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The Inclusive Education Program: the right to diversity - an analysis from the point of view of administrators of a hub municipality


Through the comparison between the official discourse and the social practices, the present study seeks to understand the trajectory of implementation of the policy of inclusion. The history of special education in Brazil is marked by social and educational exclusion, and therefore guaranteeing the right to education of handicapped people is a complex process requiring political actions in various spheres. The reflection about the guidelines, materials and documents of the Inclusive Education Program: the right to diversity, based on the testimonies of administrators from a hub municipality, made it possible to raise questions related to the way in which the policy of inclusion in being implemented. The analysis reveals tensions and conflicts associated to the possibilities of bringing to practice actions of formation and multiplication; to the conceptual discussion about inclusion; to the locus of service to handicapped students; to the financing aspect and to the relations between the public and the private sectors; and also as to the responsibilities of the different agents involved in the process. The results point to the fact that these tensions can be understood from the multiple relationships established between a teaching system that tends to homogenization and the principles of inclusion, which presupposes the respect to rights, the appreciation of diversity, and the fulfillment of individual needs.

Special education; Public policies; Inclusive education

O presente estudo busca compreender os rumos da implementação da política inclusiva por meio da confrontação do discurso oficial com as práticas sociais. A história da educação especial no Brasil está marcada pela exclusão social e educacional, entende-se que garantir o direito à educação das pessoas com deficiência é um processo complexo e que exige ações políticas de diferentes dimensões. A reflexão sobre as diretrizes, materiais e documentos do Programa Educação inclusiva: direito à diversidade a partir dos depoimentos de gestores de um município-polo permitiu levantar algumas questões relacionadas ao modo como a política inclusiva está sendo implantada. A análise revela que há tensões e conflitos relacionados às possibilidades de efetivação das ações de formação e multiplicação; à própria discussão conceitual sobre a inclusão; ao lócus de atendimento ao aluno com deficiência; ao financiamento e às relações entre o público e privado; assim como, quanto às responsabilidades dos diferentes atores envolvidos no processo. Os resultados apontam que essas tensões podem ser entendidas a partir das múltiplas relações que se estabelecem entre um ensino que tende para a homogeneização e os princípios inclusivos, que supõem o respeito aos direitos, a valorização da diversidade e o atendimento de necessidades individuais.

Educação especial; Políticas públicas; Educação inclusiva


IUniversidade Federal de São Carlos

IIUniversidade Estadual de Campinas



Through the comparison between the official discourse and the social practices, the present study seeks to understand the trajectory of implementation of the policy of inclusion. The history of special education in Brazil is marked by social and educational exclusion, and therefore guaranteeing the right to education of handicapped people is a complex process requiring political actions in various spheres. The reflection about the guidelines, materials and documents of the Inclusive Education Program: the right to diversity, based on the testimonies of administrators from a hub municipality, made it possible to raise questions related to the way in which the policy of inclusion in being implemented. The analysis reveals tensions and conflicts associated to the possibilities of bringing to practice actions of formation and multiplication; to the conceptual discussion about inclusion; to the locus of service to handicapped students; to the financing aspect and to the relations between the public and the private sectors; and also as to the responsibilities of the different agents involved in the process. The results point to the fact that these tensions can be understood from the multiple relationships established between a teaching system that tends to homogenization and the principles of inclusion, which presupposes the respect to rights, the appreciation of diversity, and the fulfillment of individual needs.

Keywords: Special education — Public policies — Inclusive education.

In the Brazilian legal system, the right to education is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution (Brasil, 1988); by the Child and Adolescent Statute – Law No. 8069 (Brasil, 1990); by the Law of Guidelines and Bases for National Education – Law No. 9394 (Brasil, 1996), and by the National Education Plan – Law No. 10172 (Brasil, 2001), amongst others. The legislation and other national documents have supplied the basis for the formulation of public policies aimed at the inclusion of people with special educational needs inside the common teaching system.

