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Educação & Realidade

versão impressa ISSN 0100-3143versão On-line ISSN 2175-6236

Educ. Real. vol.44 no.1 Porto Alegre  2019  Epub 07-Mar-2019 


Special Education Policy and the Challenges of an Inclusive Perspective

Libéria Rodrigues NevesI

Mônica Maria Farid RahmeI

Carla Mercês da Rocha Jatobá FerreiraII

IUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte/MG - Brazil

IIUniversidade Federal de Ouro Preto (UFOP), Ouro Preto/MG - Brazil


This article analyzes the meanings of the document National Policy on Special Education in the Perspective of Inclusive Education (2008) and its relevance for the definition of directions for disabled students’ schooling in Brazil in the last ten years. It highlights the centrality conferred by the Policy on Specialized Educational Assistance (SEA), as a complement and/or supplement to common education, in the process of school inclusion. Therefore, it is proposed a dialogue with the psychoanalytic discourse, in order to problematize the place attributed to SEA in this context, as well as the persistence of segregating movements, which insist on enrolling even if the political orientation proposes an inclusive education.

Keywords: Special Education; Inclusive Education; Specialized Educational Assistance; Educational Policies; Psychoanalysis


Este artigo analisa os significados do documento Política Nacional de Educação Especial na Perspectiva da Educação Inclusiva (2008) e sua relevância para a definição dos rumos da escolarização dos estudantes com deficiência no Brasil, nos últimos dez anos. Destaca a centralidade conferida pela Política ao Atendimento Educacional Especializado (AEE), como complementar e/ou suplementar ao ensino comum, no processo de inclusão escolar. Diante disso, propõe-se uma interlocução com o discurso psicanalítico, de modo a problematizar o lugar atribuído ao AEE nesse contexto, bem como a persistência de movimentos segregadores, que insistem em se inscrever mesmo que a orientação política proponha uma Educação Inclusiva.

Palavras-chave: Educação Especial; Educação Inclusiva; Atendimento Educacional Especializado; Política Educacional; Psicanálise


Proposals of schooling aimed at persons with disabilities are produced in coordination with processes that characterize the educational supply of a country and with movements that express broader trends, defined by the production of knowledge, by the definition of educational policies, and by the initiative of international organizations. The supply of services related to the field of Special Education in Brazil was traditionally marked by public funding of initiatives of civil society organizations, which not only structured spaces for assistance to the Target Public of Special Education (PAEE), but also had a central role in the development of educational policies addressed to this group (Mazzotta, 2005; Jannuzzi, 2006; Mendes, 2010; Kassar, 2011a). The creation of private, nonprofit entities such as the Pestalozzi Society, founded in 1934, and the Association of Parents and Friends of Persons with Disability (APAE), created in Rio de Janeiro, in 1954, indicate movements in that direction. In the context of a little comprehensive public education, these institutions prioritized assistance to persons that required specialized educational approaches, maintaining in public school those that presented less difficulties (Kassar, 2011a).

According to Freitag (1984), postwar Brazilian education is characterized by selectivity, observed from primary school to university, and directly related to the socioeconomic origin of students. The author mentions that in 1964 two-thirds of children aged 7-14 years were enrolled in school, and more than half of those who were not enrolled had never attended that institution. It was only in the 1990s, after the Federal Constitution of 1988 was promulgated, that the country achieved higher rates of compulsory schooling. In regard to this context, Cury (2000) points out that the Constitution enabled advances as it recognized education as a subjective public right, defined primary education from 7 to 14 years of age as mandatory, determined the gratuitousness of public education, among other aspects.

In the case of students with disabilities, the Brazilian educational policy, from the 1980s to the mid-1990s, was characterized by perspectives that sought social integration of PAEE persons, although specialized services maintained focus on assistance to this public - in institutions that had agreements with municipal, state, and federal governments, or through access to specialized public school (Mazzotta, 2005). The criticism to the flow of these students in the system, as well as to the segregating aspect of the Brazilian public school, was already expressed in this context, when the production and circulation of some research works indicated that the failure in schools reproduced the inequalities present in Brazilian society (Patto, 1973; 1991; Carraher; Carraher; Schliemann, 1982; Freitag, 1984).

Considering the above, we observe that in the 1990s a distinct movement begins to emerge in the international context through transnational circulation of formalized statements that come to guide signatory countries in the conduct of their educational policies, such as the World Declaration on Education for All (1990) and the Salamanca Statement on Principles, Policy and Practice in Special Needs Education (1994). These documents state the need for an ethical and political commitment by governments to ensure equality of opportunity and the valuing of the individual differences in the educational process (Ebersold, 2009; Kassar, 2011b; Plaisance, 2011).

