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História da Educação

versión impresa ISSN 1414-3518versión On-line ISSN 2236-3459

Hist. Educ. vol.26  Santa Maria  2022  Epub 15-Oct-2022 





Fernanda Luísa de Miranda Cardoso*

Silvia Alicia Martínez**

*Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (Uenf), Campos/RJ, Brasil.

**Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (Uenf), Campos/RJ, Brasil.


The text presents a mapping in scientific articles that take a historical approach about Brazilian special education published between 2015 and 2020 and identified in the Capes Journal Portal, Google Scholar, and specialized journals. This paper contributes in general to the research fields of the History of Education and Special Education and, more specifically, with the histories of education policies, pedagogical practices, and teacher training. It offers a thematic itinerary by identifying, concentrating, categorizing, and systematizing the quantitative and qualitative data from 82 articles located, in addition to contributing to the circulation and dissemination of this knowledge. Among the challenges of research is its multi and interdisciplinary perspective.

Keywords: history of education; special education; historiography of education; dissemination and circulation of knowledge; scientific production


El texto presenta un balance de la producción en artículos académicos de abordaje histórico sobre la educación especial brasileña publicados entre 2015 y 2020 e identificados en el Portal de Publicaciones Periódicas Capes, Google Académico y revistas especializadas. El trabajo contribuye con los campos investigación de Historia de la Educación y de la Educación Especial, de modo general, y más específicamente con la historia de las políticas de educación, de las prácticas pedagógicas y de la formación de profesores. Ofrece una guía temática al identificar, concentrar, categorizar y sistematizar los dados cuantitativos y cualitativos de los 82 artículos localizados, y contribuye con la circulación y difusión de este conocimiento. Uno de los desafíos de la investigación radica en su naturaleza multi e interdisciplinar.

Palabras clave: historia de la educación; educación especial; historiografía de la educación; difusión y circulación del conocimiento; producción científica


Le texte présente un bilan de la production d'articles scientifiques comprenant une approche historique de l'éducation spécialisée brésilienne ; textes publiés dans des revues académiques, entre 2015 et 2020, et identifiés dans le portail des périodiques du Capes, dans Google Scholar et dans des revues spécialisées. Le travail contribue aux domaines de l'Histoire de l’Éducation et de l’Education spécialisée, en général, et plus spécifiquement, en lien avec l’histoires des politiques éducatives, des pratiques pédagogiques et de la formation des enseignants. L’article propose une feuille de route thématique pour identifier qualitatives, concentrer, catégoriser et systématiser les données quantitatives et des 82 articles trouvés, en plus de contribuer pour la circulation et la diffusion de ces connaissances. Parmi les défis de la recherche, il y a sa nature multi et interdisciplinaire.

Mot-clé: histoire de l'éducation; éducation spéciale; historiographie de education; diffusion et circulation des connaissances; production scientifique


O texto apresenta um balanço da produção em artigos científicos de abordagem histórica sobre a Educação Especial brasileira, publicados entre 2015 e 2020, e identificados no Portal de Periódicos da Capes, no Google Acadêmico e em revistas especializadas. O trabalho contribui, de modo geral, com os campos de pesquisa da História da Educação e da Educação Especial e, mais especificamente, com as histórias das políticas de educação, das práticas pedagógicas e da formação de professores. Oferece um roteiro temático ao identificar, concentrar, categorizar e sistematizar os dados quantitativos e qualitativos dos 82 artigos localizados, além de contribuir para a circulação e a difusão desse conhecimento. Entre os desafios da pesquisa está a sua natureza multi e interdisciplinar.

Palavras-chave: história da educação; educação especial; historiografia da educação; difusão e circulação do conhecimento; produção científica


The French movement of Annales School promoted a historiographical renovation which highly influenced the historiography of education, among other aspects, about the opening for an interdisciplinary approach of historical studies and to the broadening of themes and objects of research, including a history of the subjects who were considered different and marginalized (BURKE, 1992; MAGALHÃES, 1998).

A question is raised to inquire whether the scientific community has been attentive to historical studies on the education of disabled people in Brazil. With that in mind, was held a mapping of the production in scientific articles that emphasized the historical approach on Brazilian Special Education published between 2015 and 2020. This research had the specific purpose of identifying and gathering these texts, besides ordering their findings, once another research with such analysis was not identified.

For Romanowski and Ens (2006), mapping can contribute to the organization and analysis of a field or an area, moreover, it can indicate possible contributions for research on social ruptures. In this case, knowledge about the specificities of the History of Special Education is an important factor for the denaturalization of pedagogical and social practices, and for the knowledge and acknowledgment of ruptures and permanencies in the structuring of the policies for Special Education.

Similar efforts have been recorded in three recent articles which prioritize the production on History of Special Education in conference proceedings which are fundamental for the fields of Special Education and the History of Education. Bezerra and Furtado (2017) selected papers that were presented or published at the Brazilian Congress of History of Education (Congresso Brasileiro de História da Educação, CBHE)², in the biennial editions that happened between 2000 and 2008 and later between 2011 and 2015. Bezerra (2020) dedicated to the conference proceedings of the Brazilian Congress of Special Education (Congresso Brasileiro de Educação Especial, CBEE) in 2016 and 2018. Siems and Borges (2020) focused on the proceedings of CBEE, in the biennial editions between 2008 and 2018, in addition to the ones from the Iberian-American Congress of History of Latin American Education (Congreso Iberoamericano de Historia de la Educación, Cihela), in the years of 2014, 2016 and 2018 with an emphasis on the research sources. The authors of these three articles considered that the study about the topic is not frequent. The present text is added to the aforementioned mapping of academic production to foster the building of a complete mapping on this theme.

Undoubtedly, the need for current mapping on events for the diffusion of Brazilian History of Education still remains, such as the Luso-Brazilian Congress of History of Education (Congresso Luso-Brasileiro de História da Educação, Colubhe) and the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (Ische)3; and the national ones, for instance, the National Assembly of the National Graduate Association for Research in Education (Reunião Nacional da Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa em Educação, Anped) and the National Symposium of History by the National Association of History (Simpósio Nacional de História da Associação Nacional de História, Anpuh), in their academic working groups of History of Education. It is also advisable to take on a systematic analysis of specialized literature published in books, book chapters, and master’s thesis and doctoral dissertations.

The development of knowledge about the dialogue between History and Special Education can be noticed in some scientific conferences by the growing amount of presentations and/or publications of papers on the History of Special Education, and also by the interest that some of them showed in recently to create a specific thematic axis on this subject, for oral presentations, as it happened at the CBEE starting from 20164 and at the International Conference of Special Education and Academic Inclusion (Colóquio Internacional de Educação Especial e Inclusão Escolar), in 2019.

The creation of a specific thematic axis is a two-way path to engage interest on the part of young scholars and scholars at the master and doctoral levels, as well as those who are more experienced and apply the theme to their lines of research and research groups. Furthermore, the specific thematic axes stimulate academic production, diffusion, and circulation of the theme, promoting the affirmation of identity through thematic kinship.

The Franco-Latin-American Conference of Research on Disability (Colóquio Franco-Latino-Americano de Pesquisa sobre Deficiência) is remarkable, above all, for its approach which privileges a multi-disciplinary focus, with a view of human and social sciences, influenced by the perspective of Disability Studies5 (MEZIANI, BENOIT, 2015), who prioritize a socio-political analysis when they expose the social barriers which lead to discrimination and marginalization of disabled people. Disability Studies emerged in the context of the United States of America, England, and the Nordic countries (between 1970 and 1980) as an influence and defense of the movement for civil rights and independent living for disabled people (MEZIANI; BENOIT, 2015; MELLO, NUERNBERG, BLOCK, 2014).

Influenced by this perspective, some historians, initially in the United States, and Western Europe, dedicated themselves to the research field of Disability History (KUDLICK, 2003). In this sense, the aforementioned conference also has contributed to the diffusion of the historical perspective researches, as can be seen in the edition that took place in Brazil, in Porto Alegre, in 20176.

