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Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial

Print version ISSN 1413-6538On-line version ISSN 1980-5470

Rev. bras. educ. espec. vol.25 no.2 Bauru Apr./June 2019  Epub June 13, 2019 

Literature Review

Education/Specialization Courses of Teachers of the Hearing-Impaired, in Brazil and Portugal (1950-1980)

Geise de Moura FREITAS2

2PhD in Education from the Graduate Program in Education at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Professor at the Department of Basic Education of the National Institute of Education of the Deaf, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. geise19666@yahoo. ORCID:


The present paper is the result of a research that had the objective to investigate, in a comparative education perspective, educational mindsets and teacher qualification models involving the Escola Normal [Undergraduate Teacher-training School] (1951-1957) and the Cursos de Especialização de Professores de Deficientes Auditivos [Specialization Programs for Teachers of Students with Hearing Impairment] (1957-1972/1981-1985), offered by the Instituto Nacional dos Surdos-Mudos (INSM)/Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos (INES), as well as by their counterpart institutions -Instituto Jacob Rodrigues Pereira (IJRP) (1952-1956/1961-1963/1982-1984), in Portugal. This qualitative research has used as sources legislative texts, preliminary drafts, regulations, by-laws, syllabuses, student registration forms, school transcripts of ex-training-teachers, teacher employment and performance records, journals, books, manuals, work orders, reports and Campaign records found. These documents were found in the Historical Collection, INES current and permanent Archives, in Brazil, as well as in the Document Centre, Historical Collection and Library of the Cultural Centre of Casapiano and the National Library in Lisbon, Portugal. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with twelve ex-training-teachers and teachers of the investigated institutions and programs, in the light of the Oral History methodology, for it is believed to provide qualitative interpretations of historical and social processes. The research identified elements that evidenced the interplay between their similar educational mindsets and teacher qualification models in the field of teaching students with hearing impairment, that have directly or indirectly connected and intermeshed the above mentioned institutions, and reflect global realities that resulted from the way through which institutional/school agents interacted and shared knowledge, embedded in the oral history matrix, that went beyond national borders.

KEYWORDS: Special Education; Teacher qualification; Comparative education; Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos; Instituto Jacob Rodrigues Pereira

1 Presentation

This paper is the result of reflections on some of the issues that I discussed in my PhD thesis3. The theme was the teachers’ qualification and focused educational processes mobilized by different subjects and spaces, in historically situated times, in the quest to give visibility to the teacher’s work in its functional and symbolic dimensions.

Working for 25 years in the Application school (Colégio de Aplicação) at the Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos (CAp-INES), as a teacher of Basic Education, I have been working hard to implement the proposal of bilingual education, announced in 1997 in the Pedagogical Master Plan of the institution, the result of political action of a group of school agents and the influence of literature and international experiences (Freitas, 2012).

The bilingual project of the hearing-impaired education aims to put an end to the centennial perspective of deafness as deficiency, lack, pathology, based on the oralist philosophy (Soares, 1996), adopting the socio-anthropological vision that perceives the deaf subject not as deficient but as different in linguistic, cultural and political terms (Góes, 1999; Lodi & Lacerda, 2009; Quadros, 1997; Skliar, 1997, 1998), in which Sign Language (SL) is assumed as the instructional and identity language of the hearing-impaired and the official language of the country is taught as a second language.

The difficulty that I perceive in the adoption of this conception of education by a considerable part of the teaching staff, materialized in the daily pedagogical practices, which motivated my interest in the study of the qualification of teachers and in the History of School Institutions that, throughout history, is taking care of the academic credentials of teachers, narrowing their relationship with the processes of legitimizing their work (Escolano, 2000).

Under the terms of this manuscript, I try to understand how the circulation of pedagogical ideas and models of teacher qualification occurred in the Curso Normal [Undergraduate Teacher-training Course] (1951-1957) and in the Cursos de Especialização de Professores de Deficientes Auditivos [Specialization Courses for Teachers of the Hearing-Impaired] (1957-1972/1981-1985), sustained by the Instituto Nacional dos Surdos-Mudos (INSM)/Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos (INES), in Brazil, and the Instituto Jacob Rodrigues Pereira (IJRP) (1952-1956/1961-1963/1982-1984), in Portugal. I highlight the relationship they have established, seeking to go beyond the identification of similarities and differences, convergences and divergences.

The selection of the Instituto Jacob Rodrigues Pereira (IJRP) in Portugal as a comparative unit with the Brazilian institution was due to the following reasons: it is an institution with an application school, such as the INSM/INES, which invested between the 1950s and the 1980s, in the qualification of teachers to form their permanent staff, to other special schools or to special classes of regular schools, linked to a pedagogical renewal project with a national dimension.

