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História da Educação

versão On-line ISSN 2236-3459

Hist. Educ. vol.19 no.45 Santa Maria jan./abr. 2015

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2236-3459/48152 

Articles

Control measures for circulation of the textbook for teaching reading and writing in São Paulo: the role of the 1918 reviewing committee

Fernando Rodrigues de Oliveira1 

Thabatha Aline Trevisan2 

1São Paulo State University, campus of Marília, Brazil

2São Paulo State University, campus of Marília, Brazil


ABSTRACT

In order to contribute to the understanding of the history of the teaching of reading and writing and the history of political movement of textbooks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, we present the results of the analysis of the documents produced by the Review Commission Textbook, established in 1918 by the General Board of Education of São Paulo State. This commission aimed to review which books among the already approved by previous committees, should continue as recommended for use in elementary schools in São Paulo. For this, the commission has prepared various reports, which are representative of the actions of the state government to control the circulation and use of textbooks in elementary schools in the early twentieth century.

Key words: textbook; teaching reading and writing; history of literacy; history of education

Key words: textbook; teaching reading and writing; history of literacy; history of education;

RESUMO

Com o objetivo de contribuir para a compreensão da história do ensino de leitura e escrita e a história das políticas de circulação dos livros didáticos em São Paulo, Brasil, apresentam-se resultados da análise dos documentos produzidos pela Commissão Revisora de Livros Didáticos, instituída em 1918 pela Diretoria Geral da Instrução Pública de São Paulo. Esta comissão teve como objetivo rever quais livros, dentre os já aprovados por comissões anteriores, deveriam continuar como recomendados para uso nas escolas primárias paulistas, relativamente ao ensino de leitura e escrita. Para tanto, foram produzidos diferentes relatórios, os quais são representativos das ações do governo paulista para controle da circulação e do uso dos livros didáticos nas escolas primárias no início do século 20.

Palavras-Chave: livro didático; ensino de leitura e escrita; história da alfabetização; história da educação

ABSTRACT

In order to contribute to the understanding of the history of the teaching of reading and writing and the history of political movement of textbooks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, we present the results of the analysis of the documents produced by the Review Commission Textbook, established in 1918 by the General Board of Education of São Paulo State. This commission aimed to review which books among the already approved by previous committees, should continue as recommended for use in elementary schools in São Paulo. For this, the commission has prepared various reports, which are representative of the actions of the state government to control the circulation and use of textbooks in elementary schools in the early twentieth century.

Key words: textbook; teaching reading and writing; history of literacy; history of education

Key words: textbook; teaching reading and writing; history of literacy; history of education;

RESUMEN

Con el objetivo de contribuir a la comprensión de la historia de la enseñanza de la lectura y la escritura y la historia del movimiento de los libros de texto en São Paulo, Brasil, se presentan los resultados del análisis de los documentos producidos por la Comisión de revisión de los libros de texto, establecida en 1918 por el Consejo General de Educación de São Paulo. Esta comisión tenía como objetivo revisar cuales libros, entre los ya aprobados por los comités anteriores, deben continuar como se recomienda para su uso en las escuelas primarias de São Paulo. Con este fin, se produjeron diversos documentos, que son representativos de las acciones del gobierno estatal para el control de la circulación y el uso de los libros de texto en las escuelas primarias a principios del siglo 20.

Palabras-clave: libros de texto; enseñar a leer y escribir; historia de la alfabetización; historia de la educación

Résumé

Dans le but de contribuer par la compréhension de l´histoire de l´enseignement de la lecture et de l´écriture et par l´histoire des politiques de la circulation des manuels scolaires dans l´état de São Paulo, Brésil, on présente des résultats de l´analyse des documents produits par la Commission de révision des manuels scolaires, établi en 1918. Cette Commission qui visait à examiner les livres, parmi les déjà approuvé par les comités précédents, devraient continuer tel que recommandé pour une utilisation dans les écoles primaires de São Paulo. Ainsi, différents rapports ont été produits, ceux-ci sont représentatifs des actions du gouvernement de l´état pour le contrôle de la circulation et l´utilisation des manuels scolaires dans les écoles primaires au début du 20e siècle.

Mots-clé manuel scolaire; enseignement de la lecture et de l´écriture; histoire de l´alphabétisation; histoire de l´éducation

Introduction

The end the country's growing modernization process, the State of São Paulo he end of the 19th century, with the establishment of the republican regime adopted important measures for the reorganization and expansion of elementary school as a way to modernize the educational field (Souza, 2008). In this process, questions on teaching reading and writing took center stage in the educational debate, mostly, with regard to the institutionalization of the analytical method for this teaching (Mortatti, 2000).

In this scenario of changes in the São Paulo State education system, marked by initiatives for education reform1 based on the assumptions of the New Pedagogy, a demand for the production of primers and reading books started, with the expectation that these materials would meet the political and educational assumptions of the republican reform in the São Paulo State public school system (Mortatti, 2000). In the scope of this republican project, the need for the production of new didactic materials was justified, among others, as a guarantee to standardize teaching, consistent with the perspective adopted by the republican reformers. As for this aspects, Razzini notes (2012, p. 106) that

the main consequence of such standardization [...] was the requirement that each student had his/her own school supplies, increasing the demand for products that would be used more and more individually, such as quills, pencils, slates, paper shets, notebooks and books, before shared by several students in different moments.

In this period, late 19th century and early 20th century, since the didactic materials were enough to meet the new demands of the time, these changes in the São Paulo State public school system increased the need for the production of new textbooks, which resulted in a progressive expansion of the publishing market in this sector. However, in spite of the large production of textbooks in the city of São Paulo, the circulation of these books in public schools, mainly from the early decades of the 20th century, was restricted by the judgment of committees appointed by the Public School System Chief Executive Office.