It can be highlighted that Disability Studies, as a category of analysis and an analytical tool to study structures of power, is also rooted in a standard of organization of the academic work in the Anglo-Saxon context (Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, and Norway), where the focus is on common objects of research and not on specific scientific courses (as it usually is in Brazil). In these cases, it is typical to find the courses and multi-disciplinary graduate programs in Disability Studies, a legacy from Cultural Studies (MEZIANI, BENOIT, 2015).

Although this work brings relevant data for the analysis of the development of the researches with a historical approach about Brazilian special education, it does not offer a definition or delineation of the boundaries for a research field, since the frontiers of research on History of Special Education are extensive and various, particularly in Brazil. On the one hand, the reason for that is that it does not present a path of tradition in national historiography, on the other hand, it could not find a consolidated space in the field of Special Education or as a realm of interdisciplinary research, as it is the case with Disability Studies; neither in a specific scientific area, as it happens with the field of Disability History.

In this regard, Bourdieu’s (1989) words are reaffirmed, when he says that a scientific field is a place of political fight for scientific domination when it comes to the aspects of technical capacity and social power; and that there is a social hierarchy of the fields and of the scientific objects. However, as analytical criteria, this research stems from the research field of History of Education, acknowledging it too as a frontier academic discipline:

in particular between the History tout court and the so-called Sciences of Education, although always knowing how to summon other perspectives to penetrate their objects of study in a more appropriate manner, notably (though not exclusively) the ones deriving from Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy (BEATO, PINTASSILGO, 2017, p. 48, our translation).

This breadth of frontiers leads the mapping of production to contribute to an attempt to answer the following inquiries: Who has been producing the History of Special Education in Brazil? How much and which journals have published on the theme? What knowledge has already been produced about the theme and which have been the discussions that take priority? What methods and sources are being used?

In this context, this article contributes mainly to the research fields of History of Education and Special Education and, more specifically, to the histories of education policies, pedagogical practices, and training for teachers and workers of education, offering a thematic itinerary in identifying and categorizing the 82 articles found, yet fomenting the spread and circulation of this knowledge.


A mapping of academic articles published in scientific journals was prioritized, considering these possess a greater diffusion and circulation than master´s thesis and doctoral dissertation or books, and also are submitted to peer review, the reason why scientific accuracy is more expected when compared to papers published in academic conference proceedings. Besides, there is an indication that part of the articles presents results from theses and dissertations.

During the selection stage, articles published between 2015 and 2020 were delimited, considering their currentness, and because it was remarked that in this interval the oral presentations and publications of complete papers at scientific conferences increased. In addition, specific thematic axes were created on the theme. This indicates a growing interest on the part of the scientific community in the History of Special Education.

The mapping and systematization of production of a certain research field are being utilized as a methodological strategy by researchers, being recognized by a range of designations, such as state-of-the-art, state of knowledge, state of the question, bibliometric research, scientific mapping, and cartography. These denominations differ in a few aspects, for instance, concerning the delimitation of the documental ensemble.

The mapping in scientific production is considered by Beato and Pintassilgo (2017) an essential exercise for the scientificity of a field, to “gauge the quality and meaning of the work that is being developed and, likewise, to delineate the future paths of research, […] [moreover] it refers to the question of identity on the field” (p. 48, our translation).

This mapping is rooted in the following stages: 1 - searches on the databases of journals from the Coordination of Personal Development for Higher Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Capes)7, on the Academic Google website and specialized journals; 2 - selection and collection from the preliminary reading of the abstract and of the established criteria: text written in Portuguese with a focus on the Brazilian context; 3 - organization, categorization and systematization of data on an Excel spreadsheet with the following rows: year, title, author, journal, institutional affiliation, institutional geographical area, initial training, highest degree, basis where the article was found, key-words, category, spatial delimitation, temporal delimitation, disability approached, theoretical framework, methodology, sources, archives, and the Digital Object Identification (DOI) or link of access; 4 - analysis of data; and 5 - registration of analysis.

Initially, as mentioned before, the inventory was carried out on the Capes Journal Portal, a Brazilian digital archive that gathers and provides a range of scientific content8. On this website, the tool used was the “search for subject” bar. In an alternated way, the descriptors historical, history, and historiography were combined with one of the terms9: deaf, blind, autistic/autism, special education, “emendational teaching”10, abnormal, exceptional11, specialized institutions, special classes, Apae12, Pestalozzi Society, disabled and disability. The data were analyzed with the application of the following filters: 1 - types of resources: articles; 2 - date of production: 2015 to 2020; 3 - language: Portuguese; and 4 - subject: History; Education; Psychology and Social Sciences.

Besides considering the aforementioned selection criteria (writing in Portuguese and a focus on the Brazilian context), articles with a concentration on education and/or schooling of the analyzed public were selected.

The complexity of this mapping is manifest in its multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary feature and on the necessity of a combination of the expressions used in the search, considering that depending on the period of analysis, there is a variation of concepts through which one can identify the disabled people and their spaces of attendance and/or schooling, which submits the work to constant update.

During the mapping on the Capes Journal Portal, it was detected that some journals were not linked to this site, and out of those which were, some had not available their articles yet. In an effort to extend the outreach of articles on this subject matter, Google Scholar13 was chosen to amplify the search. Although the Capes Journal Portal and Google Scholar have different characteristics and provide different results, it was possible to maintain the same descriptors14 on both, as well as the same filters to refine the outcomes in reference to the period of publication (2015 to 2020), the language (Portuguese), and the type of publication (articles). It is noted that all the articles selected by the authors are recognized and assessed by Capes.

Considering the diversity of descriptors which this research allows and the difficulties that impose, in a more precise manner, it was included searches in the main specialized journals in History of Education and Special Education in all the editions available online, published between 2015 and 2020, namely: Brazilian Journal of History of Education (Revista Brasileira de História da Educação), History of Education Journal (Revista História da Educação); History of Education Notebooks (Cadernos de História da Educação); HISTEDBR On-line Journal (Revista HISTEDBR On-line); History and Historiography of Education Journal (Revista de História e Historiografia da Educação); Brazilian Journal of Special Education (Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial); Special Education Journal (Revista Educação Especial).

In addition, the Lattes15 platform was accessed for reference of the identified authors, in order to verify their respective academic productions and other articles on the subject, published between 2015 and 2020, and to check data, such as the primary academic qualification and their highest degree.

As thorough as the mapping of production might be, it is a type of diagnosis which constrains the researcher by the marks of its incompleteness and temporariness and by the mobility of a research field “as a result of movements and forces that integrate and redefine it permanently, without allowing for a beforehand definition of a whole mode and direction” (GALVÃO et al. 2008, p. 175).

The abstracts of articles together with their respective keywords are generally the first contact the reader has with the text and must provide information on its content and objectives. The more detailed ones briefly provide the justification, methodology, and preliminary results. It was noticeable that only 45% of the articles (37) utilized some term that referred to History in the keywords namely: History (6); History of Special Education (2); History of Education (14); History of Special Education (9); Memory of Special Education (1); History of Curriculum (1); History of Psychology (1); and History of Educational Policies (3), although some of them used more than one of these expressions.

The absence of specific terminology impairs the location of the articles, the mapping and does not contribute to the affirmation of the identity of a field of research. Consequently, the choice of keywords is an important strategy for the identification and legitimation of a research field.

It must be highlighted that the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective of studies with a historical approach about Brazilian special education contributed to the inclusion of works with other methodological proposals, including the articles of theoretical essay and revision of literature, besides works that demonstrated scientific rigor of the historical research (with specific procedure, definition of temporary lapse, access to historical archives and sources).