In 2003 the program Educação inclusiva: direito à diversidade [Inclusive Education: right to diversity] was started by the Secretariat for Special Education – SEESP – of the Ministry for Education – MEC. The program's main guidelines are:

To disseminate the policy of inclusive education throughout the Brazilian municipalities, and to give support to the training of managers and educators in order to implement the transformation of educational systems into inclusive educational systems. (Brasil, 2006, p. 1)

The principle underlying this program is that of the "guarantee of the right of students with special needs to access and permanence, with good quality, within the schools of the regular teaching system" (Brasil, 2006, p. 1).

In 2006 the Program had the participation of 144 hub municipalities that acted as multipliers for another 4,646 municipalities within its coverage area. It is important to note that state and municipal education administrators are members of the Program.

With this Program, MEC is committed to give its incentive to the policy of creating inclusive educational systems, gathering resources and establishing agreements and partnerships with the community.

The Program includes actions of setting up multifunction equipment rooms and of developing the Project Educar na Diversidade [Educating in Diversity]. The creation of multifunction equipment rooms is taking place in the hub municipality and in schools of the state system. These rooms are "environments with equipment, furniture, and didactic and pedagogic materials aimed to offer specialized educational service" (Brasil, 2008, p. 1).

This Project has as its objective "to form and follow up teachers from the hub municipalities for the development of inclusive educational practices in the classrooms" (Brasil, 2006, p.3). This formation is carried out in national seminars with the participation of representatives from the hub municipalities. With the same objectives, in a multiplying action, each hub municipality must organize regional courses with the representatives of the municipalities within their area of coverage.

The national seminars and the regional courses have duration of 40 hours, in which the following themes are developed:

* Inclusion: a challenge for educational systems;

* Fundamentals and principals of inclusive education;

* Values and paradigms in caring for handicapped people;

* Human diversity at school;

* Conceptions, principles and guidelines for and inclusive educational system;

* National guidelines for inclusive educational systems: philosophical ground, the municipality, the school, and the family;

* School and family: a common commitment in education;

* Child education in the inclusive educational system;

* Guidelines and legal parameters for inclusion;

* Inclusive educational experiences;

* Specialized educational service for mentally handicapped people: assistive technologies in the educational process;

* Blindness and deafness: process of teaching and learning;

* The education of superior skilled/gifted students;

* The inclusion of deaf and hearing impaired students;

* The inclusion of blind and visually impaired students;

* The inclusion of autistic students. (Brasil, 2006, p. 4)

The main interlocutor of SEESP in the Educação Inclusiva: direito à diversidade Program is the representative of the municipality. However the latter must articulate all actions of the Program with the state secretariat and establish partnerships with the private sector.

Reaffirming the guidelines and actions of this Program, the Education Development Plan (Brasil, 2007) emphasizes the physical accessibility of schools, the creation of specially equipped rooms, and the training of teachers for specialized service. Along these lines, in 2008, the SEESP delivered to the Ministry for Education the text of the National Policy for Special Education under the Perspective of Inclusive Education which follows the guidelines of the Program and the definition of the student body, reaffirming that specialized educational service must happen "inside the same school or at a specialized center that offers this educational service" (Brasil, 2008 a, p. 16)

Within this context some questions can be made: What is the distance between the official discourse and the social practices? How do the administrators trained in the program implement the actions implied in their formation? What questions do they have about the possibilities of implementation of the Program? How do they asses their role as a multiplying agent?

Comparing the guidelines, materials, and documents of the Program with the testimonies of administrators of a hub municipality made it possible to raise a few questions related to the way in which the inclusive policy is being implemented. These questions relate to the possibilities of effecting the formation and multiplication actions, to the conceptual discussion about inclusion, to financing, and to the responsibilities of the different agents involved in the process. Ultimately, it is about understanding the way ahead for implementing an inclusive policy through the comparison of official discourse and social practices, considering that these documental and oral sources are taken as "just a convenient approach that goes in the direction of emphasizing the analysis of a specific object, rather than in the sense of isolating the object" (Sanfelice, 2004, p. 98).

