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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

Teacher Education on GT 15 - Anped’s Special Education (2011-2017) between Dialogues and (New) Clues

Mateus Henrique do AMARAL2

Maria Inês Bacellar MONTEIRO3

2Master’s in Education from the Postgraduate Program in Education at the Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (PPGE/UNIMEP). Piracicaba/SP - Brazil. License in Teaching - Portuguese (UNIMEP). ORCID:

3PhD in Psychology from the University of São Paulo (USP). São Paulo/SP - Brazil. Master’s in Special Education from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). ORCID:


This paper analyzes the scientific production about Teacher Education on the Work Group 15 (known as GT 15) - Special Education presented at the National Association of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Education (ANPEd) from 2011 to 2017. For this purpose, the abstracts of the communications and posters presented in the pages of the national editions of the event were consulted. Nineteen studies found were read and organized in axes: Initial education, Continuing education, Lifelong education and Analysis of policies and training proposals. The initial observations showed the growth of the theme on GT 15, the return of research on initial education and the incorporation of autobiographical narratives. There is a variety of methodological procedures on the studies: focal groups, interviews, questionnaires, and documental analysis. About the propositions, it is possible to highlight: teaching undergraduate studies have been based on localized actions; the knowledge produced collectively in continuing education is appreciated; the ways in which daily experiences and work conditions impact on teacher education are recognized; the political speech and the training proposals invest in self-management/self-investment skills, value continuing education over the initial education, and honor a technical know-how. It is considered the need for research that addresses the initial teacher education who works in the Specialized Educational Service, the construction of knowledge on the experience and the training process in teaching undergraduate courses, and works that reflect on the role of theory in continuing education in Special Education.

KEYWORDS: Special Education; Teacher education; Scientific production; ANPEd

1 Introduction

Traditionally, the history of the schooling of children with disabilities or any type of abnormality in Brazil has constituted apart from the movements of the common school. However, since the 1990s, due to the influence of international agreements assumed by the country, the appropriation and the dissemination of a discourse that guarantees the right of all students to be enrolled and attend public school are observed.

In the implementation of an inclusive perspective in the Brazilian policy of Special Education4, the centrality of the education of qualified professionals was registered. This record culminated in a significant increase in teacher education programs and projects, especially in the first decade of the 21st century (Kassar, 2014). Furthermore, the Special Education research assigns special attention to the issue, making the debate about teacher education a constitutive aspect of the field.

In this text, we aim to analyze the studies that deal with teacher education in The Work Group - GT 15 - Special Education of the National Association of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Education (ANPEd) in the period 2011-2017. The choice of such sources is justified by the tradition of the debate about the knowledge produced in this GT (Ferreira, 2002; Ferreira & Bueno, 2011; Thesing & Costas, 2017a), as well as being a consolidated scientific space that brings together unpublished productions from different regions from the country.

Since the first participation of the ANPEd’s GT in 1991, teacher education has been a theme in evidence in the field. There the group shared the “lack of more adequate professional activity [...] by registering the predominance of assistencialism, the shortage of professionals, the need to try to give the education of people with disabilities a possible path of social integration” (Ferreira & Bueno, 2011, p. 145).

The dialogues and new clues announced in the title of the text reflect the search for correlating the discussions undertaken here with previous analyzes of the teacher education in GT 15 (Jesus, Barreto, & Gonçalves, 2011) and with the broader field of Teacher Education (André, 2009, 2010). Thus, the achievement of this balance tends to identify aspects of the scientific production on teacher education in the field of Special Education, in order to recognize the contributions of these researches in the constitution of the knowledge produced in the area and point out gaps and possible paths.

Taking the last five ANPEd’s editions (34th - 38th), we ask: What are the most recent movements, contributions and gaps in teacher education in terms of research in Special Education?

