Guidelines make the content offer more flexible, focus on the skills that must be developed, and require a learning management process, among other aspects. Find out more details.
The Brazilian Council of Education (CNE, for its acronym in Portuguese) of the Ministry of Education (MEC) of Brazil approved, on July 10, the new National Curricular Guidelines (DCNs) for Bachelors in Business Administration programs. It results from the joint work of CNE advisers and members of the Brazilian Council of Administration Council (CFA) and the Brazilian association of undergraduate programs in Administration (Angrad). Professor Irineu Gianesi, director of Academic Affairs at Insper, coordinated the guideline-revising process at Angrad.
The text was unanimously approved and is now awaiting validation by the Ministry of Education. Brazilian Higher-Education Institutions will have up to three years as of the publication of the new DCNs to adapt to the new rules. They follow principles similar to the recent guidelines in other fields, such as Engineering.
“The first essential element brought about by the new Guidelines is flexibility. They are less assertive about establishing the content institutions should offer students. They focus on the must-develop skills, setting forth some fundamental ones and giving the institutions the freedom to add others depending on their programs’ specificity. In other words, the commitment does not have to be related to transmitting only a certain knowledge or content, but to develop skills to apply the content in different contexts. It is up to the institutions to define and explain to society, through their teaching projects, how their educational process will lead to the development of competencies”, explains Irineu.
As it focuses on results, the new DCNs for Business Administration bring institutions the need to implement a management process for learning. “Given that there are certain goals in terms of skills, it is necessary to be able to assess whether the graduates have effectively developed them in order to, as a result of this measurement, close a cycle and generate interventions in the learning experiences to ensure that the programs continuously and increasingly get closer to those goals.”
Also, according to Prof. Gianesi, the new DCNs point to a greater concern with the faculty’s pedagogic training. “It is not enough for the professor to know the content. They need to be skilled in mediating the teaching/learning process successfully, and institutions need to be concerned with training them in this regard. Developing skills in students may require the retraining of professors in pedagogic aspects”.
As the institutions will have three years after the homologation of the new DCNs to adapt, the first students who are likely to be the result of this transformation will be those graduating in seven or eight years. “Therefore, it was necessary to look at a future scenario for 10 to 15 years, thinking about how the job market will be and how to start the transformation of educational institutions that will train students to work in this future, emphasizing competencies such as analytical skills, computational thinking, the ability to learn how to learn and how to work as a team. They all are instrumental for administrators today and for them to continually adapt to future conditions”.
For Guilherme Martins, Dean of Graduate Programs at Insper, our school’s Business Administration Program anticipates several principles brought by the new DCNs. “We are careful to update our program continuously, always attentive to the market to develop essential management skills. The new DCNs converge greatly with our curriculum’s profile”. Besides, Irineu points out, “we have a very mature learning management process and are at the forefront in terms of faculty development.”
Concerning the new guidelines, Guilherme highlights two points of the Business Administration program that can be further improved. Today, students already learn to program in more than one language. However, we will keep on advancing the expansion of computational thinking and technological readiness within the program. Also, we increasingly seek to structure our curriculum and dynamics so that students not only comprehend well the learning objective of each course but also get to know how to learn autonomously. Our Engineering programs were born this way, and we want to bring this approach increasingly more to the Business Administration program”.