The study retained the historical importance of these less historicized courses, which instituted and shared models of teacher education, having their theoretical and conceptual discourses founded the pedagogical practice through successive socializations of teachers and students (Dubet, 2006).

These teachers worked in Special Education4, which was built as a subarea of ​​regular education, or a modality of it, dictating the conceptual, organizational and normative elements that underlay the pedagogical practice, directly influencing the education of teachers for Special Education.

Thus, from the perspective of comparative studies, the documentary research I undertook tried to understand the occurrence of educational phenomena that unfolded in the same temporal arc between the 1950s and 1980s, which came from non-contiguous social-historical realities.

2 Theoretical reference

The comparative studies within the history of Education were based on Nóvoa’s contributions (1995, 1998), who adopted the theoretical approach of the world system, in articulation with the model of socio-historical perspectives, based on the belief system of postmodernity, which calls into question the widely disseminated idea about the autonomy of national societies and their histories.

The comparatist upturn, precipitated by the postmodernity and the phenomenon of globalization, aroused interest in the “other”. This means an investment in a historiographical operation that results from the search for historical sources that prove the thesis that local educational phenomena have been influenced by the global or transnational context in their constitutions.

This new perspective calls for a comparative operation that goes beyond the juxtapositions of educational systems and the identification of similarities and differences between the observed units, in order to broaden the researcher’s vision in the “direction of the infinitely large relative to the processes of globalization and of the infinitely small of localization phenomena” (Nóvoa, 1995, p. 2). In extension, comparative history in education becomes more concerned with the senses than with the factual description of educational phenomena.

By adopting this new configuration, comparative education begins to deal with the complexity of educational phenomena and to focus on the network of relationships interlaced by institutional subjects, their practices and their pedagogical discourses that also assume a global scale.

In the cartography of comparative education, elaborated by Nóvoa (1995), the theoretical perspective of the world system deals with the work of identifying the processes of cultural diffusion in historical reconstructions, showing the transnational interdependencies of the units compared in terms of organization and constitution of their educational systems. This approach illuminates the global dimension of aspects/phenomena that were observed only at a national level, so as to often confirm that “local events are influenced by phenomena that take place very far” (Nóvoa, 1995, p. 19).

This configuration is articulated with the approach of the socio-historical perspectives, in which the interest lies in the analysis of the historical sense of the facts, being the reality understood from its subjective nature and the senses that the subjects attribute to it, through their actions and discursive practices, so that this model of analysis is less interested in the materiality of educational facts than in the discourses/acts of social actors.

The researcher’s focus falls on the interrelationships between comparative units which in turn can evidence historical connections between them, the connected histories, meaning that these “histories are linked, connected, and communicate with one another” (Gruzinski, 2001, p. 176), deconstructing the idea that they were only developed at the national level. This means that the comparatist researcher should focus on the analysis of practices and school daily life experiences that break silences through the perception of the meanings that the institutional agents attribute to their educational actions, since they are responsible for the construction of pedagogical discourses in different times and spaces.

Thus, the research explored the dimension of these discourses in terms of the worldwide diffusion of paradigms, ideologies, knowledge, methods and models, in an exercise of historical reconstruction that “involves processes of cultural diffusion or global analysis of trans-national interdependencies” (Nóvoa, 1995, p. 18).

3 Methodology

The investigation dealt with the understanding of a complex idiographic reality, lived socially, historically and institutionally by the incarnated subjects, that is, by “real, concrete men with interests, also real values” (Vieira, Peixoto, & Khoury, 1998, p. 9), and aimed at the scrutiny of human experience in the form of experiences, beliefs, attitudes, meanings, aspirations, motivations, interests and power relations that permeated the actions of subjects and institutions, socially and historically conditioned.

In order to reach this understanding, the methodological strategy used was documentary research, which facilitated the search for evidence of the functioning of school institutions insofar as it sought the vestiges of the historical actions of the subjects and their multiple representations of reality.

Interpreting a document (written or oral report) necessarily required reading between the lines of the text, thinking not only about who wrote it or narrated it orally and the content being represented, but mainly why it was represented in that way, and not in another, and what kind of interest was defended.

For the analysis of the interviews, the Oral History methodology was adopted, considered a historiographical movement that emphasizes “phenomena and events that allow, through orality, to offer qualitative interpretations of historical-social processes” (Lozano, 2006, p. 16), used, in this way, to interpret and situate historically the oral testimonies accompanied by the analyzes of the documentary sources. The triangulation of the data intended to look for different ways of investigating the same point.

