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Cadernos de História da Educação

versão On-line ISSN 1982-7806

Cad. Hist. Educ. vol.19 no.2 Uberlândia maio/ago 2020  Epub 05-Jun-2020 

Dossiê: Foucault, a genealogia, a história da educação

Genealogy as a contramory exercise: Afranio Peixoto and the emergence of the school (1932-1942)1

La genealogía como un ejercicio de contramemoria: Afranio Peixoto y la emergencia de la escuela (1932-1942)

1Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) Bolsista de Produtividade em Pesquisa do CNPq; Pesquisador da Faperj


In this article, I explore some of the narrative principles contained in the book Notions of History of Education, object of three successive reissues (1933, 1936 and 1942), by the polygraph, Afrânio Peixoto, resulting from the three years of his life (1932-1934) to the (,) teaching of history of education at the Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro. In this narrative, Peixoto offers future teachers what he calls “a history of civilization”, capital considered necessary for them to understand the "extreme tip of the past" and other present times, a condition to obtain a greater professionalization of teaching. With this investment, the author works in the registry of a type of school origin, of first foundation, operating with fundamental milestones to prove the substance and functions of this event. In the present exercise, I seek to undo the immovable perpetuation of a supposed school identity and its operation, suspended in time, to try to think about the production process and the historiographic operations and pedagogical movement to which the cited manual joins, which helps to legitimize and reproduce.

Keywords: Afrânio Peixoto; Notions of History of Education; Historiography of Brazilian Education


En este artículo, exploro algunos de los principios narrativos contenidos en el manual Nociones de Historia de la Educación, objeto de tres ediciones sucesivas (1933, 1936 y 1942), escritas por el polígrafo Afrânio Peixoto y resultado de los tres años de su vida (1932-1934) dedicados a la enseñanza de la historia de la educación en el Instituto de Educación de Río de Janeiro. En esta narrativa, Peixoto ofrece a los futuros maestros lo que el denomina como una "historia de la civilización", la que consideraba necesaria para que comprendiesen la "punta extrema del pasado" y de otros presentes, como una condición para conseguir una mayor profesionalización de la docencia. Con este empleo, el autor trabaja en el registro de una especie de origen de la escuela, de primera fundación, operando con marcos fundamentales destinados a probar la sustancia y funciones de ese evento. En el presente ejercicio, trato de deshacer la perpetuación inmóvil de una supuesta identidad y funcionamiento de la escuela suspendida en el tiempo para tratar de pensar en las operaciones historiográficas y el movimiento pedagógico al que se encuentra afiliado este manual y que ayuda a legitimar y reproducir.

Palabras clave: Afrânio Peixoto; Nociones de Historia de la Educación; Historiografía de la Educación Brasileña


Neste artigo, exploro alguns princípios narrativos contidos no manual Noções de História da Educação, objeto de três reedições sucessivas (1933, 1936 e 1942), de autoria do polígrafo, Afrânio Peixoto, resultante dos três anos de sua vida (1932-1934) dedicados ao ensino de história da educação no Instituto de Educação do Rio de Janeiro. Nesta narrativa, Peixoto oferece às futuras professoras aquilo que designa como uma “história da civilização”, capital considerado necessário para que compreendessem a “ponta extrema do passado” e outros presentes, condição para se obter uma maior profissionalização da docência. Com este investimento, trabalho no registro de uma espécie de origem da escola, de fundação primeira, operando com marcos fundamentais destinados a comprovar a substância e funções deste acontecimento. No presente exercício, procuro desfazer a perpetuação imóvel de uma suposta identidade e funcionamento da escola, suspensa no tempo, para tentar pensar nas operações historiográficas e movimento pedagógico aos quais o referido manual se filia e que ajuda a legitimar e reproduzir.

Palavras-chave: Afrânio Peixoto; Noções de História da Educação; Historiografia da Educação Brasileira

Always impetuous, always daring, and always completely involved in his campaigns (...) [Afranio Peixoto] was a master, friend, animator, writer and incomparable conversationalist, radiator of culture, and a seductive center of convergence that stirred everyone and everything around him. (...) He always fascinated the youngsters and retained a spirit of youth that he never betrayed until he died. (Athayde inRibeiro, 1950, p. XV)


When he presented the book of Leonídio Ribeiro, Tristão de Athayde described Afrânio Peixoto as an extraordinary polygraph, a polymorphous man, impertinent and competent conquerer, expert, with ductile intelligence, iron will, tireless curiosity and inexhaustible inventiveness, tone of praise expected for a biography written by a former student of his.