2 Method

Bibliographical research has been used frequently when one wants knowledge about the conceptual framework that involves a certain theme. In the case of this study, we chose to carry out the survey of texts published by GT 15 in the last five editions of ANPEd in order to know what has been produced by the researchers of the Special Education field about teacher education.

This type of research, identified as state of art/knowledge, according to Romanowski and Ens (2006, p. 39), has as its objective

to identify the significant contributions of the construction of theory and pedagogical practice, point out the constraints on the field of research, its dissemination gaps, identify investigated innovative experiences that point out alternative solutions to the problems of practice and recognize the contributions of research in the constitution of proposals in the focused area.

For the analysis of the data, we take as reference the study previously performed by Jesus et al. (2011) and the analyzes of Andre (2009, 2010) on the field of Teacher Education, in order to show the current state of teacher education studies presented in GT 15 and to point out issues that still need to be discussed for the continuity of the dialogue on the subject.

The theoretical-methodological framework assumed is the historical-dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels (2007). This method is based on the notion of work, which postulates as the founding principle of the human being the active relationship with reality. Thus, while appropriating pre-existing objectifications to consciousness, the human being acts on the real (social relations) contributing to his/her maintenance and/or transformation.

The human being is (re)produced in the exchange with reality, constituting him/herself historically as subject from relations that he/she establishes with others. Relations that are not neutral, since they are built on the basis of a determined socioeconomic structure composed of different social forces. In this perspective, knowledge - the scientific act - implies the apprehension of the essence of the analyzed phenomenon, understanding its movement of formation in reality and the contradictory relations that engender it.

2.1 Methodological and analytical procedures

The survey on the texts that deal with teacher formation in GT 15 - Special Education was carried out based on the annals of ANPEd’s national editions that took place between 2011 and 20175. In the period, we identified a total of 123 works presented, subdivided in the communications (108) and posters (15) modalities.

In the first instance, we carried out the reading of the abstracts to identify those who centralized the discussion in the education of teachers. Next, we read the papers and systematized the following information in tables: edition, title, object, objective, theoretical reference, procedures, main discussions and/or results and considerations.

After this tabulation, the texts found were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Initially, we analyzed the number of works per edition of ANPEd and the percentage that these represent in relation to the total of studies, in the period, at the GT 15. The works were grouped in axes in order to consider the specific object of study. Thus, in a second moment, the researches of each axis were described and analyzed considering the investigations in the field and the theoretical-methodological support adopted in this study.

3 Results and discussion

3.1 First approaching

Table 1 indicates the amount of work related to teacher education presented in GT 15 by edition of the event, as well as the percentage that these represent in relation to the total of studies in the period investigated.

Table 1 List of works per ANPEd edition - 2011-2017. 

National editions of ANPEd meetings (GT 15 - Special Education)
34th ANPEd 2011 35th ANPEd 2012 36th ANPEd 2013 37th ANPEd 2015 38th ANPEd 2017 Total
qt % qt % qt % qt % qt % qt %
Teacher education 3 11.1 4 16 4 18,2 51 16,1 4 22.2 20 16.3

1One of the works of the edition was declined in the publication, that’s why it is not available for full reading. We will not consider this text when classifying and discussing the axes.

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

Compared to the meta-analysis of Jesus et al. (2011), there is a percentage increase of teacher education output in GT 15. In the period 2000-2010, the authors indicate that the theme constituted 10.7% of the total work. In Table 1, the data indicate that, in the period from 2011 to 2017, these studies represent 16.3%.

We organized the papers on four axes adapted from those identified by Jesus et al. (2011): State of the art, Initial Education, Continuing Education and Evaluation of Training Programs. The axes Initial education and Continuing education were maintained, once we found, during the period, research that focuses on these formative spaces. On the other hand, we did not find works entitled State of the art that directly addressed the teacher education; therefore, we did not use this axis in the study presented here. The evaluation of training programs was replaced by Analysis of policies and formative proposals, a more coherent definition for the profile of the works analyzed, which seek, above all, based on the analysis of the discourse, to unveil statements in official documents and formative proposals. Finally, we introduced the Lifelong education axis, which includes studies that use (auto)biographical narrative as an investigative method. In Table 2, we list the works distributed by axis and year.