In Brazil, the Salamanca Statement (1994) is adopted focusing on the perspective that children with disabilities have access to common school and no longer to spaces considered segregated, which lead to issues and discussions on the definition of assistance to this audience. In this regard, in the 1990s public discussions on the definition of the school path of PAEE students increased. Specialized services coordinated to show their history and advocate the legitimacy in the assistance to this public; the movements of people with disabilities and families expressed their favorable or unfavorable positions concerning this reordering; governments initiated actions aimed at opening such services; and many professional of common schools showed lack of training, lack of knowledge, and misgivings on what would be the schooling of these people in these schools. Thus, the late 1990s and early 2000s are characterized, in the Brazilian context, by worries, tensions, and disputes concerning the assistance to these individuals (Kassar, 2011b).

At the international level, the approval in 1999 of the Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities impacted the orientation of the Brazilian Special Education Policy, through the promulgation of Decree no. 3956/2001 (Brasil, 2001a). Also in 2001, the Federal Council of Education established the National Guidelines for Special Education in Basic Education, through the Resolution of the National Council of Education/Basic Education Board (CNE/CEB) no. 2, of Sep 11, 2001 (Brasil, 2001b). According to this document, education systems should now enroll all students indiscriminately, and schools would be responsible for organizing themselves to receive students with special educational needs1.

Thus, from 2003, Brazil adopted guidelines based on an inclusive perspective in the management of its educational policy, prioritizing the enrolment of PAEE students in common rooms of public schools, with or without specialized care monitoring. Subsequently, the establishment of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, approved by the United Nations - UN in 2006, Brazil, as one of the signatory States, adopts the precepts of this document and its Optional Protocol as reference, aiming at the commitment to promote a country with accessibility for all citizens (Brazil, 2009). Thus, it assumes such reference in its legislation, through Constitutional Amendment and Legislative and Executive Decrees, from 2008. The Convention aims to “[...] promote, protect and ensure the full and egalitarian exercise of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and to promote respect for their inherent dignity” (Brasil, 2009, art. 1). With regard to education, Article 24 states its recognition as a fundamental right of persons with disabilities, without discrimination and based on equality of opportunities, through inclusive educational systems at all levels, as well as access to learning throughout life. To that end, it should be ensured: that these people are not excluded from the educational system under claim of disability, in all stages of life; access to inclusive, quality, and free primary education, and to secondary school, in equal conditions with the other people in the community where they live; access to relevant adaptations to individual needs, as well as the necessary support, within the framework of the educational system, in order to maximize academic and social development, according to the goal of full inclusion (Brasil, 2009).

It is in this context that is developed, in 2008, replacing the Special Education Policy until then in force (1994) - a school integration policy centered on the definition of specialized services -, the then Special Education Policy in the Perspective of Inclusive Education (PNEEPEI). This was presented as guidance for states and municipalities, in their actions, in order to ensure the right of all to regular education; that is, in the organization of inclusive educational systems, focusing the public consisting of persons with disabilities, as well as on those with global development disorders (GDD) and those with high skills/gifted (AH/SD).

Thus, the Policy, presented by the Ministry of Education (MEC) in 2008, and so deployed a decade ago, represented a new milestone in Brazilian education, defining Special Education as teaching mode not replacing the schooling that covers all levels, stages and modes; and defining its target public, that is, persons entitled to this mode. In this regard, it is understood as coordinating complementary or supplementary Specialized Educational Assistance (SEA), to be ensured to students through the activity of specialized teachers, times, spaces, and resources adapted to the specific needs of each person that requires such assistance.

Considering the historical and political dimensions referred to above, this article aims to discuss the PNEEPEI focusing on its innovation with regard to the decision on the coordinating function of Specialized Educational Assistance - a service intended to enable the implementation of the inclusive perspective. It is questioned here how the implementation of this service seeks to respond to the concerns raised by its wide institutionalization; the operation of the SEA as a device able to adapt to different demands that emerge from school inclusion processes; as well as its limit in relation to the risk of producing crystallized actions, limited to its locus, with no interaction with the other actors participating in the school dynamics.

To that end, it will be based on some considerations about the PNEEPEI, as well as on the approach of specific issues of the SEA in the last ten years, which will be discussed with reference to some concepts of psychoanalytic orientation. This approach will enable us to address segregation effects that persist in the movements of schooling of PAEE persons, even if the political planning is guided by its denial.