These committees, in general, were responsible for issuing opinion reports on the textbooks published at the time, which "once approved, became adopted - with adoption meaning official purchase - by the State, for use in São Paulo State elementary schools with the purpose of standardizing the teaching of reading" (Mortatti, 2000, p. 87).

Among the committees created in the early 20th century2, we highlight the role of the Reviewing Committee of textbooks, installed in 1918 by the secretary of Interior State of São Paulo, professor Oscar Rodrigues Alves. This Committee, made up by Antonio de Sampaio Dória, Américo de Moura and Plínio Barreto, was in charge of "selecting, among the books already approved, for use by the students in our schools, the ones that most suited their purposes, with exclusions promptly accepted by the government" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 142).

Considering the aspects pointed out in this paper and the understanding that the role of this Committee meant a control strategy for circulation of textbooks in São Paulo, we present some aspects of the text configuration of the reports produced by the members of the Reviewing Committee of textbooks in 1918, which were: opinion report 1, dated January 6, 1918 by Américo de Moura; preliminary opinion report dated January 7, 1918 by Plínio Barreto; supplementary opinion report dated January 8, 1918 by Antonio de Sampaio Dória; supplementary opinion report dated January 11, 1918 by Américo de Moura; general report dated January 12, 1918 by Sampaio Dória (reporting member), Américo de Moura and Plínio Barreto; and the closing minutes of the works of the Reviewing Committee of textbooks also dated January 12, 1918 by Sampaio Dória (reporting member), Américo de Moura and Plínio Barreto.

Our goal with the analysis of these documents is to contribute for the production of the history of reading and writing education in Brazil, as well as the understanding of the questions involved in the process for the official adoption of textbooks specific for this teaching in the State of São Paulo.

To analyze these reports, we used the text configuration analysis method, which consists of

a set of constitutive aspects of a certain text referring to: thematic-content options (what?) and formal structures (how?), projected by a certain individual (who?), who presents himself as the author of a discourse produced from a certain point of view and social place (from where?) and historical moment (when?), moved by certain needs (why?) and purposes (for what), aiming at the certain effect in a certain type of reader (for whom?) and reaching a certain type of circulation, use and repercussion (Mortatti, 2000, p. 31)

The creation of the Reviewing Committee of textbooks and the work division

In view of the need to assess textbooks used in São Paulo State public elementary school and review which ones should, in fact, remain as recommended by the São Paulo General Board of Public Education, in 1918, the then secretary of interior State of São Paulo, Oscar Rodrigues Alves, appointed a committee to review textbooks that had been so far approved for use in elementary schools. One of the responsibilities of this Committee was to "build the foundations of a scientific standard that would shape future works designated for schools" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 142).

For this purpose, Oscar Rodrigues Alves appointed the members of this Committee: Antonio de Sampaio Doria3, also in charge of reporting the works of the Committee; Américo de Moura3; and Plínio Barreto4.

To begin the work, Antonio de Sampaio Dória, in a supplementary opinion report (1918), argued that such Committee, made up of three members, should organize its work along three axes, which, according to him, met the ideal children's education. These axes defined by Sampaio Dória referred to language, the appropriateness of the subject matter and the method used, the didacticity.

Sampaio Dória proposed that each member of the Committee present a preliminary report on the aspect that had been assigned to him and, at the end of this stage, a synthesis would be prepared from a set of three opinion reports and that would be the definitive opinion report. Following this proposal, the Committee made up of Sampaio Dória, Américo de Moura and Plínio Barreto began the work by dividing which aspect each member would analyze.

In the division and organization of the work, professor Américo de Moura was assigned the assessment of the didactics of textbooks, that is, the "method for developing the subjects" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 145). For the members of this Committee (1918a), didacticity comprised the expository method and the material hygiene conditions, understood by them as colors, shapes and sizes of letters; the distance between lines; extension and harmony; paper color and quality.

Also with regard to the didacticity of a book, the members of the Committee explained that it was a "set of qualities that a book has to have, it is its adaptation to the laws governing the cerebral activity of knowledge. These laws were drafted, proved and consecrated" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 146).

As interpreted by Américo de Moura, Sampaio Dória and Plínio Barreto,

all books, truly didactic, start by not dismissing, as much as possible, illustrations that replace, approximately, the material presence of the realities of the senses. [...] It is the old and repetitive march of the known towards the unknown, the old to the new, the easy to the difficult. (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 146)

For the members of the Committee, the book may have an admirable theme, mainly concerning the moral, may be within its readers' reach, with a "pure language" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 147), clear and current, but if it is exposed improperly to the understanding of a child, it will be detrimental to teaching.

The second item to be analyzed, language, was under the responsibility of the lawyer, journalist and literary critic Plínio Barreto. As conceived by the members of the Committee, the author of the textbook should be a "master of words" and a "master in child's science", since some styles do not fit well in textbooks. They should, therefore, "value grammar correctness" and "clarity of expression". The language should be "natural and simple, sober and elegant." These are the minimum "art attributes required in didactic language" (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 143).

In addition, in the opinion of these three members of the Committee, one of the secrets of successfully writing textbooks lies

in the intelligent choice of words, terse, clear, transparent, with legitimate refinement and modes, the most extreme vernacularity; making use of new terms so that, in the same context of the sentence, the exact meaning stands out, gauging apparent language difficulties, inexistent for adults, but great, and, not rarely, discouraging for young school beginners. (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 143)

The third and last item to be analyzed in books, the "appropriateness of the subject matter", was under the responsibility of Sampaio Dória. According to the Committee members, the "appropriateness of the subject matter" refers to the "subject matter interest as its perfect adaptation to preparation and school age, the moral convenience of the subject matter, as a moral education factor in children" (Dória, 1981a, p. 155).

