Live better in schools by Gabriel Brener

//Live better in schools by Gabriel Brener

Jorge Luis Borges said "The noun by the accumulation of adjectives is formed", which is a significant contribution to understanding or rather to put under suspicion the notion of "school violence". Disarm, back on what links two terms, warn of the risk of generalizations to assess the context in which the situations occur, not because there is no violence in schools because it exists since the school know as such, if not then disarm usual as a natural thing..

Modes mark the field name and many of the rules, I therefore propose that the central issue that concerns us not school violence but coexistence which it is nothing but the way live together in schools. I invite them to reflect on Richard Sennett in his book "Together. Rituals, pleasures and cooperation policy "I recommend through a passage in which he explains that the current challenge, and particularly in our schools it has to do with "Demanding and difficult type of cooperation is to bring together people with different interests and even conflicting, that they are uneven and simply do not understand. The challenge is to respond to others by respecting them as they are. This is the challenge of all conflict management ".

Interesting topic, because one of the most complex problems of this time has to do with the challenge of uniting the diverse to confront adversity, how to cooperate between who we are, We think or do differently warning that this is not another but who are confronted with difficulties, limitations and dilemmas of life together, against the perpetuation of other threatening, against the naturalization of difference as deficit, against stigma labels transmuted into strengthening cultures of discrimination, aggressions and deterioration of human rights and social relations.

In this context it becomes necessary to practice a semantic exercise, educational and political explain and question involving a singular idea of ​​school violence. Everything seems to be violence. That it was an act of indiscipline, misconduct, misbehavior, disobedience, and recent years, the bullying, that is to say, all this is called school violence. This process of naturalization and generalizations about school violence is closely linked to the representations about what is violence or who are violent, we build every day, and the media are actors (heavyweight) playing an important role in this construction around. I say this considering a reflection of a book by Pierre Bourdieu called "On the Television", in which he argues that "Media show but do not explain". And in that sense I find it interesting to note how a permanent collection of situations of school violence that takes such an important status could be a separate section in newspapers and magazines or on radio or TV column is naturalized. These performances not only describe it its effectiveness lies in its normative, while they guide the actions of each regarding the other. And if not, see how any path crosses just seeing the faces of those who come from across, and that is called of their face and the media paid to said industrial efficiency. And then there grow in stature as the effect “snowball” certain hegemonic representations that discipline on the division between good and young kids beanie, and the latter as the stigma of violent young, plus, show schools, especially state, like ships adrift school and adults, images of helplessness spread, discomfort and resignation, at least.

Has a unique value that remarkable stroke Z. Hauman, that we are living in a permanent state of “miedoamiente " and there are means for marking substantive support temperature and therefore also in this challenge to the idea of ​​school violence fits us critically review the role of the media without encountering culpabilizadoras or deterministic positions around these, which it is a risk that teachers usually fall much.

There is a phrase that comes from anonymous European trade unionism that says "The problem is not the machines, but mechanization". Good lesson to think about the media, Tinelli not to charge against or similar programs when the kids insult or rather, not to keep putting out the responsibility to what is bothering us or not seems best. The problem is not the media but a set of values ​​and representations that come into play on how to be children, how to dress, be, to feel, speak, linked with even and odd, that should play games or toys, which it is the way to influence decisions, especially consumption expenditures incurred or their families, etc.

Educational film archive

I take this unique and moving film power proposed to discuss the issue but at the same time present the Educational Film Archive "Youth and School"

[1]. Son 41 fascinating films, each with its chips and analysis written by teachers regarding the social sciences and the arts to discuss various issues related to young people, related to sexuality, Addictions, coexistence, violence, relationship with adults and other youth issues in Argentina, of the region and the world. We are giving at this time in all state secondary schools in the country and in all public and private ISFD.

A technological resource that puts the best cinema available to young people as a teaching tool, so I decided to develop this conversation interspersed with fragments of some movies that I think offer interesting clues to think, check, debate about building a better coexistence in schools.

Visibility and reversibility

I choose to start with a fragment "Luna de Avellaneda" (2004), directed by Jose Luis Campanella, to start talking about situations of violence in schools.