This possible contradiction can be addressed based on dialogue with the psychoanalytic discourse, considering two aspects. The first of these relates to the fact that Freud’s thought establishes in culture a distinct form of thinking the psyche, which demarcates a conception about the radical implications of the unconscious dimension on the constitution of our psychic plane and on the notion of childhood as time that goes through the entire human existence, regardless of its life cycle (Abrão, 2001; Lajonquière, 2010). Another aspect concerns the psychoanalysts’ investigation, from the early 20th century, on issues involving children who present distinct psychic, sensory, physical, and cognitive characteristics from those on which the medical and educational fields focused. The work of Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott in England, Francoise Dolto and Maud Mannoni in France, among others, were decisive in this regard, questioning institutional practices, the position of children in relation to their caregivers, and the very psychiatric nosography.

In Brazil, the psychoanalytic discourse was officially pronounced for the first time at the end of the 19th century by Juliano Moreira, professor at the School of Medicine of Salvador, who cited scientific articles of Freud, in conference, when Psychoanalytic practice started to be established in Vienna (Salim, 2010). In the 1930s, also in northeastern Brazil, doctor Arthur Ramos becomes enthusiastic with the prospect of psychoanalysis as a stand-alone discipline and starts to publicize it in lectures, articles and reports in medical journals (Menezes, 2014). This initial work was succeeded by the engagement of other professionals who were dedicated, over the next decades, both to discuss the psychoanalytic clinic and to deepen its interface with other fields of knowledge2.

With regard to the coordination of psychoanalysis with the educational discussion and, in particular, with the issue of school inclusion of students with disabilities, some works sought to discuss, in recent years, the effects of the inclusion in common schools for children and young people with some more pronounced difference in terms of psychic and cognitive aspects. In order to systematize arguments arising from this discussion, we will focus briefly on some researches that addressed the subject.

Cristina Kupfer (2000) discusses the therapeutic effects that joining school can trigger for children with conditions related to autism and psychosis. The author points out the possibility that the experience of joining school boosts the establishment of bonds with the other and expand the position of school knowledge to these subjects, thus fulfilling a function that Leandro de Lajonquière (2001) attributes to education, such as transmission of symbolic marks.

Kupfer (2000) designates as Therapeutic Education the approach between the educational and the clinical, when social bond issues distinguish the path of some students at school and require approaches consistent with this peculiarity. Addressing that issue, Marise Bastos (2015) uses the topological figure of the Mobius strip to characterize a vision of education and treatment as dimensions that, for these children and young people, are directly connected.

The research of Cláudia Prioste (2006), in turn, discusses the antagonism that the proposition of an inclusive education produces in the school environment, highlighting the impasses present in the constitution of educational bonds between teachers and students in this context. Prioste highlights some limitations present in the educational context, such as working conditions, and the stereotypes related to children considered different. According to the author, faced with the anguish of these estrangements, different types of radical otherness emerge, aimed at exclusion of difference, that is, “[...] although the spaces occupied by the bodies are being shared, they exclude the subjectivity of the other considered strange” (Prioste, 2006, p. 156).

Finally, Ana Beatriz Lerner and Rinaldo Voltolini (2015) question the ways the inclusive discourse was established in society in recent years, and its effects for children, school professionals, and families. The authors are based on the Lacanian approach to ethics, which recognizes a “[...] tension arising from the opposition between pleasure and reality” (Lerner; Voltolini, 2015, p. 83), and the nonexistence of guarantees of happiness in the social and subjective sphere. Considering an inclusive proposal that is established through legal ordering and moral precept, the authors systematize a possible contribution from the psychoanalytic field to the discussion on inclusive education, demanding that this perspective recognizes the unconscious dimension, as we can observe in the quotation below:

Accordingly, we propose that the inclusive education, in addition to the spread of its democratic and egalitarian trend, should consider the psychoanalytic notion of the subject of the unconscious that implies certain indeterminacy as to the execution of pedagogical practices. Beyond the reductionism of the technique, the inclusive practices aligned to this discourse provide a place of expression in the field of word and language so the subject can ‘express oneself properly’ through their uniqueness (Lerner; Voltolini, 2015, p. 89).

Founded on these aspects, we propose to discuss the education of these subjects in special condition (often at odds regarding the social bond) in a common mode. What are the current perspectives of transmission of the desire to know in an inclusive proposal involving Special Education? To what extent does the PNEEPEI enable us to advance in eliminating the logic of exclusion and in ensuring the school inclusion of people with disabilities?

Some Considerations on the National Policy for Special Education in the Perspective of Inclusive Education

The PNEEPEI comprises a historical context of broad international movements started in previous decades that establish the inclusive paradigm for educational systems. The justifications for its development are made with emphasis on two points: internationalization of the movement for Inclusive Education and the need for transformation of the teaching-learning processes, so they can be able to meet the differences of students. Thus, inspired by the constitutional principle of the right of all to education, the PNEEPEI is established aligned with the defense of the access and permanence of all students in schools, which is consistent with the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities and Optional Protocol (2006).