This methodological path made the observation of the principles and norms that governed the behaviors of the educational subjects possible, how they appropriated the conceptual models, knowledge and expertise coming from their formative paths and how they subsidized the teaching profession and the relationships that the teachers established with the different subgroups of agents of the institution investigated, and also outside of it, forming networks of sociability that served their diverse interests.

Although, sometimes, artificiality, variability and partiality of oral sources were encountered (Portelli, 1997), the Oral History methodology permitted to understand memory not as a passive depository of facts, but mainly as “an active process of the creation of meanings” (Portelli, 1997, p. 33).

With the understanding that historical discourse is based on a comparative logic, it was possible to change the reasoning of juxtapositions and contrasts between the units “by observing the hybridizations or miscegenation that result from their interactions” (Carvalho, 2007, p. 151).

The choice of the theoretical-methodological approach of the world system, in articulation with the model of socio-historical perspectives, allowed to understand, in Antonio Nóvoa’s terms5, the educational phenomena, as they were being developed in each comparative unit, identify its singularities and emphasize the relationships that have connected them on a transnational or global level.

The historiographical operation undertaken sought to highlight the diversity of historical experiences, beyond political borders, and did not imply an instrumentalized study of foreign unity, using it only as a comparative reference point. The concern was to escape from the usual asymmetric comparisons that investigate a comparative unity, limiting the other to a mere draft.

Thus, the focus shifted away from the simple identification of convergences and divergences between courses compared to another analytical premise, the perception that educational phenomena that occurred in distant spaces, synchronized by the same temporality, could hold together an interweaving of nexuses. The adoption of this process allowed to give greater visibility to the way in which the school institutions incorporated educational elements coming from global realities, surpassing the national and transnational barriers.

3. 1 Description of the empirical field

The research was conducted at the Instituto Nacional de Educação de Surdos [National Education Institute of the Hearing-Impaired], located at Rua das Laranjeiras, 232, in Laranjeiras, Rio de Janeiro. In this institution, there is the Memory Space, which has the Ana Rímoli de Faria Dória Library, with an iconographic and documentary collection; the Current Archive of the institution, under the auspices of the Department of Human, Scientific and Technological Development (Departamento de Desenvolvimento Humano, Científico e Tecnológico - DDHCT) and the Studies and Research Department (Divisão de Estudos e Pesquisas - DIESP), and the Permanent Archive of the Institute.

The other institution investigated was the Instituto Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, belonging to the Casa Pia de Lisboa, in Portugal. The institution’s assets were concentrated in two places: in the Documentation Center and Library of the Casapiano Cultural Center (Centro de Documentação e Biblioteca do Centro Cultural da Casapiano), Casa Pia in Lisbon, and in the Historical Collection of Casapiano Cultural Center (Acervo Histórico do Centro Cultural da Casapiano), both located at Rua dos Jerónimos, nº 7 A, 1400-210, Belém, Lisbon. Documents on the institution were also found at the National Library of Portugal (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal - BNP).

3. 2 Documental sources

The documentary sources investigated in the historical collections, documentation centers and libraries in Brazil and Portugal referred to the legislation on the organization of the Curso Normal of the INSM and INES and IJRP Specialization Courses such as laws, decrees, preliminary drafts, regulations, by-laws and syllabuses; student documents such as enrollment forms and school records; teachers’ documents: teacher employment and performance records, class diaries and teachers’ reports; bibliographic publications, such as books and manuals; Campaign records in favor of the education of the hearing-impaired from all over Brazil (1950/1960); journals, and institutional documents: meeting records, reports, annual publications and work orders.

The oral sources, used in the thesis, were composed of twelve semi-structured interviews, carried out with ex-normalists/ex-students, who performed/perform the teaching work in the institution where they graduated, in INSM/INES or IJRP. The teachers who were selected have/had institutional prestige and among their professional peers, recognized/known for the quality of their work, with a theoretical background in the area of ​​hearing impairment and, in some cases, with involvement in research in the area of ​​education for the hearing-impaired. For the purpose of this paper, only the interview of the Brazilian teacher Sue Nogueira Lima Verde will be analyzed.

4 Results and discussions

Below, the connections that were found between INSM/INES and IJRP investigated institutes will be analyzed in the light of the presented theoretical and methodological framework, in order to clarify, indirectly and directly, the relationships that have been established.

4.1 Indirect relations between INSM/INES and IJRP

From the 1950s to 1970s, the tendency of primary education to use manuals for the dissemination of methodologies and teaching techniques was established at a global level, reinforcing the didactic-pedagogical teacher qualification model, which gave an instrumental character to teacher qualification. With the education of the hearing-impaired it was no different.

