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Psicologia da Educação

versão impressa ISSN 1414-6975versão On-line ISSN 2175-3520

Psicol. educ.  no.52 São Paulo jan./jun. 2021 



From punging tasks to the psychology of education facing the current humanitarian tragedy



Mitsuko Aparecida Makino AntunesI; Ruzia Chaouchar dos SantosII

IPontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - São Paulo - SP - Brasil;
IIPontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - São Paulo - SP - Brasil;



We would like to say that it is with great joy and mobilization of collective efforts that the 52nd issue of our Journal is finally published. However, the word joy, in the current situation, cannot be used, at the very least it would be nonsense. There are more than half a million Brazilians killed by the new corona virus, millions of family and friends who suffer from the loss of a loved one, thousands of people who suffer from the consequences of the disease, with the expansion of unemployment, the degradation and precariousness of relationships of work, the vertiginous increase of hunger, the accentuation of femicide, the loss of housing, eviction, public transport with overcrowding, the dismantling of social security, the criminalization of social movements, among other expressions of the intensification of expropriation of acquired rights historically by the working class, which affects the population unequally, revealing the deepening of economic, social, ethnic-racial and gender inequality rooted in the particularity of the Brazilian social formation, marked by colonial and slavery roots.

In this sense, it is worth explaining the alarming rates of invisible of thousands of children and/or adolescents, under the age of 18, who were orphaned by the loss of mothers and/or fathers or caregivers as a result of COVID-19 in the Brazil, between the beginning of March last year and the end of April 2021. (Hillis et. al, 2021). It should be noted that this dramatic situation of exposed orphanhood tends to be consistent with the perpetuation and intensification of social control measures mediated by various forms of violence, with the processes of institutionalization, pathologization and material and symbolic mortification of childhood and adolescence, especially, of the black and peripheral population.

Therefore, the deepening of attacks on education, at its different levels, come to endorse the legitimization of ideas and practices of unprecedented intolerance and irrationalism, which are configured as one of the dimensions of neoconservative ideology, such as the irresponsible statements made by the current Minister of Education Milton Ribeiro: "Students with disabilities 'intrude' other students" (Galvani, 2021), '"it is impossible to coexist" with children with some degree of disability"' (Ohana, 2021), which signal the dismantling of policies historically conquered publics and setbacks that present in their wake hygienist, segregationist and discriminatory conceptions about people with disabilities, which are still analyzed under the prism of inferiority, incapacity, discomfort, among other aspects involved in the denial of their status as a subject and, in fact, in the annihilation of differences in the human condition, as advocated by the propositions of Decree No. 10.5 02/2020 (Brazil, 2020). These aspects discussed establish their roots in the logic of privatization and subordination of education to the dictates of the market, which is unveiled in the tangled link between hegemonic interests of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industries (Whitaker, 2017), articulated with private institutions that are interested in partnerships with the state.

Within these complex manifestations of contradictions in the structural crisis of capital (Mészáros, 2009), which has as an expression of its functioning the ongoing humanitarian crisis, with regard directly to us, in the field of education, exploitation and precariousness of teaching work, impacting in different ways the process of learning and development of students in important moments of their training path; among other aspects, because a considerable portion of students are deprived of objective conditions of access to remote education, despite the superhuman effort of thousands of teachers, managers, among other technicians from our public schools, mothers, grandparents, aunts and all those who, through movements of collective articulation and organization of struggle and resistance, were guided by ethical-political commitment, seeking to mitigate the effects of the necessary and indisputable social isolation, acting in defense of the emancipatory societal project. Our dismay, however, is the realization that all this could have been different! If, until recently, the tasks that imposed themselves as urgent agendas for Education in general and for Educational Psychology in particular were large, such as learning basic school contents for thousands of children, the effective inclusion of so many others, the implementation of a democratic, egalitarian, full and integral education, the new corona virus pandemic brings to light issues that demand our attention, under penalty of having to bear a historical debt if we are not able to look beyond the most visible and immediate issues . Firstly, we point to the need for back-to-school planning, which should start with the assessment of each student, from all segments, so that each one can be assisted to make up for the losses (which are very varied) and identify possible learning that should not be discarded and used in this process that begins. On another level, it is necessary to analyze in depth the public policies adopted (or not adopted, or precarious, or destroyed, to be more precise). Complementing with the necessary clarification to the community that the situation experienced by so many students fully shows the reasons why we are against the so-called home education. But, there are other issues that deserve to be made visible, studied, analyzed and put under a powerful lens.

The issues we refer to are those that go beyond the lethality of the corona virus and the tragic government action in the management of the economic, social, political and health crisis, based on the intensification and expansion of the fiscal austerity policy guided by systematic dismantling and privatization of basic goods and services, such as education, health, social security, although associated with them. Many theoretical categories can be used to identify this problem: behavior, attitude, activity, emotion and affect, awareness, alienation, among others. It is about denial, the dogmatic incorporation of false news, the refusal to adopt preventive measures, the decision not to take the vaccine, indifference... in the face of a poignant and tragic reality directly experienced with the loss of close and even with his own suffering with the disease. Information was not lacking and not lacking. Seeking an explanation of these processes is a task imposed on all those who deal with the human being. Education, psychology, sociology, anthropology, health are some of the areas that, together, must join efforts to know the determinations that underlie this process in order to define joint action plans to overcome it.

