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Interdisciplinary work

Training teachers who are more conscious of the importance of their work, engaged with improving the school curriculum and group work, was the objective of the research project coordinated by Maurício Compiani, of Unicamp's Institute of Geosciences. Started in March 1997 and concluded in February 2001, the project was financed jointly by FAPESP, CNPq and Finep. It involved nine state public schools, with students from the 5th to 8th grades, in the Campinas and Jaguariúna regions, and 13 grant-holding teachers in the disciplines of science, geography, history, Portuguese and mathematics. “Its dynamics were centered on the teacher and not on a school unit.

We were going to work on geoscience, with science and geography, but the interest shown by teachers from other disciplines made us include them in the process, by developing integrated and more interdisciplinary activities”, Compiani explains. The reality of each school served as the basis for the choice of the themes. For example: the students' housing, the kind of terrain occupied, the work and the professions of their parents, made it possible to join together discussions on mathematics and geography. Narratives on the theme of water, the paths followed from its source to finally supplying the population, could be explored from the point of view of geography and of Portuguese.

The activities carried out in the project can be seen in the siteórios/lrdg/index.html – and the researches will also be putting together a CD-ROM, to be distributed to the schools that took part. Compriani's assessment is that the work was successful, and that this is due to four aspects: the role of specific content in the teaching/learning process; the adoption of a constructivist approach; the school as one of the environments in society for the building of knowledge; and the theory/practice relationship in the socialization process of teachers.