From this fragment think I want to invite two topics, or perhaps two categories of analysis to better understand what is called school violence and borrowed a valuable contribution of Roberto Gonzalez Villarreal in his text "History problematization. What's new in school violence?". One is the visibility and another, the reversibilidad. Regarding the visibility of school violence in a society in which our environment is marked by the presence and role of mass media and ICT 'and social networks for socialization is not less think school violence situations are more visibility. If I tell them the things that happened in my division a public school in the city of Buenos Aires you will see that many are similar to those occurring in 2015. What happens is that in those years (82 to the 85) did not have a cell to register and publish it on the web and to raise the five seconds it globally and that viralice by social networks and even take a TV channel transmitting morning and afternoon night transforming a fact or event in a singular kind of contagious epidemic seems to happen everywhere at the same time.

But the idea of ​​visibility leads us to another issue that is very important to emphasize. Children and adolescents are the subjects of law, and this gives them another visibility in society, highlighting a clear expansion and protection of rights, in various regulations, both globally, and in the region and our'país, treaty, laws and resolutions of various kinds. The law enacted Education 2006 extending the right of all kids and pibas of 4 years to be in school and enshrines equal rights for all secondary, among other regulations show a visibility other subjects.

Excerpt from "Luna de Avellaneda"

In this scene I would like to ask us meaning school, especially the high school. The meaning of what is taught, to be taught, who is the learner, which ( and how) It is the place where one has in mind when he thinks the other class, how value is placed on respect and care among adults and adolescents. Break when inertia can be to review ways of teaching, ways to be more attentive, train listening and empathy and willingness to learn, the responsibility of teaching, and the importance of stopping the ball, look at the field and see how we. Reviewing adult flavors and disappointments of the teaching task, how difficult it becomes so often face a class with teenagers, take our limits and get rid of omnipotencias, to better address what it does not go as we want, unexpected or uncertainty appears to us without asking, how uncomfortable the misunderstanding but also the importance of continued trying beyond the uncertainty of the results. The importance of revisiting own practice, individually but especially with other / as. And in that act of interruption review the cards that we're playing, a ride on the significance of that teaching, matter that does not involve either forced to think of something funny, but of relevance to the learner, value from the discipline that is taught, not everything can be fun, and what pleases one may someone else to annoy. A teacher, even without knowing, You can make available a / a student a window to look, learn, savor some of the world which until then was ignored, and that makes the teaching act teaching in a actual delivery of occasions

Once, in one of the many training opportunities I worked, in suburban Buenos Aires, I remember something he said a director, inserted a school in conditions of extreme vulnerability, there in the early 2000. Said Inclusion is mess with the problems of others, more specifically involved with the problems of the students, their families. I could never forget, or better said what I always bring with me to work and about the inclusion, educational quality, teaching, and the relationship between school, the community and the lives of young people and adults.

About inclusion, there is a scene that compliments this and that is also in the film archive, It called Detachment (The teacher), veámosla, to go about this notion of reversibility thinking about the issue of school violence.

Excerpt from "The Professor"

Physical punishment, and other types of school violence, They are not new to this institution, they are components of the same. The school and education system has used physical punishment as part of their discipline and socialization skills with younger. We are heirs of the school of "The rod and spoil" and in that sentence is evidence that physical punishment was nothing but matter founding of the modern school. Now, Physical punishment and violence were on one-way, or rather It was a street of unique hand: of adults towards younger. Punishment often was entitled or required by families to discipline smaller. Today that is disruptive and unacceptable us course and talks about progress in democratization and expansion of rights in our society. The novelty here is related to the reversibilidad, in this second scene that strikes us it is when the sense of using violence changes, when this is not a street but only hand that direction is reversed, and violence is teen to adult, we might add here many scenes, typical of this time, of fathers or mothers aggression towards teachers. We are witnessing violence situations going in multiple directions (and nonsense) and no longer respond to the adult-only old hand.