Manifestations of this nature are not new and accompany human history. However, in recent history it is possible to identify individual or collective behaviors that are opposed to the broad and repeated information disseminated by different and effective means of communication. It wasn't so long ago that many people refused to wear a seatbelt, even though wearing seatbelts would prevent most deaths or serious injuries in traffic accidents. The use of condoms prevents the spread of STD-AIDS and pregnancy, yet thousands of people have been infected and girls have become pregnant in their teens. Waste of water, electricity and detergents contributes to nature's collapse; but even with the rise in tariffs and prices of products, people are not able to use these sources or products in a rational way. Furthermore, there are many beliefs that are embodied, even though their opposites are, Cartesianly speaking, clear and evident: the flat earth; the demonization of any "other" who does not share the dogmatic ideas that have been adopted; the virus only produces a small flu (even though it killed your father); the use of chloroquine and ivermectin as early treatment; vaccine turns people into alligator... these ideas might sound comical if they weren't responsible for the tragedy now experienced by Brazilians.

What can educational psychology offer as a contribution to understanding this process and intervening in it, with a view to overcoming it? The theoretical-methodological plurality of the area has great potential for broadening and deepening knowledge about this process. Fundamental categories of social psychology and education, such as: consciousness, activity and personality (Leontiev); awareness, activity, emotion and identity (Lane); sameness and emancipatory metamorphosis (Ciampa); meanings and senses; spontaneous and scientific concept (Vygotski); formal operations and moral development (Piaget); integration of affective, cognitive and motor dimensions in the formation of the person (Wallon); reinforcement contingencies (Skinner); social representations (Moscovici) are, among many others, powerful resources to support the task that this historical moment vehemently imposes on us.

Returning to this issue of the Magazine, we have to say that we also faced many obstacles in this tragic and unusual period. We understand the difficulties of all those who contributed to this publication: authors, reviewers and members of the editorial board. For this reason, we express our immense gratitude to everyone whose work makes this issue of our periodical: Agda Malheiro, Aline Matos, Bárbara Palhuzi, Cíntia de Fátima, Jaqueline Nery, Jessica Silva, Priscila da Costa, Regina Prandini, Ruzia Chaouchar, like this As well as Waldir Alves, from EDUC, we reiterate our thanks to the Portal de Revistas of PUC-SP and, in particular, to PIPEq, whose resources have allowed our Journal to continue its mission of welcoming and disseminating the knowledge produced by the area of Educational Psychology .

We hope that the reflections engendered in the articles can enhance the search for knowledge production and its publication, urgent demands for science in general, but for psychology and educational psychology in particular.



Brazil. (2020). Decree nº 10.502, of September 30, 2020. Establishes the National Policy on Special Education: Equitable, Inclusive and with Lifelong Learning. Official Gazette of the Union. Retrieved from:

Galvani, N. (2021). Minister of Education says that students with disabilities "inconvenience" other students. Correiobrasiliense. Retrieved from:

Hillis, S.D; Unwin H.J.T.; Chen, Y., et al. (2021). Global minimum estimates of children affected by orphanhood associated with COVID-19 and caregiver deaths: a modeling study. The Lancet. 398, 391-402.

Mészáros, I. (2009). Beyond capital: towards a theory of transition. São Paulo: Boitempo.

Ohana, V. (2021). Minister of Education says it is 'impossible to live together' with children with a certain degree of disability. Capital Letter. Recovered from:

Whitaker, R. (2017). Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Pills, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Staggering Rise of Mental Illness. Rio de Janeiro: Fiocruz Publisher.



Received on: 20 Aug 2021
Approved: 21 Aug 2021

Brasil. (2020). Decreto nº 10.502, de 30 de setembro de 2020. Institui a Política Nacional de Educação Especial: Equitativa, Inclusiva e com Aprendizado ao longo da vida. Diário Oficial da União. Recuperado de:        [ Links ]

Galvani, N. (2021). Ministro da Educação diz que alunos com deficiência 'atrapalham' demais estudantes. EuEstudante. Recuperado de:        [ Links ]

Hillis, S. D; Unwin H. J. T. ; Chen, Y., et al. (2021). Estimativas mínimas globais de crianças afetadas por orfandade associada a COVID-19 e mortes de cuidadores: um estudo de modelagem. The Lancet. 398,391-402.        [ Links ]

Mészáros, I. (2009). Para além do capital: rumo a uma teoria da transição. São Paulo: Boitempo.         [ Links ]

Ohana, V. (2021). Ministro da Educação diz que é 'impossível a convivência' com crianças com certo grau de deficiência. Carta Capital. Recuperado de:        [ Links ]

Whitaker, R. (2017). Anatomia de uma epidemia: pílulas mágicas, drogas psiquiátricas e o aumento assombroso de doença mental. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz.         [ Links ]

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