The work Compêndio de Educação de Surdos (1954), by Ana Rímoli de Faria Dória, director of INSM/INES (1951-1961) and teacher of the Normal and Specialization Course, circulated widely in the institution and was also used as bibliography in the courses offered by the IJRP, as pointed out in the journal A Criança Surda (Year III, No. 4, Oct. 1956, p. 217), of the Portuguese Association for the Progress of Deaf-Mutes Teaching (Associação Portuguesa para o Progresso do Ensino de Surdos-Mudos).

Ana Rímoli’s scientific-pedagogical discourses constituted cognitive and conceptual tools for teacher education, and they appeared alongside other references, holders of the authority of universal categories, that circulated on a worldwide scale, revealing shared perceptions about the educational problems of different countries involved in education, rehabilitation and research in the area of ​​hearing impairment.

Thus, Ana Rímoli participated in the dissemination of discourses and educational knowledge that contributed to the construction of a corpus of knowledge in the area of ​​education of the hearing-impaired and teacher education, being also considered an expert in this specialty. Her works received the acceptance of the greatest authorities of the eclectic pedagogy, “being recognized all over the world” (Coimbra 1959, p. 9).

Another book by Dória with great circulation in INSM/INES was the “Manual de Educação da Criança Surda” (1957)6 - [Deaf Child Education Handbook], which, along with the others, presented elements that showed areas of contact and intersections with perceptions of school and institutional agents that reflected “the crossing of global and local cultural dynamics” (Carvalho, 2009, p. 165), in order to disseminate a scientific discourse, rooted in medical sciences and psychology, and scientific-pedagogical that mediated the scientific knowledge so that it would make sense to the teachers, legitimizing their pedagogical practice. These pedagogical discourses, from Nóvoa’s perspective (1998), could also contribute to the definition and redefinition of teaching identities, helping to constitute the adequate profile of teachers in a given temporal arc.

The profile of the teacher of the hearing-impaired in the 1950s and 1970s was well delineated in dissertations presented as final work of the Specialization Course for Teachers of the Hearing-Impaired People in the IJRP, a requirement to obtain the title of specialist in the teaching of deaf-mutes (Tavares, 1952). These works were found in the Library of the Cultural Center of Casapiano, in Lisbon, and specified “pedagogical” actions aimed at the auditive training, in which the teacher, using specific techniques, took advantage of the auditive residues of the students, who used hearing aids, in order to teach them to distinguish the different types of sounds and to locate them. The content of these discourses evidenced a clinical-pedagogical matrix that embodied a semantics of modernity.

These productions also defended that the emission of speech, the main purpose of pedagogical practice, would be developed through stages involving auditive discrimination, rhythmic, respiratory and articulatory exercises until the installation of phonemes in order of difficulty. In this type of approach, the use of sign language was seen as counterproductive; however, the teacher should, in addition to avoiding it, discourage its use by students in the classroom.

These works also emphasized the need for a professional partnership between the specialist teacher and the doctor, so that their work would be complementary, evidencing the clinical-pedagogical conception of the education of the hearing-impaired. Hence the defense that the teacher of the hearing-impaired appropriates technical knowledge in the field of Audiology and Phoniatrics, in order to acquire competence in the actions of forwarding and classifying the students according to the etiology and degree of deafness, grouping them in homogeneous classes.

Another point in common with the analyzed dissertations was the need for the teacher to have basic knowledge about Psychology, learning to apply tests that showed the mental level of the students, intelligence, behavioral, linguistic, attention and concentration, establishing their individual differences with the intention of using them for the adequacy of the teaching task that was done in an almost individual way, since the classes, commonly, did not exceed six or seven students.

From the six dissertations found, four indicated Ana Rímoli de Faria Dória’s books in the bibliographical references, revealing an indication of a more direct relationship between the Brazilian and Portuguese institutes in the area of ​​ideas and bibliographic exchange, which made visible a global network of communication and of knowledge sharing involved in this cultural diffusion, as pointed out by António Nóvoa.

Teacher education in both countries was influenced by theoretical schemes of scholars and researchers, linguists, special education educators and psychologists from English (Mary D. Sheridan, W. A. Aikin, A. Musgrave Horner, Irene Rosetta Ewing e Alex William Gordon Ewing), North American (John W. Bloch e M. Karr Harrison) and French (Émile Planchard, Eduard Garde e A. Baumann) nationalities, predominantly. At IJRP, Swedish literature was also very influential.

Knowledge sharing was also done through translations of original texts, since not all students had proficiency especially in English. In the Library of the Cultural Center of Casapiano, in Lisbon, and in the Historical Collection of INES, in Brazil, copies of texts of English and American authors that were translated by Ana Rímoli were found and they were part of the bibliography of the Brazilian courses as well as of IJRP courses in the 1950s and 1960s.