Table 2 Distribution of works by axis and year of presentation. 

Axis 2011 2012 2013 2015 2017
Initial education 1 1 1 2
Continuing education 1 1 3 2
Lifelong education 1 1 2
Policy analysis and formative proposals 1 1 1

Source: Elaborated by the authors.

We observed the return of the works on initial education in GT 15. This topic is present almost every year, except in 2013. Jesus et al. (2011) identified the disappearance of the axis in the second five-year period of the 2000s. On the other hand, they noticed an increase in the works that evaluate training programs.

The reduction of work on initial education is not restricted to the field of Special Education. André (2010), when analyzing the training field, identified a progressive drop in research on initial education in the 2000s. He argues that this causes “a lot of concern because there is still much to know about how to prepare teachers to face the challenges of education in the 21st century” (André, 2010, p. 177). Therefore, the return of the topic in GT 15 sounds positive both for the field of Special Education and for the knowledge related to Teacher Education.

The Lifelong education axis brings research using autobiographical narratives as an investigative method. This work profile, in the early 2000s, became a growing trend in the field of teacher education (André, 2009, 2010). In the last edition of ANPEd (38th), half of the studies on education presented in GT 15 use the autobiographical approach. This may indicate more dialogue between Special Education and the broader field of Teacher Education.

Next, the discussion is subdivided into the four axes mentioned above. We will seek to highlight the focus on the theme, methodologies used and the main propositions and/or considerations, revealing the current contributions and gaps in the discussions about teacher education in the field of Special Education.

3.2 Axes

3.2.1 Axis: Initial education

Five studies were identified in the Initial education axis. Two of them focus on the teacher education discussion (Oliveira, 2011; Brabo, 2015), two on the knowledge of the teaching undergraduate students (Agapito & Ribeiro, 2017; Neves, Adams, & Tartuci, 2017), while another analyzes the pedagogical project of teaching undergraduate courses (Cruz et al., 2012).

Oliveira (2011, p. 4) brings a research conducted from questionnaires and interviews with students and teachers of the Pedagogy course. When analyzing conceptions of teachers and students of the teaching undergraduate course, the author affirms that the contribution of the professors in the constitution of an inclusive identity to the teaching undergraduate students is minimal. In the study, this identity is constructed not by the theoretical knowledge introduced in the education, “but by the established relationship with deaf peers in the regular classroom at the University” (Oliveira, 2011, p. 13).

Also with focus on the teacher educators, Brabo (2015) interviews four professors who teach the discipline Pedagogical Intervention and Special Education Needs offered in the teaching undergraduate courses at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). The author notes that, although it does not fully cover training, the focused discipline presents potential for expansion.

The study by Agapito and Ribeiro (2017) analyzes the concept of Special Education and Inclusive Education of students from seven teaching undergraduate degrees. A total of 124 students in the final phase of the course participated through a questionnaire. In a dialogue with the field of Teacher Education, the authors indicate the need for research on initial education, as well as being guided by the notion of professional development. This signals a movement of incorporation of concepts of the field of Teacher Education in the studies of GT 15, an issue that Jesus et al. (2011) indicated as primordial. The authors say: “it seems to us relevant to investigate as a possibility the notion of professional development, since the studies do not value the processuality of such education, we still look at the initial and continuing education as separate processes” (Jesus et al., 2011, p. 90).

Agapito and Ribeiro (2017), when analyzing the students’ response, point out the direct linkage they make between Inclusive and Special Education. They therefore consider it important that initial education courses ensure “that their students understand the inclusive educational presuppositions with a focus on an education for all, that even if they also work under special education, it is not restricted to it” (Agapito & Ribeiro, 2017, p. 16).

