"Abnormal schoolchildren": psychiatry beyond psychiatric hospitals

From analysis on material resulting from a child biopsychology course given by psychiatrists at São Pedro Psychiatric Hospital in 1940, which was aimed at public schools teachers in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, we aimed to show the spread of psychiatric knowledge beyond the hospital walls. The organization of the subjects in this course, along with its public, denote the strategies through which the psychiatric paradigm in Rio Grande do Sul in the middle of the last century was disseminated to other institutional spaces. The course shows an early instance of bringing the fields of psychiatry and education together, with the aim of providing teachers with the means to recognize problematic pupils. This contributed towards creating mechanisms for controlling and preventing deviant behavior. The theoretical and methodological reference points are based on Michel Foucault's genealogical perspective, especially the courses given at Collège de France in 1974 and 1975.

Psychiatric knowledge; Abnormality; Education; Childhood; Disabled persons


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