These productions were based on deaf education and rehabilitation centers such as the Deaf Children’s Society and the International Bureau for Audiophonology, responsible for providing guidance to teachers on methodological aspects of the hearing-impaired education, as well as advice to parents on education that should be carried out at home as an obligatory extension of school activities.

These works, and their translations, constituted instruments of education, vehicles of pedagogical discourse and mobilization of international references, thus orienting the teaching profession that was built much more by the practice of teachers’ pedagogical actions than by the appropriation of pedagogical theories. In this sense, both institutes excelled by a pedagogical (and also political) discourse that emphasized the need for a more technical rather than an academic preparation for the future teacher of the hearing-impaired, through teaching techniques and pedagogical methodologies. Thus, there was an effort on the part of both institutions to substantiate the didactic-pedagogical qualification model.

Cognitive-cultural and scientific knowledge were shared by INSM/INES journals, such as Revista do Ensino ao Surdo, which was also received by the Portuguese Association for the Progress of the Deaf-Mute, and several of its numbers were found in the Documentation Center and Historical Collection of the Cultural Center of Casapiano, next to journals of very prestigious institutions in the international education of the hearing-impaired and teaching training circuit.

These publications, according to Nóvoa (1998), can be understood as a result of the phenomenon of internationalization of education (and of Special Education, as well), which emphasized the diffusion of educational knowledge, qualification models and “interaction of several actors that produce, make the reception, interpret, diffuse knowledge that converge and diverge among themselves in concrete arenas” (Carvalho, 2009, p. 181).

The Portuguese Association for the Progress of the Deaf-Mute also received the annals of the Education Campaign of the Brazilian Deaf7 (Campanha para a Educação do Surdo Brasileiro - CESB), initiated in 1957 by the Ministry of Education and Culture/INES. In addition to intending to extend the education network so that the hearing-impaired could be included, another objective of the campaign was to encourage the exchange of ideas and people with other institutions of education for the hearing-impaired.

At the World Congress of Deaf-Mutes, held in 1959, in Madrid, where representatives from Institutes around the world, including INES and IJRP, the flags of CESB were reinforced, “being recommended to the other countries of the world to adopt the same rules advocated by the campaign” (Coimbra, 1959, p. 9), in defense of the diffusion of models of pedagogical modernization, sharing of pedagogical experiences and research in the area of ​​education for the hearing-impaired.

These objectives were, as far as possible, achieved. The historical traces pointed to the connection between the INSM/INES and the IJRP, which went through similar trajectories by appropriating a global discourse-practice that served to build a historical model of teacher qualification that registered, over the decades from 1950 to 1980, certain structural permanence in the organization of teaching and curriculum of their qualification/specialization courses.

4.2 Direct relations between IJRP and INSM/INES

The Institute of Deaf-Mutes of Portugal/IJRP and the Institute of the Deaf-Mutes of Brazil/INSM/INES began to relate directly from the earliest date. In his historiography of the Portuguese institute, Lourenço (1956, p. 92) stated that Tomás dos Santos Vieira, a professor who worked at this institution between 1907 and 1912, was “transferred to the Instituto do Brasil [Institute of the Deaf-Mutes of Rio de Janeiro] to carry out the same teaching activity”.

In this way, Professor Vieira could have inaugurated the first exchange of people among the mentioned institutes, and it is possible that the teaching profession developed at the Institute of Deaf-Mutes of Portugal/IJRP has continued in the Brazilian institute, in the form of pedagogical practices centered within the processes of rehabilitation of the hearing-impaired, in the teaching of oral language and in minimalist schooling based on the medical-therapeutic conception of the oralist movement.

However, it was not until the 1950s that the exchange was resumed, through a Cultural Agreement between Portugal and Brazil (A Criança Surda, year II, No. 3, 1956, p. 117), in which the Brazilian professor Sue Nogueira de Lima Verde8 received a six-month scholarship from January to June 1956, granted by the High Culture Institute of Lisbon (Instituto de Alta Cultura de Lisboa - IAC)9 of the Portuguese Ministry of Education.

Thus, her internship was done from February 16 to April 30, 1956, at the IJRP/CPL, with the objective of studying the techniques circumscribed to the philosophy of hearing-impaired children education, with practical application of Experimental Phonetics (Lima Verde, 2015), and from May 1 to June 30, 1956, at the Institute of Experimental Phonetics (Instituto de Fonética Experimental - IFE) of the Department of Linguistics of the Faculty of language and Literature of the University of Coimbra (Departamento de Linguística da Faculdade de Letras, da Universidade de Coimbra), along with the professor of Phonetics, Prof. Dr. Armando de Lacerda, with the purpose of acquiring knowledge in the field of Experimental Phonetics, in its theoretical and practical domains (Lima Verde, 2015).