Further on the appropriateness of the subject matter, the members of the Committee explained that

a perfect correspondence between the object of reading and the reader's intellectual capacity was needed. Interest arises from this perfect correspondence, gently catching the reader's attention. The graduation of the subject matter with the child's evolution stage and culture is one of the most widely known pedagogical precepts, in spite of its constant violation everywhere and at all times. (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 144)

Thus, after defining the responsibilities of each member of the Committee, they turned to the analysis of the textbooks and, separately, prepared partial opinion reports on the aspects they had observed.

The opinion report by Américo de Moura

Having the responsibility of evaluating the didacticity of textbooks already approved by the General Board of Public Education, Américo de Moura began his opinion report by justifying that it would be more appropriate for his assessment if he had the reports of the other members of the Committee in hand. Américo de Moura upheld that position because, according to him, the didactic question is the "sum of relations, totally abstract notions, or a whole that comprises the background and the shape, in addition to physicalpsychic elements to which one must adapt to in teaching" (Moura, 1918a).

However, since it was impossible to have access to the reports by Sampaio Dória and Plínio Barreto as a result of the delay of the work of this Committee, this professor prepared his opinion report - Report 1 (1918a) -, presenting his proposal of acceptance and elimination of textbooks he analyzed.

Table 1 Books approved by Américo de Moura in report 1 (1918a)(5). 

Title Author
Primeiro livro de leitura (Série Puiggari-Barreto) R. Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto
Segundo livro de leitura (Série Puiggari-Barreto) R. Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto
Terceiro livro de leitura (Série Puiggari-Barreto) R. Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto
1º livro de leitura (Série Rangel Pestana) João Köpke
2º livro de leitura (Série Rangel Pestana) João Köpke
3º livro de leitura (Série Rangel Pestana) João Köpke
Leituras práticas João Köpke
Através do Brasil Olavo Bilac e Bomfim
Poesias infantis Olavo Bilac
Cartilha analytica Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
O patinho feito (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
Os cisnes selvagens (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
O isqueiro encantado (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
O soldadinho de chumbo (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
O velocino de ouro (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
Viagens maravilhosas de Simbad, o marinheiro (Coleção Biblioteca Infantil) Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
Leituras Moraes Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto
Nova cartilha analytico-synthética Mariano de Oliveira
Leituras preparatórias R. Macedo
Minha pátria - 2º ano P. e Silva
Minha pátria - 3º ano P. e Silva
Meu livro: primeiras leituras Theodoro de Moraes
Páginas infantis P. Duarte
Cousas brasileiras Puiggari
Segundo livro de leitura Tomás Galhardo
Terceiro livro de leitura Tomás Galhardo
Cartilha infantil Carlos Alberto G. Cardim
Palestras sobre plantas C. Brilho
Contos infantis Júlia L. Almeida e Adelina L. Vieira
Fábulas Justiniano Rocha
Histórias de nossa terra Júlia Lopes de Almeida
Fábulas E. M. P.
Nossa pátria R. Pombo
Contos Moraes e cívicos G. Goes
Tradições nacionaes Carlos Alberto G. Cardim
Coleção de mappas de Parker ?

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

From a total of 100 books Américo de Moura had access to issue his opinion report, he proposed the approval of 36 books, varying between graded reading series, literary books, primers and general reading books.

Among the primers he analyzed, Américo de Moura considered only four appropriate in the didactic point of view. They are: Meu livro, by Theodoro de Moraes; Cartilha infantil, by Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim; Nova cartilha analytico-synthética, by Mariano de Oliveira, and Cartilha analytica, by Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto.

As for graded reading series, Américo de Moura approved the three first books of the Rangel Pestana series, by João Köpke, and the three first books of the Puiggari-Barreto series, by authors Romão Puiggari and Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto.

Among the approved authors by Américo de Moura, the names Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto and João Köpke stand out. Out of the 36 approved books, 11 are authored or coauthored by Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto and four by João Köpke.

It is important to highlight that, although most books approved by Américo de Moura were authored by professors defending the analytical method as the most scientific and efficient, this professor approved two reading books by Thomáz Galhardo, author of one of the main Brazilian synthetic method primers named: Cartilha da infância, supposedly published in the 1880s.

In addition to listing approved books from the didactic point of view, Américo de Moura also presented in his report a list of books not approved and their respective justification.

Table 2  Books disapproved by Américo de Moura in report 1 (1918a). 

Title Author Justification
Livro de composição Olavo Bilac e Bomfim Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Leitura Olavo Bilac e Bomfim Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Anthologia nacional Barreto e Laet Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Chorographia do Brasil Scrosoppi Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Arithmetica O. Freire Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Expositor de matemática C. B. Franco Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Sciencias naturaes e physicas Fernandes Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Instrução moral e cívica Felisberto Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Noções de hygiene Afranio e G. Couto Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Cartas Anepigraphas Scrosoppi Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
A educação physica Mosso Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
A arte de ensinar White Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
O ensino da música Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Princípios da Educação Padre Ozamis Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Rudimentos de pedagogia Martinez Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Tachygraphia Anderson Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Preleções de geographia D. Ramos Not intended for the preliminary course of studies
Quarto livro de leitura R.Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Quarto livro de leitura João Köpke Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Florilégio João Köpke Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Princípios de composição G. do Prado Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Livro de português B. Pinheiro Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Livro das aves P. Duarte Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
A vida simples Wagner Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Livro das escolas T. Amaral Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
História do Brasil R. Pombo Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Grammatica (curso primário) Júlio Ribeiro Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Grammatica (curso médio) Júlio Ribeiro Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Grammatica Abilio Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Elementos de inst. moral e cívica E. da Sª. Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Pequenas instr. moral e cívica Escrosoppi Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Manual de instrução moral e cívica Numa Droz Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Céu, terra, mar Arnaldo de Oliveira Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Os grandes pensadores T. de Campos Not adapt to the preliminary course of studies
Cartilha das mães Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Primeiro livro Juranville Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Cartilha da infancia Tomás Galhardo Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Arte da Leitura L. Cardoso Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Livro dos principiantes N. Araújo Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Calligraphia americana Barreto e Roca Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Calligraphia Monteiro Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Cadernos de desenho O. Freire Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Calligraphia americana Vianna Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Calligraphia O. Freire Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Desenho Lima e Thompson Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Cartilha brasileira Locio Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Primeiro livro J. R. Coelho Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
A arte do desenho C. Res. Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Cartilha moderna S. Teixeira Incompatible with the processes officially adopted
Pre-cartilha, livro do mestre Quaglio Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Arithmetica Roca Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Arithmetica (volume I) R. Barreto Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Arithmetica (volume II) R. Barreto Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Festas das árvores Silva-Rezende Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Jogos Gymnasticos Lange-Camargo Not intended for students of preliminary schools
Leitura analytica C. Fagundes Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? O. Lobo Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? E. Fagundes Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? L. Costa Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? M. Barreto Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? M. Silva Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? J. Landim Not intended for students of preliminary schools
? A. Alves Not intended for students of preliminary schools

