Special Education in Brazil in the Early 20th Century: An Innovative Experience Inspired in New Education Ideals

Adriana Araújo Pereira Borges, Regina Helena de Freitas Campos
2016 Creative Education  
In 1927, the Minas Gerais state government, in Brazil, published new Primary Education Regulations proposing that elementary school's classrooms be homogenized according to the intellectual level of students. In the following years, special classes were established, and initiatives for the education of abnormal children were performed at the Pestalozzi Society in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the State. The purpose of this paper is to explore the innovative character of these initiatives,
more » ... e initiatives, using primary sources and publications of the time, including reports on the examination of children to be treated and educated. The research showed that Russian-Brazilian psychologist and educator Helena Antipoff (1892-1974) played an important role in developing an innovative model for special education in these institutions, based on her experience as a student and as a researcher at the Institute Jean Jacques Rousseau, in Geneva, and in Russia, during the troubled years of the Communist Revolution. At Pestalozzi Institute, a school for exceptional children, she established in Belo Horizonte during the 1930s, with the help of a group of teachers, physicians and philanthropists, and Antipoff used her rich multicultural background to design a specific methodology for the special classes, based on the ideals of the New School as well as on respect for children's rights.
doi:10.4236/ce.2016.77101 fatcat:2mt2pdinkrgelbs3r3elxnfwni