The program: documents and materials

In the period of 2004-2006 the SEESP organized National Seminars for the training of administrators to the Educação Inclusiva: direito à diversidade Program. During the seminars the participants were given the following publications, which shall be presented in what follows:

* Série Educação inclusiva [Inclusive Education Series] (Aranha, 2004);

* Ensaios Pedagógicos: construindo escolas inclusivas [Pedagogical Essays: building inclusive schools] (Brasil, 2005);

* Ensaios Pedagógicos. Educação inclusiva: direito à diversidade [Pedagogical Essays. Inclusive Education: right to diversity] (Brasil, 2006);

* Experiências educacionais inclusivas [Inclusive Educational Experiences] (Roth, 2006).

Inclusive education series

In 2004, SEESP published a series entitled Educação Inclusiva [Inclusive Education] (Aranha, 2004) which proposes to represent the guidelines to the Educação Inclusiva: direito à diversidade program. The series comprises four books dealing with the planning of the management of education under different views: the roles of the municipality, of the school, and of the family. The philosophical grounding is given in a vision of special education whose assumptions are those of the human rights. The documents state that the school must guarantee the learning process of each student independently of ethnicity, sex, age, handicap, social situation, or any other factor. A wide conception of inclusive education can be clearly observed here, extrapolating the limits of the education target at people with special needs and features that define them as handicapped people (mental, physical, visual and hearing), or as people with superior skills, or as displaying peculiar behavior and other behavioral disturbances.

Pedagogical essays: building inclusive schools

In consonance with the material published in 2004, the 2005 publication opens with the text by Maria Rosa Blanco Guijarro (Unesco, Chile) and proposes a concept of inclusion that extends the idea beyond handicapped students. The text highlights the removal of barriers that limits the participation and learning of students with and without handicap, members of underprivileged groups and, at the same time, points out the dichotomy (described by various authors in Brazil) between the homogenizing tendency of the school and the principles of inclusion. There emerges from the text the vision of an education integrated with other actions (economic and social) that guarantee inclusion and care for children, thereby avoiding the roots of exclusion. It emphasizes the need to extend and improve upon education and child care programs, and the priority attention to handicapped children in poverty. It also proposes to make the offer of education more flexible and diverse, making room for multiple options that allow students to conclude Basic Education at any moment of their lives. It calls attention to the need to harmonize the consolidation of formal education with the production of non conventional alternatives that represents differentiated answers to distinct groups, such as nomad children, working children, street children, and those living in remote areas. It still mentions the need for a wide and flexible curriculum that could be diversified and adapted to social, cultural, and individual differences. Support must be given to those that need it, and Special Education should have as an objective to offer support independently of students being or not handicapped.

The opening text, wide and centered around the right to education of all social groups, is followed by 23 texts that expound concepts, relate experiences, and describe the educational trajectories of individuals (mothers, students and teachers), schools, systems, secretariats, and nongovernmental organizations, bringing forward the tensions – both in the theoretical level and in the level of practices – engendered by the difficulty to harmonize such distinct principles and modes of working, in addition to particular needs ensuing from individual differences gathered under the label of special needs, handicap, superior skills, and peculiar behavior.

Pedagogical essays - inclusive education: right to diversity

The 2006 publication, just like the 2005 one, had no aspiration to theoretical or methodological unit. Its objective is to offer to municipalities some material for reflection and implementation of inclusive actions. It collects texts that defend the principles of inclusion, human rights, of the right to education and work; they call attention to specific aspects of the process such as the creation of specially equipped rooms; the availability of assistive technology; the accessibility; the redefinition of the role of specialized educational service as a complement to regular schooling; the (objective and subjective) conditions necessary for teachers to assume inclusive education; the catering for superior skills; and reports of experiences conducted in different municipalities and by different types of institutions.

Inclusive educational experiences

This publication offers a collection of articles reflecting on the experiences of the hub municipalities. It comprises 20 reports selected by a committee of researches and other experts in the field representing various degrees of theoretical and methodological elaboration in what concerns inclusive experiences. Articles can be found here describing the history, the structure of service to special needs, as well as theoretical and philosophical bases of the practices adopted (9 out of the 20 articles); specific inclusive experiences involving one school, one pupil, one teacher (10 out of the 20 articles); and one of the articles deals more specifically with the experience in teacher education.