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

Américo de Moura justifies the 64 disapproved titles as follows: 18 are not intended for the preliminary course of studies; 17 do not adapt to the preliminary course of studies; 15 are incompatible with the processes officially adopted in the São Paulo State schools; 14 are not intended for students of preliminary schools.

As for the rejected primers, Américo de Moura explained that in this supplementary opinion report (1918b), the criterion adopted was "preference for the analytical march, requiring the starting point to be sentences or words orally familiar" (Moura, 1918b, p. 178). For this reason, Cartilha da infância, by Thomaz Galhardo, Cartilha moderna, by Sylvio Teixeira and the book Primeiros passos, by Francisco Vianna, were disapproved by him. With regard to reading books, this professor further explains in his supplementary opinion report (1918b), that the criterion adopted was the method, in this case, the preference for a method that met the need of providing the young learner "simple and compound letters [...] within the resources of his/her oral vocabulary, not only some words learned as visual units, but any others that were phonetically written and many of etymological and confusing spelling" (Moura, 1918b, p. 180).

The opinion report by Plínio Barreto

Plínio Barreto, in charge of evaluating the language of textbooks, proposed to examine sentence correction and the appropriateness of style. Before beginning his opinion report, Plínio Barreto (1918, p. 163) explained that

i excluded from my examination books foreign to elementary classrooms, that is, all treatises on Geography, History, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Natural Sciences, all grammar books, all selections and other books that, by the nature of their subject or language, were intended for advanced classes and escaped from the special analysis I was in charge of performing.

In addition to excluding these books, Plínio Barreto did not issue an opinion report on other books that he did not receive. This is the case of Cartilha infantil, by Carlos A. Gomes Cardim, and Leitura, by Maria Rosa Ribeiro, for example.

In his preliminary opinion report (1918), Plínio Barreto does not state clearly which books he approved or disapproved. He only presents a brief report on the question of language for each of the books he analyzed.

Table 3 Books assessed by Plínio Barreto in his preliminary opinion report (1918). 

Title Author Justification
Livros de leitura Puiggari - Barreto The language is correct but has some style defects such as unnecessary repetition and vicious constructions. It was also observed distortions of meaning in many words and expressions.
Livros de Leituras Práticas João Köpke Note the many writing defects and some language vices.
Livro de Leitura e Através do Brasil Bilac-Bomfim Faultless
Poesias infantis Olavo Bilac Perfect
Contos patrios Bilac-Coelho Netto Pure language. In some of his tales the author departed a little style of simplicity that the intelligence of your readers require.
Obras de Leitura e Traduções de Andersen Arnaldo Barreto Acceptable language
Paginas infantis e Cartilhas Marianno de Oliveira Good language
Novas leituras R. Rocca - M. Oliveira Some errors; several are simple typographical oversights
Cartilha e Pequenas leituras Ramon Rocca Dordal Some errors
Primeiro livro das crianças Clarice Juranville Regular language
Coração de Crianças Rita de Macedo In general the text is correct, but we observe some defects.
Minha pátria e Cartilha do lar Pinto e Silva Excessive use of adjectives and not always correct
Meu livro Theodoro de Moraes some inaccuracies
Primeiros passos na leitura,Leituras infantis, Cartilha eLivros de Leitura Francisco Vianna Writing defects
Leituras infantis F. Vianna - M. Carneiro Jr. Elegance of absence and sometimes clarity
Paginas infantis Presciliana de Almeida Good language
Album de gravuras e Coisas brasileiras Ramon - Puigari Nothing to object
Cartilhas e Leituras Thomaz Galhardo Uniqueness of expression
Pequenos trechos Octaviano de Mello Nothing to object
O amiguinho de Nhonhô Menezes Vieira Inaccuracies
Humildes e Martyres; O lar Miguel Milano Language is not always correct
As crianças e os animaes; Nossos amigos Suzanna Cornaz Nothing to object
Contos infantis Adelina Vieira - J.Lopes Good language
Fábulas Justiniano Rocha Nothing to object
Poesias escolares Oscar Brisolla Improper expressions
Era uma vez... Viriato Correa - J. do Rio Inappropriate language to children's brains and often without proper purity.
Histórias de nossa terra Julia Lopes de Almeida Excellent language
Fábulas E.N.P. Inaccuracies
Contos Moraes e Cívicos doBrasil Carlos Goes Excellent language
Tradições nacionaes Carlos A. Gomes Cardim Excessive adjectives, construction defects.
Meus deveres Pinto e Silva excessive adjectives
Alma Infantil Francisca Julia da Silva Excellent language

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

By the way Plínio Barreto organized his report, it is possible to assume that he assessed over 50 books. However, it is not possible to have a precise number, since he does not mention all titles he analyzed of each of these authors in the organization of his opinion report by name of author. In some cases, there are only general references, such as primer or reading book.