The text by Neves et al. (2017) involves data from two Master’s studies that use the interview as an investigative tool. The authors analyze the initial education of teachers for the inclusion of students with disabilities considering the speech of two distinct groups: teaching undergraduate students and teachers in Early Childhood Education. They indicate that the interviewees did not have an initial education that contemplated the Special Education, making it necessary for these discussions in the curricula of the degrees mandatory.

Cruz et al. (2012) discuss the pedagogical project of teaching undergraduate courses of a state university of Paraná, in dialogue with the national guidelines of these courses. The aim was to investigate the initial education offered by the University for teaching in inclusive contexts. They conclude that the actions developed in the initial formative scope remain as the responsibility of specific teachers and still fall short of the requirements for inclusive educational contexts. This issue is present in all studies of the axis. Regardless of the focus, research on initial education reveals that the training offered in undergraduate degrees usually takes the form of localized actions.

Field investigations corroborate this view. Garcia (2013) says that the discussion, according to which “the simple insertion of specific disciplines and/or contents does not give teacher education an organic perspective on the education of subjects of special education [...]” (Garcia, 2013, p. 103). Thus, it is still necessary to investigate and/or problematize political actions aimed at an education project in the teaching undergraduate courses that encompasses the ethical, pedagogical and political aspects regarding the action with the target public students of Special Education.

When we consider the field of studies, we note advances. One is the return of work on initial education. The other is that most texts do not privilege only the course of Pedagogy. In the previous decade, studies predominantly fall on this course. To Jesus et al. (2011, p. 89), this strengthened the imagery that students of the modality “will continue only at the levels of Early Childhood Education and initial years of Elementary Education and that the graduates in Pedagogy are the ones ‘to be educated’ for such”.

It is worth noting that, although some studies focus on the student knowledge and the role of the teacher educator, such research still does not explore the experience of the students in the teaching undergraduate courses and the processes of meaning, teaching and learning in these contexts. Such a path seems promising in the possibility of investigating the divide between the teaching work and the content addressed in the initial formative context.

Finally, we note that the discussion about the initial education of the Special Education teacher is not present in the GT. In this regard, we know that, since 2006, a gap has been left in the initial education of this teacher by the extinction of the qualifications in the courses of Pedagogy. Gap both in terms of lócus and the nature of this education.

Recent investigations analyze the education in the teaching undergraduate degree in Special Education (Thesing & Costas, 2017b; Oliveira & Mendes, 2017). Thesing and Costas (2017) point out that the emphasis is on the teaching of techniques and methodologies, with restricted theoretical-political formation. Oliveira and Mendes (2017) indicate the absence of national curricular parameters that guide the creation of Higher Education courses on Special Education. They also point out that the initial education of this professional has not been the focus of research in the field, nor priority in the education policy of Special Education teachers.

3.2.2 Axis: continuing education

Continuing education was the subject of seven studies. Four of the texts, come from the network research National Observatory on Special Education - Observatório Nacional de Educação Especial - Oneesp (Jordão, Silveira, & Hostins, 2013; Santos & Santiago, 2013; Costa & Leme, 2015; Camizão & Victor, 2015).

Oneesp, coordinated by Professor Enicéia Gonçalves Mendes, from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), started in 2011. Its proposal is the “national evaluation of the program of implementation of Resource Rooms (MRR), promoted by the Secretariat for Continuing Education, Literacy, Diversity and Inclusion” (Mendes, 2015, p. 15). In our survey, the work coming from this project uses the focus group with teachers from the Multifunctional Resources Room as a data construction procedure focusing on the knowledge produced collectively in these contexts.