In the text, inclusive education is presented as an educational paradigm supported on the notion of human rights and aligned with the construction of inclusive educational systems, in which there should be substantial changes in the culture of the school and in its structure, established over centuries, so all students had their specificities met. The text highlights that this process requires: practices oriented by equality and difference as indissociable values capable of promoting the overcoming of the logic of exclusion; of confronting discriminatory practices and creating ways to overcome them; of meeting the specific needs of all students. Thus, the elimination of the logic of exclusion is sought, in order to ensure quality education for all in a common and diverse space.

The Policy focuses on access, participation and learning of students identified as Target Public of Special Education in common schools, which should ensure:

Transversality of the special education from early childhood education to higher education; specialized educational assistance; continuing education in higher levels of education; training of teachers for specialized education assistance and other education professionals for school inclusion; participation of the family and the community; urban, architectural accessibility to furniture and equipment, transport, communication and information; and intersectoral coordination in the implementation of public policies (Brasil, 2008b, p. 14).

Thus, Special Education becomes part of the pedagogical proposal of regular school, through determination, preparation and organization of teaching and accessibility resources that eliminate barriers to the full participation of students3. Therefore, it is necessary the presence in school of some actors: an interpreter of LIBRAS in SEA activities, as well as a guide-interpreter; the monitor or caregiver (for hygiene, feeding and locomotion)4 in monitoring of PAEE students who require this resource; teachers with knowledge acquired in initial and/or continued training, with specific knowledge in relation to the disabilities and other aspects involved in the characteristics of the students identified as target public, in addition to knowledge in management of inclusive education systems. Thus, the Policy provides for the construction of educational systems that absorb the demand of speciality, coordinating times, spaces, resources and professional in order to reach each and every one based on the legal system.

Carvalho (2013) recognizes advances in the planning proposed by the PNEEPEI, although highlighting contradictions and normative conflicts that have effects on the very organization of the education systems and on the implementation of an Inclusive Education that integrates the Special Education in its pedagogical proposal. Accordingly, it is undeniable that the PNEEPEI changed the discussion on Special Education in Brazil, enhancing the circulation of the inclusive discourse in school spaces and establishing the SEA as device for implementation of the inclusive perspective, which highlights its distinction in relation to the attribution assigned to it previously, associated with the creation of specialized schools and of special classes in public schools (Batista, 2006). Considering that the aim of this paper is to discuss the PNEEPEI and highlight the SEA as a pedagogical organization element that involves actions designated as complementary and/or supplementary to regular education, it will be addressed next.

The SEA as Commitment to the Inclusive Perspective

It can be said that the Specialized Educational Assistance relates to an education mode that characterizes the Special Education, undergoing transformations throughout the history of Brazilian education, as it is presented as institution, school, service, resources, complementary support, or supplementary support carried out in spaces within or outside regular school, made available transversally to the levels, stages and modes of education. It should be noted again, its official recognition occurred in the context of the late 19th century, aimed at people with disabilities. In Brazil, its institutionalization is evidenced, first, for the assistance to a limited number of blind subjects and, shortly thereafter, to the deaf (Jannuzzi, 2006),5 both composing the administrative structure of the Empire in the area of public education.

In the early 20th century, civil society movements open institutions that organize the Specialized Education of subjects with intellectual disabilities6. Throughout this same century, this mode of educational service is organized basically by creating specialized schools, most of private nature, and only some public schools, in addition to special classes in public schools (Batista, 2006), as previously mentioned.

Between the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, Specialized Educational Assistance is effected as specialized didactic resource, diluted in the adapted practice of regular school teachers; and as service for use in specific environments - such as Multifunctional Resource Rooms (SEM), or in nonschool institutions, specialized institutions, and institutions with agreements with the public education system, with the purpose of complementing or supplementing the regular education.

With the reorganization of Special Education in the inclusive perspective, established in the PNEEPEI (2008), the SEA is now characterized as supplementary and/or complementary support to educational processes carried out in the context of regular school, becoming one of the main institutionalized devices to support the school path of PAEE students enrolled in regular schools. This reorganization would make the SEA central in the Policy, making its implementation a condition for the proper operation of this service. A fact that certainly leads to discussions on its operation and function, as pointed out by Cláudio Baptista (2011, p. 72):

Although acknowledging that there are important changes taking place and that the directives reinvented by each of the managers related to educational systems can develop proposals that could change the future of the education of persons with disabilities in Brazil, I admit we still have much to accomplish. Very important questions remain concerning: the procedures for identifying students who should have access to such services; the school stage considered a priority, because we have observed an emphasis in the first cycle of primary education as the area of concentration of resource rooms; the trend of denying the complexity of phenomena that characterize the school life and of valuing a principle of ‘adjustment’ of ‘correction’ of a subject/student [...]. Our first, and possibly most significant difficulties, are found in daily routine, in our ability to act consistently with the current challenges that characterize the life of each teacher.

