Comprehensive Education

Comprehensive education is the main cause of Ayrton Senna Institute. Learn more about how quality education can stimulate the potential of Brazilian students.

21 Oct 2022
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In today’s world, changes are increasingly constant and we are faced with unprecedented and challenging situations. This scenario demands from everyone the ability to react and even to build new situations with tools that go far beyond knowledge, as they involve the ability to deal with emotions and expectations, to interact with others and to practice self-management in order to plan to overcome obstacles.

“An education that prepares only for academic or professional success cannot guarantee autonomy to make and pursue choices that result in a better life for every student and for the world. More than extending school time, it is essential to expand development opportunities that contemplate people as a whole.

The new challenges arising in post-pandemic context add to the long road we already needed to develop: according to a World Bank study released in 2022, Brazil wastes about 40 percent of the potential of its children and youth. This means that even with access to school, the education being offered to students has been limiting their achievements and accomplishments throughout their lives. Imagine a scenario in which every person who graduates from high school has an excellent command of knowledge such as mathematics, Portuguese and other schools subjects, and on top of that is able to use these components to solve real problems in a creative, collaborative, and responsible way, persisting even in the face of adversity. Comprehensive education is the key to such a successful scenario.

The Institute believes that every student has the potential to transform their reality and change the world; for this to happen, it is essential to ensure their full development through comprehensive education. When a teacher or a school network implements a proposal for comprehensive education, they value the student’s full potential, acknowledge their individuality, and guarantee that each student will have opportunities to develop, in an intentional way, a wide range of skills that are essential to life in the 21st century.

Comprehensive education is a right for every Brazilian student, as guaranteed by the National Common Curriculum Base (BNCC), which stresses the importance of developing all skills of children and young people in all areas. According to the document, “Basic Education should aim at global education and human development, which implies understanding the complexity and non-linearity of this development, breaking with reductionist views.

With both the BNCC and the work of countless specialists, education networks and education professionals as reference, the Institute carries the premises of Comprehensive Education forward through various actions, from research and educator training actions to the design and implementation of educational components, contributing so that more Brazilian students have the opportunity and the tools to develop their full potential, go further and make choices that are in line with their purpose, values and life projects.


As a key premise, comprehensive education garantees the full development of every student. For this, it is necessary to consider several aspects and actions relevant to comprehensive education policies and practices, as well as paradigms that support this educational approach. Learn more about know some of them:


To fully develop the student in all of their dimensions, such as intellectual, physical, socioemotional, hybrid, and motivational, among others, providing opportunities for them to build their life projects.

Socio-emotional, Hybrid, and Volitional Competencies, to ensure that students reach their full potential and capabilities, the school must intentionally develop all of their competencies, such as:

The socioemotional, which includes ways of thinking and acting towards others and oneself.

The hybrid, which unite cognitive and socioemotional aspects

The volitional, which are related to the motivation to learn.

Applied knowledge, beyond the transmission of contents, comprehensive education foresees a greater application of the information acquired in practice, allowing students to become agents of their knowledge by combining several competencies to build their life projects with protagonism, and to develop their abilities to exist, to do things, to coexist, and to learn.


Connecting with the students and with what is important to them, as well as their challenges, interests, and identity, preparing them to make choices and gradually achieve autonomy.

Personalization, as students should be viewed as unique individuals, thereby creating opportunities for them to build their learning journey based on their interests, goals, and abilities to go further.


Institutionalizing comprehensive education as the network’s educational policy, ensuring full development for all students by training educators and managing results in a way that is aligned with this approach.


The pedagogical work must be organized in alignment with the BNCC, favoring the integration of the areas of knowledge and practices that overcome the fragmentation of the components, such as education through projects.


Providing opportunities for teachers to develop their capacity to act as a bridge between knowledge and students, supporting a role of collaboration and joint development, rather than an exclusive source of knowledge.


Comprehensive education should promote moments of self-reflection for the students, allowing them to understand how they deal with their emotions, how they relate to others, and how they behave in challenging situations. Self-knowledge is also essential for them to recognize their interests and expectations.


Offering spaces for reflection and development so that the students can become better acquainted with themselves and establish relevant interests, dreams, and future goals, not only from the perspective of their individual identity but also from a collective and professional perspective.


Creating opportunities and paving the way for young people to have the necessary tools to make choices and future plans in an autonomous way, based on the values that are key to the individual.



The development of students’ diverse competencies, a fundamental axis for comprehensive education, promotes present and future life achievements and accomplishments. It supports essential aspects for children and young people’s learning, such as their mental health, well-being, and school belonging. In addition, the competencies also act as a protective factor against the effects of bullying or violence, whether school-related or domestic.

In adult life, having well-developed socioemotional skills can have positive effects on health indicators, income, employability, family relationships, and lower levels of violence, among others. Moreover, when aligned with other aspects of human context and development, comprehensive education is also able to reduce inequalities and create more opportunities. Therefore, comprehensive education is indispensable for the construction of a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Comprehensive edication and people's future:

  • Better autonomy;
  • Higher income;
  • Better health;
  • Greater stability;
  • Greater personal satisfaction.

Comprehensive edication and the future of society:

  • Economic growth;
  • Reduction of inequality;
  • Decrease in violence;
  • Civic engagement;
  • Environmental sustainability;
  • Innovation in all areas.


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