In summary, the articles form the first group deal with the construction of proposals for inclusion and describe actions that were implemented by the municipalities. In most of the articles, the conceptual and juridical aspects are dealt with and justify the practices adopted. The actions implemented by the municipality includes: training courses, data gathering, follow up of students with special needs, partnerships with institutions and professionals, meetings with teachers, adaptation of the physical space of schools, creation of specially equipped rooms and itinerant services, hiring of specialized professionals, purchases of pedagogic equipment and materials.

Within the group of articles about specific inclusive experiences, reports can be found on the experiences of teachers, schools and pupils. The reports highlight the factors that contributed to the success of the project: the collaboration of different professional, the joint participation of family and school, the search for new strategies and ways of teaching, the partnership with specialized entities and institutes of Higher Education. They all emphasize the importance of actions of formation to the improvement of the educative practice and for the advance of the implementation of the process of inclusion.

Interview with administrators of a hub municipality

Within the context of the reflection about the ways in which the Educar na Diversidade Project has been implemented, the interview with administrators of a hub municipality who have taken part in several stages of formation and who have implemented actions within the municipality is enlightening. During the interview the administrators speak about different themes, putting forward their viewpoints and perceptions regarding the Program.

Coverage of the program

One of the issues that emerged right at the start of the interview is related to the coverage of the Project. One of the interviewees, who had taken part in the first National Seminar in 2004, and an organizer of the first Formation Course in the hub municipality, notes that in that year the area of coverage included a total of 20 municipalities (the hub plus 19 others). The design of the Course proposed emphasized the formation of personnel for these municipalities and the exchange of experiences in inclusive education among the municipalities involved. The expectation was of keeping up the work during the whole year of 2005. However, in 2006 its coverage was extended over 20 other municipalities. This fact, according to the testimony of one of the administrators, had as a consequence a decrease in the efficacy of the actions of the hub municipality, which was still formulating cooperation strategies among the first 20 municipalities. The extended coverage of the Program had, according to the administrator, different consequences because the participation of new municipalities in 2006 was important, but experiences were varied, and municipalities were found to be in different moments along the formulation of actions of inclusive education. Notwithstanding that, in 2006 the coverage of the Program was still larger, going from 40 municipalities to 68.

Another testimony complements this information. In another administrator's view, the yearly increase in the number of municipalities covered hampered effective formation actions to the point of preventing the hub municipality from taking on the role of a municipality of reference. As an example, she mentions the publication by the mass media of isolated experiences of an inclusion that is not well understood in municipalities which supposedly belong to the area of coverage of the hub municipality. She concludes by expressing concern for the fact that the municipalities failed to establish a relationship of partnership and exchange.

The issue of the increase of coverage of the Program year by year draws attention to a possible dissonance between ends and means, since there is no provision of news forms of organization and adequate budget to implement formation actions and guarantee the guiding, follow up and exchange of experiences with the new municipalities incorporated.

Possible changes in the theoretical-methodological conceptions of the program

One of the administrators remarks that since the 2nd National Seminar in 2005 the difference between national regions became clearer, giving rise to situations of conflict during the meetings because of the different degrees of development of each region. Some of the discussions were relevant to the North and Northeast regions, but were redundant for the South and Southeast. In the same way, the administrator criticizes the lack of coherence in the theoretical and methodological propositions made in the talks conducted within the context of the formation Program in 2006. In her view, until 2005 the outlines of the project were contained in the material distributed, and directions were clear. In 2006, however, the very exhibition of works from divergent lines reflected the lack of coherence and unit, creating in her opinion situations of perplexity and confusion, mainly among the municipalities that were participating for the first time. In her view, these facts showed that the Project had an initial guiding line, and involved a given conception of inclusion that encompassed actions at the municipal and state levels. Such guiding line was replace in 2006 by a conception that accepts as inclusive actions virtually any initiative that presents itself as such. A municipality has only to state that it practices inclusion, offering specialized educational services, and the action is legitimized and counted as inclusive, without any evaluation. Even speakers invited to divulge their experiences since 2005 included representatives from schools, and special education classrooms and institutions, going against the vision of inclusion as a duty of the regular teaching system, thereby creating uneasiness among representatives from the South and Southeast. From a different point of view, an administrator says:

Indeed, I think that this situation they create by bringing different looks onto the issue of inclusion of handicapped children into the regular teaching system is even provocative. It's because of the diversity of the country, really.