Certainly the changes arising from the legislation boost transformations that impact the ways of thinking and conducting the education of persons with disabilities, established historically, culturally, and even economically. Each state, municipality, and institution of Brazil, based on the national legislation, comes to establish actions that aim to reconfigure numerous elements in the transformation of Special Education - from substitute to complementary and/or supplementary.

Baptista (2016) point out the fact that these changes come with disputes, obstacles, reflections, doubts and resistances of the actors involved, be they teachers, administrators, parents, or students. Noting that the SEA can be provided “[...] by public education systems or by community, religious, or non-profit philanthropic institutions, with exclusive work in Special Education, under agreements with the Executive Power” (Brasil, 2011, art. 8), by means of the resources from dual enrollment of PAEE students - in regular school and in SEA. These institutions were until then specialized in substitute education.

For effective implementation of the inclusive perspective, it is proposed a concrete point of coordination between regular class teachers and specialized teachers - the Individualized Education Plan - (PEI), a record to be prepared jointly by teachers, proposing a same line of pedagogical action, both in regular education and in SEA. According to Neves (2017), the PEI can be considered as a case study, since it is configured as a tool that enables an individual view on student, their path, demands, and possibilities in the learning process, taking into account their specific needs.

We should reflect, what is the SEA: a service, locus, or public? To whom is the SEA aimed: those that are different, insufficient, disabled?

What is specialized assistance and where should it be? In the teaching practice of every teacher? In the support of a specialized teacher? In a distinct physical space from regular classroom, in another period, with supplementary and complementary character? Or as replacement? Can the effort of the government, by implementing policies that aim to eliminate segregation, produce non-segregating movements?

Regardless of educational regulations and projects, the SEA embodies a signifier that seems to recurrently demarcate the dimension of segregation. Pelosi and Sousa (2012, p. 216) expressed this concern when questioning if the “[...] current way of operation of Multifunctional Resource Room contributes to the inclusion of students with special educational needs or if it is legitimized as a segregating space.” Based on data from a research on profile of teachers in multifunction resource rooms of the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, the authors indicate impasses present in the work of these professionals, arising from excessive demands directed to SEA teachers, which is evident in the large number of students served by the rooms, often with very different issues; in the restricted time for planning, production, and implementation of resources and strategies for working with students; and in the sporadic contact with the class teacher.

Machado and Pan (2012) contribute to this discussion, addressing the significances attributed to persons with disabilities and the practices directed to them, which have changed throughout history, defining modes of subjectivation and transforming identities. According to the authors, the identities of these subjects have undergone segregation through several ways - of the culturally naturalized annulment; of charity for the situation of inferiority; of asylum with the purpose of protecting the disabled and society; of integration by the normalization promised by the scientific and pedagogical discourse; of equality through rights and opportunities; and of the elimination of barriers and prejudices.

For combating discrimination and in order to guarantee fundamental rights, the PNEEPEI proposes the inclusion of all in regular school, seeking to redefine the identity of students of Special Education. Machado and Pan (2012) question if the pursuit of guarantee of rights can eliminate the human differences when the issue of disability is simplified in the definition of differentiated pedagogical practices. When this occurs, methodological issues start to supersede the dimensions of subjectivity and alterity, denying, in a way, the right to difference and, consequently, to identity. Such movement brings the risk of producing indifference, as a trait that identifies the subject is annulled.

The recurrent difficult to implement school inclusion has been addressed in research papers on the subject (Costa, 2016; Lima; Laplane, 2016; Aguiar, 2015; Moscardini, 2011), and we may question if these challenges can be attributed only to the limits of materiality, improper teacher training, or lack of specialized personnel, as have done authors who discuss in their research the everyday dimension of schools considered inclusive highlighting meanings and opinions of students and teachers (Ferreira; Lopes, 2016). Kassar (2011a) notes that, with regard to the SEA, even in educational institutions that are more equipped or that have this support, distances can be observed between the existence of resources and their utilization in the implementation of pedagogical practices considered inclusive.

The inclusive educational proposal, supported by an official guiding document, has gaps that characterize it as incomplete, since it would be insufficient to consider that legal and administrative measures would cover all the complexity involved in this proposal, as warned by Voltolini (2005). Seeking to provide education to all and for all, due to fiercely combating inequality, leads to the risk of eliminating identity and producing indifference, which can be configured as a new form of segregation. Founded on theoretical contributions from psychoanalysis, it becomes possible to think segregation, as mechanism or effect, able (or not) to persist in school inclusion processes.

