Educação e Pesquisa
versión impresa ISSN 1517-9702
GONDRA, José G.. Sowing the future: hygiene and childhood in the 19th century. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2000, vol.26, n.1, pp. 99-117. ISSN 1517-9702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-97022000000100008.
This paper presents a reflection and analysis of the construction of the idea of childhood in Brazil. Religion, science, progress, industry, commerce and civilization are some of the signs that have been part of the shaping and construction of this concept within the Brazilian context. In face of the complexity of the issue, and of the proliferation of discourses about childhood, only one of them is examined here, a considerably influential discourse in the 19th century that rests upon an alliance between regenerating and civilizing. That formula, whose legitimacy was built inside the medical profession, determined that this work should focus the Medical School of Rio de Janeiro (FMRJ), one of the places where the issue of childhood was present throughout the 19th century. With a view to analyze the representations made about childhood, part of the academic production of the Medical School of Rio de Janeiro was examined, specially the doctoral theses. Apart from that, judicious use was made of the proceedings of the First Brazilian Congress on the Protection of Childhood, and of the ensemble of theses from the First National Conference on Education, in an attempt to indicate the continuity of childhood as a theme in the medical discourse, the emphasis on the need of its hygiene, and certain displacements of representations.
Palabras llave : History of education; Childhood; Hygiene; School education.