This form of research demands from the researcher another posture, instigating him/her to form himself/herself collectively with the group involved in the study (Jesus, Vieira, & Effgen, 2014). According to the authors, action research is a prospective research, seeking solutions. In it, the power of the focus group is taken as an alternative of reinvention of actions and thoughts. Thus, the researcher works “[…] as someone who places the ethical task of knowledge production along with others, to educate and be educated, in a dialectic that articulates theory and practice as a constant process, as a basic premise, a human complexity” (Jesus et al., 2014, p. 785).

Pletsch (2016) says that knowledge in action research is instituted from the practices lived by the collective subject. According to the author, this methodology presupposes “a broad interaction between subject and researcher, thus differentiating conventional methods that (even having a qualitative approach) result in a position of the researcher distanced in relation to the researched reality” (Pletsch, 2016, p. 218).

The studies within the scope of Oneesp presented in the GT 15 come from researches developed with teachers of the Multifunctional Resource Rooms of cities of Santa Catarina, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo states, in Brazil. They take different perspectives/theoretical foundations for the discussion of knowledge produced collectively in focus groups (Policy Cycle Approach, Critical Theory, omniletic reading).

In the analyzes of the data produced by these studies (Jordão et al., 2013, Santos & Santiago, 2013; Costa & Leme, 2015; Camizão & Victor, 2015), we noticed that: most teachers who work in MRRs have a degree in Pedagogy and specialization in Special/Inclusive Education; the teachers evaluate that their education did not occur only in the academic environment and emphasize the need for specialized training to work with each type of disability; the search for professional recognition; the hegemony of the medical-psychological model in local policies that guide the education and teaching performance; and the legitimation and overvaluation, by the teachers, of the directions given by the clinical report.

In summary, the studies indicate the importance of collectively produced knowledge for the improvement of individual, collective and institutional plans, as well as the urgency of spaces of reflection and criticism to the hegemonic culture, a culture that, according to Costa and Leme (2015, p. 15), “contributes to the manifestation of prejudice against students with disabilities/special educational needs”.

Also forming the continuing education axis, we have three other studies. Machado, Camillo and Menezes (2011) analyze the political-pedagogical project of two teacher education courses, at a specialization level, in the area of ​​education for the deaf. Anchored in the Human Capital Theory and Foucaultian tools, the study highlights the way in which courses invest in self-management practices, designing a situation “consistent with neoliberal market conditions and producing teachers who seek to ‘educate themselves’ constantly and thus align to the idea of ​​personal and professional entrepreneurship” (Machado, Camillo, & Menezes, 2011, p. 8).

The text written by Rabelo (2012) highlights the power of collaborative teaching as a formative way. From a participatory research involving teachers of regular teaching, resource room teachers, trainees and students with autism of public schools, indicates that the collaborative action presented significant advances for the academic performance of the students. It also points to the limits of the proposal that are related to the “time factor, insufficient number of meetings, cut in the training demands to be met in the space of a year in which the research was developed” (Rabelo, 2012, p. 4).

Vasques and Benincasa (2013) reflect on an extension action involving teachers of autistic and psychotic students. The action included face-to-face meetings and interaction in a virtual environment. Written in essay form, the study interweaves some Freudo-Lacanian contributions in dialogue with R. Barthes, W. Benjamin and J. Larrosa to the reports written by the participants of the research. Regarding the project, the researchers consider that this created conditions for other perspectives for the daily life of the teachers.

Both the latter study and most of the texts that make up the Continuing Education axis present a positive view of the projects developed with teachers. Action research, and especially the focus group, are privileged procedures in these studies, since only one uses documentary analysis. Many studies value the knowledge produced collectively by teachers and point out problems that limit and affect teaching work, such as the time for class preparation, conceptions that support local policies, lack of autonomy, and so on. There is, therefore, an acknowledgment of the ways that working conditions in schools “shape”/educate professionals.

All the works of the axis discuss the continuing education of specialized teachers. Some of the researches even problematize the lócus of initial education of this professional and the nature of the work, even if in a tangential way. We noted that such an approach is not done on the initial education axis. We emphasize, therefore, that the initial education of Specialized Educational Service (SES) teachers should become the subject of research in the GT.