Peixoto effectively worked in multiple functions throughout his trajectory, so that it is not possible to assess the innumerable qualities emphasized in the epigraph, which are not the focus of this article. Here, the challenge is of another order.

Figure 1 Term of Effectivation - Title of the Book of the Rio de Janeiro Institute of Education (1934). 

As a doctor, he was a professor of hygiene, forensic medicine and criminology; he acted equally in parliament, public administration, and in the fields of literature and history2. For three years during his life (1932-1934), he taught history at the Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro (IERJ). The book “Noções de História da Educação” (Notions of the history of Education” resulted from this experience. This was the object of three successive re-editions, in which he systematized the didactic course and produced a memory of that which future professors of the capital should be taught3. In this course book, he established an origin for the school, equally postulating a certain function of the school mechanism to be reproduced in and by the teacher training institution itself. In the exercise here performed, the endeavor is to establish a counter memory of this occurrence, in an attempt to dissipate this beginning, aware of the discontinuities that cross the emergence and functioning of the school, as well as of the knowledge and agents associated with the school mechanism.

The Course Book

In the beginning of the report about the discipline published in 1935, in the periodical of the Institute of Education, Afrânio Peixoto offers some elements that help to think of carrying out the program in Groups 11, 12 and 13 under his responsibility4.

To him, the process of teaching the history of education could only be informative if it were associated with a debate or seminar class, because this concerned knowledge that did not allow the possibility of experimentation. To follow, I offer two personal testimonies; the courses of 1933 and 1934.

In 1933, the students chose an educator or system of education. Whereas, in 1934, the subjects were drawn by lottery to prevent “sympathy from leading many of them to choose to the same topic”.

Beside this work, the students read “Emilio”, by J. J. Rousseau. According to the report, the book was discussed; the pedagogy of Rousseau was criticized, as its historical environment, precursors and contemporaries, its own ideas and, above all, its success and condemnation were known.

Although contained in the manual, the report published in the official periodical of IERJ provided visualization of complementary strategies adopted by the professor, such as practice of the seminar class and displacements operated in the exercise of the discipline5.

Figure 2 Notes taken of the course in the History of Education of IERJ - Archives of “Casa de Cultura Afrânio Peixoto”. 

A complementary clue, which allows one to distance oneself from the thesis of the book as “observatory of the classes” (Gondra & Teixeira, 2010), consists of the notes taken of the course, deposited in the “Casa de Cultura Afrânio Peixoto”6, in the city where the author was born, in Lençóis, Bahia. This document covers points that are absent from the book, an indication that if the book had to function as “the grand master of the schools” (Teixeira, 2008), the author himself did not convert the book into a mirror of the classes dictated to the students of IERJ, However, from the doctrinary point of view, it would be possible to perceive homologies between the notes written by hand and the manual published shortly after the first course that he would give the normalists of IERJ, in 1932.

In the notes and book, the principles assumed right from the preface of the first edition, gained visibility when he affirmed that the “globalization of culture hardly supported the non-didactic artifact of the specialized monographies”. To him, this concerned a type of instrument that could perhaps be instructive, but it certainly was not educational because it was “unappetizing and tedious”. Therefore, the men of letters, science, history of parliament, management, education and teaching argue in favor of that which they teach and write; that is, a panoramic, irreducible perspective of what they describe as being “merely microscopic documentary fields”. The course was, therefore, compromised and aligned with an educational purpose, lighting up the evolution of some ideas, less trapped by the chronology of facts, dates and names. When writing the preface of the manual in these terms, the author recognized and collaborated with outlining the guidelines of the discipline, coupled to a certain conception of education, institutional project of pedagogical renovation and perspective of social action of the normalists7.

If there is, from the doctrinary point of view, a type of strong line of interconnection between the course and book8, from the point of view of the arrangement of the classes “given”9 and those who would be guided by the manual, there are traces of opacity and differentiation, and may be found in Table 1 10.