As we note in Table 3, it is possible to assume only in some cases which books were approved or rejected by Plínio Barreto, on account of the use of the following expressions: accurate language; pure language; inappropriate language; acceptable language; regular language; language not always right; improper expressions; irreprehensible; perfect; lack of elegance and clarity; singularity of expression; the sentence is correct in general, but some flaws are noted. These terms or sentences are used by Plínio Barreto only once in the evaluation he makes of the books. The expressions "some writing errors and flaws? are used by him in two evaluations. The expressions good language, excellent language, inaccuracies and excessive adjective use are employed in three evaluations. The expression no objections is used in four evaluations. We further highlight that these evaluations sometimes refer to two or three books by the same author.

Among the books analyzed by Plínio Barreto, classified with complimentary expressions and, for that reason, probably recommended by him are the following: excellent language - Alma Infantil, by Francisca Julia da Silva; Contos moraes e civicos do Brasil, by Carlos Goes; and Histórias de nossa terra, by Julia Lopes de Almeida; perfect - Poesias infantis, by Olavo Bilac; irreprehensible - Livro de leitura and Através do Brasil, by Bilac e Bomfim.

The opinion report by Sampaio Dória

Sampaio Dória, as a reporting member of the Committee and also a proposer of the division of the work developed by them, was in charge of analyzing the appropriateness of the subject matters presented in the textbooks.

When analyzing the books he had access to, Sampaio Dória (1918a, p. 155) identified "with a heavy heart, a significant deficiency of usable books." According to him,

here, there were foolish little stories, badly composed and distorted; there, they were uninteresting narratives, with no vibration or life. Then, almost all of them failed in their intention to educate, as they were supposed to. What they mostly address are fictitious situations and ridiculous accounts. They do not clarify, moralize, and fail in their effort to educate children mentally and morally. (Dória, 1918a, p. 155)

In spite of the problems identified, Sampaio Dória (1918a, p. 155) explains that, "since there were no other books to choose from, something had to be chosen", he recommended the approval of some books by adopting the criterion of "psychic and moral convenience of the subject matter."

Table 4 Books approved by Sampaio Dória in his preliminary opinion report (1918). 

Title or Series Author Destination
1º livro de leitura (Série RangelPestana) João Köpke Reading in the 1st grade
2º livro de leitura (Série RangelPestana) João Köpke Reading in the 2nd grade
Fábulas Justiniano Rocha Reading in the 2nd grade
3º livro de leitura (Série RangelPestana) João Köpke Reading in the 3rd grade
Contos Moraes e cívicos G. Goes Reading in the 3rd grade
Cousas brasileiras Puiggari Reading in the 3rd grade
Páginas infantis P. Duarte Reading in the 3rd grade
Contos infantis Júlia L. Almeida e Adelina L. Vieira Reading in the 3rd grade
Leituras Moraes Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto Reading in the 3rd grade
Poesias infantis Olavo Bilac Reading in the 3rd grade
Collectaneas Alvaro Guerra Reading in the 3rd grade
Através do Brasil Olavo Bilac e Bomfim Auxiliary reading
Biblioteca infantil books collection Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto Auxiliary reading
Pátria brasileira Coelho Netto Auxiliary reading
Tradições nacionaes Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim Auxiliary reading
Meu livro Theodoro de Moraes Auxiliary reading
Alma infantil Francisca Julia Auxiliary reading
Leituras práticas João Köpke Auxiliary reading
Minha pátria R. Pombo Auxiliary reading
Graded series of reading Romão Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto Auxiliary reading
Graded series of reading Thomáz Galhardo Auxiliary reading
Graded series of reading Francisco Vianna Auxiliary reading
Graded series of reading Ramon Roca Dordal e Mariano de Oliveira Auxiliary reading
Graded series of reading Rita de Macedo Barreto Auxiliary reading

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

In his report, Sampaio Dória, in addition to recommending books to be adopted by São Paulo State elementary schools, he also indicated which grades of elementary schools he was making this recommendation. According to this professor, only one reading books should be approved for the 1st grade; only two reading books for the 2nd grade; and eight reading books for the 3rd grade.

As supplementary reading, Sampaio Dória (1918a) approved only seven literary books, five graded reading series and books of the Biblioteca Infantil collection.

In addition to the approved books listed in Table 4, Sampaio Dória approved all primers he evaluated; however, he does not mention which ones they are6.

Sampaio Dória, differently from Américo de Moura, who rejected Quarto livro de leitura by Romão Puiggari and Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto, approved this book; however, as a supplementary reading book.

Among the authors who had their books approved by Sampaio Dória, the name João Köpke stands out as the only one with books recommended for all grades of elementary school.

As for the books considered inappropriate by Sampaio Dória with regard to subject matter, he justifies the rejection of 57 titles.

Table 5 Books disapproved by Sampaio Dória in his preliminary opinion report (1918). 