Source: Private photographic collection of the referred professor.

Figure 1 Photo of Professor Sue Nogueira in front of the IJRP, February 1956. Source: Private photographic collection of the referred professor. Figure 2. Photo of Professor Sue Nogueira with IJRP faculty, February, 1956. 

During her internship at IJRP, the effort of the director Antonino Gonçalves Amaral and his attempt to compare the Portuguese Institute with the first in the world in terms of teacher qualification, which was located in England, being imperative to imitate its system of education and qualification of teachers (Lima Verde, 2015), caught her attention.

According to the Professor, the IJRP teachers, all trained in the institution’s Specialization Course, performed pedagogical tasks with great efficiency, such as auditive training, speech reading and installation of phonemes, as well as operating equipment such as the audiometer, central activities of teaching practice, according to the clinical-pedagogical conception of deafness adopted by the institution.

The organizational and pedagogical model of the INSM/INES Qualification/Specialization Courses, within this time frame, converged with that of the IJRP, since it was also constituted by theoretical, curricular and practical elements ideologically based on the oralist philosophy, in which the teaching work was constituted, mainly, by the instrumentalization of the teacher’s job.

Thus, in addition to observing the performance of teachers who applied the pure oral method, and having the oralist philosophy as framework, Lima Verde also had the opportunity to experience with the students the stages of experimental phonetics, as well as attending in the field of audiometry.

After completing her internship at the IJRP, Sue Nogueira held a course taught by Dr. Armando de Lacerda, professor of phonetics at the Department of Linguistics at the Faculty of Language and Literature of the University of Coimbra, founder of the Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics. With this authority in the area of Phonetics, who was also professor of this discipline in the Specialization Courses of the IJRP (in all its editions), she acquired knowledge on the bases of Phonetics applied to specialized education in its theoretical and practical aspects.

Due to her excellent performance, attested in several consulted documents, she ended up being invited to be research assistant of this professor, who was also the director of the Institute of Experimental Phonetics, dealing directly with another fellow of the Institute of High Culture, the English J. M. Parker , both focusing on the scientific investigations coordinated by the laboratory director, thus expanding the networks of relations between Brazil and Portugal, through protocols and cooperation agreements.

With the knowledge acquired in Portugal, her intention was to find a Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics at INES, in order to assist the students and provide training for teachers, which would also extend to students of the specialization courses, circulating a knowledge that came from an international context and that demonstrates a relationship established between the Portuguese and Brazilian institutes:

Lima Verde: Antonino Amaral and Armando de Lacerda addressed me to INES when I returned to Brazil. The expectation was that I could, as in Salvador/Bahia, implement the Phonetic Lab for the teaching of hearing-impaired children, in the molds of the Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics of the Department of Language and Literature of the University of Coimbra.

Motivated to achieve these goals, Sue Nogueira, in 1957, went to work at INES on an assignment basis. On that occasion, she had the opportunity to share with the teachers of the institution the literature she had brought from Portugal, such as textbooks for the teaching of the hearing-impaired, similar to those adopted at the hearing-impaired teaching institutions in England, which the IJRP teachers used with their Portuguese hearing-impaired students, as well as books that guided pedagogical practice according to the English teacher qualification school.

In Lima Verde’s perception, INES’s teachers were very receptive when she would pass along her experiences at the IJRP, especially the knowledge related to experimental phonetics. However, unlike the Portuguese institute, these teachers were not encouraged to participate in scientific research, essential for the evolution of the teaching of the hearing-impaired (Lima Verde, 2015).

To Sue Nogueira, the creation of the Institute of Experimental Phonetics at INES would be a way to involve teachers and students in specialization courses in scientific research, equating them to those of the IJRP. Thus, she struggled to overcome the bureaucratic barriers with the Ministry of Education (MEC) to grant the necessary equipment for the Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics. Despite being a military officer for five years at the Brazilian institution, she was unable to achieve her goals.

Sue Nogueira attributed her failure to find such an institute at INES due to Ana Rímoli’s absence of interest, who was only interested in developing projects that were part of her own initiative (Lima Verde, 2015). In fact, in 1957, Ana Rímoli instituted a similar unit with a much broader scope, the Center of Logopedia, “the first to function in a public institution in Brazil” (Rocha, 2008, p. 95) and that not only INES’s students attended but hearing-impaired students and listeners from other Brazilian municipalities and states as well. Thus, the director of INES prioritized attending the masses towards scientific research, diverging this way from the IJRP referral.

