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Revista Brasileira de Educação

versão impressa ISSN 1413-2478versão On-line ISSN 1809-449X

Rev. Bras. Educ. vol.21 no.67 Rio de Janeiro out./dez. 2016

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-24782016216744 

ARTICLES

Normalcy, diversity and alterity in the history of the Instituto Nacional de Surdos

JOSÉ ANCHIETA DE OLIVEIRA BENTES1 

MARIA CRISTINA PIUMBATO INNOCENTINI HAYASHI2 

1Universidade Estadual do Pará, Belém, PA, Brazil

2Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil

ABSTRACT

The analysis of diachronic changes in special education, specifically the Instituto Nacional de Surdos (INES), installed in the state of Rio de Janeiro, since its foundation in 1857 until the early twenty-first century are the main focus of this article. The concepts of normalcy, diversity and alterity are problematized guided by the search for answers for understanding the attitudes to the individuals considered different and that interfering in deaf education today. The theoretical perspective in this text is aligned with the socio-cultural disability studies that questioning the discursive perspectives of normality and abnormality of bodies that underlies much of what it says, what it does, and what it wants with the education of disabled people, particularly of deaf people. The results indicate that the discourse of diversity is still predominant, but also there are already apparent claims and actions that lead to alterity.

KEYWORDS normalcy; diversity; alterity; Instituto Nacional de Surdos

INTRODUCTION

This paper analyzes diachronic changes that have occurred in Special Education, and specifically at the Instituto Nacional de Surdos (INES) [Brazil's National Institute for the Deaf], in Rio de Janeiro State. This history, from the entity's founding in 1857 until the early twenty-first century, focuses on the concepts that influenced attitudes toward the "other" and the education of people with disabilities. It recognizes that the events of the past help us to understand differing attitudes towards those who are "different" and to understand education of the deaf today.

This diachronic profile of the attitudes towards the "other" was based on the following questions: What led to the foundation of the INES in the nineteenth century in Brazil? What pedagogical subjects were part of the curricular structure of deaf education at INES? Is it true that for a century the INES prohibited the use of sign language in deaf education? How were the discourses that supported integrated and inclusionary education in this institution developed? The main question was: What attitudes were taken towards individuals considered to be different? This question will be answered by means of three categories of analysis: normality, diversity and the perspective of alterity.

Various types of sources were used for the documental analysis including legislation published in Official Gazettes, unpublished historiographical documents consulted at INES and in the Public Archives of the state of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the extensive scientific literature on the subject.

The article begins with a brief conceptual exploration of normality, diversity and alterity, categories of analysis that guide possible attitudes toward the different individual. It then presents a diachronic view of the history of deaf education in the context of Special Education, focusing on the creation of INES, an institution that became a cornerstone in the teaching of deaf persons in the country and it concludes with some final reflections on the theme.

CONCEPTUAL EXPLORATION

According to Davis (2006), the concept of normality, currently understood to mean not having physical or mental disabilities, was established in the first half of the nineteenth century to establish a standard for human beings. The term arose with the advent of eugenics and middle-class values under capitalism. Silva (2000, p. 83) affirms that normality implies the "arbitrary election of a specific identity",1 imposed by a particular social group as the only valid option for all individuals, which places at the margins of society individuals who do not fit the standard established for the body.

The fundamental characteristic of this ideology, which implies an attitude, is that of making the "other normal". Therefore, normalizing attitudes are those that massacre, dominate and classify the other pathologically, understanding that a cure is the main objective in the treatment of the individual. What is valued is the normal individual, with no deviations, who fits the established patterns, within the measures, imposing a single standard for a perfect body, with a single sexuality, essential qualities and measures, with the fashion industry responsible for promoting and establishing these values. According to this attitude, people should strive to fit into this pattern for the body, for beauty, and for the hegemonic human being. The objective of this ideology is to establish a perfect body that serves the interests of the dominant elite. Its biggest supporters were Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874) and Francis Galton (1822-1911).

The second concept that implies another attitude toward the "other" is diversity. We can date its origin from the Enlightenment thesis of equality for all, which led to the American Revolution (1776) and to the French Revolution (1789) in the eighteenth century. This perspective reached its apogee in the twentieth century with so-called post-modernity. This ideology grew stronger with the bourgeois principles of equality, liberty and solidarity, which stifled inequalities of class, gender and race existing in capitalist societies. According to Davis (2013, p. 3), the ideology of normality was replaced by diversity, when it was proclaimed that "everyone is equal, despite the superficial differences of race, class or gender". The "other" came to be accepted as a guest, not in his or her identity - which continues to be rejected -, but as someone who must be immobilized, who must fit within the established standards of normality, which Skliar (2003) calls the "hostile guest".

It can be said that the main characteristics of diversity are the concealment of the process of domination or violence, using a discourse of recognition and appreciation of differences among people by suspending the previous attitude of normalizing individuals. Behind this discourse of behavioral change is the intention to turn this guest - to use Skliar's term (idem) - into a consumer. This individual will have access to a school environment that presents the discourse that there "there cannot be different types of people" and that "each individual can adapt in order to learn and be creative" (González, 2002, p. 98). The watchwords are "tolerance" and "equal rights", to not segregate individuals who are different. For Sassaki (1997, p. 17), the principles are "the celebration of differences, the right to belong, appreciation of human diversity, humanitarian solidarity, equal importance of minorities and citizenship as quality of life". The discourses are based on some key terms, such as equality, acceptance and "being different" and identity is tolerated, or as Skliar (2003, p. 132) affirms: "You are detestable, but I, being generous, will allow you to continue to live."