In her testimony the administrator goes on to discuss the impossibility of homogenizing the country in terms of the experiences and trajectories followed by the various regions. However, she also evaluates as counterproductive the effect that the multiplicity of positions regarding inclusion brought to the National Seminar had in 2006, when she notices that even in regions that assumed inclusion as a task for the school there were municipalities including students, whereas the work was really supervised by specialized institutions such as APAE (the Association of Parents and Friends of Handicapped People).

A different administrator mentions the diversity of experiences grouped under the auspices of the Program, such as the opening of special schools for the deaf in Rio Grande do Sul. She also mentions the existing divergences about conceptions of inclusion, and the split of viewpoints among the participants of the Program.

The theoretical-methodological conceptions expressed in the material divulged to give support to the reflection in the municipalities taking part in the Program generally shared the concern with rights and with the implementation of a wide range of actions collected under the label of inclusion. Some of the texts expressed quite unequivocally the notion that the regular school must be the only place for the educational service of all students. Others highlight the need to create educational alternatives appropriate to the diversity of conditions and situations. Still other texts emphasize the different functions that the resources of specialized services can assume. The administrators' testimonies, in their turn, signal to different opinions regarding the conceptions and their implications. They assume the task of implementing inclusive actions as something belonging to the school system, whilst recognizing the diversity of situations of municipalities, states, and regions as conducive of a variety of actions which, in many cases, have been assumed by specialized institutions. In the testimonies, theoretical, methodological, and ideological tensions and conflicts are noticeable in the conception and implementation of the policy of inclusion.

Criteria for the implementation of inclusive actions and for the evaluation of the quality of the work

The change in the concepts of inclusion and also in the coverage of the Program gives rise to a question: how to plan and even evaluate formation actions related to the municipalities covered if the latter change from year to year, and if municipalities with already some experience have to coexist with others that are just having their first contact with the inclusive framework and proposal?

One administrator observes that there is no way of accessing the efficacy of the formation offered by the hub municipality if this is carried out only through the training in courses.

Another observation relates to the fact that the municipalities covered failed to spread the formation after taking part in the training. She noted that the material of the Program is not even distributed to the school teachers. She says:

We call them, we prepare the event, and people go back to their municipalities, and we have no guarantee that those things will be applied in practice.

With respect to the organization of the training, the administrators believe that the items financed do not cover the needs. There is money left because it is not possible to spend it in those things that are necessary to adequately implement the training actions.

In the case of a project created especially by the administrators involving visits to the municipalities covered there was no time within the budgetary year to implement it and prepare the accounting reports.

The administrators say that the guidelines of the Program publicized in 2002 and 2003 involved not just the application of yearly three-day trainings, but also formation, exchange of experiences and partnerships, in addition to the conception of inclusion as a process that should take place in the schools. They also state that in some of the municipalities included in the area of coverage of the hub municipality the existence of multifunction rooms is declared, when in reality they function as special rooms in a shift different from that of the regular school. Also, no reference is made to the number of students serviced, or to the demand fulfilled and not fulfilled. The mere setting up of the room, or even the fact that it commenced work or, still, the presence of an administrator from the municipality in the training actions of the hub municipality, do not mean by themselves that the Program is properly implemented and that it works satisfactorily.

One administrator who had access to an evaluation questionnaire to be filled by the hub municipality questions the lack of objectivity of the questions, which relate vaguely to the inclusive actions implemented in the municipality, without asking for specific or standardized information. The questions in this questionnaire were: Has the municipality acted based on the conception of inclusion of handicapped or highly skilled students within ordinary classes of regular teaching? Has the municipality organized specialized educational service not in substitution to schooling? Has it promoted the transformation of special classes and special schools into spaces of specialized educational services? What other considerations would you make with respect to the implementation of inclusive education in your municipality?