Although the aim of Professor Sue Nogueira had not been reached, traces in history were found that directly linked the IJRP to INES, and vice versa, in the cultural diffusion of knowledge in the field of Special Education, more specifically in the area of ​​education of the hearing-impaired and in the adoption of the teacher qualification model, a fact that corroborates Nóvoa’s perception that educational phenomena establish an international connection.

5 Conclusion

This paper aimed to show that teacher education is one of the pillars of the development and renewal of school institutions, a kind of historical arena crossed by pedagogical and epistemic models, political and ideological principles.

Historical evidence was pointed out of the effort that managers and teachers of INSM/INES in Brazil and IJRP in Portugal have done in order to appropriate the determinant elements for the organization of a teaching of excellence for the hearing-impaired, being the discourse and the experience of the other fundamental for the education of the teachers and subsequent professional exercise.

The investigated courses reflected, in their constitution and organization, global realities that expressed the ways in which school agents interacted, either personally or through ideas, overcoming national barriers and calling into question the independence of nation-states (Nóvoa, 1995, 1998).

By incorporating sense-generating units about the education of the hearing-impaired, which were imported from international and transnational contexts, the referred institutes eventually converged in terms of conceptualization of pedagogical practices, in the constitution of educational legislation, in the curriculum of the courses, in their organizational and disciplinary plan, adopting the same models of teacher education, with the predominance of didactic-pedagogical mixed with cognitive-cultural model. These processes of homogenization were therefore the result of the incorporation of symbolic elements present in the pedagogical and scientific discourses that circulated in the international sphere, legitimating the choices of the referred institutions in their quest for the excellence of the teaching of the hearing-impaired and the education of their teachers.

The circulation, on an international scale, of bibliography, scientific papers, specialized journals, successful pedagogical experiences, research in line with the oralist movement, and the exchange of professionals and the relationship between INES and IJRP, through their respective teachers’ associations and international congresses, contributed to the diffusion of knowledge about the education of the hearing-impaired, connecting, indirectly and directly, these two school institutions.

It was also evidenced that the school agents of the two institutions perceived the hearing-impaired as a disabled person who needed to be treated, rehabilitated and educated through specific techniques that would develop, first and foremost, the oral language, which would take years to be accomplished. To the extent that this task assumed the centrality of pedagogical practice, the actual schooling of these students remained in the background, neglecting the work that belongs to the teacher, who must have a “clear and exclusive pedagogical sense” (Mazzotta, 1993, p. 2).

The educational elements of the international scene, when inserted in the institutes, allied to the institutional conditions, ended up adorning their singularities. In this sense, local and global aspects were merged, producing the historical identities of these institutions.

The teacher education programs were effectively structured in their multiple organizational, conceptual, epistemological, and disciplinary aspects, with INSM/INES and IJRP incorporated to the oralist strand as the paradigmatic axis for theoretical and methodological choices and curricular programming.

However, according to Caria (2007), the teaching profession, specifically the primary teacher, is no more than an invented tradition, since no educational institution has the capacity to self-regulate the work of this teacher, which is shared by empirical practices learned from more experienced peers, being the theory of the Sciences of the Education little explored or incorporated to his/her practice.

In this sense, the institutional program (Dubet, 2006) is shared by school agents through teaching practices and methods, organization of institutional spaces and school times, curricular programming, organization, discipline and rules assumed and imposed by the institution, but also by the beliefs, feelings and values ​​of the great majority of teachers and students, which form a coherent and cohesive whole that legitimizes a vision of education.

An idea of ​​the extension of this belief system can be put forward by the statement made by Professor Carlos Pinto Ascensão, long-time director of the IJRP (1963-1991): even with sign language already being proposed as a language of instruction, at the start of the 1990s, the bilingual project came up against the oralist tradition “which still carried a lot of weight” (Ascension 1995, p. 22).

In the case of Brazil, the situation is not very different, because even today there are few experiences that actually enable the bilingual project, even at INES, which is an indication that the pedagogical tradition of the institution still resists:

Although the Brazilian sign Language (LIBRAS) was officialized by Law 10,436 of 24/04/2002 (Brazil, 2002) and recognized as a social and educational right of hearing-impaired individuals, the discourse historically established among the hearing-impaired and the hearing impairment in the matrix of disability still prevails, demonstrating that the history of the education of the hearing-impaired does not escape the conflicts woven by unequal relations of power (Lopes & Freitas, 2016, p. 375-376).

Thus, the investigated courses could have influenced not only the knowledge, the pedagogical practices, but also the cognitive and moral frameworks, the feelings, the beliefs, the values ​​and the principles of the great majority of the course students, that started, in turn, to disseminate a model of education in socialization and interaction with their students and other professional peers when they later became teachers of the mentioned institutions.