Another observation is that the ensemble that composes the Continuing education axis analyzes the discussions in the focus group and the documents under different theoretical perspectives. However, it is not explicit whether and how the theoretical knowledge is mediated in the formative contexts. It is therefore necessary to question the space of theory in continuing education in Special Education, so that teacher reflection is not exhausted in the immediate context, but rather embraces a critical, public and ethical character (Pimenta, 2002).

3.2.3 Axis: lifelong education

Next, we have four papers that make up the Lifelong education axis. This set constitutes a new and growing trend within GT 15, composed of research that uses (auto)biographical narratives as investigative method.

Among the works of the axis, two focus on the course of deaf teachers (Silva & Klein, 2012; Carvalho, 2017), one examines teacher education in inclusive education (Rozek, 2013) and the other the narrative of students with high skills, under the teacher-narrator’s gaze (Nogueira, Ribeiro, & Neres, 2017).

Silva and Klein (2012) turn to the education of deaf teachers and the implications of this path in the constitution of significant teaching practices. From the reports of a deaf teacher, they identify the relationships that are established between the personal experiences and the development of the professional identity, of a deaf pedagogy.

Carvalho’s (2017) research also discusses the education of the deaf teacher. The researcher problematizes the deaf identity as the only condition of this teacher’s performance in the inclusion. From the analysis of the narratives of 11 teachers, the author affirms that the experience of deafness is more a function than necessarily the exercise of its activities. He believes that this fact brings damage and misunderstandings, signaling the importance of “instead of the ‘deaf teacher’ (deafness as a mark that adjectives teaching), we assume the power of the ‘deaf who is a teacher’ (the teaching function as the mark of the subject that exercises it)” (Carvalho, 2017, p. 16-17).

Rozek’s research (2013) interprets reports of teachers of the State Educational Network of Porto Alegre in the light of the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans Georg Gadamer. The author defends the need for the dialogue to find its place in the pedagogical relationship, as well as the need for the teacher to develop a subjectivity open to the differences and specificities of the others. Rozek (2013, p.17) concludes by referring to “the necessary reflection on the foundations underlying Education and teacher training, since social plurality requires teacher training guided by the bias of dialogue, alterity, the value of human experience and of self-construction”.

In the research conducted by Nogueira et al. (2017), the (auto)biographical narrative appears through the voice of the researcher-narrator, facing it as a formative instrument. Among the considerations, the authors indicate, on the one hand, the way that students with high abilities highlight the group of studies and research as a significant and important intellectual resource for the exercise of thinking and scientific activity and, on the other hand, the resizing of knowledge required by the process of self-formation.

We have identified that the works directed to the use of narrative look at the education of teachers beyond the formal contexts. They are thus attentive to the ways that the experiences (familiar, academic, institutional) constitute the teacher. We note that this recognition is also present in some of the debates on the Continuing Education axis.

As it can be seen, the work of GT 15 has approached the field of the epistemology of practice. We understand, however, that the notion of lifelong education should be approached with caution. An approach that does not fall into the trap of teachers’ super responsibility for their trajectory is necessary, in order to devalue the role of training institutions and public policies and the appropriation of historically elaborated knowledge. Devaluation undertaken in the discursive plan of educational policies that have blamed the teacher for his/her own education and for the (un)successes of the inclusive proposal (Michels, 2006, 2011; Michels & Lehmkuhl, 2015).

3.2.4 Axis: analysis of policies and formative proposals

The analysis of broader policies and proposals for teacher education is the focus of the studies conducted by Alcântara (2011), Hermes and Lunardi-Lazzarin (2012) and Lehmkuhl (2015). It is possible to observe the fall of these type of productions in the GT. Jesus et al. (2011) identified the predominance of such an axis from studies that evaluated the Inclusive Education Program: the right to diversity. This leads us to suppose that this drop is related to the inexistence of new large governmental initiatives directed to the education with the perspective of inclusion of the target public students of the Special Education.