The implementation of formation actions is linked, in the view of the administrators, to the implementation of inclusive actions and to the assessment of the work carried out. In this sense, the administrators' criticism is directed to the format chosen for the formation actions, which does not include any kind of follow up. The criticism is extended to the formation actions in a national level, since the local courses follow the format of the national seminars. The program evaluation questionnaire, as duly noted by one of the administrators, is insufficient to assess its actions.


Throughout the interview, the administrators presented suggestions to minimize the problems identified. Among them we find:

* The hub municipality should be more autonomous with respect to the Ministry for Education and to SEESP regarding the planning of formation actions;

* Municipalities and States should participate in the Program in a more integrated way;

* There should be more flexibility in the execution of the budget so that formation actions can be adequately implemented.

Final remarks

Nowadays, when Special Education is mentioned little is said about the potential demand from handicapped children and youngsters in schooling age. Data from the 2000 Demographic Census reveal that 2.5% of the Brazilian population perceive themselves as incapacitated – a concept used in the 2000 Demographic Census in which the interviewee his/herself states his/her inability to see, hear, walk etc. Nery et al (2003) affirm that "among people who see themselves as incapacitated 33.7% never attended school" (p. 118).

It cannot, however, be denied that the number of handicapped students enrolled in public and private schools throughout the country has increased. Data from the 2006 School Census registered the evolution from 337,326 enrolments in 1998 to 700,624 enrollments in 2006, with the increase in the number of enrolments in ordinary classes of regular teaching at 640%, since in 1998 there were 43,923 students enrolled and in 2006 they were 325,316 (Brasil, 2008a). we understand that this movement results from actions by organized groups that have taken on the struggle for the right to education, and that it also reflects the policies implemented at all administrative levels by the educational authorities. Nevertheless, if at first our look rested on the increase in the number of enrollments and places, today handicapped students are already inside the schools and other questions arise: How do students learn? How to teach them? How to prepare teachers for this new school organization? How to prepare the different school professionals? What are the special education resources needed, and how to articulate the relationship between regular class teachers and those of specialized educational services? Because, as put by Jinkings (2005) when presenting Mészáros's thinking:

The simple access to school in a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient to bring out from the shadows of social forgetfulness the millions of people whose existence is recognized only in the statistical tables, and whose process of educational exclusion does not happen mainly in the issue of school access, but inside it. (p. 11)

These issues run through school daily life and give rise to a sharp tension between teachers and administrators, and among teachers and families, which give us an indication of the need for formative spaces that foster study and reflection about the so-called inclusive pedagogical practices. The materials analyzed here and interview with administrators reaffirm this need

Apart from that, every educative action needs financial resources, and this country has no tradition in the investment in education. Gentili (2006) says:

Despite the increase in recent years, the investment in education in Latin America is significantly low compared to the challenged faced by the region to reduce inequality and social injustice. (p. 444)

In Brazil, in the area of Special Education, Ferreira (2003) reveals this same disregard of public spending with handicapped students, emphasizing that "the disregard can be double if we distinguish within the picture of Brazilian schooling the excluded from the school from the excluded within the school" (p. 12).

In the authorities' discourse the lack of financing for the area is made clear when surprises and anxieties are revealed before the volume of tasks they foresee as administrators of a hub municipality and the scarce financial resources available for the job. The coverage area increases but the format of the training course remains the same: the 40 hour annual course for municipalities with such diverse trajectories. The Program does not assign money for actins of exchange and study between the municipalities. The formation is restricted to the course, and with that the administrators are acutely uncomfortable, because they recognize that the task given to them, which they would like to carry out, has no financial backup to be executed.

There is a tension around the definition of the locus of service to the handicapped student that cannot be denied. Specialized schools of private and philanthropic nature were for decades the socially recognized space for the service to these students. The place in the regular and public school was replaced by the place in the special and private one. Today the proposal is that the special school should offer educational services complementary to the pedagogical work of regular schooling. This is a controversial proposal for the area which comes forward when administrators are surprised by the valuation of experiences in private institutions within the program of national seminars.