Segregation or what Escapes from Fraternalism

The PNEEPEI emerges in Brazil as a result of democratic discussion, concerned with correcting inequalities of access to cultural assets by a large part of the population. However, after ten years in force, there is criticism of some aspects of the implementation process and of the characterization of the target public. It is highlighted here the fact that there is criticism of the difficulty in implementing the inclusive principles established, even when having appropriate resources and materials.

The proposition of a so-called inclusive education is an affirmation of the most challenging to society and to educational institutions, when we consider the long history of social stigmatization experienced by people with disabilities and the constitution of segregated spaces. Breaking with this logic and working on the construction of democratic principles that effect the social rights of this population, considering, to that end, their protagonism, makes this process even more challenging, given the long experience of tutelage to which people with disabilities were traditionally subject.

Focusing on school education, it is necessary to think about the constructions that were produced in these periods and, also, in the impasses that persist in the path. Considering this, next we will address elements that show the challenge of the inclusive project in its intention to make collective the recognition of the other as similar, the structural predicaments of that statement, as well as the persistence of segregation in this context.

Rinaldo Voltolini (2015) comments that the signifier inclusion comes to us through public policy and, thus, when dealing with something For Everyone, as an expression that seeks to point out the common right, we are also dealing with its opposite, since “[...] the very existence of the need to include shows the segregating tendency present in society against which the inclusive effort rises” (Voltolini, 2015, p. 225). Based on psychoanalytic theory, the author points out the tendency to segregation as a structural condition in human existence. It is through the myth of the murder of the father of the primitive horde, crime committed by the children in order to stop the exclusivity of his access to females, which Freud describes in Totem and Taboo (1913) the birth of culture, establishing “[...] the principle of equity in the access to goods, founded upon a restriction of pleasure” (Voltolini, 2015, p. 225). It is considered then that from this event there is the creation of the totem, marking the veneration of the dead father and giving rise to the feeling of belonging and identification that enables the formation of the group.

It is important to us, in this text, still based on the reflection brought by Voltolini (2015), highlighting that in this dynamics characteristic of identificatory processes, there is no inclusion spontaneously, because the possibility of being with the other is based on the social bond, in which “[...] the family comes before the social” (Voltolini, 2015, p. 225). With that, it can inferred that inclusive processes cause paradoxical dynamics in contexts of human coexistence. The presence of demarcations, borders and limits emerges as intrinsic condition in actions that, in principle, would be inclusive. The possibility of dealing with this structural condition would lie in the dimension of language, in our political capacity (action of men over men).

Although the concept of segregation is not psychoanalytic, several authors address the subject from this perspective (Batista, 2012; Rahme, 2014; Pereira; Ferrari, 2016), referring to excerpts from the work of Freud, as that cited by Voltolini (2015), and also of Lacan. Through these authors, it is possible to understand segregation as a constituent element of life in civilization, based on the conception that identification with peers would only be possible through exclusion of non-peers. That is, the constitution of a collective, group, fraternal set would not take place without the rejection of strangers, which requires from civilization further work, in the sense of producing relationships that enable the recognition of the other. In this regard, Lacan (1992) states that fraternity arises from an act of segregation.

Referring to Seminar 7, by Lacan, entitled The ethics of psychoanalysis (1959-1960), Pereira and Ferrari (2016) point out that the bond with the Other produces the aggressive element in the singularity, that which is most intimate, closest, innermost, albeit exterior - extimate (Lacan, 2008A). This is an impossible that constitutes the collective, in view of the nonexistence of a mode of unified social enjoyment.

At this point there is still a malaise in capitalist and scientific discourses, focusing on the social field, with the promise of universalization of an enjoyment equally accessible to all. The discourse of science, organized by the hyperspecialization of knowledge, pursues the production of knowledge about its objects, through decomposition, separation, classification, including the subjects then subjected to objectification, which can cause segregation effects.

Based on this logic, we can reflect if the specialization, contained in the SEA reserved to people who constitute the target public of Special Education, works as a pedagogical scientific knowledge addressed specifically to subjects with disability, GDD, and AH/SD, who, not longer being subject to the wild law of elimination, are technically classified, repaired or included, through the specialized - inside or outside the classroom for all.

Equality is not immune to segregation. Lacan (2008a) allows us to state that the possibility of bond between the subject and the Other is associated with the preservation of a difference between them. So that the elimination of this differentiation, ultimately, would lead the symbolic order to collapse, since the symbolic is characterized by establishing a network of oppositions that organizes the world into differences. Anguish takes part in that as a protest against the abolition of distinctions between the subject and the Other. In this perspective, the more repression and homogenization, the more rejection will appear, the more violent and heavy will be the acts and expressions of intolerance and segregation.