Table 1 Comparison between Summary “Notions” and “Notes” for lessons on the History of Education 

Summary Notes made for classes
I- Introduction
Savages and Primitive Individuals
..Education for society
I- Education - Means and purposes. The idealism and pragmatism of education History of Education
The anecdotes of Silvio Romero, Machado and others
Human dualism: The individual
The society to which he/she belongs
Social dualism
- Organicism and contractualism
II- Archaic education
.. Synchronism
II- Primitive and savage peoples: rudimentary education, immediate interests of survival. Mystic and prelogical mentality.
Previous Abstract: the genius and mediocrity - individual and society.
The savage - the myth of the good save... Up to Rousseau
- before Montaigne.. Brazil.. after Romantism
- the reality: Hobbes, Freud
Contractualism, organicism, Fouilleé11
Primitive mentality - “is not a rudimentary form of our word “childish” and quasi xxxxxx12”, but normal in the conditions in which it is used, complex and developed in its manner (Levy Bruhl)13
Thought: relations among things - Hebrew
- Arabian
- German
- English
Mystical-savage relations
Logical- civilized relations
There is no system whatever of simple schools and unconscious imitation
Acquisition of means for satisfying bodily needs: foods, clothing, housing
Practical things (hunting, fishing... fabricating weapons
Theoretical things: (practices, verifications, etc. Example: get the fish, get the hunted prey
From wild (feral?) children to women: foods, fabrics, ceramics
Afterwards to the men: hunting, fishing, making war
........ learning by doing
Wild education: adaptation to the environment: as the environment does not change, it remains stationery (xxxxx), from which unpredictability arises (Spencer)14.
Development of perceptive, non-reflective faculties
XVII, XVIII and XIX - Brazil15
.. Jesuits: Anchieta
..Pombal; “literary subsidy”
..Monarchy (1822-1889)
..Republic (1889-1932)
.. Brazilian Educators
XXVI16 - Brazilian Educators - Precursors: Jesuits, Anchieta
Ferreira França
Lino Coutinho and the Letters to the Crown Cartas à Cora
Pero II. Tautphoeus, Calogeras, Ramiz Galvão
Bernardo Pereira de Vasconcelos and secondary teaching
Abilio Borges - born in Rio das Contas, where he studied Latin, French and philosophy. “O Ateneu” - Raul Pompeia.
. 1847 - Doctor; 1856 - director of xxxx
. 1857 - 400 years in the drylands and 600 of the xxxx. Method (xxxx syllabication against spelling. Progressive teaching, thus direct from the languages, after grammar, xxxx, sciences, co-education of the sexes, against the exams of satan, school mathematics
Medeiros de Albuquerque and the Pedagogium17
Benjamim Constant and the Normal School, and Benjamin Constant minister
Ruy Barbosa and the report of 1882
The reforms of the Republic
Cesário Mota in São Paulo, school buildings.
Azevedo Sodré and professional teaching. Normal Night School Limit of enrollments
Frontin and the four excessive items(?): Anísio Teixeira
Veríssimo and his book
Góes Calmon and Anísio Teixeira in Bahia
Francisco Campos in Minas
Fernando de Azevedo and the active school
Anísio Teixeira and Lourenço Filho and xxxxx
Education of women
Education of boys
Professional Higher Education
University Normal High School Faculty of Philosophy and xxxx
Marta and Maria

Note: Author's organization

Based on comparison between the book and the class notes, three commentaries are required. The former concerns the topical remission to the colonial period, with a set of important highlights relative to the Imperial period and an even stronger accent on what was processed in the republican period, above all that which was contemporary to the author. As far as the contemporaries of the author are concerned, it is worth pointing out the presence of the fellow countryman Anísio Teixeira and the protagonists of the new school movement, beginning with Azevedo Sodré, through to Fernando de Azevedo. Another aspect to be observed refers to the presence of some themes. In this case, it is worth returning to the reference of the XIXth Century Bahian Abílio Cesar Borges and agenda to which he is linked; that is, renovation of the school and methods; which helps to understand the outstanding position of the equally polyhedral colleague and countryman18. Finally, an outstanding point via contrast is with respect to the absence of female protagonists in the synchronism of class notes relative to Brazil, although the “Notes” demonstrate concern about the education of women. However, the reference system and arguments of authority mobilized by the author are all of a masculine nature.