Bullying as a commodity

There is another fundamental element that has to do with the processes of commodification of bullying. It takes time and TV ratings, it is used as a verb in new look, (even farandulizado) but I want to emphasize within the framework of this congress which is always a valuable opportunity to think and review discourses and practices , It is a critique of the dominant perspectives on the bullying, where the greed of the media associated rating, appropriate pedagogy merchants invested with accompanying media spectacle paying a flat floor or conservative restoration, on the one hand, but also to the medicalization and pathologizing childhoods and teens.

Notice that interesting these tables usually published in the media (here I share one) where signs or features are thrown to feel Thermometer bullying home owner.


The words nominate, They teach us ways of living and being with others. There are those that seal and presage, and that sentence destinations. Repaired in the use of the word "betray" more akin to legal jargon that with a school issue. I propose to review and challenge these clues are often interpreted as "wise counsel of scientific rigor" and only serve to muddy the court, further complicating what they say they want to solve. These guidelines for everyone to look in the mirror, not only it scares but has a performative value, features are nominating and leave footprints alone, confused and much ( supported by the market) if not explained. I find that a dominant perspective on bullying offers explanations that are imprecise, They have a vague to be highlight. They end up playing into the contest or media spectacle but their approach to situations of aggression in schools straitjacket in a binary reduction: there are only perpetrators and victims. And in that way to understand what happens highlight a profound process descontextualización. In explaining this binary equation it comes down to cases, for example, "For Alan, violent kid 2nd grade". So this reduction also cases objectified and makes the Violence something, something like a substance that is contagious and it must be careful. Therefore, transmuted into the case and there is the threat pathologizes, and the medicalization issue appears as savior or cure but the solution will remove evil. ¿We hypothesized rotten apple rings? That "Threat to the moral integrity of a body ( class, family, society) well built "… Sounds them?

It seems important to think about this reduction as binarydescription and simplification act decontextualizes. This way of explaining dually, simplifying culprit and victim, bad and good, civilized and barbarians, what it does is depoliticize institutional situations befall, political shrinking or ninguneando, but but that the electoral dispute politics as the tool shape and is linked to the life together and more specifically a the ability to live better with others. This is how are you bullying commercial prospects looks far from proposing to help understand and find solutions are more fuel for fire fighting, They contribute to increase the punitive common sense in their school version, and overlook the central role of the school and institutional level as a key conflict resolution. It's more, what they promote is that these conflicts within the media, or justice, paying more to an idea of ​​the teacher as tax, looking for culprits, the media spectacle that often ends up stigmatizing children, or adolescents and as many revictimizándolos.

There is a text entitled "19 propositions to discuss violence"[2] a remarkable psychologist , Mario Zerbino who left us recently. It is a short text that insurance can test in their classrooms, or conversation between colleagues, if they are to address the issue of violence or cohabitation. One of the proposals say: "The opposite of violence is not peace ". Hits and definition, but it seems necessary. The opposite of violence is not peace because exactly which highlights this proposition Zerbino, counter to the dominant perspective of bullying, It is that the conflict is a source of construction of coexistence. So if the opposite of violence is not peace, it is because we give a key to the conflict rather as a constitutive element in building coexistence.

I always say that nobody questions the conflict as a structuring element of school learning, Genetic Psychology of Jean Piaget to study many of us who are here when we trained as teachers, however it costs us identify the conflict as a source of construction of coexistence or social learning. Because I believe it is essential to explain the conflict is not synonymous with violence, but just a structuring aspect of coexistence, and it is impossible that in a society like ours that is part of Latin America, the most unequal continent in the world, there is no conflict of political interests, economic, cultural. For a while in this country high school is compulsory ago. How then a country like ours, leaving out hundreds of thousands of boys and girls in age to go to high school since its inception and since 2006 It is required by national law, You will suddenly pretend that school we all carry barbarian without conflicts, a school that has a historic design exclusive overnight inclusive and all without conflict. Even it is good to remember that the conflict between generations is constitutive of the educational link in this school level.

How not going to be conflict? The conflict is a problem we have to solve those, it's about build a problem where no complaint and discomfort O competing interests, that is the real challenge to face. We have to understand that conflict is a trap if we see it as stigma, It should be much less a stigma that a riddle to decipher and solve. The risk is whether invisibilizamos the conflict as if it becomes chronic and permanent. It is so serious ningunearlo, desconocerlo as it becomes perpetual.