Some of these works were developed by researchers who do not have a degree in History, without an academic background of research in historical approach, but they were taken into consideration for at least one of the reasons: 1 - the recognized relevance of the contribution of the text for Brazilian History of Special Education; 2 - because they have been developed by researchers with an acknowledged academic path in other fields of research, especially Special Education and Psychology; 3 - because they are articles published on highly ranked journals of areas of Education, Special Education, Psychology, Educational Policies and History itself; and 4 - due to the fact that they constitute an opportune means for the diagnosis and analysis of the articles that identify themselves as studies on the History of Special Education.

To favor the systematization and analysis of data, the articles have been categorized according to the following thematic axes: History of Specialized Institutions; History of Policies of Special Education; History of Educational / Pedagogical Practices and Special Education Curriculum; History of Training for Teachers and Technicians for Special Education; Oral History; Historiography; Social Movements of/for Disabled People and Theories and Concepts about Special Education.

Finally, it is key to stress that during the selection process, articles from the fields of Psychology and Linguistics, whose approach was very restrictive of these areas; articles from journals that were not qualified by the Capes journal evaluation system; life stories and oral history without a contribution for education and/or schooling of subjects; articles that prioritized the focus on documents of international contexts; book reviews and editorials were discarded.


One of the questions that this mapping seeks to answer is about the profile of authors who have dedicated to the research of this article’s subject matter or the ones who published sporadically on the theme, contributing to the construction of the History of Brazilian Special Education. In this regard, the intention is to learn certain characteristics of these authors and the marks of their academic path, such as their professional route (initial training and highest academic degree), the institutions they are affiliated with, and in which geographic region these institutions are located, concerning the 82 articles selected in the mapping of production.

In some cases, this information was explicit in the articles themselves; in other cases, it was necessary to seek additional information on the Lattes platform about the personal data of the authors. Since there are works of repeated authorship, be them signed by the main author and/or as a co-author, it was necessary to remove the repeated names to avoid a distortion of the results. This taken into consideration, 116 authors were identified, incorporating the co-authors.

It should be noted that 58,6% (68) of the authors have some form of specific initial training in an area of Education (Pedagogy, Special Education, Elementary Academic Teacher Training, Teacher Training, Sciences of Education), one of them being their first, second or third graduation (Table 1).

Of these authors, besides having a background in Education, some of them have an undergraduate degree in areas such as Biological Sciences, Law, Philosophy, Letters, History, Information Systems, Psychology, and Occupational Therapy (Table 1)16.

Table 1 - Initial training of the authors who have an undergraduate degree in the field of Education. 

Business Administration, Mathematics and Pedagogy 1
Biological Sciences and Pedagogy 1
Sciences of Education 1
Law and Pedagogy 1
Special Education 5
Philosophy, Pedagogy, Letters 1
Philosophy and Pedagogy 1
Phonoaudiology and Pedagogy 1
History and Pedagogy 3
Teacher Training and Letters - Sign Language 1
Pedagogy 45
Pedagogy and Information Systems 1
Pedagogy and History 1
Pedagogy and Letters 1
Pedagogy and Letters (Sign Language) 1
Pedagogy e Psychology 1
Psychology and Pedagogy 1
Occupational Therapy and Teacher Training 1
Total of authors with initial training in the field of Education 68 (58,6%)
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Table 2 - Initial training of authors from other areas. 

Business Administration 1
Biological Sciences 2
Social Sciences 4
Physical Education 3
Philosophy 2
Physical Therapy 1
Phonoaudiology 2
Geography 1
History 9
Letters 1
Letters (Sign Language) 1
Mathematics (Teaching Degree) 2
Psychology 14
Chemistry (Teaching Degree) 1
Social Work 1
Occupational Therapy 1
Unidentified 2 (1,8%)
Total of authors without initial training in the field of Education 46 (39,6%)
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

The other 39,6% (46) of the authors who do not have initial academic training in Education hold bachelor's degrees or Teaching degrees in areas such as Business Administration, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Physical Education, Philosophy, Physical Therapy, Phonoaudiology, Geography, History, Letters, Letters - Sign Language, Mathematics, Psychology, Chemistry, Social Services, and Occupational Therapy, with an emphasis on Psychology, which constitutes 30,4% (14) of this group, and History, with 19,5% (9), as Table 2 shows. It was not possible to identify the initial training of two of the authors because they did not enter that information onto the Lattes platform website.

In relation to the highest degree or the highest stricto sensu level of the authors17, the data in Table 3 18shows that 68, 1% (79) of them hold a doctoral degree, out of this group, 78% (62) are doctors in Education. The number of doctors in Education is significantly superior to the other degrees, followed by doctors in Special Education (6) and the areas of Psychology (3). Only one author with a doctoral degree in History was identified.

At the master’s level, Table 4 shows that 72% (18) of the authors have a master’s degree in Education. The second in representation is master in Special Education (2) and master in Social Policies (2)19. There was no record of authors whose highest degree was a master’s in History. As a general rule in the journals with the highest ranking, authors without a doctoral degree are usually accompanied by doctors who are co-authors20. Oftentimes, the co-authors are the advisor authors´ in their graduate research.

About lato sensu training, one specialist in Inclusive Special Education was identified. Although that sort of training does not correspond to a degree, it is important to note that four of the authors are graduate students and MA candidates (in Education; in Education, Culture and Communication; and in Transnational History). That is how they introduce themselves in the articles or on the Lattes platform registration area, and this indicates their approach to the field of History of Special Education (Table 4).

Table 3 - Highest degree at the doctoral level. 

Area of Doctoral Studies (PhD) n.º of authors
PhD in Arts 1
PhD in Sciences of Education (Portugal) 1
PhD in Social Sciences 1
PhD in Applied Social Sciences 1
PhD in Education 62
PhD in School Education 1
PhD in Special Education 6
PhD in History 1
PhD in Pedagogy (Cuba) 1
PhD in Public Policies 1
PhD in Psychology 2
PhD in Psychology of Education 1
Total number of doctors 79 (68,1%)
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Table 4 - Highest degree at the master’s (MA) level, and lato sensu specialization courses.  

Area of Master (MA) and specialization courses n.º de authors
MA in Education 18
MA in Special Education 2
MA in Teaching, History, and Philosophy of the Sciences and Mathematics 1
Professional MA in Business Education and Technology 1
MA in Social Policies 2
MA in Production Engineering 1
Specialization Degree in Inclusive Special Education 1
No degree
MA in Education 2
MA in Education, Culture, and Communication 1
MA in Transnational History 1
No degree or association with a graduate program 7
Total of authors with no degrees 11 (9,5 %)
Total of authors who are specialists 1 (0,8%)
Total of authors with master’s degrees 25 (21,9%)
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Seven of the authors in this mapping did not show a degree or an affiliation to a graduate program. In three of these cases, the articles are related to results of monographs written by one of them, which also proves the research interest of some authors stemming from undergraduate studies or introduction to scientific research.

A characteristic of the Brazilian experience is that the History of Education is predominantly connected to the training of teachers and its connections with teaching and research on this topic (GONDRA et al., 2014). About scientific investigation in particular, the data evidence that studies in History of Special Education are being developed predominantly by authors who are trained in an area of education at the graduate level, as it has been traditionally happening in History of Education, in general, with less occurrence in the field of History: “This is reflected in the scientific associations, research groups, books and specialized journals around which educational historians organize themselves” (GONDRA et al., 2014, p. 826).

Studies also show that the History of Education as a discipline has been losing space in the Pedagogy undergraduate curriculum when it comes to the number of courses being offered (BASTOS, 2016). This makes us reflect on the need for a broadening and a renovation of the History of Education curriculum in the Pedagogy undergraduate courses and in other degrees in the teaching area, to achieve a more inclusive approach, which involves, among other marginalized groups, the education and the schooling of disabled people, for instance.