The administrators interviewed are aware of the existing legal support since the approval of the Act 10845 (Brasil, 2004), which regulates the offer of complements to the specialized educational services to handicapped people in private institutions of a philanthropic nature. They also know Decree 6253 (Brasil, 2007), which regulates the Fund for Maintenance and Development of Basic Education and of Valuation of Professionals in Education – FUNDEB – , which allows from 1st January 2008, with regard to the distribution of resources from this Fund, that enrollments in special education offered by community, confessional, or philanthropic non-profit institutions with activities exclusively in special education, if associated to the competent executive authority, can be included in the calculations.

The administrators, however, were expecting the valuation of experiences within the public system, which means that, actually, when clarifying the tension about what must be the locus of special education services, one is also revealing the tension between different conceptions of special education that exist in the area, in addition to unveiling a conflict with respect to public investments in private services.

The comparison between the discourses about inclusion, such as they appear in the texts considered here, and the practices implemented in the context of the Program, which were analyzed through the perceptions of the administrators that took part in the study, made it possible to identify conflicts and tensions of various orders. At the conceptual level, the difference in conceptions is evident in the materials analyzed. There are points of convergence, such as the understanding that education is a right, and that education systems must be organized so as to cater for all students, but there are also divergences as to what type of service should be offered, and as to the locus of service. We understand that while, on the one hand, the broader conception of inclusion reveals a concept of education that emphasizes the political process of formation of citizens based on their rights and on the necessary communication between public policies, on the other hand the emphasis on what is common to all education processes might overlook the specificities of some kinds of needs. Thus, it is important to reaffirm the need of improvements in education as a whole, but it is also indispensable to direct resources to fulfill specific demands.

The locus of offering of the educational service is also a matter of divergence. Some specialists state vehemently that the common class is the only acceptable space to educate all students. Others, however, taking into account the characteristics of the teaching systems, advocate the creation of alternatives to the space of the common class.

Another conflict evident in this study regards the relationships between the public and the private. While the public education system is officially in charge of implementing inclusive actions and formation actions for the inclusion of students with special needs, the institutions traditionally dedicated to special education are responsible for more than half of the total service. The problems pointed out by administrators concerning the rules that regulate the Program's budget are closely linked to those relationships and partly explain the distribution of services between the public education system and the private institutions traditionally dedicated to special education.

Finally, the apparent inconsistency between some of the guidelines and the actions can be understood if we focus on the wider social context which , within the growing movement of capitalist concentration, engenders different types of social exclusion that extend into the educational sphere (Caiado, 2006; Freitas, 2006; Kassar, 2007; Laplane, 2004; 2006; Oliveira, 2000).

The picture thus outlined becomes even more complex when we consider the needs of the teaching system to respond to the demands for quality, and to show socially satisfactory results, and also when we think about the historical deficiencies in the formation of educators. In this context, the tensions and conflicts created during the implementation of the Program under study here can be understood from the multiple relationships that are established between a teaching system that tends to homogenization and the principles of inclusion, which presuppose the respect for rights, the appreciation of diversity and the fulfillment of individual needs.

Along these lines we could proceed in the reflection about the role of current educational reforms that are faced with the historical social and school inequality exiting in Brazil, since, as authors, we speak from the standpoint of someone who understands that, within an emancipative project of society and education, the right to education does not belong in specific reforms but in a political-pedagogical project having as its principle the access, permanence, and the socialization-appropriation of the knowledge by all children and youngsters. The education project follows from a project of society that values education as a process of creation and emancipation of man.

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  • The Inclusive Education program: the right to diversity – an analysis from the point of view of administrators of a hub municipality

    Katia Regina Moreno CaiadoI; Adriana Lia Friszman de LaplaneII
  • Publication Dates

    • Publication in this collection
      01 Sept 2009
    • Date of issue
      Aug 2009


    • Received
      16 July 2008
    • Accepted
      11 May 2009
    Faculdade de Educação da Universidade de São Paulo Av. da Universidade, 308 - Biblioteca, 1º andar 05508-040 - São Paulo SP Brasil, Tel./Fax.: (55 11) 30913520 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil