Revista Brasileira de Educação
On-line version ISSN 1809-449X
GOUVEA, Maria Cristina Soares de and JINZENJI, Mônica Yumi. Education as a process of moralisation: discourses on the educability of poor children (1820-1850). Rev. Bras. Educ. [online]. 2006, vol.11, n.31, pp. 114-132. ISSN 1809-449X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-24782006000100009.
This paper analyses the discourse on the education of poor children which was present in the Province of Minas Gerais during the first decades of the 19th century. It discusses the conceptions concerning the possibilities of educating poor children and the importance of education for the creation of a civilised nation. Such children were characterised as possessing mental faculties and moral qualities different from those children from the upper classes. These differences were attibuted to by their social experience and could be corrected by school education. Thus, a school project was defined for this segment of the population based on instruction restricted to reading, writing and arithmetic and above all on moral education, the baseline for turning them into civilised adults.
Keywords : history of childhood; history of education; poor childhood.