A Lateral Book

In the polyhedral and vast written production of the Bahian physician, “Noções de História da Educação” is a secondary production. However, installed in the domains of the history of education, it has come to occupying another position; to a lesser extent because it is considered the first manual destined for teaching the history of education in teacher training courses, outstandingly at IERJ and in normal schools. The accent and highlight of this statement result from it being inscribed in a certain discursive chain, committed to the reform of society by intermediary of renovation of the school, articulated with the conception of history as the “master of life”, from which the past is converted into a source of lessons not only to be followed, but also abandoned. In this key, an endeavor is made to establish an intimate relationships between virtuous action; that is, an action guided by ponderation and reflection, and the examples of the past. Therefore, history as the gear responsible for shifting past events must be considered the “master of life”; that is, by means of examples and counter-examples, the history of education must teach future professors to act in a better and more prudent manner. Thus, adhering to the concept that history must function as a moral foundation for new conducts.

Figure 3 Cover of the book “Noções de História da Educação”- 1st edition, 1933. 

As far as narrative models are concerned, the author establishes an interested polarity by distinguishing the monographic from the panoramic type, pointing out the benefits of the latter solution to the public for whom the book was intended, and from whose experience it resulted, as noted, When exploring this narrative, I focused on the manner in which Peixoto referred to the appearance of the school, seeking to problematize the statement contained in the book, based on the postulations of Foucault with respect to the history of genealogy.

According to Resende (2005), genealogical research allows the reunion of the multiple in the occurrences taken as being unique, as though their formation had occurred in a unique, continuous manner without dispersions19. The point of view from which I worked, aligned with the synthesis of Resende (2005, ibidem), sought to consider the peculiar dispersion of the occurrences, the more or less regular presence of accidents, fissures, mistakes, failures, and aimless wanderings that configure existences/experiences. Along this line, it does not concern promoting a withdrawal into time to re-establish a prolonged evolutionary continuity up to the present, considering it as part of a long and inevitable chain of causalities, overlooking the accidental externalities. In following these warnings, I tried to observe the presence of the word school in the narrative articulated to the games of regulation, in which one could think of the word as a happening, since the games results in and integrates into certain conformations and demarcation of positions; so that one invests in what one wishes to legitimize, weaken and recompose from the forces in relation. To Foucault, a history elaborated along these marks would be an effective history, because

The purpose of a genealogically directed history is not to re-encounter the roots of our identity, but to the contrary, it obstinately dissipates it. It does not intend demarcating the unique territory from which we came - this first homeland to which the metaphysicians promise that we will return; it intends to make all the discontinuities we come across appear (Foucault, 1992).

When following-up this line of reflection, it concerns perceiving the scenario constructed by the author in the narrative directed to the professors, based on the operations performed, considering the conditions of production of this statement, agencies in which the author participated, and the grammar available at the time, in terms of making history and the history of education.

With respect to grammar, the author defended education as changing civilization20, which views the future with concern, trying to enhance the “organs of this immense and immortal organism, which is society”. Within this truth, human future “can only be resolved by means of the previous experience of the past”; which considers educational and pedagogical justification for the study “of this history of education”. In this key there is a double positioning. The first, with respect to education, defined as civilization on the march from the past to the future. The second corresponds to a definition of thee history and its lawful and pragmatic character; both associated with references to that which by design he calls the “active school”, largely inspired by the events occurring in parts of Europe and the United States. To him, the North Americans do not expect a prelogic miracle or any mystical remedies whatever: “They deal with resolving the problem, as in the active school, by means of previous experience, logically....” (1933, p. 11). Therefore, a double formulation is fixed, coupled to a model, as well as counter-exemplary, wild, irrational and nonscientific experiences to be followed.

The long and inevitable march into the future may be shown in one of the regular elements of the manual, synchronism, organizer of the narrative, present from the second through to the twentieth chapter. This resource functions as a type of time-line that began in the year 5000 before Christ (b.c.), closing in the present time of the author, in the chapter especially dedicated to the New School. This extensive interval works as a mechanism enabling the author to make visible the most relevant happenings to understanding the march of civilization, emphasizing those that would be more related to the history of education and renovation of teaching. For the effects of this reflection, I focused on the references to the term school21 inscribed in the 6,932 years covered by the narrative, as a resource that allows the presence of this to be recognized with reference to the synchronisms organized by the professor-author22.

The first occurrence of the term school appeared in the year 392 a.c., attributing the establishment of a school in Athens to Isocrates. These data may be visualized in Table 2.

Table 2 Occurrence of the term school in the synchronisms of “Noções” 

Year Remission
392 b.c. Isocrates established a school in Athens.
75 b.c. First schools subsidized by the Empire
529 a.d. (Justiniano) Abolished paid schools
817 a.d. Division of monastic schools into internal and external types
1089 Saint Hugo, Abbot of Cluny, began construction of the abbey church, prototype of the school of romantic architecture.
1101 School of Salerno
1231 Privileged School of Medicine of Salerno
1537 Founding of the school of Sturm23
1559 Plan of the school of Württemberg24, first system of public schools.
1633 First school in the United States
1794 Normal school in France
1633 First school in “New Amsterdam”, later New York
1635 Latin School of Boston
1805 Society in favor of the public school in New York.
1821 First High School in Boston
1827 Free-of-charge schools in Massachussets
1837 First Superintendent of Urban Schools
1838 First normal school in the United States
1845 Horace Mann, elected Governor of his State, preferred to be the director of a school.
1867 Free-of-charge public schools in New York
1823 Reformation of primary instruction: introduction of the Lancastrian system in public schools
1826 Law that order opening of public primary schools in the main villages and cities of the Empire.
1830 Normal School of Niteroi (Niteroi).
1872 First municipal school in the “Praça 11 de junho”
1876 Foundation of the School of Minas of Ouro Preto
1880 Normal School of the Municipality of the Court, later than different other schools in the country
1932 “Educational Manifesto: for the laypersons school, mandatory, unique active and progressive. Institute of Education
1889 Abbotsholme School25: Reddie
1892 Oundle School26: F. W. Sandersons
Year Remission
1896 Laboratory School of the University of Chicago27: J. Dewey
1899 “École des Roches”: 28E. Desmoulins. “Bureau International de l’école nouvelle29”: AD Ferrière
1901 Montesca and Rovigliano Schools: Alice Franchetti
1906 “Project d’école nouvelle”: Ferrière
1907 Ermitage School30: O. Decroly
1909 “Odenwaldschule31”: P. Geheeb
1910 “Arbeitsschule32”: G. Kerschensteiner
1911 Montessori Methods, in primary school: Maria Guerrieri
1913 “The schools of tomorrow33”, of John Dewey
1921 Regional School of Merity34, of D. Armanda Alvaro Alberto
1926 Experiences of the active school of Lourenço Filho in São Paulo
1927 “La paix para l’école”, of P. Bovet. “The New School”, of Lourenço Filho
1930 “Introduction to the study of the new school” of Lourenço Filho
1931 “L’école sur mésure a la mésure du maitre”, de Ad. Ferrière
1932 “Manifesto Educacional” (for the active, progressive new school, with secular, free-of-charge, and mandatory co-education), Rio, São Paulo. The Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro, seminar for the progressive school - “Modern School”, by M. dos Reis Campos.

Note: Author's organization

The 43 occurrences of the term school allowed a dual consideration to be traced. The first, most evident consisted of increasing the mentions (remissões?) as from the XIXth Century, with an ascendant curve up to the last occurrence, associated with the movement of educational renovation to which the author was linked and committed. The curve that produced causal links of effects between schooling and the march of civilization. However, this does not concern expanding all and any school whatever to include all the populations, an aspect that can be observed in the light of the initiatives directed towards pedagogical renovation, progressive, active, new schools.

A second commentary concerns the emphasis attributed to the experiences/experiments and authors, which compose a type of script and constitution of an archives to be known and consulted by the normalists. This archives, which in turn was configured by the proximity to the doctrinal principles articulated with the educational renewal movement. Correlated to this, it refers to worlds worthy of being known, which compose axes for communication about pedagogical knowledge by interconnecting Germans, Swiss, Belgians, Italians, English, French, Americans and Brazilians.

In the case of sending these to the peers of Brazil, two characters are highlighted. The main personality being Lourenço Filho35, either because of his involvement with pedagogical experiments linked to the active school, or by intellectual production, demonstrating his investment in systematizing and offering the public an instrument that would allow access to the fundamental principles of the so-called new school. The other highlight refers to an experiment with the renewed school, conducted by Armanda Alvaro Alberto36, an additional witness to the possibilities of applying the postulates of the progressive school.

To reflect on the selection of interest promoted by the author and his/her(?) commitments to some doctrinal principles of school renewal, I made a more intensive excursion into the chapter devoted to Brazil, without disregarding the metonymic nature of this operation, (by using a linked term to stand in for an object or concept). Nevertheless, the eight mentions of the term school in the chapter on Brazil convey the concerns about the reformations of the normal school, with the creation of municipal schools, higher learning, finalizing with the reference to the so-called educational manifesto of the pioneers of new education in 1932, to which Afrânio Peixoto was one of the signatories.

With this type of investment, the doctor-professor sought to indicate to future professors that which should effectively be learned. That is, it would be worth observing and recording the actions of the State, types of establishments constituted, and above all, the fundamental principles that must anchor a scientific educational project. This could be observed in the motto of the mandatory, unique, active and progressive lay school. These were the marks that would be put into practice within the scope of the Institute (IERJ), where the classes were being given. This made the students recognize in the professor, not only a lukewarm report of the facts and dates in his lessons, but also someone who was extremely interested in disseminating and legitimizing the principles of the new school, a condition necessary to effectively enable the march of civilization.

Final Considerations

By avoiding an “unappetizing and tedious” monograph, the Bahian doctor offered a panoramic study, allowing future teachers to recognize him, starting right from antiquity through to initiatives directed towards education and schooling. Along the strict chronological line established, it was possible to observe the increase in the number of mentions of the word school, which occurred in a manner strongly associated with foreign experiments that trailed the pathway of progress, science and civilization. By means of this type of narrative, I end by forging an evolutionary line, coupled to a game of causalities, based on a relationship of determination between the school and civilization.

Nevertheless, this does not constitute the only resource present in the narrative, as history is being taught, narrated and will be reproduced. It also operates in the recording of history as the “master of life”, in history that extracts from the past that which must be preserved and that to be avoided. Effectively, it concerns history as a lesson contained in the history of “Notions”.

The two movements used by the doctor-professor and many men of letters appears to have been derived from their belonging to, and militant policies in favor of a society and life governed by principles and protocols of scientific rationality. When circulating through polymorphous fields and processes of configuration, I was able to test in classes, conferences, actions in public management, parliamentary life and affiliation to diverse scientific societies, the force of reason and belief in the evolution of mankind, provided that these are guided by the rationalities that constitute them, and those that he advocated throughout his polyhedral trajectory. Therefore, in many senses, the evolutionary history of education, and as the “master of life” that “dictated” and that which he wrote could be understood in more than one word, aligned to the rationalities and truths in which he was profoundly immersed.

However, the reflection here developed was unable to fully recover that which is processed in the ordinary situation of classes, and even less so in that which is processed in the extraordinary game of reception. What was effectively transmitted in the “dictated” classes given by the Bahian doctor over the period of three years during which he ministered the discipline of the history of education? What were the individual and joint effects produced by the classes and book on the young students? On the death of Peixoto and replacement of the book in the Collection “Atualidades Pedagógicas” (Pedagogical Actualities), what was constructed in terms of regular and novelty events? What were the new beginnings they tried to fabricate, and which of the traditions did they try to maintain in the educational projects and most particular domain of the discipline?

This inquiry refers to and demands another type of operation, not contemplated in the present study. Nevertheless, these effectively are the questions that still mark our present situation, which made sense of and guided the work with the documentation explored. That is, a book exclusively directed towards teacher training, considered the first manual with these characteristics, and simultaneously, the records of classes elaborated by a doctor-professor that served him as guidelines and markers for the classes he conducted between the years of 1932 and 1934 at the Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro. We certainly did not find “the first homeland” in the sense of thinking about the origin of the discipline and teaching the history of education.

The promised civilized world to be constructed based on science is still being constituted in the face of open challenge, visible in the number of inequalities, some of them supported by increasingly more refined processes of rationalization. What is possible to be observed in the schools and training of teachers in society, are the various (dis)continuities that cross and regulate our present time in many different ways. This indicates that the lessons of the past, in the form of notions of the history of education have followed unexpected, surprising, uncontrollable, and unpredictable itineraries - That are sometime unappetizing and tedious.


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1English version by Margery Jacoba Galbraith. E-mail:

2With respect to the trajectory of Peixoto, cf. and his biography written by one of his disciples at the School of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro: Ribeiro, 1950.

3A book which, according to the author,would have been inspired by two manuals “worthy of copying”, the books of Paul Monroe (1907 and 1939) and Stephen Duggan (1916). With respect to the manual of Monroe, cf. Silva; Favaro, 2014.