Lacan (1978) mentions such relation through the concept of identification, as well as the theory regarding the mirror stage, involving a reading of the Freudian thesis about the familiar strange, present in the text The Uncanny, published by Freud in 1919. In this work, Freud presents that which causes estrangement not as something unknown, but, exactly, as familiar.

According to Freud (2006 [1919]), the uncanny emerges when the most intimate of our body, with its sources of pulsion stimuli, sees itself in an object, exerting an effect of exteriority in relation to the narcissistic unit - the Ego; or through the return of pulsions repressed in the Id, causing feelings of repulsion, fear, compassion or others that can condense into estrangement.

The feeling of estrangement “[...] occurs when child complexes that had been repressed are relived once more through some impression” (Freud, 2006, p. 310), that which should remain hidden and is manifested, that which should remain invisible and becomes visible, leading us to a moment between the alienation and the separation of the structuring process of the split subjectivity.

According to Lacan (2008b), the strange reveals a known, in the form of a primordial Other that interpellates us as objects of enjoyment, whose response, anguish, comes to signify a reaction to the danger represented by the interpellation as driving force of repression, or according to Freud (2006) as defense against the death drive. Thus, segregation may be the effect of not wanting to know or not wanting to see that which, associated with the threat of castration and with the compulsion to repetition, ultimately, refers to the meaninglessness of death. Something with which we are faced when before that which causes issues and mars the project of a harmonious social system - the intruder, stranger, foreigner.

Concerning the field of education, the strange, through the right to access, has been historically involved in segregation - explicitly or veiled by semblances.

This universalizing and standardizing ideal, found in the ‘impasses of the time’ - time of ‘all equal,’ and/or ‘for all’ - has, conversely, a growing effect of segregation. That is, there is a structure through which the more there is movement toward the universal, the more there is segregation of the particular. The particular refers to that which remains denied, repressed, to the structuring function of the lack of the Other; it is the castration, the misunderstanding that each of the speakers we are bears, from birth. (Pereira; Ferrari, 2016, p. 208-209, highlights by the authors).

As structuring element in life in civilization, in response to the homogenizing effect of the discourse of science, to the encounter with the interpellation of the devastating Other, or to the encounter with castration, segregation is shown here as defense or condition. Accordingly, it allows us to think of it as repetition accompanying persons with disability over the several models that aim, for these subjects, at a rightful place. Thus, after 10 years of promulgation of the last great Brazilian Policy of inclusion, we are faced with the new and old challenges of the for all, including the impossible dimension present in the persistence of segregation that insists in taking place.

The Inclusive Perspective

The PNEEPEI (2008) proposes a reordering that ends up conditioning its fulfillment to the implementation of the SEA. Thus, there is commitment to an education for all, through the transversality of Special Education, for those who constitute the Target Public of Special Education, being provided as complement and/or supplement.

In this sense, SEA can be understood as a device (place or service) that enables the inclusive perspective, which is not achieved only based on a Policy that regulates, orients, and ensures its function and operation. Aspects of all kinds, which involve, for example, the local culture of where both the schools and the specialized spaces that historically substitute schooling coexist, become sufficient factor so such perspective reproduces a status quo, legitimizing segregating services that do not modify the situation of social stigmatization.

Silva (2010) highlights the paradox that is established in this Policy, since the education for all ends up leading to a specialized space for each one, putting the sphere of the special in place of inclusion. Such perspective may contribute so the assistance to students with disabilities is based primarily on the knowledge of a specialist teacher, who assumes the work using technoscientific resources, oriented by something a priori in relation to these students. Therefore, hindering a possible opening to questioning and to the unusual, aspects (not rarely) disregarded in regular classes.

The author cites the experience of Maud Mannoni with Experimental School Bonneuil-sur-Marne, in France, where they favor the alternation of work within the institution and outside it, in other educational spaces. Thus, being constitute as an incomplete (burst) institution, which does not determine a priori the path of PAEE students based on their diagnoses. “Against the trend of the specialized inclusive school, Bonneuil seems to point to the possibility of an education for all, without turning it into a special education for each one” (Silva, 2010, p. 176).

The idea of perspective leads us to something of a becoming, something in process that invites us to aim for the horizon, pointing to new ways of looking, of foreseeing, of imagining educational scenarios and territories where persons with disabilities are, in fact, involved in the knowledge acquisition process. This seems to be the plan in Bonneuil. And this may be a plan for the work in the SEA, open to collaboration, to the unusual and, especially, to the knowledge that comes from the subject.