The third concept, which implies a different attitude toward the "other", is alterity. According to Giorgio Agamben (2012, p. 5), in Latin there were two terms to express what is now the term alterity "allos (lat. alius) is generic alterity or gender alterity; heteros (lat. alter) is alterity as an opposition between two, that is, heterogeneity". At least two philosophers stand out who considered alterity as a central element in their theory: Martin Buber (2012) with the work I and Thou - written in 1923 - and Mikhail Bakhtin (2010) with the work Toward a Philosophy of the Act - written in 1924. Therefore, alterity is characterized as a non-self-sufficiency of the individual's identity, since the "I" has no isolated existence: there is always a dependence on the other to constitute the "I, which is incomplete and lives always on the border of the "I-other", which requires conviviality and reciprocity. As Buber (2012) affirmed, identity, the "I", is grounded in the encounter between two partners, in reciprocity and mutual confirmation, which assumes the essence of encounter, of dialogue, in the I-You relationship. Thus, the key terms of this relation are donation, involvement, truth, encounter, and authenticity. Moreover, alterity can be considered as the base from which the "self is able to apprehend the other in the fullness of his or her dignity, rights, and, above all, his or her difference" (Betto, 2000, p. 8). People with disabilities are recognized to have an identity, and according to Davis (2013, p. 9), "The disability is an identity, a way of life and not merely a violation of a medical normality".

Below, based on documentary analysis of literature in the field, we present some diachronic changes that occurred in deaf education in the context of Special Education.

DEAF EDUCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

Discourses on deaf education became more prominent in the eighteenth century. According to Davis (1995b), these discourses practically did not appear before this century because there were no schools for the deaf and mute, and, in this regard, it should be mentioned that the term deaf-mute was used since the foundation of the National School for Deaf-Mutes of both sexes, in 1857, until the current denomination of the National Institute for Education of the Deaf (INES) in 1957. The reason for the removal of the term "mute" is the understanding that deaf people could acquire the ability to use the oral form of language - and that there were no written records that showed a concern for this category. According to Davis (idem, p. 82), "there was no discourse about deafness, no public policy for deafness, no educational institutions - and therefore the deaf were not constructed as a group".

This lack of schools would prevent the further promotion of a sign language. The teaching of sign language to the deaf began to be promoted in the second half of the 18th century with the founding in 1760 of the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets [National Institute for Deaf-Mutes], which in 1791 was transformed into the Institut National des Jeunes Sourds de Paris [The National Institute for Young Deaf in Paris] by Abbe Charles Michel de l'Epée (1712 - 1789). In addition to this institution for deaf people, the Institution Royale des Jeunes Aveugles (Royal Institute for Blind Youth) was founded, in 1791, by Valentin Haüy (1745-1822).

The establishment of these institutions, and other events, gave rise to what is now known as special education, including the studies conducted by Dr. Jean Marc Gaspard Itard (1774-1838), who was regarded as the founder of this discipline and father of special education due to his reports about a "wild boy from Aveyron", who was considered to be a deaf-mute (Itard, 2001).

Dr. Itard tried to stimulate the boy, whom he named Victor, to develop a social life, and taught him to speak and perform basic tasks such as eating off plates with cutlery. It seems that he succeeded in teaching him some "basic living skills, but [the boy] never became "normal" (Smith, 2008, p. 32). Today, these skills are known as skills of daily life - the term Daily Living Activities (DLA) "covers all the most frequent activities carried out by an individual, which are related to the family, to daily chores, to routine, to human needs, to independence and the use of time" (Ayuso, 2007, p. 269).

The question raised is: why in Europe, during the 18th century, were some clerics (abade L'Epèe), educators (Valentin Haüy) and doctors (Gaspard Itard) interested in this field of study known as special education? To find the answer it is necessary to return to some philosophical questions that were prominent in the 18th century, such as: Does thought precede language? and Can a human being exist without language? The answers given to these questions relate to the historical context of 18th century, when reading activities were reinforced by the growth of literacy, which rose with the spread of printed texts and the consolidation of the "novel" as a discursive genre (Davis, 1995a). According to this author: "Part of that difference has to do with the fact that to become readers, people in the eighteenth century had to become deaf, at least culturally speaking" (idem, p. 62).

Another explanation, this time to explain the origin of the Church's concern for the education of the deaf, is that it was necessary to save a soul that did not know religion. Thus, sign language, which was used in medieval monasteries, may be related to the religious idea of imitating the martyrdom of early Christians, who took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, associated with social isolation, ascetic life, fasting, hard work and silence. This silence "had the function of erasing the memories of the previous life", given that "contact with the mundane contaminated the soul" (Reily, 2007, p. 312).

The foundation of these two schools for deaf-mute and blind people can also be explained by the dominant ideology of that time, which summarized all approaches - Enlightenment thinking. These ideas were developed by bourgeois theorists including Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, D'Alembert, Rousseau and Adam Smith, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and synthesized various philosophic traditions, intellectual currents and religious attitudes. According to Cotrim (2000), the Enlightenment established that all people were equal before the law, despite economic differences; that all individuals had the personal and social freedom to conduct their business, and considered the limitation of the trading and sale of goods to people of the same religion to be irrational. All people would have the right to hold private property. This ideology understood that human progress was made possible by scientific and technological achievements, among which the printing press was vital, since it "freed the world from spell, myths, imagination" (idem, p. 182).

The Enlightenment ideal also contributed to the creation of the first special schools. In the case of the deaf, religious organizations took the initiative to educate them in Europe. According to Braddock and Parish (2001), in 1620 the cleric Juan Pablo Bonet (1573-1633), published the first study on deafness, "Summary of the letters and the art of teaching speech to the mute", in Madrid. In Germany, pastor Samuel Heinicke (1727-1790) founded the first schools for deaf people. He is credited with the creation of the "German method" of oralization for the deaf, which did not allow the use of signs. The central premise of this method was called oralism - in opposition to the French method, developed by L'Epèe.