4Cf. Term of Designation of Afrânio Peixoto to the School of Education of IERJ, signed by Lourenço Filho on August 14, 1936.

5An additional exercise would consist of cross-checking these sources with the official program of the discipline, composed of 33 points, an investment not made in this text.

6Available at Accessed on January 31, 2019.

7Peixoto constructed a text with many layers, marked by erudition, and resorted to using different tools to legitimize his discourse. Supported by a varied list of authors, texts and personalities, his words were reinforced by a multiple game of superimposition of 326 authors/characters. The volume of references as a measure of legitimation is reinforced by the more or less regular use of Latin and French, next to footnotes at the bottom of the page and the resource of illustration. In the chapter relative to the New School, he draws attention to the collective photograph, the only one that occupies an entire page, in which “the pioneers of the new school” appear, as found in the description of the photo, namely: Ovide Décroly, Pierre Bovet, Bernard Ensor, Edouard Claparède, Paul Geheeb and Adolphe Ferrière. (1946, p. 334).

8The book “Noções de História da Educação” was born out of the contingency of the classes, as was the case with some of the books written by Afranio Peixoto. Among them, we may cite "Medicina Legal” (with nine editions up to 1946), “Psico-patologia forense” (with six editions up to1935), “Noções de higiene” (with eight editions up to 1941), “Elementos de higiene” (with six editions up to 1936). In the case of “Noções de história da educação”, this book could also be read under the register of a “faithful copy and memory”.

9The “Notes” relative to the classes consist of a document of twenty hand-written pages. The original may be found in the “Casa de Cultura Afrânio Peixoto”, in the city where the author was born.

10To avoid saturation, of the total of 20 chapters of the first edition (1933), I worked with the two initial chapters and with the chapter dedicated to Brazil, by seeking correspondence in the “Notes” consulted.

11Alfred Jules Émile Fouillée (1838 - 1912) was a French philosopher, author of different works in the fields of sociology, psychology and some categories, and authors of philosophy, such as moral, metaphysical, character, Nietzsche and Kant. Some of the books of this authors are made available at Accessed on February 4, 2018.

12An incomprehensible word in the original manuscript. There are similar situations in the literature of this document, checked with the same pattern: xxxxxx.

13The French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist, Lucien Lévy-Brühl (1857-1939), belonged to a Republican generation of French academics, strongly marked by the positivist philosophy and ideas of secular democracy. Educated by the “École Normale Supérieure”, he was professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne in the years between 1899 and 1927. His work reflects the positivism of Auguste Comte and adopts the concept of collective representation of the sociologist Émile Durkheim. His book, “La Morale et la Science des Moeurs” (1903) was a basis of reference for a relativist sociology. The majority of his studies were directed towards the analysis of the mentality of the so-called primitive societies. According to Lévy-Brühl, the thinking of these peoples was imbued with mysticism and not exclusively governed by the laws of logic, which would distinguish it from the reasoning of modern Western societies. With respect to this author, cf. Tambiah, 2013.

14With respect to this author, cf. Pinheiro, Sily & Gondra, 2019.

15The topic of Brazil appears grouped into three chapters.

16A note with respect to the correspondence between the “Notes” and Summary of the book. There is no direct correspondence, and it should be noted that there are flaws in the numbering of the notes. An example, from item VI the numbering jumps to item IX. In the same way there is a difference in the number of items. The book contains 20 chapters, whereas the “Notes” were concluded with item XXVIII, entitled “The lesson from the past”.

17There is an arrow in the “Notes”, indicating that this topic must be approached after the item “The reforms of the Republic”, a complementary indication with its adoption of the chronological aspect as the main structuring principle of the narrative of teaching and of history.

18With respect to this author, cf. Gondra, 2002.

19On the genealogy, cf. Medina, 2011 and Tamboukou, 1999.

20The expression was used by the author in the original.

21There are many references to the term University, as from 1158, when the creation of the University of Bologna was marked, which appears to suggest a type of causal relationship between higher education and the march of civilization. Similarly, there are references to colleges, asylums, child day care centers and school reforms, for example. Exploration of an extended vocabulary allows evidence of the expansion and complexity of the school mechanism to be signaled in some ways, by selecting and exploring the presence of the term school.