On the other hand, it is also important to identify which institutional affiliations these authors have and in which geographic region they are located. The analysis of Table 5 shows that 56,9% (66) of the authors are based in institutions that are located in the Brazilian Southeast, 9 of them being federal public universities (UFJF, Ufes, UFU, UFMG, UFTM, UFRJ, UFRRJ, UFABC, and UFSCar), 5 being state public institutions (Uenf, Uerj, Unesp, Unicamp, and USP), and one, a federal institution of elementary teaching and higher education (Ines) and 3 in private institutions of higher education (Unip, PUC Minas, and Uniube)21.

Table 5 - Institutional affiliation of authors based in the Southeast (SE). 

SE (56,9%) UFJF (MG) 2
Ufes (ES) 9
UFU (MG) 2
PUC Minas (MG) 1
Uniube (MG) 2
Ines (RJ) 1
Uenf (RJ) 4
Uerj (RJ) 3
UFSCar (SP) 16
Unesp (SP) 3
Unicamp (SP) 2
Unip (SP) 2
USP (SP) 5
Total in the Southeast 66
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Table 6 - Institutional affiliation of authors based in the Middle East (ME), Northeast (NE), North (N) e South(S). 

ME (9,5%) UFG (GO) 2 11
NE (16,4%) Ipaese (SE) 1 19
Ufal (AL) 1
UFC (CE) 5
UFS (SE) 5
N (3,4%) Uepa (PA) 3 4
S (13,8%) UEPG (PR) 3 16
UEM (PR) 4
Unisisnos (RS) 1
Unioeste (PR) 3
Faders (RS) 1
Total of regions 50
Total of authors 116 (100%)

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Among these institutions, UFSCar, in São Paulo, deserves mention for the representation of 16 authors in an institution that hosts a Special Education Graduate Program22. The high number of researchers based in the Southeast is not surprising and endorses the results found by Vieira and Cury (2018) in a mapping about the writing of the history of education in Brazil, stemming from the Brazilian Journal of History of Education (Revista Brasileira de História da Educação - 2001-2018); and the results recorded by Bueno and Souza (2018) about the constitution of the field of Special Education, based on the analysis found on the Brazilian Journal of History of Special Education (1992 - 2017). These last authors also highlighted the highest concentration of articles by authors affiliated to institutions in the state of São Paulo.

Later, considering the criteria of the number of authors, the Northeast calls the attention with 16,4% (19) of the authors, distributed in 7 federal universities (Ufal, UFBA, UFC, UFCG, UFS, UFRB, and UFMA) and in one private institution which is a non-profit organization (Ipaese). 13,8% (16) of the authors appear in the South, represented by 2 federal public universities (UFRGS and UFSC), 3 state public universities (UEPG, UEM, and Unioeste), one foundation in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Faders) and one private higher education institution (Unisisnos)23 (Table 6).

With less incidence comes the Midwest, with 9,5 % (11) of the authors in 3 federal universities (UFG, UFGD, and UFMS); followed by the North with 3,4% (4) of the authors affiliated to public universities, a state one and a federal one (Uepa and UFRR)24 (Table 6).


The scholarly journals that published the most with a historical approach to Special Education between 2015 and 2020 were the Brazilian Special Education Journal (Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial), with 12 publications: 1 in 2015, 1 in 2016, 2 in 2017, 3 in 2019 and 2 in 2020; and the Analytical Archives of Education Policies (Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas), with 11 publications: 10 in 2019 and 1 in 2020 (Chart 1).

Following the order of occurrence of publications, 3 journals published 4 articles each: the History of Education Journal (Revista História da Educação, UFPel): 1 in 2015, 1 in 2016, 1 in 2019 and 1 in 2020; HISTEDBR On-line Journal (Revista HISTEDBR On-line) with 2 in 2015, 1 in 2016 and 1 in 2017; and Special Education Journal (Revista Educação Especial) with 2 in 2019 and 2 in 2020. The Brazilian Journal of Education (Revista Brasileira de Educação) published 3: 2 in 2016 and 1 in 2020. With 2 publications each, the Research and Education Journal (Revista Educação e Pesquisa, USP): 1 in 2018 and 1 in 2019; Research Notebooks (Cadernos de Pesquisa): 1 in 2016 and 1 in 2020; and History and Teaching (História e Ensino): 1 in 2018 and 1 in 2020 (Chart 1).

In the journals which specialize in the history of education, there was specifically an inferior number of publications about the theme, when compared to the number published in journals that specialize in Special Education and in the general areas of Education.

Chart 1 - Journals with the highest number of publications about the theme. 

12 Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial 2015 1
2016 1
2017 2
2018 3
2019 3
2020 2
11 Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas 2019 10
2020 1
4 Revista HISTEDBR On-line 2015 2
2016 1
2017 1
Revista Educação Especial 2019 2
2020 2
Revista História da Educação (UFPel) 2015 1
2016 1
2019 1
2020 1
3 Revista Brasileira de Educação 2016 2
2020 1
2 Cadernos de Pesquisa 2016 1
2020 1
Educação e Pesquisa (USP) 2018 1
2019 1
Educação em Revista (UFMG) 2017 1
2020 1
História e Ensino 2018 1
2020 1

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

Chart 2 - Journals with the highest number of publications about the theme.  


  1. Percursos (Udesc) Online

  2. Revista Espaço Acadêmico (UEM)

  3. Revista Educação e Fronteiras On-Line


  1. InterEspaço

  2. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs

  3. Periferia (Duque de Caxias)

  4. Revista Brasileira de Estudos Pedagógicos

  5. Revista de Educação PUC-Campinas

  6. Teias


  1. Patrimônio e Memória (Unesp)

  2. Revista Diálogo Educacional

  3. Revista Faeeba

  4. Revista Virtual de Cultura Surda e Diversidade


  1. Interacções

  2. Interface (

  3. Interfaces da Educação

  4. Revista Estudos em Avaliação Educacional

  5. Revista On line de Política e Gestão Educacional


  1. Ciência & Educação

  2. Colloquium Humanarum

  3. Doxa: Revista Brasileira de Psicologia e Educação

  4. Linguagens, Educação e Sociedade

  5. Revista Brasileira de História da Educação

  6. Revista Contemporânea de Educação

  7. Revista Educação em Questão

  8. Revista EDaPECI


  1. Cadernos de História da Educação

  2. Educação (PUCRS)

  3. Educação Unisinos (online)

  4. Formação Docente

  5. História, Ciências, Saúde -Manguinhos

  6. Perspectivas em Diálogo

  7. Revista Cocar

  8. Revista Educação, Pesquisa e Inclusão

  9. Revista Ibero-Americana de Estudos em Educação

  10. Revista Profissão Docente

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

In summary, 18 articles (21,9%) were identified in journals that specialize in Special Education: the Brazilian Special Education Journal (Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial) (12); Special Education Journal (Revista Educação Especial) (4); Journal of Research in Special Education Needs (1); Virtual Journal of Deaf Culture and Diversity (Revista Virtual de Cultura Surda e Diversidade) (1); and 10 articles (13,6%) in specialized journals in the area of History of Education25: HISTEDBR On-line Journal (Revista HISTEDBR Online) (4); History of Education Journal (Revista História da Educação) (UFPel) (4); Brazilian Journal of History of Education (Revista Brasileira de História da Educação) (1); Notebooks of History and Education (Cadernos de História da Educação) (1), according to the analysis of charts 1 and 2. Besides these, two publications were found in the Journal History and Teaching (Revista História e Ensino), which although it is not a journal that specialized in History of Education, encompasses this field in its, focus and scope.

It can be highlighted that there has been an increase in the number of articles published in 2019 (25) and 2020 (20) when compared to the production of 2015 (7); 2016 (12); 2017 (8), and 2018 (10). This expansion in the academic interest and diffusion of the theme may be related to the creation of thematic axes about the History of Special Education in scientific events; the recent motivation for the inclusion of the theme in specific research groups, mainly, the development and investigation of master´s thesis and doctoral dissertation; and also the fact that some journals undertook digital publication in the form of constant flow (for receiving articles) during the period of research, since searches for the mapping of this production have been conducted in on-line journals.