The intent to educate by using gestures, and provide a profession, marks the beginning of the implementation of ideals such as "equality", religiosity, and the consideration of these individuals as part of society, with the right to be educated and literate.

In addition to this explicit cultural fact, special education, particularly that of deaf people, was influenced at its beginnings by religious interests. In the 18th century, there was a gradual spread of residential schools for deaf-mute and blind people (Braddock; Parish, 2001). On behalf of a religious institution, residential schools were created for the education of deaf people, with the creation of pedagogies and specific methods to help these people learn to write.

THE FOUNDATION OF INES AND THE FIRST CURRICULUM SUBJECTS

The institutionalization of a special education system began in Brazil with the foundation of the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in 1854, and the foundation of the National School for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes in 1857. Solange Rocha (2009) clarifies that the INES had the following sequence of names:

  1. from 1856 until 1857 it was called The National School for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes;

  2. from 1857 to 1858 - The Imperial Institute for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes;

  3. from 1858 to 1865 - The Imperial Institute of Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes

  4. from 1865 to 1874 - it remained The Imperial Institute for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes;

  5. from 1874 to 1890 it was the Institute for Deaf-Mutes;

  6. from 1890 to 1957 - The National Institute for Deaf-Mutes;

  7. and since 1957 - The National Institute for Deaf Education.

Care for people "outside the normal range" began in Brazil, according to Jannuzzi (2004, p. 9), at the Holy Houses of Mercy in the nineteenth century. A law from 1828 established the creation of the "foundling turn boxes" to take in "children with an abnormality, or whose guardians did not want them or were unable to raise them for various reasons".

Jannuzzi (2004) explains that the creation of the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, now known as the Instituto Benjamin Constant (IBC), was due both to the influence of José Francisco Xavier Sigaud, a personal doctor of both Emperor Pedro II and José Álvares de Azevedo. The latter was a young blind man who studied from 10 to 16 years old at the Institute of Blind Boys of Paris from 1844 until 1850, and upon returning to Brazil in 1851, at just 17, translated the work of French author J. Guadet2, "The Institute of the Blind Boys of Paris: its history and teaching method. When the imperial doctor learned about the book, he contacted the translator and asked him to teach his daughter Adele Marie Louise, who was also blind, how to read and write.

José Álvares Azevedo was a great promoter of the Braille System and as he was interested in creating a school for blind youth in Brazil, his ideals converged with those of Dr. Sigaud, and both obtained the Emperor's support for this purpose, which resulted in the foundation of the Imperial Institute for Blind Boys on September 17, 1854. Unfortunately, José Álvares de Azevedo died six months before its founding, and Sigaud was named as the first principal of the Institute (Lemos, 2003).

Meanwhile, the National School for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes - the first name of INES - was founded upon the visit to Brazil, between 1850 and 1855, of Edouard Hüet (1822-1882), the first administrator and teacher of the deaf in Brazil. This French nobleman, who became deaf when he was 12 years old - probably due to measles - was a former student of the National Institute for the Deaf in Paris and when he came to Rio de Janeiro he was presented to Emperor D. Pedro II with a letter of recommendation from the French Minister of Education, which mentioned his interest in founding a school for the deaf in Brazil (Jannuzzi, 2004; Oviedo 2007; Perlin, 2002; Pinto 2007). In addition to the letter, "Hüet seems to even have had a personal relationship with the Emperor", because "his name was given to Hüet' second son, and some say the boy was the Emperor's God son" (Oviedo, 2007, p. 3).

All of the currently known information indicate that the actions of an oralized deaf man and his friendship with the Emperor led to the formation of a commission "with important personalities from the empire to promote the creation of a school for the education of deaf people" (Rocha, 1997, p. 5). The creation of the National School for Deaf-Mutes represented the first recognition by government that these people have the right to education. With the creation of the school, the deaf became less invisible to society.

Excerpts from a letter of Hüet to the Brazilian Emperor (Oviedo, 2008, p. 1) indicated the conditions for admission to the Institute, the duration of the student's stay and the subjects to be taught:

3) A scholarship will be available to any deaf-mute person between seven - and sixteen-years-old who has a vaccination certificate. 4) The duration of studies is six full years. 5) Eight hours are devoted to lessons and four hours to manual labor, distributed so as to serve as leisure and distraction between studies. 6) the main subjects for study are history, catechism, arithmetic, geography, theoretical and practical agriculture and especially the common language, which for the deaf and mute is the most difficult knowledge to acquire.

The subjects present in Hüet's teaching program at the School were: "Portuguese, arithmetic; geography; history of Brazil; commercial bookkeeping; articulated language (for those who are capable); lip-reading and Christian doctrine" (Rocha, 1997, p. 5). It can be seen that at the beginning there was a concern for teaching school subjects. According to Pinto (2006, p. 4), these subjects had "the objective of spreading and unifying the national language, propagating religion, the teaching of reading and writing, as well as morals linked to the views of the aristocratic classes". At that time, the method was individual: "regardless if it was only one student or a group of students. The teacher paid attention to one student at a time" (Rocha, 2007, p. 25). Classes took place from 10:00 to 12:00 a.m. and from 15:00 to 17:00 p.m. and the course lasted for five years and did not intend to provide a ranking of students.

