2008-06-26 BRAZIL

The teaching profession and its mission in an information society

The Marist Brothers? Third National Teaching Congress is to discuss the teaching profession in information societies over a period of four days. The occasion will bring together 2500 educators from all over Brazil, the date being July 15 to 18 and the venue the Convention Center at PUCRS in Porto Alegre.

Among the speakers who are expected at the meeting is UNESCO consultant, Professor Abdeljalil Akkari from the University of Geneva. His topic is: The Educator?s Role in Information Societies. Professor Akkari is a researcher in three fields: (1) educational inequalities, (2) comparative educational systems and (3) links between culture and education. The second speaker at the international conference will be Professor Consuelo Vélaz de Medrano of the Spain-based, National University of Distance Learning (UNED)

Professor Consuleo Vélaz is researcher in the areas of (a) school counseling and (b) diagnosis and intervention by school counselors. She will speak on the nature of information societies and their relation to education. The third speaker is Professor Nilson José Hache from at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil. His topics are: (a) action for transformation and (b) information societies.

In addition to the large scale conference, the Congress will offer: (a) fifteen theme-based conferences, (b) experiences related to teaching practices, (c) presentations drawn from research panels, and (d) an exposition of educational materials. The organization of the Marist Brothers? Third National Education Conference has been handled by the Marist Brothers Union of Brazil (Umbra-sil), a group with headquarters in Brasilia. Its membership consists of all the leading members of Marist Brother apostolates in Brazil.

The Marist Brothers are found today in seventy-eight countries. The Marist Brothers? Network for Solidarity and Education is set up in four administrative groups: three Provinces (Brazil Centro-Norte, Brazil Centro-Sul and Río Grande do Sul) and one District (Amazonia). Thanks to various leading figures in the political structures of the times, the Marist Brothers who came to Brazil in l887 were able to run, among other activities: schools, social programs, universities and colleges, hospitals, media and cultural enterprises.

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