Title Author Justification
Minha pátria Pinto e Silva Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Meus deveres Pinto e Silva Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Livro das aves P. de Almeida Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Leituras intermediárias M. R. Ribeiro Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
1º livro de leitura M. R. Ribeiro Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
2º livro de leitura M. R. Ribeiro Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
3º livro de leitura M. R. Ribeiro Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
4º livro de leitura M. R. Ribeiro Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Álbum de gravuras R. Puiggari e Arnaldo de O. Barreto Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Educação moral e cívica C. Quaglio Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Educação Patriótica C. Quaglio Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Leituras manuscrita R. P. B. Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Leitura infantil L. Franco Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Arte de Leitura L. Franco Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Livro dos principiantes N. Araújo Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
As crianças e os animais S. C. Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Novos Amigos S. C. Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Poesias Brisola Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Era uma vez... V. Correa e João do Rio Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Livro das escolas Tancredo Amaral Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
A arvore Affonso e J. Lopes Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Fábulas e leituras F. Luz Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Educação moral e cívica J. Coelho Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
O lar moderno V. Silva Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Pequenos trechos Octaviano de Mello Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Manual de instr. moral e cívica N. Droz Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Instrução moral e cívica Felisberto de Carvalho Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Primeiro Livro C. Juranvile Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Lições de Cousas Saffray Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Minhas leituras D. Ramos Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Palestras paternas F. Mourão Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Festas Nacionaes R. Octaviano Lack of naturalness, interest and grace
Florilégio contemporâneo João Köpke Subject beyond the child understanding
4º. Livro de leitura João Köpke Subject beyond the child understanding
Livros de composição Olavo Bilac Subject beyond the child understanding
Livro de leitura Olavo Bilac Subject beyond the child understanding
Minha terra e minha gente Afrânio Peixoto Subject beyond the child understanding
Livro de Portuguez B. Pinheiro Subject beyond the child understanding
A vida simples Wagner Subject beyond the child understanding
Antologia C. de Laet Subject beyond the child understanding
Noções de Hygiene Afranio Peixoto Subject beyond the child understanding
Noções de vida prática e de vida doméstica F. Ferreira Subject beyond the child understanding
Príncipios de Educação moral e cívica H. Coelho Subject beyond the child understanding
Questões philológicas H. Scrosope Subject beyond the child understanding
Festa das árvores J. Silveira Subject beyond the child understanding
Noções práticas de orthographia M. Araújo Subject beyond the child understanding
Noções de orthographia A. Silva Subject beyond the child understanding
Eduação Physica Angelo Mosso Subject beyond the child understanding
Arte de ensinar Wite Subject beyond the child understanding
Jogos Gymnasticos E. Lange Subject beyond the child understanding
Céo, terra e mar Alberto Oliveira Subject beyond the child understanding
Principios de educação F. G. Subject beyond the child understanding
Os grandes pensadores T. Campos Subject beyond the child understanding
Rudimentos de Pedagogia F. Martinez Subject beyond the child understanding
Systema de Tachigraphia Andersen Subject beyond the child understanding
O ensino de música Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim Subject beyond the child understanding
Coração Edmundo de Amicis Does not contribute to patriotic education

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

Of the total of books disapproved by Sampaio Dória, 32 were considered as lacking naturalness, interest and fun for young readers, 24 were considered as above children's ability to understand and one was considered as inappropriate to patriotic education.

One book specifically rejected for not contributing to patriotic education is Coração, by Edmundo de Amicis, which, according to Sampaio Dória

despite being incomparable and serving as a model, it does not meet the purposes of our patriotic and nationalist education, mostly where the population of Italian immigrants is intense. That book is an admirable standard, from where national matters may be leaked, to cooperate with the maintenance of the development of the national conscience. (1918a, p. 158)

As for other books rejected by Sampaio Dória, most of the rejected ones were by M. R. Ribeiro, whose complete series was considered as lacking naturalness, interest and fun.

The general report of the approved and recommended books

With the opinion reports on the three substantial requirements of a good textbook, the members of the Committee gathered to deliberate definitively which books were considered preferable for adoption by the São Paulo elementary schools. The result of these deliberations was systematized by Sampaio Dória (reporting member), Américo de Moura and Plínio Barreto in a general report dated January 12, 1918, and was presented to Oscar Rodrigues Alves, secretary of interior State.

Table 6 Books approved by the Textbook Committee. 

Title Author Destination
Meu livro Theodoro de Moraes Learning to read
Cartilha infantil Carlos A. Gomes Cardim Learning to read
Cartilha analytico-synthetica Mariano de Oliveira Learning to read
Primeiro livro de leitura João Köpke Reading in the 1st grade
Segundo livro de leitura João Köpke Reading in the 2nd grade
Terceiro livro de leitura João Köpke Reading in the 3rd grade
Através do Brasil Olavo Bilac e Bonfim Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Poesias infantis Olavo Bilac Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras preparatórias Rita Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras preparatórias Francisco Vianna e Miguel Carneiro Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Contos infantis Júlia L. de Almeida e Adelina L. Vieira Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Fábulas Justiniano da Rocha Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Página infantis Mariano de Oliveira Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Cousas brasileiras Ramon Puiggari-Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Páginas infantis P. de Almeida Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Alma infantil Francisca Júlia Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Histórias de nossa terra Júlia Lopes de Almeida Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Contos práticos Coelho Netto e Olavo Bilac Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Nossa pátria Rocha Pombo Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Contos moraes e cívicos C. Góes Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras moraes Arnaldo Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Bibliotheca infantil Organizada por Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Minha pátria Pinto e Silva Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Pequenos trechos Octaviano de Mello Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras práticas João köpke Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras manuscriptas B.P.R. Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Moral prática elementar Emilia Costa Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Meu livro Theodoro de Moraes Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Livros de leitura (1, 2, 3,) Puiggari-Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Segundo livro de leitura Thomáz Galhardo Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Terceiro livro de leitura Thomáz Galhardo Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Primeiro livro de leitura Francisco Vianna Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Segundo livro de leitura Francisco Vianna Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Terceiro livro de leitura Francisco Vianna Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Novas leituras Ramon R. Dordal e Mariano de Oliveira Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Coração das crianças Rita Barreto Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Palestra sobre as plantas C. Brilho Supplemental and auxiliary reading
Leituras intermediárias Maria Rosa Supplemental and auxiliary reading

Source: Annuario do ensino do Estado de S. Paulo (São Paulo, 1918).

In the general report prepared by the members of the Committee, a list of 38 approved books is presented. Out of this total for early reading teaching the following books were approved: Meu livro, by Theodoro de Moraes, Cartilha infantil, by Carlos A. Gomes Cardim, and Cartilha analytico-synthetica, by Mariano de Oliveira; for teaching reading at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades of elementary school, the approved books were: Primeiro, Segundo e Terceiro livro de leitura, by João Köpke; and, for supplementary reading, 32 books by various authors were approved.