22I opted to work with the occurrences in other languages, such as those used by the author. In this case, references to the term school appeared in German and French.

23Johannes Sturm was an erudite, pedagogue and founder of the University of Strasburg, whose origins date back to the creation of the Protestant Jean-Sturm Gymnasium, founded by him on March 22 , 1538, which he directed for 43 years. Available at: Accessed on February 4. 2019.

24According to Rothbard (2013), the first mandatory state system was established in 1559, by Christoph of Württemberg, Duke of Württemberg, Prínce-elect of Würtemberg. Frequency was mandatory, noted, and absences were subject to fines; an example soon followed by other German states.

25The Abbotsholme school was founded by the Scottish scholar and educator Cecil Reddie, as an experience of progressive philosophies and educational theories. The school, then known as "The New School", was opened to attend the requirements of boys from 10 to 19 years of age in 1889.

26The school was founded by Sir William Laxton, and was originally known as the “Laxton Grammar School”, in 1556. Oundle gained an outstanding reputation as an English school, largely due to the work of F. W. Sanderson who was the Director in the years between 1892 and 1922. This visibility could be attributed to the educational principle sustained by Sanderson, who believed that students should be taught that which they desired to learn.

27The first laboratory was founded in 1894, inserted into "Graduate School of Education" of the University of Chicago, but it only began to function effectively in 1896, conceived as a center of investigation and demonstration of a new manner of educating students. The aim of the laboratory was to promote investigation and test active methods of teaching centered on children. In 1902, the University of Chicago incorporated the “Lab-School” into the university structure, and nominated Dewey’s wife, Harriet Alice Chipman, to be the first Director (1902-1904).

28The corporation, “Societe de l'Ecole Nouvelle - École des Roches”, created in 1899, acquired the castle of Roches, two kilometers distant from Verneuil-sur-Avre. The school was inaugurated on October 7, 1899, when it received 50 students, under the direction of Edmond Demolins (who directed the establishment until his death in 1907). He wished to offer a new type of education, inspired by the so-called “active methods ”, tested at the English schools of Abbotsholme and Bedales, which became known to him during study travels to England in the early 1890s.

29With respect to the “Bureau”, cf. Hofstetter, 2017.

30In 1907, Ovide Decroly founded the “École de l’Ermitage”, in Brussels, for children considered "normal". The school became famous all over Europe, as it had served Decroly himself as space for experimentation. From then onwards, he traveled through Europe and America, making contact with various educators, among them the North American John Dewey.

31The “Odenwaldschule” consisted of a German school localized in Heppenheim in Odenwald, and had appeared as part of the educational reform movement at the beginning of the XXth Century. It was founded by Paul Geheeb on April 14, 1910. Edith Geheeb’s father, a member of the Municipal Chamber of Berlin, Max Cassirer, supported the creation of the teaching establishment, and financed the purchase of the land and buildings. The school closed down activities in 2015;

32Georg Kerschensteiner was an German educator , professor of mathematics and physics, and founder of the school that criticized passive teaching, arguing that the work was imperative pedagogy. At the beginning of the XXth Century, the work schools found themselves associated with the German pedagogical reformation and the project of reformation in favor of a new school.

33With respect to this book of the Dewey couple, cf. Sobe, 2017.

34With respect to this school, cf.: /A+Escola+Regional+de+Meriti+%E2%80%93+Document%C3%A1rio+1921-1964/3effad90-4b28-4f59-8d9c-d5219e5dcc25?version=1.0 Accessed on February 01, 2019.

35With respect to this personality, cf. Monarcha, 2001.

36In February, 1921 he founded the “Escola Proletária de Meriti”, in Duque de Caxias that attended the needs of a poor rural community. The school, later renamed “Escola Regional de Meriti”, became known as “Mate com Angu” (“Mate tea with cooked cornmeal, similar to polenta”), because it was one of the first in Latin America to serve school lunches. The innovation demonstrated Armanda’s concern about the children’s wellbeing and health. The lunch was not the only novelty. Influenced by the Montessori Method, it was one of the derivatives of the New School in Brazil. Armanda, director, sought to transform the space into an educational laboratory, where the students remained at the school on a full-time basis, and helped with cultivating the fruit and vegetable gardens and raising animals. With respect to this experience, cf. Mignot (2002) and Moraes (2006).

Received: September 10, 2019; Accepted: November 20, 2019

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