Nevertheless, it is remarkable that, although in 2015 there was a major circulation of academic journals on the theme in scientific events of History of Education (BEZERRA, FURTADO, 2017; SIEMS, BORGES, 2020), the circulation of works with a historical approach about Brazilian special education in specialized journals in History of Education is still incipient.

As Chart 2 demonstrates, 66,2% (53) of the production of articles on this theme are pulverized in general journals of Education, Teaching, Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary studies.


Stemming from the analysis of Chart 4 and the reading of abstracts, the target audience can be verified, following the terms used by the authors. Specifically, the perspectives of the articles vary: 1 about gifted people; 2 about autism; 7 about the Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptional (Apae) and “mental disability”; 5 about deaf; 1 about deaf and blind people; and 15 of them were dedicated to deaf people. In general terms, 2 articles discussed disabled children; 3 dealt with “abnormal” children; 3 were about special classes, 2 about “exceptional children”, and 41 were about Special Education in general.

Considering that the “historical brings time in its core” (ARÓSTEGUI, 2006, p. 472, our translation), Chart 3 synthesizes the historical periods covered in the articles. The period of highlight, by the number of works (13), comprises the decades between 1960 and 1980, in which the majority of the authors relate the theme to the civil-military dictatorship in Brazil (1964 - 1985).

Moreover, the only dossier that contributed to the amplification of a historical view on Special education was identified: “Special Education during times of dictatorship”, with 8 articles about the Brazilian context, published in the Education Policy Analysis Archives (CAIADO, SIEMS-MARCONDES, PLETSCH, 2019).

Chart 3 - Distribution of the temporal delimitation of the articles 

Colonial Period to Contemporary 1 Decades of 1970 and 1980 4
Beginning of the XIX century to the 2000s 1 Decades from 1970 to 1990 13
2nd ½ of the XIX century and 1st ½ of XX 8 Decades from 1970 to 2000s 2
Beginning of the XX century to the 1970s 1 The 1980s 1
Decades of 1930 and 1940 1 Decade of 1980 to 2000 6
Decades of 1930 and 1960 4 Decades of 1970 and 1980 7
Decades from1930 to 1970 1 Decades from 1970 to 1990 1
Decade from 1930 to present-day 1 Decades from 1970 to 2000s 3
Decades of 1940 and 1950 1 Decade of 1990 3
Decade of 1950 1 Decade of 1990 to 2010 5
Decades of 1950 and 1960 1 Decades of 2000 and 2010 4
Decades from 1950 to 1970 2 Indefinite - Mapping of production 3
Decades from 1950 to 1980 5 Unidentified 1
Decade of 1960 1

Source: Data produced by the authors of this article (2021).

This period is remarkable for Brazilian Special Education because of actions and policies managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, which were alive at the time of the military dictatorship, such as the National Campaigns of Education specific for the exceptional: the Campaign for the Education of the Brazilian Deaf (1975); the National Campaign of Education and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired (1958), which, subsequently, came to be named as National Campaign for the Education of the Blind, in 1960; and the National Campaign of Education for the Mentally Handicapped (1960), extinguished in 197326 (CARDOSO, MARTÍNEZ, 2019). It is important to stress that this period also brings the National Center for Special Education (1973 - 1986), the first education organization, at a national level, to unify the institutionalization and the service for the exceptional, extending their public to the gifted people.

Another period often covered in studies, in numerical terms comprises the second half of the XX century, with a focus on the analysis of the imperial institutes - the Imperial Institute for Blind Boys (Imperial Instituto dos Meninos Cegos)27 and the Imperial Institute of the Deaf-Mute People28-; and of the special classes in Minas Gerais, with an emphasis on the work of the Russian psychologist, Helena Antipoff.

Concerning spatial delimitation, 50 articles (61%) address the national Brazilian context in a general manner. Out of these, 2 undertake comparative studies: one with France and the other with Portugal. In a specific way, the Brazilian region that has received the most research attention was the Southeast, in 12 articles (14,6%), contemplating the cities of Rio de Janeiro (2); Campos dos Goytacazes (2); and Duque de Caxias (1); the state of Minas Gerais (4); the city of Uberaba, in Minas Gerais, (1); the state of São Paulo (1); and 1 that considered three states: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco (Recife city).

About the Northeast, 8 works were gatherer (9,7%), one of them consider Alagoas; 2 are about Aracaju (Sergipe); 2 general ones about the state of Sergipe; 1 about Sítio Novo (Maranhão); a general one about the state of Maranhão and 1 about Campina Grande (Paraíba). About the North, 5 works were found (6%): 1 about Manaus, in Amazonas; 1 about Pará; 3 about Roraima. In the South, 3 works (3,6%): 2 about Paraná and 1 about the Rio Grande do Sul. While in the Midwest there were 3 (3,6%): 1 in Campo Grande and 2 in the municipality of Naviraí, in Mato Grosso do Sul.

The data demonstrated the predominance in studies and analysis on a national scale, but one can also notice, in a smaller proportion, the valorization of the regional perspective, including localities outside of the major urban national centers, less studied, which points to a history of Special Education that is not homogenous.

As a way to enable a thematic itinerary for the reader, in this mapping of production, all 82 articles identified in the mapping were listed29 in Chart 4, and grouped by category30, with the title of the work, the year of publication, and the authors' last names31, providing a panoramic view of the knowledge already produced on the theme.

Chart 4 - Thematic itinerary of the 82 articles identified in the mapping. 