Alcântara (2011) analyzes how the approximations and distances between the official discourse and the teachers’ speech about teacher education in Special and Inclusive Education move. The author indicates that willingness, love, awareness and motivation appear in the discourses as fundamental in the constitution of an inclusive teacher. The construction of this teacher would imply a human formation that precedes the initial and continuing education. Alcântara (2011) also realizes that, on the one hand, there is an appreciation of daily living instead of undergraduate education, considered as inefficient; on the other hand, teachers, who are subjectivated in the track of neoliberal governance, point out that continuing education must equip them to solve specific problems.

Hermes and Lunardi-Lazzarin (2012) problematize the continuing education of teachers for SES and analyze the capture and mobilization of these teachers in the relationship between Inclusive Education and Special Education in legal and didactic documents of the National Network of Continuing Education of Teachers in Special Education and the Program of Continuing Education of Teachers in Basic Education, distance-learning modality. The authors point out that, operating with self-investment and self-management, teachers are taught to desire modification, investing in a human capital that demands pedagogical and methodological competence.

In the light of historical-dialectical materialism, Lehmkuhl (2015) analyzes the continuing education in Special Education proposed between 2005 and 2009 by the Fundação Catarinense de Educação Especial (a Foundation of Special Education in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil), an agency linked to the State Secretariat of Education. The author notes that instrumentalisation is the main focus of these courses: “what is important are the techniques used as a solution to teaching difficulties for students with disabilities” (Lehmkuhl, 2015, p. 12-13). The researcher concludes that education in this area does not break with the medical-pedagogical and psychopedagogical strands. The proposals are oriented by the disability instead of the pedagogical action and they head in a direction opposed to the one of the National Policy referrals when the majority of the courses is directed to entities of assistance character.

In general, research on this axis indicates the way in which policies and proposals put continuing education on the agenda, focusing on a teacher education based on self-management/self-investment and problem solving.

Recent researches in the field consider that this system of teacher accountability present in the Special Education policy has purposes related to the education policies of other Basic Education teachers (Vaz & Garcia, 2015). In addition, they point out the lack of attention to the initial education that would enable the Special Education teacher and the formative approach focused on the domain of techniques and methods (Michels, 2011; Garcia, 2013; Vaz & Garcia, 2015).

This formative model accompanies the construction movement of Special Education in an inclusive perspective. The area would not require a disability-focused specialist teacher, but a learning resource manager (Michels, 2011, Garcia, 2013). According to Garcia (2013, p. 108), in the policy that prioritizes SES, the main objective is “coexistence and sociability among students and not adopt as main focus work with knowledge historically produced and systematized in school form”. Therefore, the centrality lies in the methods, instruments and work techniques in SES, with the work of the Special Education teacher being restricted to the management and transfer of strategies and teaching techniques.

Vaz and Garcia (2015) investigated special education teacher education models in the debate in the area. The authors identified three models: “generalists, who depart from the teaching base with a specific education; the specialists, who restrict the training in the specific field; and the SES teachers, who are trained to work with resources and materials adapted within the regular schools” (Vaz & Garcia, 2015, p. 55). They say that current policies induce a theoretically restricted education and a broad (multifunctional) action directed to the management of inclusion policy in the regular school.

In the study of the GT works, we did not find a more in-depth debate about the formative models in the field. Few researches directly question the education for Special Education and the nature of the professional required: Specialist? Generalist? Multifunctional? We believe that it is essential to incorporate this knowledge of the field into the debate about the education of the Special Education teacher.

4 Final considerations

In this analysis of the production on teacher education in GT 15 - Special Education of ANPEd, we focused on unveiling the movements of the theme in the field and on bringing the main propositions and considerations made by the works presented in the period 2011-2017 (from the 34th to the 38th editions). This interpretative action was carried out in dialogue with previous researches on teacher education in this GT (Jesus et al., 2011) and on the field of Teacher Education (André, 2009, 2010).