To draw a parallel between what was taught at the time of the empire at the Institute for Deaf-Mutes and at the Institute for the Blind - now known as INES - which offered an eight-year course at the time it was founded, we find that

In the first three years: reading, writing, calculutions including decimal fractions, music and mechanical arts adapted to the age and strength of the boys. Reading includes the teaching of catechism. In the fourth year: national grammar, French, arithmetic, elementary principles of geography, music and mechanical skills. From the fifth year, in addition to the subjects of the preceding year, there was the teaching of plane and rectilinear geometry; ancient, middle and modern history and geography; and an explanatory reading of the Gospels. In the final year: national history and geography and the improvement of music and mechanical work for which the students had shown greater ability. (Instituto Benjamin Constant, 2007, p. 80)

In this case, Hüet's method included the use of fingerspelling signs to develop acquisition of the written language and lip reading "for those who are capable" (Rocha, 1997, p. 5), that is, it worked with the acquisition of words using the alphabet made with the hands, and those who had some residual hearing would develop the oral, articulated language.

According to Oviedo (2007, p. 3), the first students were submitted to public evaluations, and "the institute began with seven students, who were taught using French Sign Language and Hüet proposed to teach them in Portuguese. Two years after the start of the classes, the students were able to present themselves to the public examiners". Few students attended the classes: there were seven boys aged 7-17, six of them were "supported by the Emperor, the convent and the monastery, and one by his own family" (Rocha, 1997, p. 6).

Deaf students learned the signs of French Sign Language and were taught the fingerspelling alphabet to both write in Portuguese and for help with pronunciation. From the beginning, there was a polemic between teaching written content with some permission to use signs, or teaching students to oralize, read lips and pronounce words.

Hüet directed the Imperial Institute for Deaf-Mutes of Both Sexes from its foundation, in 1857 until 1861. One reason given for his departure, provided by Rocha (1997), was marital and financial conflicts, as well as personal intrigues with the Marquis of Olinda. A second complementary version is given by Oviedo (2007), who affirmed that Hüet accepted an invitation to found a school for the deaf in Mexico. Meanwhile, Jannuzzi (2004, p. 4) affirmed that Hüet had been hired by the government and when his contract expired he "sold his rights to the Institute to the Imperial Government for 2: 744$680 (2 contos, 744 mil e 680 réis3)".

CHANGES IN THE COURSES RELATED TO THE ACQUISITION OF WRITING

When Hüet left the school, changes took place in the subjects that the Institute had been working with. In 1867, the subject of lip reading was removed and the subjects reading of written texts, elementary geometry, line drawing, French and accounting were added. The teaching of Portuguese, geography and Christian doctrine were maintained, all of which were related to the acquisition of writing (Rocha, 1997).

The period when the teaching of writing was predominant lasted until 1871. In this year, the teaching of orality was reintroduced to the deaf students most capable of this skill. In 1873, the regiment was changed to replace the subject lip reading, which used a group repeater to "watch and then repeat the lessons of the teacher; accompany [the students], stay overnight; correct the exercises, substitute teachers; and help the deaf student to speak" (idem, p. 7).

With the change in the program, the concept of vocational education was established, which lasted more than one hundred years until 1996 when the National Education Guidelines and Framework Law (Brasil, 1996) was enacted. This meant that students should learn a trade, and a subject directed to the acquisition of a skill was included in the Institute.

This occurred due to the needs of and changes in the labor market, which had reflections in the education field. The implementation of vocational education in public institutions, similar to what occurred at the National Institute of Deaf-Mutes, was related to the view that, while middle and upper class youth would be steered towards the university, lower class students would be prepared for a profession.

The school principal from 1868-1896, Tobias Leite, who was appointed by Benjamin Constant, a republican leader who was director of the Institute for the Blind, took the initiative to implement agricultural education and "for this, he ordered preparing land adjacent to the Institute's garden for a small horticultural plot where students could learn agricultural activities, providing the basis for future economic activity" (Rocha, 2007, p. 40).

In the case of the deaf-mutes, the profession encouraged during the administration of Tobias Leite (1868-1896) was agriculture, because he understood

the goal was not to form literate men. Since they were from low economic classes, it would be better to offer them agricultural education considering the characteristics of Brazil and as a medical doctor, he argued that rural life was healthier for the deaf. In the cities there was only the profession of tradesman or factory work, which, according to him, made them vulnerable to exploitation by cruel heads of workshops or businessmen. In the countryside, with a quieter life, they would be protected. (Rocha, 2009, p. 49)

It was understood that the deaf should have a profession and become productive human beings, and enter the labor market, even if this meant being exploited with low wages, having no critical awareness of the work done and being limited to a single choice, in this case, agricultural work.

Later, in the period from 1871 to 1910, and due to the departure of Tobias Leite, the teaching of the oral modality (for those capable) writing, and professionalization were strengthened. To do so, in 1873 a teacher who stood out for his accomplishments with the oralization of deaf became responsible for teaching articulated language. This was the highly regarded professor Cândido Jucá (1865-1929), who worked at the Deaf and Mute Institute and at the Pedro II School, and became known for his phonetic knowledge and the ability to develop a capacity for lip-reading among his deaf students. According Rocha (idem, p. 52),

Jucá was quite bold in relation to language teaching at his time. [...] He reversed the process and began with the phrase to teach language. The success of his work was recorded in the Journal of Commerce on December 5, 1898. Reportedly, in the presence of Minister Epitácio Pessoa, a student named Laurindo repeated a poem of Casimiro de Abreu, by reading the teacher's lips.

It was Cândido Jucá who re-established teaching the subject of articulated language, taught to students "who displayed aptitude for this" (Rocha, 1997, p. 13) and which, therefore, was not offered to all the students of the Institute.