Category: Training of teachers and technicians in Special Education
1- Training of APAE/Aracaju teachers (1968-1988) and the theoretical contributions of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil for Special Education 2018 Mendonça, Souza*
2- The training of teachers-researchers in Special Education during the dictatorship in Brazil 2019 Souza, Pletsch*, Batista
3- Teacher training in Special Education during the civil-military dictatorship of Pará State 2019 Oliveira, França
4- Teacher Education for Special Education - Proposals by Helena Antipoff and Her Collaborators in Fazenda do Rosário in the 1960’s 2019 Cassemiro, Campos*
5- Education/Specialization Courses of Teachers of the Hearing Impaired, in Brazil and Portugal (1950-1980) 2019 Freitas
6- Teacher Training and Teaching Method for Deaf Children 2020 Rodrigues, Gontijo*, Drago
7- Training of specialized professionals for Exceptional Education: propositions and representations from the periodic print Message from Apae (1963-1973) 2020 Bezerra, Furtado
8- Pioneer Specialist Teachers in Deaf Education at Sergipe 2020 Seixas, Lima, Souza, Nascimento
9- Four decades of Special Education in Sao Paulo State 2020 Omote
Category: History of the specialized institutions
10- History of an educational institution for the visually impaired: The Institute for The Blind of Central Brazil in Uberaba (Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1942-1959) 2016 Leão Junior, Gatti
11- The APAE/CEDEG in Campo Grande/MS (1967-1987): memory and history of its implementation 2017 Bezerra, Furtado
12-A The Education of Blind in Brazil During the 19Th Century: Revisiting History 2019 Leão, Sofiato
13- The education of the deaf and blind in France and Brazil 2019 Estimado, Sofiato*
14- The National Federation of Apaes in the context of the civil-military dictatorship in Brazil: Construction of hegemony in the field of special education 2019 Rafante, Silva, Caiado
15- Historical aspects of the Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais - Apae de Aracaju/SE 2019 Mendonça, Souza*
16- Education of the blind in the state of Rio de Janeiro: Campos in connection with Niterói (1950-1970) 2019 Cardoso, Martínez*
17- The São José Operário Assistance Service: from social assistance to education for blind persons (1956-1963) 2019 Cardoso, Martínez*
18- Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais (APAE): development of a historical genesis 2020 Bezerra
Category: Oral History
19- The constitution of Brazilian sign language in Campina Grande-PB: a story that emerges from the narratives of deaf (1970 - 1996) 2020 Silva, Lima, Porto
20- School trajectories of people with disabilities in basic Education: where's the special education place? 2020 Melo, Silva
Category: Historiography
21- Production on history of special education in the Congressos Brasileiros de História da Educação (CBHE): a place in construction 2017 Bezerra, Furtado
22- Scientific production on the History of Special Education at the Brazilian Congress of Special Education (2016-2018): proposals for a historiographical balance 2020 Bezerra
23- Rural Special Education: the production of knowledge about Helena Antipoff and Fazenda do Rosário 2020 Santos, Gonçalves, Cavalante e Caiado
24- Sources of historical knowledge in Education and Special Education: between tradition and renewal 2020 Borges, Siems
Category: Social movement from/for disabled people
25- Stories of Deaf Leaders Lives: a Study of Their Careers in Social Movements 2016 Vasconcelos, Serrano, Mendes, Campos
26- Letters from mothers and fathers of autistic people to the Journal of Brazil during the 1980s 2018 Leandro*, Lopes
27- The political organization of people with disabilities in Brazil and the in the educational field 2019 Amorim, Rafante, Caiado*
28- Autism, Maternal Narratives and Activism from 1970 to 2008 2020 Lopes
Category: Special Education Policies
29- Special Education, the Resource Room and other specialized services in Brazil (1973-1986) 2015 Rebelo
30- The inclusion in educational policy of Fernando Collor’s government (1990-1992) 2015 Padilha
31- Special education policy of the state of Paraná in the decades of 1970 and 1980 2015 Silva, Orso*, Silva
32- The special education policy in the age Lula (2003-2011): an option for inclusion 2015 Padilha
33- Deaf education and linguistic governmentality in the Estado Novo (Brazil, 1934-1948) 2015 Witchs, Lopes
34- The education of the deaf in Duque de Caxias: Historical landmarks 2016 Calixto, Ribeiro, Amaral*
35- Special education in Maranhão: historical notes 2016 Carvalho, Bonfim
36- The History of Special Education in the public schools of Sítio Novo/MA 2016 Macedo, Alcântara*
37- The educational policy of the Itamar Franco government (1992-1995) and the issue of inclusion 2016 Padilha
38- Special Education in federal territory of Roraima in the context of the military government (1964-1985) 2016 Siems-Marcondes
39- History and policies on Special Education in Brazil: Theoretical-methodological foundations and research results 2016 Rafante
40- The Special Education policy of the government FHC (1995-2003): an option for integration 2017 Padilha
41- The policy of special education in Paraná: historical facts of its constitution 2017 Matos, Barroco*
42- Special education in Roraima: Impact of migratory processes on the constitution of the area 2017 Siems- Marcondes
43- History of the education of the deaf in Sergipe 2017 Costa, Ferreira Filho, Souza
44- Schooling of students with disabilities in Minas Gerais: from special classes to inclusive education 2018 Borges, Campos
45- The history of expansion of school inclusion and the demands of regular education disseminated by a newspaper 2018 Santos, Mendes*
46- Approaches of special education in Brazil between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century 2018 Kassar, Rebelo
47- Analysis of the influences of international documents in the legislation and policies of Special Education in Brazil from 1990 to 2015 2018 Pavezi, Mainardes*
48- Education indicators related to the enrollment of pupils with disabilities in Brazil (1974-2014) 2018 Rebelo, Kassar*
49- A decade of the national policy on special education in the perspective of inclusive education: from the ideal to the possible 2018 Silva, Souza, Faleiro
50-The principle of special education in Naviraí/MS: teachers who tell the history 2018 Gonçalves* Bezerra, Novais
51- The National Campaign for the Education of the Blind: a reading from the journalistic press of the 1960s and 1970s 2019 Cardoso, Martínez*
52- Special Education in the state of Rio Grande do Sul: History, politics and management (1970-1980) 2019 Severo, Silva, Baptista
53- The policy of inclusive education and the future of specialized institutions in Brazil 2019 Mendes
54- The public/private relationship in special education policies during the dictatorship period in Brazil (1964-1985) 2019 Bueno, Lehmkhul, Goes
55- Special Education as public policy: a project of the military regime? 2019 Kassar, Rebelo, Jannuzzi
56- Special education in Brazilian educational policies: A historical approach 2019 Ribeiro, Silva*
57- Special education in the municipality of Naviraí-MS: history, developments and challenges for school inclusion 2019 Barbosa, Souza
58- History of special education policies in the state of Alagoas: the importance of analysis in situated contexts 2019 Pavezi, Mainardes*
59- Impacts of the special education policy (2008) in Ceará and Fortaleza 2019 Rafante, Selingardi, Silva e Silva
60- Policies of special education and inclusive education in Brazil: organization, advances and perspectives 2019 Nascimento, Omodei
61- Professionalization policies of the “exceptional” in the period of military dictatorship 2019 Siems-Marcondes
62- Special education and public policies in the perspective of inclusive education 2020 Pereira, Márques*
63- Strategies of federated Apaes to impact the education and assistance of exceptionals in Brazil: A historical analysis between the years 1960 and 1970 2020 Bezerra
64- History of special education in Brazil (1854-1956): the intelligence in relation to public and private health initiatives 2020 Marc
65-Notes on the History of Special Education Services in Manaus, Amazonas 2020 Vinente, Galvani*
66- Public policies in special education in dictatorial time: an analysis on the conception of deficiency in Brazil in the period 1973-1985 2020 Garcia*, Kuhnen
Category: Educational/Pedagogical Practices and Curriculum
67- Special Classes and Helena Antipoff: a Contribution to the History of Special Education in Brazil 2015 Borges
68- The development of a bilingual project for the deaf at the Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos in the 1990’s 2016 Lopes*, Freitas
69- Historical and legal aspects of deaf education in Brazil: from the empire to the old republic 2016 Castro, Calixto
70- Education and deafness in the 1950 ́s in Brazil: a historical panorama about Ana Rímoli de Faria Dória 2016 Herold Junior*, Cardoso
71- Normalcy, diversity and alterity in the history of the Instituto Nacional de Surdos 2016 Bentes, Hayashi
72- Curricular documents and flexibilities: historical-social writing of the curriculum in special education 2016 Silva
73- Exercising Psychic Functions: Mental Orthopedics as a Teaching Method for Students with Especial Needs (1930) 2017 Petersen, Assis
74- Pedagogical practice in deaf education: the intertwining of different approaches in the educational context 2018 Vieira, Molina
75- Education of the abnormal from the intelligence tests 2019 Teixeira
76- The teaching of Natural Sciences and deaf students in the nineteenth century 2019 Sofiato, Santana
77- People with disabilities in capixaba schools after 1964: Exception issues 2019 Jesus, Simões, Luiz
78- Education of intellectually disabled people in the periodical Mensagem da APAE (1963-1973): a pedagogy for modeling and social adjustment 2020 Bezerra, Furtado*
79- Helena Antipoff and Sociedade Pestalozzi of Minas Gerais: philanthropy and science for the abnormal 2020 Borges, Barbosa
80- History of the deaf education and the mathematics teaching in the brazilian context 2020 Klôh, Carneiro
Category: Theory and concept
81- The Concept of Disability in the Brazilian Special Education Policy (1973-2016) 2017 Kuhnen
82- The abnormal child and the proposals for school education in the Minas Gerais state press (1930-1940) 2020 Assis*, Oliveira, Lourenço

Source: Data organized by the authors of this text (2021).

Chart 4 shows that studies with an emphasis on Special Education Policies are more frequent, as reflected in the 38 works of this category. Another focus of interest was the researches on educational/pedagogical practices and curriculum, with 14 articles. The categories of teaching and technical training in Special Education and the history of specialized institutions also were remarkable with a sum of 9 works each.