In the 32 approved books for supplementary reading, we highlight the approval of two books by Thomáz Galhardo, known as a sympathizer of the synthetic method for teaching reading. Although in this period, 1918, the competition around teaching reading through the analytic method were less stiff than at the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century, this method was still the one officially adopted by the São Paulo State General Board of Public Education and had to be used in all elementary schools in the State of São Paulo (Mortatti, 2000). However, in the case of the books by Thomáz Galhardo, it is worth highlighting that, even though they integrate a graded reading series made up of a synthetic primer, they do not present a method per se. Generally speaking, the two books by Thomáz Galhardo approved as supplementary reading only present a sequence of texts to be read by the students.

It is important to highlight that even though the number of books approved by the Committee is relatively large, they issue the following warning:

In reality, it would be rare to meet all essential requirements of didactic works. Some of them were good as far as language was concerned, but they were inconvenient with regard to the method of exposure, or the interest they could attract. The opposite was true in the case of other works. Almost all of them had regrettable flaws. (Dória; Moura; Barreto, 1918, p. 144)

After the Committee concluded the work, the General Board of Public Education issued a report on the books adopted.

This list comprised the following books: for the 1st grade, Meu livro, by Theodoro de Moraes, Cartilha infantil, by Carlos A. Gomes Cardim, Cartilha Analytica, by Mariano de Oliveira, Leitura preparatoria, by Rita Barreto, and Primeiro livro, by João Köpke; for the 2nd grade, Segundo livro, by João Köpke, Primeiro livro de leitura, by Puiggari-Barreto, Corações de crianças, by Rita Barreto, Minha patria, by Pinto e Silva; for the 3rd grade, Cousas brasileiras, by Romão Puiggari, Corações de crianças, by Rita Barreto, Terceiro livro de leitura, by João Köpke, and Minha patria, by Pinto e Silva; for the 4th grade, Terceiro livro de leitura, by Romão Puigarri and Arnaldo de O. Barreto; Através do Brasil, by Olavo Bilac and Manoel Bomfim, Historias da nossa terra, by Julia Lopes, and Poesias infantis, by Olavo Bilac.

As we may note, even though the Committee indicated the adoption of 38 books, only 17 were, in fact, adopted by the General Board of Public Education.

Control measures for circulation of textbooks in São Paulo

The results of the analysis of the reports presented in this paper allow us to understand some actions adopted by the São Paulo General Board of Public Education, as a way to control the circulation and use of textbooks for teaching reading and writing in this State.

Among these actions we note the tendency for approval and recommendation mainly of books connected to the analytical methodology for teaching reading, since this method had been institutionalized as official in the State of São Paulo after the Public Education Reform in 1890. However, even though the analytical method was official and mandatory in schools in that period, this movement was losing ground in late 1910 in São Paulo.

In this period, Sampaio Dória started to stand out as a leader of the renovation movement, and he ended up replacing, in the 1920s, the then general director of public education, Oscar Thompson, and leading the so-called 1920 Reform. This reform, among other changes, granted didactic autonomy to São Paulo State teachers, relieving them from the obligation of teaching and writing through the analytical method (Mortatti, 2000).

These aspects call the attention to two questions. The first referst to the appointment of Sampaio Dória as the reporting member of the Committee and, in a way, in charge of the work. This appointment signals the space this educator had been gaining in the São Paulo State educational scenario, just as his reforming ideas had been gaining strength and support. This fact explains the approval, by Sampaio Dória and the other members of the Committee, of books authored by didactic writers adept to the synthetic method or mixed method, as are the cases of Thomáz Galhardo and Mariano de Oliveira. In this sense, the committee seems to have worked to cool down the control measures for circulation of books and primers connected to the synthetic method, even if the committee had, at the same time, been quite strict in rejecting most part of the complementary reading books.

A second question concerns the fact that the books indicated in the final report were not accepted as recommended by the São Paulo General Board of Public Education. This aspect leads to the assumption that, even though the mandatory teaching of reading through the analytical method had been losing ground in late 1910, what remained as official recommendation by the General Board of Public Education, differently from the suggestions by the Committee, were only books professedly prepared by sympathizers of the analytical method. That is, even if the Committee had recommended and approved books of different methodological natures, as a harbinger of didactic autonomy that would be conferred on the elementary school teacher of the reforming movement, the General Board of Public Education chose to keep the rigor with the circulation of only didactic books by sympathizers of the analytical method. This fact allows us to assume that there was a veiled attempt to induce teachers to keep on teaching through the analytical method, even with the advent of the reform, since there would only be primers recommended by the Board.

The results presented in this paper further suggest a third question. The books approved by the Committee and adopted by the General Board of Public Education were authored by São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro teachers that were more or less close to the circle of power in São Paulo (Mortatti, 2000). Even though the didactic aspects may have been the basis for the actions by the Committee with regard to the approval and adoption of textbooks, the interpersonal questions and the network of relationships established between those occupying high political positions and the authors of the textbooks may have also influenced the results of these actions.

Concerning this aspect it is possible to note, for example, that the approved books were authored by teachers who had occupied or who occupied in the years following 1918 important positions in the São Paulo State education system: Theodoro de Moraes had been a teacher and principal in different schools in the State capital and the interior state, he was a school inspector in the 1910s and, later on, he was general teaching inspector in 1920; Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim had been a secretary for the Espírito Santo State Public Education System, a professor at the São Paulo Secondary Normal School and, in 1925, he took over as director of the São Paulo Normal School; Mariano de Oliveira worked as school principal and inspector in schools in the State capital and the interior state and, between 1917 and 1922, he was the principal of the São Carlos Normal School; Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto also worked as school principal, and then chief editor of Revista de Ensino and, between 1924 and 1925, he was the director of the São Paulo Normal School; João Köpke was a professor at the São Paulo School of Law and founded and directed important schools.

