Two decades of confessional religious education in Rio de Janeiro: What is the “belief” in dispute in state public school policy?
Keywords:democracy, religious education, educational policies, public school
This paper analyzes political antagonism concerning the offer of religious education in public schools in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in light of policy documents that establish the confessional character of the curriculum and its translation to the school as a context for the action of democratic politics. The investigation is supported by the post-structuralist perspective proposed by Chantal Mouffe and investigates the actions of the subjects in the legislative field within disputes over proposals favorable and contrary to the confessional nature of the education. In order to fully capture the school dialogue, we analyze the offer of religious education in the state of Rio de Janeiro through specific responses to the Director’s Questionnaire of the Basic Education Assessment System, from years 2013, 2015, and 2017. The responses to the questionnaires show that the offer of religious education is not mandatory for students, it is not confessional, and there is no offer of alternative activities for those who choose not to enroll. We conclude that although the implementation of religious confessional education in the state of Rio de Janeiro seems to be weakly carried out, other political socialization movements operating within the state articulate moral values inscribed in its disciplinary agenda.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Evelin Fonseca de Souza, Marcela Moraes de Castro
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