It could be observed that 25 articles present are results that vary between doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, and undergraduate monographs written by the authors, who, in some cases, published with their respective academic advisors, which indicates the production, particularly coming from graduate programs.


In the cases where the abstracts were limited, it was necessary to complement the reading in part of the introduction and the methodological benchmarks of the articles to group them according to the classification of authors: case studies, 2 (2,4%); theoretical essay, 3 (3,6%); historical study, 3 (3,6%); mapping of production, 4 (4,9%); bibliographic research, 6 (7,3%); bibliographic review, 5 (6%); and oral history, 7 (8,5%). Historical research appears more consistently, 17 (20,7%); bibliographic and documentary research, 17 (20,7%); and documentary research, 18 (21,9%).

On some occasions, there were cases of bibliographic reviews, generally based on historical synthesis presented in the introduction of master´s thesis and doctoral dissertation, without considering the analysis of new knowledge that is being produced on this theme, which opens space for anachronisms and continuous reproduction of the same bibliography, without advancing towards new themes or analysis of what has already been covered.

It is the role of the history researcher to master methods and techniques which are adequate for their work (ARÓSTEGUI, 2006). The most frequent techniques used by the authors in the articles are qualitative of documentary analysis and oral interviews. Precisely, the work of Rebelo and Kassar (2018) was dedicated to the quantitative statistical perspective, while posing a critique of the educational markers related to the enrollment of Special Education students in Brazil between 1974 and 2014.

Out of the theoretical influences cited by the authors, new dialogues were established with: the Annales School and the New History (Bloch and Le Goff); the New Cultural History (Chartier and Certeau); the History of Institutions of Education (Magalhães; Buffa e Nosella; Gatti Junior); the History of psychological knowledge and the History of Sciences (Massimi); the History from below (Thompson); the Crossed Histories (Werner; Zimmermann); the Sociocultural Studies about Disabilities (Davis); Historical and Dialectical Materialism (Marx and Engels); the Cultural Hegemony Theory (Gramsci); the Historical-Critical Pedagogy (Saviani); and the Theory and History of Curriculum (Forquin and Apple).

When it comes to theoretical and analytical foundations, it is noted that some articles identified themselves as works of the History of Education, but did not refer to theorists of the field, besides some sporadic cases in which, despite citing several authors, they did not make explicit which were the theoretical and methodological foundations.

In this sense, Bastos (2016, p. 48, our translation) highlights the training without the History instrumentality and the tendency of “historic-descriptive studies - which lack an analytic density of the field, by not appropriating the contributions of other fields of knowledge, especially history and sociology”, and he stresses that the “frontiers between the fields of knowledge need to be less hermetic and more fluid”.

In the same path, Pintassilgo and Beato (2017, p. 48, our translation) emphasize that the frontier between History of Education and other areas enhances research, resulting in the construction of identity traits in the midst of diversity, allowing “interpretative communities” with a range of “theoretical affiliations, conceptual boards, methodologic approaches or discursive styles”.

Surely, a remarkable feature of historical research is its research sources (LE GOFF, 1990; ARÓSTEGUI, 2006; BARROS, 2020). In this inventory, most authors have used the technique of triangulation of a diverse combination of sources, of which the types can be identified: a) legislative and prescriptive documentation (decrees, resolutions, legislative bills and reports); b) documents of state administration (memos, letters, correspondence, open letters, census statistics, technical reports, public agent reports and microdata from school census); c) private administrative documents (meeting minutes, pictures, reports, internal bulletins, invitations, internal regulation and videos); d) oral and/or written interviews by questionnaires; e) autobiographies; f) bibliographies (specialized works, papers, master´s thesis and doctoral dissertation); g) journals (letters published in newspapers; newspapers, specialized magazines, official gazettes, periodic press); h) digital conference proceedings; i) international documents; j) school documents (pedagogical orientations, school activities, curriculum documentation, students notebooks, enrollment, school records, operational teacher forms, school meeting minutes, internship reports and pedagogical project of the course).

It must be highlighted that the sources possess “diversified discourses to be decoded, comprehended, interpreted” (BARROS, 2020, p. 9, our translation). As Le Goff already warned (1990, p. 110, our translation), “no document is innocent. It must be analyzed. Every document is a monument that must be disassembled, dismantled”.

With regard to the research sources, it is also vital to call attention to the place where these documents are kept. Various works mention the access to archives and libraries, such as: The Foundation for the Articulation and Development of Public Policies for Disabled and Gifted People Archives in the Rio Grande do Sul (Faders); The National Archives; The permanent and historic archives of the Ines; The Public Archives of the State of Rio de Janeiro; The Public Mineiro Archives; The Public Municipal Archives of Campos/RJ; The National Library; The Center for Documentation and Research Helena Antipoff (UFMG) in Ibirité/MG; the library of the Federal University of the West of Paraná-Unioeste; and the Helena Antipoff Room in the UFMG’s Main Library. Besides these, digital archives were accessed: the ones from the Paraná State Education Council and the Digital Newspapers and Periodicals Library of the Brazilian National Library.

Aróstegui (2006, p. 471) warns that the proper methodological accuracy needs to firmly distinguish between what is, on one hand, the "emergence of historical fields […] [and, on the other hand, the] themes that already have been explored, but that subscribe to a revision with new instruments of methods or new information of old problems [...] unsolved”. In this sense, it can be argued that the lack of originality and/or scientific precision of a few works could be justified, in some cases, by the inconsistency of research sources and/or of their interpretation.


The results of this mapping of production cannot be visualized as general static conclusions, because there has not been a mapping of all the types of scientific production on this theme; and by the incompleteness and temporariness of this kind of research. However, the analysis of academic journals allowed the partial visualization of the development of research on the theme in Brazil, besides provoking some consideration and inquiries.

Research on the History of Brazilian Special Education is still emergent and unacknowledged, although this is a promising territory, on which the scientific community has not yet dwelled on. If on the one hand there is a gap concerning the knowledge and the acknowledgment of national historiography, on the other hand, a significant record of 82 articles on the theme was identified across various scientific journals, most of them covering a range of diversity of themes and objects, including the multi or interdisciplinary perspectives, which evidences the expansion of studies and the interest on the part of the researchers.

This multi or interdisciplinary perspective, which characterizes the analyzed production, reflects the diversity of academic paths the researchers who have been writing about the History of Brazilian Special Education engaged on, primarily how diverse their primary training is, as the results of this mapping show. The several academic paths also have influenced the theoretical and methodological approaches adopted by the authors.

The amount of articles identified in this mapping of production of historical approach about Brazilian special education is distinguished. In this scope, some works that have not appropriated the instruments, theoretical and methodological frameworks, and the complete scientific precision to historical research were recognized, but that bring significant contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge on this theme. It is interesting to underline that the diversity found in the frontiers of research fields becomes relevant when it brings new questions and new answers, besides deepening the scientific knowledge that has already been produced.

Even though there are new researchers who dedicate to the theme with relevant contributions, it is important to amplify the new knowledge (new themes and new analytic perspectives of what has already been discussed); the approximation and interpretation of historical sources; a historic perspective that is more interpretative and less descriptive; and a methodological expansion; to enrich its quality, strengthen its sense and establish an identity as a burgeoning research field.