The post-Hüet age, influenced by Tobias Leite and Cândido Jucá in the Brazilian Imperial Institute for Deaf-Mutes of both Sexes, seems to have combined the principles of normality and diversity in education for the deaf, particularly with the removal and subsequent return of the discipline lip reading, imposing the oral modality for the most capable.

THE PURE ORAL METHOD

The teaching of classes in articulated language, established by Decree 6.892 of 03/12/1908, intensified the debate over the subject of written language. The dispute between these two subjects lasted two years and the subject of written language lost ground with a new Decree, number 9.198/1910, which in its ninth Article stated: "The pure oral method should be adopted in all subjects" (idem, ibidem). Thus, the phase of oralism became official.

This phase of "pure" oralism officially lasted for nine years, from 1911 to 1920, when the use of signs for teaching was prohibited. Skliar, Massone & Veinberg (1995, p. 14) define oralism based on negative features of the deaf:

Education becomes eminently a therapeutic issue, the goal of the curriculum is to give the individual what he lacks: hearing and its derivative - speech. The deaf are considered to be sick persons who can be rehabilitated, and the pedagogical intents are exclusively rehabilitative practices derived from medical diagnosis whose purpose is solely orthopedic speech.

The pure oral method was adopted under the influence of the Milan Congress. At this event held in Italy from September 6 to 11, 1880, there was a vote in which deaf teachers, who were in the minority, were defeated by the majority of teachers with hearing, which led to the approval of the oral mode at the expense of sign language in deaf education (Sá, 1999). The prohibition of the use of sign language gave rise to what became known as oralism.

This historic event sustained an oppressive representation of the deaf community worldwide since it banned the use of sign language. According to Skliar, this oppressive period lasted for 100 years, from 1880 until 1980, when the prohibition of sign language would be reversed.

One example of a program with the subject articulated language was that developed by professor Manoel Dantas Sobrinho, in 1913, which included "imitative and progressive grammar; synthetic lip reading; education of the sight; education of touch; preparation of the respiratory organs; preparation of the articulatory organs of speech and actions to help the deaf student to speak" (Rocha, 1997, p. 14).

This period when the pure oral method was given greatest emphasis, was characterized by the attitude of normalizing deaf individuals.

ORAL AND SILENT DEPARTMENTS

Beginning with the administration of the otologists Dr. Armando Lacerda and Mr. Henrique Mercaldo (1930-1947), the competition resumed between subjects with different methods of teaching the deaf. Two departments were created in the National Institute for Deaf-Mutes, the Oral Department and the Silent Department. The existence of the Silent Department at INES can be seen as an effort contrary to the prohibition of the use of sign language and the so-called 100 years of uninterrupted oralism.

Under the administration of Dr. Armando Lacerda, in 1931, the poet Cecília Meirelles visited the Institute and published in her Páginas da Educação [Pages of Education] in the newspaper Diário de Notícias (Daily News) (Meireles, 1931, p. 7) an article that explained the function of these two departments:

The first was divided into two subsections: the oral, only labial, which included articulated language and lip reading, aimed at the completely deaf with normal intelligence who enrolled before age 9, and at semi-mutes who are not congenital; the acoustic-oral, aimed at the semi-deaf. The second, which included written language, is designed for those with retarded intelligence and for deaf children admitted after age 9. In this department, an attempt is made to substitute mimicry, which is a spontaneous means of communication of the deaf-mute, with, finger spelling, which is a conventional means. This is truly very difficult, given the speed of the so-called 'mimicry contamination', through which in a few hours the deaf-mute begin to communicate with each other by this instinctive and poor means.

The explicit comparison between normal intelligence and retarded intelligence is noteworthy. Another point is the characterization of sign language, which is presented as spontaneous, contaminating, instinctive and inadequate.

Therefore, the normalist characterizations made of the students by the Institution are emphasized, since "The first [oral] involved articulated language and lip reading and was aimed at the profoundly deaf with normal intelligence [...] The second [silent] comprised written language for those with retarded intelligence" (Rocha, 1997, p. 17).

Rocha (2007, p. 69-70) points out other characterizations of the Institute, indicating that until the mid-1930s at the Institute,

There were no individual desks, but a long rectangular table with seats for eight students. A 'repeater' stood at one of the sides repeating the lessons given by the most senior teacher. The focus was the development of language and teaching was not organized in subjects. Teacher Lea described an activity of the 'repeater': the senior teacher gave us daily instructions to teach, for example, the name of the most commonly used objects, pronouns and the verbs.

EMENDATORY PEDAGOGY

The teacher's role, therefore, focused on work with the introduction of grammatical elements: the teacher and the repeater worked with the parts of speech. In the example given by Rocha (idem), what is perceived is the intent that all parts of speech would be learned by the student, understanding that in this way they would appropriate words.

This period that began in 1930 sought to "emend" the deaf. The policy to attend so-called abnormal people was named emendatory teaching: "The expression emendatory, from the Latin word emendare, means to correct an error, remove a defect, [...] eliminating faults caused by an abnormality to adapt the student to the social level of the normal" (Jannuzzi, 2004, p. 70). In the ideological model of abnormality, emendatory teaching considered hearing impairment to be associated only to the speech organs, with the prohibition of the use of gestures in the classroom.

This ideology was based on the idea that "there will always be a diversity [of deaf people], subsets of points on the surface of a graph that charts audiometric differences - a difference below amounts indicated by the bell curve" (Souza; Gallo, 2002, p. 41).