This occurs because the decadence of the institutional program is not done in a complete or homogeneous way, subsisting in the institution many elements that compose it, in the form of conceptual, cognitive and moral schemes, in the type of professional relationship among school/institutional subjects and at the work about the other.

To deconstruct beliefs concocted for centuries is a complex task, since the teaching work is an organized collective action that ends up forming groups capable of constructing barriers to safeguard their teaching identities, rejecting pedagogical innovation projects that may destabilize their professional platforms.

The school situation of the hearing-impaired, in a world context, borders the calamity. The Portuguese researcher Jesus (2015), based on data from the World Federation of the Deaf (2009, 2013), reveals the deplorable situation to which the deaf are subjected:

Of the seventy million deaf people in the world, 80% still have no access to any education. Of those who have access to it, only between 1 and 2% do so through sign languages - between 98% and 99% of the deaf are educated by the principles and practices of oralism, at best by total communication (Jesus, 2015, p. 159).

INES, in view of its strategic position in the educational field in relation to the area in which it operates, at the national level, with real possibilities of promoting international exchange of people and ideas, through the international congresses that it organizes annually, should continue to lead paradigmatic change, which began in 1990, deconstructing the clinical-pedagogical vision that insists on inscribing the hearing-impaired in the stigma of disability.

If dialogue channels are opened in the investigated school institutions, there will always be the possibility of qualified and informed teachers in oralism to live along with the teachers of younger generations, more suited to the theoretical and methodological presuppositions of bilingualism, in line with the renewing spirit that demands an education of quality for the hearing-impaired. In this scenario, bipolarities should be left aside so that the student’s schooling process is, in the end, prioritized.

Finally, the expectation that I have with regard to the research carried out in the context of the History of Education and involving two little studied institutions is that it can collaborate to the knowledge of the profile of the teacher of the hearing-impaired in the decades of 1950 to 1980, result of institutional educational actions that followed the theoretical-conceptual assumptions of Special Education, with strong influence of the international scenario.

3This PhD thesis was funded by the Sandwich Doctorate Scholarship Abroad (Programa de Doutorado Sanduíche no Exterior - PDSE) of the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). The researcher’s PhD, under case number 99999.008283/2014-01, took place at the University of Lisbon, in Portugal.

4Special Education encompasses a set of special educational resources and services organized to support or, in some cases, replace common educational services by addressing the formal education of pupils with different educational needs from the majority of learners considered “normal”, according to the patterns of each historical time. To Mazzotta (1993), Special Education must guarantee pedagogical action or enhance it, with conditions such as: specially trained professionals qualified for special education; curricular adaptations or special curricula; use of equipment, apparatus and specific materials to aid the educational practice, among others.

5Considerations made by António Nóvoa on methodological approaches to comparative education, in an open class taught at the Faculty of Education of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, as visiting professor, on June 13, 2016, the second of three consecutive classes.

6This production was originated from a condensation of three previous works: Compêndio de Educação de Surdos (1954) [Compendium of Education of the Deaf]; Introdução à Didática da Fala (1957) [Introduction to Speech Didactics]; and Ensino Oro-Audio-Visual para os Deficientes da Audição (1957) [Oral-Audio-Visual Teaching for the Hearing-Impaired].

7Ministry of Education and Culture. Annals of the Campaign for the Education of the Brazilian Deaf, (s.n.): Ministry of Education and Culture (1957). 35 p.; 30 cm Special Education/Special Education/ Deaf Auditive Deficiencies COTA: CDC EE-DA 201. Source: Library of the Cultural Center of Casapiano, Portugal.

8Sue Nogueira who, after her marriage, changed her name to Sue Nogueira de Lima Verde, granted me an interview on November 14, 2015 at her home in Barra da Tijuca, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 1956, she taught in the Normal Course of the Institute of Education of Rio de Janeiro, ministering the disciplines Portuguese and Brazilian Literature. At the Pedro II School, she began to work in December 1958 until the date of her removal, in 1967, when she joined the Attorney General’s Office of Labor Justice. Between 1957 and 1961, she was transferred to INES, as a teacher. We found her employment and performance records at CMEB/ISERJ, located at Rua Mariz e Barros, 273, Praça da Bandeira, Rio de Janeiro. Designations 1954/1957, p. 45, 110, verse 120, 165, verse; Designations 1958, Ordinances 09/01/1958 to 27/10/1958, p. 55, verse. At INES, however, I did not find her employment and performance records.

9The IAC was created by Decree-Law No. 38,680, of March 17, 1952, and was valid until 1976, under the auspices of the Ministry of National Education of Portugal.


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Received: June 19, 2018; Revised: January 17, 2019; Accepted: January 21, 2019

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