I propose an exercise. To test this proposition, do it mentally : I avoid conflict or it invisible is closely related with the increase of different forms of violence. This proposition, it also offers Zerbino, piénsenla under the work touches them each / a , no matter the scale, you can be a minister / a, Undersecretary / a, supervisor/a, director/a o docente.

2. One type of inclusion as a tool for school twentieth century and the nation

And I want to claim the figure of Sarmiento of hand 1420[3] It has been a powerful tool for our country to shine educationally statistics continent in achieving expand primary school, establishing and valuable feature in the construction of citizenship, I also want to emphasize, with equal emphasis including those processes that were structuring of the school and the nation can also understand as an equivalence to homogenization processes .

In such inclusion as homogenization freezes the difference as deficiency. The difference is connoted negatively and easily transformed into a threat. Therefore, including those models they were quite exclusive because we had to leave the school gate cocoliche grandparents, ways to be, feel and live in the family home, the ways of understanding and talking with the other, how to feel their own culture and even sexual identity. A set of identifying features that were at the door because we are all in the same way. An equal be more like the same thing.

A good example is the white coat, which it was implemented with the intention of standardization and discipline to raise the illusion of equality. A white smock that reveals the imprint and structural conditions of medical discourse and positivism to build the school of the twentieth century. A biologist speech that helps to explain this process of inclusion as homogenization.

To get more into this issue we share an excerpt from "Machuca", remarkable film production of Andrew Wood, Chile, 2004.

Fragment of "Machuca"

3. The challenge of democratic inclusion in schools in this century

Inclusion is a process that builds, a complex plot subject to multiple constraints, Contexts, institutions and individuals. Inclusion is a process of implementation is not a magical act of implementation. As a school and social process, It can never be the result of an imposition, we must always understand it as unfinished business, in permanent construction. Inclusion is crafted without permits, with twists and turns, full of contradictions, those same that haunt us like a shadow, and even contemplating the marks of the past are still present although not in force. Education Law 26.206 the 2006, It is essential for social adjustment and school, but the law is always a necessary condition, ever enough. To make school compulsory, for kids room 4 they are in all schools, is secondary to all / as, for inclusion becomes effective the law is essential, but misses. You have to work tirelessly for public policy, from federal construction that allows make concrete what is declaims as an ideal. So I want to make clear that the inclusion have to think more in terms of construction of taxation, this last collects applause in an election platform but vanishes at the instant of walking foot building on the same day in each of the schools.

How to think the democratic coexistence in a school with an arbitrary inheritance, how to think of ourselves and become more democratic with a past of dictatorships that we went through identity, how to live as a society? I strongly believe in the asymmetry between adults and students as a condition of possibility, as a necessary condition for building educational authority at school. The problem is that we come from a time when It is given the asymmetry came and this time challenges us to put the subject predicate. You have to make sense of asymmetry. The question to ask is one that allows us go in search of that which authorizes the authority, not confuse the illusion of automatic effect of authority. The task is to build a more democratic inclusion in the school where the difference is not a threat, but an opportunity, to enrich the path of a / a student, the link between generations, an enhancer element, energizing of school life. Practicing law school as space, but the right to be equal with the same intensity as the right to be respected as different. A school that not only the right but declaim be effective territory expansion and effective exercise. Right of access to sex education, that every adolescent is respected for their sexual choice, they can exercise the civic right to vote from the 16 years old, among other rights, taking advantage of the school as a strategic area for information, discuss and achieve active participation enabling them to become as subjects, Citizens of a democracy always improve itself and not mere spectators only with consumer expectations. Expanding political and educational rights as opportunity.