Emendatory teaching was institutionalized, according to Jannuzzi (2004, p. 108), by Decree-Law 20.826/1931, which designated students as physically abnormal (weak, blind, deaf and mute), abnormal behavior (delinquents, perverts, addicts) and abnormal intelligence, "advising [the creation of] special schools for some of these deficiencies". This institutionalization meant, in the case of the deaf, the centralization of the teaching practice used to develop oral language abilities and provide professional skills, institutionalizing roles to be accomplished by special education teachers, who must be rehabilitators of speech.

The work of the specialized teacher, the agent of emendatory teaching at that time, was based on various diagnoses, which were conducted by various specialists who established an efficient form of treatment. This diagnostic work was similar to that done by a health specialist in a Speech Rehabilitation Center.

The probable justification for the implementation of emendatory schools and rehabilitation centers was the demand related to the "need to be able to write and count to occupy the new jobs in industry or to live in cities where these industries were generally located" (idem, p. 80). Schools and public and private rehabilitation clinics sought to emend the disabled so they could work in industry.

The installment of Ana Rímoli Doria as administrator of INES in 1951, where she remained until 1961, represented the height of emendatory teaching in Brazil. According to Doria, "the mechanics of speech should be taught to children before any other notion or knowledge; only after reasonable mastery of this will the other notions that are part of the primary school curriculum be presented" (Doria, 1961, p. 207). The pedagogical process used at the time therefore took into account,

the results of psychological tests, level of intelligence, the limitation of hearing ability, general inherited conditions, the special situation of the scope of deafness, the physical situation, accessibility to training, education, visual tests, kinetic reactions, the child's sense of rhythm and the environment in which she lives, especially because the absence of one of these elements can seriously harm her progress. (idem, p. 313-314)

TEACHER TRAINING AND DEAF EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

There were few schools dedicated to education of the deaf before 1950, and most were located in Brazil's southeast region. According to Rocha (2009), INES's activities were only decentralized in 1950 with the establishment of a four-year course for teacher training, specialization courses for education of the deaf and the National Literacy Campaign that would result in the creation of schools in other regions of the country, where there was need and where there were trained teachers. These actions implemented during the administration of Ana Rímoli were interrelated: teachers were prepared to work in the schools created in the states under the campaigns for education for the deaf.

While the Institute promoted these training initiatives, it also underwent internal changes. The main change related to its name from the National Institute for Deaf-Mutes to the National Institute for the Deaf in 1957, the year when the Institute celebrated its 100th anniversary (Rocha, 2007). The name change was related to the discourse that deaf people were not mute, indicating that they could be oralized and lose their silence.

Campaigns, not only for the deaf, but for the blind and mentally handicapped, served as state propaganda for the system for education and rehabilitation of the disabled, in an effort to engage volunteers, collect donations and encourage schooling.

The following campaigns were conducted: Education of the Brazilian Deaf (Campanha de Educação do Surdo Brasileiro - CESB, after 1957); the National Campaign for Education and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired (Campanha Nacional de Educação e Reabilitação do Deficiente Visual - CNERDV, in 1958); and the National Campaign for Education and Rehabilitation of the Mentally Handicapped (Campanha Nacional de Educação e Reabilitação dos Deficientes Mentais - CADEME, in 1960), according to Jannuzzi (2004). These campaigns were implemented between 1956 and 1961, during the government of President Juscelino Kubitschek, and led to the creation of numerous schools for the deaf throughout Brazil.

As Jannuzzi (idem, p. 90) explains, "the campaigns were terminated by the federal government in 1963." This was the eve of the military dictatorship that took control of the country in 1964, and as Hayashi and Vicino (2007) affirm, the military government promoted the repression of organized movements and torture of regime opponents who questioned the development model favoring the bourgeoisie, along with the entry of foreign capital and the installation of basic industries. Thus popular movements were quenched and literacy campaigns were implemented by the military regime. As Coelho and Hayashi (2011) explain, the education financing agreements signed between the military government and the U.S. Agency for International Development covered the entire Brazilian education system, including primary, secondary and college education and influenced administration, planning and the training of teachers and technicians, as well as the production and distribution of technical books and textbooks.

After the second half of the 1960s, deaf education and the training of teachers to work in the new special schools was promoted, including one in Pará, the Special School Astério de Campos. One of the slogans of the Campaign for Brazilian Deaf Education had the following message: "Child or adult. Any mute person will speak. Take him or her to a specialized teacher. She will learn by modern teaching means. The teacher will make her happy!" (Rocha, 2007, p. 97). The teacher's role was explicit: to have the deaf speak and moreover, to make him or her happy through the teaching of speech. This was based on the normalizing generalization that affirms that only people who are happy speak and to be deaf is to be unhappy. This opinion is also implicit in the Brazilian Deaf Anthem, composed by Ana Rímoli in partnership with Astério de Campos (Rocha, 2009, p. 75-76):

In our country we want

Redemption for the deaf;

Let us bring to all the deaf

The light of Education.

No more old-fashioned teaching

Simply with the fingers;

With an advanced process,

We will save our brothers!

Oh! those who learn are happy

Even if they cannot hear;

With their eyes, they understand speech,

With Hope in the Future!

The mute can speak:

They are certainly our equals.

They understand by looking:

The deaf do not lack a voice.

Onwards, Masters, onward!

With joyful pride,

Let us strive ceaselessly,

For the Brazilian deaf!

School combats Pain,

Fills the Spirit with Light.

Education is the Light of Love;

We love as did Jesus!

Those who struggle for education,

Under a blue sky,

Work with the heart

For the people of Brazil!