In addition, the names of the authors of approved books refer to the controversy between the populations from the States of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro that took place in 1916 on the way the analytical method was processed in the State of São Paulo (Mortatti, 2000). This controversy began when Rio de Janeiro native João Köpke expressed his wish to assign the copyrights of his primers to the State of São Paulo, and, then, the newspaper O Commercio de São Paulo organized an inquiry, with interviews with teachers from the State of São Paulo Arnaldo de Oliveira Barreto, Carlos Alberto Gomes Cardim and Theodoro de Moraes (Mortatti, 2000). In these interviews, Barreto and Cardim understand that there are different ways to process the analytical method supported by the São Paulo State teachers, comparatively to the proposal by João Köpke in his primers. For this reason, they considered detrimental the adoption of Köpke's primers in the State of São Paulo, since "the analytical method of teaching reading to the illiterate in practice in the São Paulo State public schools is the ideal method, observing scientific laws of reading education and presenting, then, results truly remarkable: 70% of promotions" (Mortatti, 2000, p. 119).

Within the scope of this controversy, the committee appointed to prepare the opinion report accepting or not the donation of Köpke's primers to the State of São Paulo issued a report opposing the adoption. This fact led the Rio de Janeiro State educator to draft letters to Cardim, Barreto and Mariano de Oliveira, explaining the differences between his primer and that of those teachers and lamenting the situation (Mortatti, 2000).

The fact that the primers of these teachers were recommended two years after this controversy, to be used in São Paulo State elementary schools may have also meant a measure by the government, represented by Oscar Thompson and the members of the Committee, to assuage the dispute between these teachers.

Lastly, from the aspects presented in this paper, more than simply preparing an official list of books recommended for teaching reading and writing, the actions enforced by the Reviewing Committee of textbooks indicate control measures for the circulation and use of these books in the São Paulo State elementary schools which, in turn, are related to educational policies and fight for power within the historical period reported in this work. In that period, having a book authenticated by the General Board of Public Education conferred prestige on the textbook writer and represented a certain way of imposing the adoption of his books for teaching reading and writing in public elementary schools in the State of São Paulo.

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1 We especially refer to the Caetano de Campos Reform in 1890.

2 Before the Committee installed in 1918, other committees had been installed in the years 1896 and 19071908 (Razzini, 2012).

3 Born in Belo Monte, Province of Alagoas, on March 25, 1883, Sampaio Dória moved with his family to São Paulo in 1889, where he concluded his studies in elementary and high school. In 1904 he was admitted to Law School, where he was granted a Bachelor's Degree in Legal and Social Sciences in 1908. During his undergraduate studies, he taught at Escola de Comércio Álvares Penteado where he was in charge of the course of Psychology and Logics in the former Ginásio Macedo Soares. In 1914, he applied for the position of Full Professor of Psychology, Pedagogy and Civics at the Secondary Normal School of São Paulo, and was later appointed head professor of the school. In 1920, he was appointed general director of the São Paulo State Public School System, a position he held until 1926, when he was selected to be head professor of Constitutional Law at the São Paulo Law School. He was exonerated by Vargas in 1938 and driven into exile. Sampaio Dória died in 1964 (Carvalho, 2002; Medeiros, 2005; Mathieson, 2012).

4 Born in a small rural property named Retiro das Palmeiras, in the town of Santa Bárbara do Oeste, a parish of the city of Piracicaba, on June 7, 1881, Américo Brasiliense Antunes de Moura went to elementary school in the State of Minas Gerais (1887-1890) and soon after started working as a salesman. In 1900, he enrolled at Escola Normal da Praça, which he concluded in 1903. In 1904 he was appointed to one of the teaching positions at Escola Complementar, which later became Escola Normal de Campinas. In the same year, he competed in an exam for a French teaching position at Escola Normal da Praça and ranked second place. In 1906, he achieved a Portuguese head position at Ginásio de Campinas Culto à Ciência. He remained in Campinas until 1914, the year when he achieved the Portuguese, Literature and Latin head position at Escola Normal da Capital, and was a member of the school's teaching staff for over two decades. He went to Law School from 1916 to 1920. He was also president of the Philological Studies Society, vice-president of the Historical and Geographical Institute of São Paulo, a member of the Writers' Society, the Brazilian Bar Association, the Scientific Society of São Paulo, and of the Brazilian Academy of Languages (Melo, 1954).

5 Born on June 20, 1882 in Campinas, Plínio Barreto, after concluding elementary school, enrolled in the Episcopal Seminary, transferring later to Colégio São Paulo in the state of Minas Gerais. In 1902 he was granted a Bachelor's Degree in Law from Faculdade de Direito do Largo São Francisco in São Paulo. As a law student, he collaborated with various newspapers and journals of that time. He became a close friend with Júlio Mesquita, and joined the editorial staff of O Estado de S. Paulo (1900-1927) at 14 years old, where he years later reached the highest position as director (1927-1942). However, he did not work only for this newspaper. On December 21, 1918 he was elected council member of the Institute of the São Paulo Bar Association, and also served other positions by election or appointment, among which state representative to the constituent assembly and secretary of justice for the 1930 government. He was also a member of various cultural and legal entities (Melo,1954; Cabral, 2009).

6 This and the other tables present a list of names of authors and book titles as they appeared in the documents analyzed.

7 Since the complete list of books evaluated by each member of the Committee is not recorded in the reports, it is not possible to know which titles exactly each member analyzed. Based on the data presented in the reports, it is possible to note only that some members had access to books that others did not have. This is the case, for example, of the book Américo infantil by Francisca Júlia, which appears in the report by Sampaio Dória, but not in the list of 100 books analyzed by Américo de Moura.

Received: June 26, 2014; Accepted: September 26, 2014

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