I believe in law school as one that increases accountability, counter to the worshipers of the past that some want to paint as a facile garantismo, building references teachable subjects and objects to hold. Enabling, of course without saying, there are kids first, they can exercise their citizenship and kids second, with suction or admission waiting list or destination of educational colimbas. I think that the requirement is about caring and love the other, but we fall into another binary false: there are schools that teach caregivers and others.A school may not care if you are not teaching, and you can not teach without care because caring is mere populism without teaching and teach without caring is mere instruction. Beware of these false choices that make us believe that there are schools that are to some guys are in and others that are to learn. In any case, the challenge is to think that when you teach is caring. That nostalgic demand equation sentence without telling newcomers to high, pretending that kids and families first generation of the secondary should bring innate condition educabilidad, when we know that anyone born student / a, it is a process that is built only with traffic, and only when they begin to change some rules of the game, especially linked to a different distribution of power, knowledge, positions, opportunities, counter to the naturalization of privileges that the worshipers of the past and restoring called merit or result of individual effort.

As democratic inclusion in school, the Ministry have developed a "Federal Guidelines Guide"[4], it is an educational tool , a set of guidelines that have been built federally to intervene in specific situations related to violence and conflicts of various school settings and suggests, discuss and build a more democratic coexistence in schools.


Central to addressing the Federal guide is location and construction of the adult position in society and in school. Adults often soslayamos situations alluding to "a thing of kids". And that which is usually omitted or ignores becomes a ball of snow and unstoppable effects or situations that we regret later occur because we could not prevent.

Build responsible adult position is part of the task of reviewing the ways in which we have built and we are making authority. We are heirs of a society crossed by dictatorships, by imposing models. That's why the imposition asymmetry we have so present and sometimes naturalized and this contributes to some moralizing speeches that all the past was better. And this is not necessarily associated with greater age. Salvador Allende said "there are young and old young old, I am of the latter ". Therefore I do not mean old or young people when I refer to those who say that all the past was better and that we must restore the authority.

It is a question that exceeds the age condition, and it is linked to the way of interacting with other adults in the field mark. Therefore I suggest distrust those that highlight the restoration as a solution. For indeed, restore the bronze or wood is restored. in change, the authority is a relationship built daily, full of contradictions, with twists and turns. The authority can not miss, because it is not something that has or may be saved. So the authority is doing something that is going to walk, It is something that we went looking with conviction but always with uncertain prognosis.

We come from a past adult-centered hegemony and imposing authority, and 90 marked by the predominance of models of various patronizing demagoguery, but also of authorities look the other way, authorities and impunity "yonovinada".

I am convinced that the idea is not to think of an adult to replace, an extension adult, there is a genuine desire for change but that misconception can be a trap. The extension of an adult at school is a responsibility that does not correspond to a teacher. The key figure is to locate the adult school, the teacher as an adult available. I think the challenge is to think of an adult they are encouraged to be authorized as an authority, in the case of school, in education and in the care of others that authority has more to do with increasing other than hold, It has to do with the confidence to take the risk for someone who does not even know that I can not control.

Authority is taking a risk by discomfort, because the school is the place in the world trocar momentum in the act of word, enabling to move conflicts put to the indecipherable lyrics, for be heard with respect, to provide listening and speak. The old school is a place that can be renewed, insofar as discomfort assume game rule. The discomfort of the questions that do not bring answers in advance, accountable and democratic exercise of power, which it is held in respect of the trust and renewable desire for justice and equality.

Encouraged to discomfort that we can be better knowing that those who come back are ours and will be much better than us.

(Edited version of a paper at the Second International Congress on Coexistence Foundation organized the Fepais 2 September 2015)

Gabriel Brener es Prof. Primary education (Normal Nº 4) Lic. En Cs. Education (UBA) Driving Management Specialist and the education system and its institutions ( FLACSO. Secretary of Equity and Educational Quality of the Ministry of Education's Office. Author of "Pedagogy Journalism, schools, violence , media and links between generations "Editorial Cassava. 2014 Bs. As.


Source: MOVING LATIN AMERICA ONLINE – Author: Gabriel Brener

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2016-10-25T11:04:23+00:00Positive School Coexistence|


  1. Caribbean 20 April, 2016 at 7:53 am - Reply

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  2. Sebastian 8 April, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

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  3. […] slaps a student in "Luna de Avellaneda",( offers some backroom, what happens behind the scenes, showing us more fragile, […]

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