The anthem was created in 1961 to strengthen the Brazilian Campaign for Deaf Education, and in its lyrics the term deaf-mute no longer appears, only deaf. It also promoted modern as opposed to antiquated teaching methods - Simply with the fingers - in other words, what would help the deaf to speak was not the use of fingers, but the use of the mouth, the symbol of speech. This is the understanding of the Campaign: the prohibition of sign language that must be substituted for oral language. Moreover, as Nascimento (2002, p. 64) commented, the Deaf Anthem is "a discursive jewel, which reveals the imposition of the language of those with hearing over that of the deaf, not only through materiality (what is said), but through its irony, that is, an anthem that would never be heard by the deaf".

This implies that the main goal of deaf education continued to be guided by the search for treatments that would eliminate abnormalities, disease, degeneration and defects, which should be overcome by "adapting students to the social level of the normal" (Januzzi, 2004, p. 97). A demonstration of the combination of education and medical care were some practices that took place in special schools where there were wards for applying dressings, injections, vaccinations, for conducting clinical laboratory exams and audiometry, as well as physical therapy (idem).

The emendatory perspective was implemented in the country until the late 1960s.

TOTAL COMMUNICATION

In the 1960s, the signs spoken by the deaf began to have the status of a language and had their grammar described by linguistic studies conducted at Gallader University in the United States by William Stokoe (1919-2000), who described the structure of American Sign Language (ALS). Stokoe (1978) established three main parameters of analysis: hand configuration, movement and point of articulation, which made possible a phonetic, morphological and syntactic transcription considering these parameters. These descriptive studies gave greater visibility to Sign Language and supported the emergence of total communication in de 1970s and bilingualism in the 1980s.

Total communication came at a time of promotion of what was known as the integration policy. This policy was presented in 1959 by Bank Mikkelsen director of the Service for the Handicapped in Denmark, where the law recognized the principle of "normalization", understood as "the possibility for people with mental disabilities to develop a lifestyle as normal as possible" (Rodrigues. 2010, p. 16). Later, in 1959, this principle was theorized by Bengt Nirge (1969), director of the Swedish Association for Disabled Children. Thus, "normalization" was extended to other countries in Europe and North America and in 1972 it arrived in Canada with the publication of the first book on the subject (Wolfensberger, 1972), which helped promote this concept worldwide. Among Nirge's goals was to offer conditions for living, work, education and leisure as "normal and close as possible of that for all citizens" (Martins, 1999, p. 135). Its creators defended that normalization was a goal to be achieved and integration a method of action for reaching the required normalization.

In Brazil, the lead promoter of these models was teacher Ivete Vasconcelos, who learned these methods during travel to the United States Rocha (1997). The early stimulation model was introduced officially in INES in 1975 with activities to provide sensory stimulation to speech and hearing. The total communication model was characterized by the use of all possible forms of communication, including what was called Signed Portuguese, to work with the structure of Brazilian Portuguese, using the lexicon of sign language. In practice it meant the discharacterization of the two languages, both Portuguese and sign language, because the structural possibilities of the former were not fixed and once again the context was not considered, and sign language was treated as a mere source of vocabulary.

The implementation of total communication led to acceptance of the concomitant use of two modalities, as long as it did not consider the deaf form of expresson as a language, with all the grammatical components. It was as if the deaf must give up their way of communicating in favor of a dominant structure, the oral form of Brazilian Portuguese. Here we have the attitude of diversity - the deaf individual uses signs in a syntactic structure with greater prestige, Brazilian Portuguese, threatening the syntactic structure of sign language.

In theory, integration was based on the principle of normalization or mainstreaming, as Sassaki explained (1997, p. 32), it meant "taking the students as close as possible to the available educational services in the mainstream of the community", that is, place them in the regular school.

According to Pereira (1998), the integrationist policy was focused on the special education teacher who should serve the disabled student. This service could take place at the school in special classes or remedial classes, or in special schools. In all cases, the goal was to remedy the students' difficulties and prepare them to attend regular classes.

From the 1980s, according to Martins (1999), with the criticism that under the integration concept it was the students who had to adapt to school and the special school represented a segregating environment, the paradigm of school inclusion emerged, which presupposed changes in schools.

MANUAL METHOD

Between 1982 and 1985 methodological changes began at INES.

One of the events that contributed to the promotion of Sign Language was the telenovela Sol de Verão (Summer Sun), on Brazil's leading television network Rede Globo, which presented a deaf character, played by the popular actor Tony Ramos. The television show helped society and media to gain interest in communication with gestures (Rocha 2007). This did not mean that the manual method gained predominance. That same year, INES founded its Phonetics Laboratory, which became an "advanced center of diagnosis and adaptation of the octophonic prosthesis" (idem, p. 117), best known as the hearing aid.

In 1985, with the emergence from the dictatorship and the New Republic era, Professor Lenita Oliveira Viana was named administrator of INES. She promoted countless changes in the institution, including "Promoting the first sign language courses at INES taught by Fernando Valverde and Lúcia Severo" (idem, p. 119). The political effervescence at the Institute was reflected in a debate between supporters of audiophonatory methods (without sign language), total communication and the control group, which studied the implementation of education using Brazilian Sign Language (Língua Brasileira de Sinais - LIBRAS).

Another factor that contributed to these changes was the promotion of bilingualism in Sweden, where sign language was officially accepted by the national parliament in 1981 (Wallin, 1992). This influenced linguists such as Lucinda Ferreira Brito, Eulália Fernandes and Tânia Amara Felipe, who began to promote studies of bilingual deaf education in Brazil.

From the debate between oralism, total communication and bilingualism, the bilingual proposal remained. The acquisition of oral Brazilian Portuguese was de-emphasized and Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS) became the language of instruction. Since 1993, teachers hired would teach their classes using LIBRAS, making room for the perspective of alterity, and Brazilian Portuguese came to seen as a second language.