The notes made here are partial and do not exhaust the discussions that may emerge from reading the sources consulted. There are, in fact, open interpretations for the debate and deepening in possible later studies.

Attention is initially drawn to the growth of the theme in GT 15. In the period 2000-2010, studies on teacher education represented 10.7% of total GT productions (Jesus et al., 2011). In the last five editions (2011-2017), they represent 16.3% of the total works presented.

In the studies, there is a great variety of adopted procedures, emphasizing the focus groups, open/semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and documental analysis. Different methodological approaches tend to enrich intellectual production in the field.

The interest for the initial education returns to be present in researches in the GT. It is indicated that the education regarding Special and Inclusive Education has been given by specific actions. As for continuing education, this was the largest axis. A significant portion of these studies is linked to the network research National Observatory on Special Education - Oneesp (4). We perceived the valuation of knowledge produced collectively in participatory researches and focus groups, as well as indications of the way that working conditions limit the performance and education of teachers.

Regarding the epistemological advances involving the theme of teacher education for the field of Special Education, we highlight the use of action research, which appears mainly through the influence of Oneesp, and the indications of more dialogues with the field of Teacher Education by appropriation of investigative methods (autobiographical narratives) and concepts (professional development, self-education), as well as the emphasis on the process of education and its relations with working conditions.

Differently from the continuing education, in which the majority of the works have approached the education of the teacher of the SES, in the studies about initial education there is a predominance of the education of the teacher of the regular classroom. We believe that the production itself has given indications of the need for studies in the GT that address the lócus of initial education and the nature of the work of the teacher that acts in the specialized service.

When analyzing local or broader proposals, work on different axes identify a devaluation of initial education rather than continuing training. This has been developed for small repairs, in a perspective that values ​​technical know-how rather than pedagogical knowledge. Such discourse is not present only in documents and formative proposals, but also in the speech of teachers.

Another highlight is the presence of papers that discuss the education of deaf teachers. From the use of the autobiographical narrative, the texts indicate, on the one hand, how these teachers reconfigure their experiences in the construction of a deaf pedagogy and, on the other hand, they argue that the deaf identity is not the only condition of action in inclusion. It is a theme that can contribute to the reflections about what is specific in/of teaching.

Although it was not an in-depth topic in this text, it is important to mention the adoption of Foucaultian theoretical-methodological tools in most of the studies. These researches, from the point of view of discourse analysis and in dialogue with the Human Capital Theory, contribute by indicating the way in which official statements put into operation investment in self-management/self-investment practices, accounting for the (lack of) teacher education for the daily problems of the school. Such investigations indicate important advances for Special Education, since critical deepening in studies involving teacher education may indicate ways to transcend epistemological limitations and provide an open framework for further discussion.

Among some indicatives for field production, we also consider: 1) the need to build a body of knowledge about the teaching relationships in initial education, an issue already mentioned previously by Jesus et al. (2011), in order to problematize the relations between the contents studied in the university and the teaching work in the schools; and 2) the development of discussions that focus on the role of theory in continuing education in Special Education.

We hope that the proposed exercise of reflection on the teacher education in the field of Special Education will contribute to the direction of future studies, as well as to the development of formative proposals.

4This perspective was introduced from the document Special Education Policy in the Perspective of Inclusive Education, created in 2008 by the Secretariat of Special Education/Ministry of Education (SEESP/MEC), with the objective of accompanying a worldwide movement for advancement of knowledge and social struggles to provide quality education for all.

5On ANPEd’s website, access to the pages of the editions made since 2000 (23rd edition) is available. Retrieved on June 1, 2018 from


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Received: December 07, 2018; Revised: February 24, 2019; Accepted: February 27, 2019

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