Thus, the SEA can enable such perspective to be fulfilled, leading to the reduction of barriers so PAEE subjects can be in regular school, sharing spaces and times of learning - through access to resources that can introduce them into the transmission circuit; using a study plan, collaboratively executed in regular school, with possible complement and/or supplement.

It is thinking the SEA as an opportunity for attention to that of special that constitutes each demand, to the singular, to the haphazard, and to the invention. In this perspective, where does segregation go? Maybe it comes diluted in the gaps of the discourse that allows the bond; in that which favors the transmission of the desire to know in an inclusive proposal involving Special Education.

Final Considerations

The ideas discussed here support the statement that the PNEEPEI constitutes a milestone in the Brazilian history of education of persons with disabilities. Presenting special education as an educational mode that is transversal to regular education does not result in technicist reductionism, as well as proposing the SEA as a coordinating device shows its commitment to innovation.

However, the document is not free of contradictions in spite of its discourse, in perspective, giving us the illusion of eliminating educational exclusion. The implementation of a public policy does not escape the historical roots that mark the constitution of a nation, and therefore, the traces of exclusion insist in the possibility of (re)emerging, causing tensions, misunderstandings and ambivalence that end up showing the segregating aspects that threaten human dignity.

It is necessary to affirm the National Policy for Special Education, legitimized by laws, established by decrees that ensure democratic principles with regard to the social rights of this population. It is necessary a perspective that, in considering that which insists in reappearing, can promote spaces for everyday inventions, movements and discussions that seek to inhibit segregating attitudes. So this policy can enforce an inclusive principle, committed to the social bond and to the everyday ethics that characterize the educational function aligned to the right to singular educational experiences.


1The term special educational needs was introduced by the Warnock Report (1979). The terminology was employed in several national documents before the expressions persons with disabilities and target public of special education became more usual in the social and educational context in Brazil.

2Arthur Ramos corresponded with various personalities from the field of science, arts, and popular ones. For further information, manuscripts (letters) can be consulted in the archives of Arthur Ramos available in the National Library (Rio de Janeiro), manuscripts section.

3It is worth highlighting the specificities of the education of the Deaf, which is planned to meet the demand of bilingual education (Brazilian Sign Language - LIBRAS - and Portuguese Language), as well as the permanence of deaf students together in regular classes in regular school, founded on the linguistic difference that characterizes this group.

4According to Technical Note no. 9/2010 (MEC/SEESP/GAB), the function of this professional addresses students with disabilities and global development disorders, enrolled in regular schools of the public school system, at any level, mode or step of the educational path. The technical note establishes that support professionals must assist students in locomotion, feeding and hygiene, in individualized manner and when necessary, focusing on functionality and not on disability. In addition, it advises that these professionals must work in coordination with regular class teachers, with SEA teachers, and other professionals who work in school, without conducting differentiated educational activities or being responsible for educational activities specific for that student.

5Reference to the Imperial Institute of the Blind Boys, founded in 1854, which came to be named Benjamin Constant Institute (IBC) in 1891; and to the Imperial Institute of the Deaf and Dumb, founded in 1857, the current National Institute for Education of the Deaf (INES).

6The first Pestalozzi Institute, created in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, in 1926 and the first Association of Parents and Friends of Persons with Disability (APAE), created in Rio de Janeiro, in 1954, as mentioned above.

Translated from Portuguese by Roberto Cândido


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Received: July 16, 2018; Accepted: November 08, 2018




Libéria Rodrigues Neves is PhD in Education from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), where she works as professor in undergraduate and graduate programs (PROMESTRE). Member of the International Psychoanalysis, Education, and Politics Research Network (RIPPEP); of the Interdisciplinary Psychoanalysis and Education Research Center (NIPSE); and of the Working Group on Psychoanalysis and Education of the Anpepp. ORCID:

Mônica Maria Farid Rahme is PhD in Education from the University of São Paulo (USP), Professor in undergraduate and graduate programs at the School of Education, UFMG. Member of the International Psychoanalysis, Education, and Politics Research Network (RIPPEP); of the Psychoanalytical and Educational Study and Research Laboratory (Lepsi-Minas); and of the Working Group on Psychoanalysis and Education of the Anpepp. ORCID:

Carla Mercês da Rocha Jatobá Ferreira is PhD from the University of São Paulo (USP), Associate Professor of the UFOP, and Professor in the Graduate Program in Education (ICHS-UFOP). Member of the International Psychoanalysis, Education, and Politics Research Network (RIPPEP), of the Psychoanalytical and Educational Study and Research Laboratory (Lepsi-Minas); and of the Grupo Caleidoscópio (UFOP). ORCID:

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