogical policy design of ENF/UERJ appropriate and capable of promoting the integration of distinct nursing knowledge, highlighting it as fundamental in the context of education in healthcare. In addition, the curriculum is seen as well-planned and, faced with the complexity of training in healthcare, capable of fostering integration and contemplate with quality education and vocational training of nurses.

The production of knowledge is very complex, it is broad. It has several aspects. Then, for complexity, not just a certain look to account for that phenomenon, it takes several looks, from various other areas in order to minimally get a broader view of that phenomenon, so I think the curriculum realizes such complexity [...]. (E3)

A question also pointed out as a curricular integration facilitator has made reference to the predominance of a young student population, in adolescence or just coming out of this phase, which exhibit spontaneous creativity and vitality, characteristics that are considered essential for the strengthening and development of the pedagogical proposal of ENF/UERJ. The subjects also stressed that the young are more predisposed to accept the new.

[...] we have worked with the greater part of very young students. And the young, by their very nature, have this creativity tendency, it binds very well with the spontaneous creativity that integrates the way of being for young persons, such energy, vitality of the young, so they bond perfectly with this proposal. (E7).

The youth are the most striking symbols of the generations, due to their behaviors and conformities with the existing order, cultural manifestations and exhibitions of social problems. Differing from the others, the youth group at the same time afford to change the existing order and presents a potential to expose their desires to the social world to which they belong13.

Confirming other studies, the small number of students per class and a few classes per teacher were also cited as favorable for learning and the curriculum proposal, because they help to personal interaction, with the possibility of more extensive discussions on the topics of the lessons14.


Hindering factors were strongest, emphasizing as compromising the curriculum integration, the following aspects: individual characteristics and professional behavior of teachers and sometimes immature students. As a recommendation to the students, deconstruction of the fragmented vision of the curriculum to the continuous update in critical and tranforming education is necessary as well as reflection to make them feel integrated into operative education community and thus can contribute effectively and efficiently towards curriculum integration.

As For the facilities, it transpired that the proposal of integrated curriculum presents a pedagogical concept appropriate and capable of promoting the integration of distinct nursing knowledge. It was understood that, given the complexity of healthcare knowledge, the curriculum is able to promote the integration and contemplate quality education for nursing professionals.

There is still a need for constant approximation of the professors and students for the pedagogical proposal of ENF/UERJ so that they clearly understand and with a critical view. This approximation may occur through the active participation of these subjects in the discussions and planning of the subareas.

The difficulties and facilities in the implementation of a pedagogical proposal, which has a commitment to the collective and liberating construction, is not something surprising, but instigating and challenging in the search for a collective and dialogical construction of an authentic knowledge and transformer of the reality, from the awareness and citizenship of all, including professors and students.


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