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BARROS. José D’Assunção. Fontes Históricas: uma introdução à sua definição, à sua função no trabalho do historiador, e à sua variedade de tipos. Cadernos do Tempo Presente, São Cristóvão - SE, v. 11, n. 02, p. 03-26, jul./dez. 2020. Disponível em: Disponível em: . Acesso em: 02 fev. 2021. [ Links ]

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BORGES, Adriana Araújo Pereira; SIEMS, Maria Edith Romano. Fontes do conhecimento histórico em Educação e Educação Especial: entre a tradição e a renovação. Revista Educação Especial, 33, e61/ 1-26. 2020. DOI: ]

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BURKE, Peter. A escrita da História: novas perspectivas. Tradução de Magda Lopes - São Paulo: Editora UNESP. 1992 [ Links ]

CAIADO, Kátia Regina Moreno; MARCONDES-SIEMS, Maria Edith Romano; PLETSCH, Márcia Denise. Apresentação do dossiê. Educação Especial em tempos de ditadura. Arquivos Analíticos de Políticas Educativas, 27(60), 2019. [ Links ]

CARDOSO, Fernanda Luísa de Miranda; MARTÍNEZ, Silvia Alicia. A Campanha Nacional de Educação dos Cegos: uma leitura a partir da imprensa jornalística dos anos 1960 e 1970. Revista Brasileira de História da Educação, v. 19, 2019.DOI: ]

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11 Translation to English by Eliza de Souza Silva Araújo - E-mail:

22 CBHE is promoted by the Brazilian Society of History of Education (Sociedade Brasileira de História da Educação).

33 Ische is an academic society that promotes an annual and permanent conference, with the same name, which is consolidated as an important space of international scientific diffusion for the field of History of Education.

44 CBEE is an initiative of the Brazilian Association of Researchers on Special Education (Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores em Educação Especial) in cooperation with the Special Education Graduate Program of the Federal University of São Carlos (Programa de Pós-Graduação em Educação Especial da Universidade Federal de São Carlos).

55 The proposal of this Conference does not establish a framing of disability in the medical or social model, but in comprehending it through a multi-disciplinary lens that considers the relationship between disability and society, in addition to pointing out the social mechanisms that produce disability (MEZIANI, BENOIT, 2015). For a reference on these studies in Brazil, see Mello, Nuremberg and Block (2014), especially on the field of Anthropology.

66 The first edition took place in Paris, France (2014); the second edition in Santiago, Chile (2015); the third was in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (2017); and the fourth one happened in Quebec, Canada (2021).

77 Capes is a foundation that is associated with the Ministry of Education and acts on the expansion and consolidation of stricto sensu graduate studies in Brazil.

88 Capes Journal Portal is an online archive of scientific information that gathers and provides full journals; references and abstracts of master´s thesis and doctoral dissertations, audiovisual content, patent content, and technical regulations; and various content such as books, reports, yearbooks, and manuals. Available at:

99 In order to optimize the search with simple and/or compound terms, Boolean operators “AND” and “OR” were used, besides the special characters such as “*” and “?”, whose functionality is explained in manuals and courses offered on the site itself. For instance, the use of the asterisk at the end of the term “hist” (hist*) allows for the retrieval of the variations of its suffixes, such as history, historical, and historiography.

1010 The term “emendational teaching” was utilized by educators and in presidential messages, between the decades of 1930s and the 1970s, to refer to schools or to the teaching of the “abnormal physically” (the mentally challenged, blind, deaf-mute), the “intelligence retarded” and the “moral maladjusted”.

1111 The term “exceptional” was propagated in Brazil by Helena Antipoff. According to her, it referred to the “mentally disabled, all the physically impaired people, the emotionally unstable, as well as the intellectually gifted, overall, all the ones who require special attention in the household, at school, and in society” (JANNUZZI, 2012, p. 136).

1212 Abbreviation of Associação de Pais e Amigos dos Excepcionais (Association of Parents and Friends of the Exceptional People.

1313 Google Scholar is a search engine that functions as a repository of scientific articles, abstracts, monographs, thesis, dissertations, and books. It is available at:

1414 Google Scholar also allows the usage of Boolean operators.

1515 The Lattes platform integrates, in one Brazilian System of Information, curriculum, research groups, and institutions databases, created and maintained by the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq). Available at:

1616 Each line on Table 1 presents the order of completion of the course by the author.

1717 It is important to stress that this refers to the highest degree the authors hold at the moment of submission of the articles to the journals. It is also significant to note that some Graduate Programs these authors are affiliated with have lines of research in History of Education or, in few cases, some research groups linked to the National Directory of CNPq which has lines of research related to History of Special Education. A more detailed investigation is necessary.

1818 In table 3, the location of origin of two doctorates, Science of Education (Portugal) and Pedagogy (Cuba) was highlighted, as these are not usual terms in graduate programs in Brazil.

1919 Part of the master´s were pursuing a PhD in areas of Education, Special Education, Psychology and History.

2020 These are shown on Table 4.

2121 UFJF - Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Ufes- Federal University of the Espírito Santo, UFU - Federal University of Uberlândia, UFMG - Federal University of Minas Gerais, UFTM - Federal University of the Triângulo Mineiro, UFRJ - Federal University of the Rio de Janeiro, UFRRJ - Federal Rural University of the Rio de Janeiro, UFABC - Federal University of the ABC, UFSCar - Federal University of São Carlos, Uenf - State University of the Northern of Rio de Janeiro Darcy Ribeiro, Uerj - State University of the Rio de Janeiro, Unesp - State University Paulista, Unicamp - State University of Campinas, USP - University of São Paulo, Unip - Paulista University, PUC Minas - Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais e Uniube - University of Uberaba.

2222 The first and only Graduate Program in Special Education in Brazil.

2323 Ufal - Federal University of Alagoas, UFBA - Federal University of the Bahia, UFC - Federal University of the Ceará, UFCG - Federal University of Campina Grande, UFS - Federal University of Sergipe, UFRB - Federal University of the Recôncavo da Bahia, UFMA - Federal University of the Maranhão, Ipaese - Pedagogical Institute of Support to the Education of the Deaf, UFRGS - Federal University of the Rio Grande do Sul; UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina, UEPG - State University of Ponta Grossa, UEM - State University of Maringá, Unioeste - State University of the Oeste do Paraná, Faders - Articulation Foundation for the Development of Public Policies for Disabled and Gifted People in the Rio Grande do Sul and Unisinos - University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos.

2424 UFG - Federal University of Goiás, UFGD - Federal University of Grande Dourados e UFMS - Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Uepa - State University of the Pará e UFRR - Federal University of Roraima.

2525 It is important to note that more articles with a historical approach on special education were identified in these and other journals, but as they did not emphasize the Brazilian context, the object of this research, they were disregarded.

2626 With the exception of the Campaign for the Deaf, which was deactivated and absorbed by the activities of the National Institute for the Deaf (INES).

2727 It was the first school organization founded in Brazil in 1954, specifically for the education of girls and boys with visual impairment, providing primary, secondary, musical, vocational education. Currently, named the Benjamin Constant Institute (Instituto Benjamin Constant).

2828 Currently, the National Institute for the Education of the Deaf (INES).

2929 Due to the editorial limitations of this journal, it was not possible to insert the complete bibliographic references of the 82 articles. However, through the title of the article and the authors' last names, it is possible to locate them in Google Scholar. It is worth noting that the titles of the articles in English are in accordance with the authors' own translations registered in their respective articles, with the exception of two articles, whose translation is ours, because the authors registered the title only in Portuguese.

3030 Some articles could be included in more than one category; however, the insertion of the predominant theme was the choice adopted.

3131 The last names of the advisors of one of the authors of the articles were marked with an asterisk in Chart 4, from information contained in the Lattes Curriculum platform.

Received: May 05, 2021; Accepted: January 10, 2022



FERNANDA LUÍSA DE MIRANDA CARDOSO é Mestra e doutoranda pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Políticas Sociais da Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, na linha de pesquisa: Educação, Cultura, Política e Cidadania. Pesquisa em História da Educação com ênfase em Educação Especial.

SILVIA ALICIA MARTÍNEZ é Doutora em Educação (PUC-Rio). Docente do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Políticas Sociais e do Curso de Pedagogia da Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro. Laboratório de Estudos de Educação e Linguagem - LEEL. Líder do Grupo de Pesquisa CNPq Educação, Sociedade e Região

Editora responsável:

Terciane Luchese

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