INES also changed its curriculum to offer the same disciplines as regular schools. According Rocha (2007, p. 131), there was a "transformation of an institution whose focus had been the teaching of written and or oral language and a profession, to a school with a curriculum similar to that of regular schools, whose students are predominantly users of a language of a visual-motor and unwritten nature".

Due to all these changes and especially that in federal laws in 2006, INES created the Bilingual School of Education and offered a degree in education. This undergraduate course was bilingual (Portuguese/Brazilian Sign Language) and was offered to deaf and hearing students, promoting in a certain way a reverse inclusion, since it provided access for hearing people to study with the deaf in the special education school.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

INES is a century-old institution that initiated deaf education in Brazil. According to Rocha (1997), it was within INES that "the genesis of sign language" was established. The school institutionalized not only a communicational relationship using sign language, but also methods, teaching objects, forms of evaluation and the main discourses related to deafness and deaf people.

This indicates that the normalization of the deaf, or, in other words, the prohibition of the use of sign language, and adoption of a sole intention to heal deafness, did not occur deeply or rigorously at INES. The school cannot be characterized as a normalizing institution, since the use of signs was tolerated in several situations, especially at sporting events such as the Deaf National Olympics, when physical education teachers from the National School of Physical Education used gestural communication "taking on the responsibility to provide students with the meanings of what was being said in oral language by those with hearing" (Rocha, 2009). Another indication of INES' openness to the use of signs was the promotional film used in the campaign for Brazilian deaf education that "presents images of the institutional routine [with] the deaf communicating by using signs", as Rocha reported (idem, p. 82).

It can be observed that the normalizing attitude was replaced by a recognition of diversity. In some episodes the use of signs was allowed, as long as they were secondary to the prominent language. To a large extent LIBRAS became a mere tool for learning Brazilian Portuguese. This became more pronounced in the 1970s, when total communication methodologies were adopted: LIBRAS began to be used as a way to learn the structure of Brazilian Portuguese, particularly its written modality.

Even though the thesis of diversity seems to have been more widely promoted, it is necessary to recall that it contained the fallacious discourse that normality had terminated - that is had lost its hegemony - and that current society recognizes diversity. Thus, the current thinking is that it is enough to adopt the LIBRAS Law or enroll a deaf person in a regular school to solve the problem of difference. In fact, the curriculum continues to focus on normality, on the most intelligent, on an ideal type of student.

These positions are related to global neoliberal and postmodern policies and ideals which envision all individuals within the consumer market, and that various lifestyles and forms of expression of individuality would be accepted. The current discourse is "that everyone is equal despite superficial differences like race, class, or gender" (Davis, 2013, p. 3) and the ideological message of this discourse is that the "normal" individual no longer exists, and that what is important is to accept that we live with different types of people.

Nevertheless, in postmodernity, the most efficient continue to be chosen, and intelligence and a perfect body continue to be emphasized. People who have a physical, sensory or cognitive disability remain excluded because "according to the medical-pathological model they have no identity, they are in a a state of abjection or a condition in need of medical repair or cure" (idem, p. 8).

The discourse that considers alterity appears particularly when the manual method is considered; when the other is considered, with his or her skills and potentialities; when his or her way of speaking is respected and it gains the status of a tool for teaching and learning. LIBRAS serves not only the learning of Brazilian Portuguese, it serves, primarily to help understand the world, to intervene in this world, and, secondarily, to translate oral and written texts of Brazilian Portuguese.

1All quotations in this paper are free translations of the original in Portuguese and Spanish.

2The author and this work have been referred to in studies in the field of Special Education in Brazil as J. Dondet and its titlte translated as "History of the Institute of the Blind Boys of Paris", but, the correct name of the author is J. Guadet and the correct translation of the book title is "The Institute of the Blind Boys of Paris: its history and teaching method" (Guadet, 1851). We believe that the discrepancy is due to a misunderstanding recorded in the classic work of Jannuzzi (2004, p. 11), which has been reproduced in many texts written in Brazil. Currently, the full text of this work can be consulted online in the library known as the Biblioteca Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin (Biblioteca..., 2014), and this provides new perspectives for studies in the field of Special Education, especially for those who are interested in historical reconstruction of the field in Brazil. Another aspect that is worth investigating in greater depth is the biography of José Alvares de Azevedo. Only a short text by Lemos (2003) is available, which is found on the website of the Benjamin Constant Institute. The site reports that José Alvares de Azevedo was born in Rio de Janeiro on April 8, 1834 and died of tuberculosis (March 17, 1854), at just under twenty. About his parents, we know only the name of his father, which coincidentally is the same as the celebrated poet of the second Brazilian Romantic generation, Manoel Alvares de Azevedo (1831-1852), son of Ignacio Manuel Alvares de Azevedo. This leaves us curious to learn more about the relationship between these families. In addition, "National Braille Day" was instituted in Brazil by Law 12,266 of June 21, 2010 (Brazil, 2010), and is celebrated annually on April 8, the birth date of José Alvares de Azevedo. However, the law establishing the day of recognition makes no reference to the man considered the patron of education for the blind in Brazil.

3The first official Brazilian currency, which was used in Brazil from the early colonial period until 1942.

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Received: April 2014; Accepted: March 2015

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

José Anchieta de Oliveira Bentes has a doctorate in special education from the Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar). He is a professor at the Universidade Estadual Pará (UEPA). E-mail: anchieta2005@yahoo.com.br

Maria Cristina Piumbato Innocentini Hayashi has a doctorate in education from the Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), where she is a professor. E-mail: dmch@ufscar.br

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