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Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
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Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century

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Normalität, Abnormalität und Devianz. …

Normalität, Abnormalität und Devianz.
Gesellschaftliche Konstruktionsprozesse und ihre Umwalzungen in der Moderne
Internationales Symposion
Oktober 9-11. 2009.
Katolisches Priesterseminar, Eger

A conference entitled Long Way Towards Inclusive Education was held in Pamplona June 2009. I was the only
Hungarian participant and I had the possibility to gain insight into the colourful and successful history of the
education of subnormal children in Spain. This paper intends to present and outline the history of specialised
education in Spain, focusing mainly on the 19th century relying partly on lectures delivered on the above
conference, primary sources and literature on the topic. As background information I would like to mention the
enormous and invaluable help with which the Miguel Cervantes Virtual Library1 contributed to my being able to
expand my research with its millions of freely available digital volumes and books of utmost importance
concerning the history of the education of subnormal children in Spain from the medieval times to the present,
unabridged in the original pictured versions in Spanish and/or Catalan.
First of all, I would like to briefly discuss the initial steps of therapeutic education in Spain from the Middle
Ages up to modern times. Then I am going to mention the special schools and basic books used in the 19th century
and finally I intend to present the way the Spanish (in some places Catalan) terminology reflected the changes in
the treatment and acceptance of people (children) with aptitudes and abilities different from the ‘normal’ from the
Middle Ages up to the present.
Let me also call attention to the limitations of this study: although I have pursued smaller and larger research
in the past two decades touching upon the history of education in Spain, as a researcher I have not dealt with the
history of the education of subnormal children so far. Therefore, in some places I had difficulties understanding
the special terminology fully and rendering it properly into English and Hungarian.

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  • 1. Katalin KÉRI: The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century Normalität, Abnormalität und Devianz. Gesellschaftliche Konstruktionsprozesse und ihre Umwalzungen in der Moderne Internationales Symposion Oktober 9-11. 2009. Katolisches Priesterseminar, Eger
  • 2. A conference entitled Long Way Towards Inclusive Education was held in Pamplona June 2009. I was the only Hungarian participant and I had the possibility to gain insight into the colourful and successful history of the education of subnormal children in Spain. This paper intends to present and outline the history of specialised education in Spain, focusing mainly on the 19th century relying partly on lectures delivered on the above conference, primary sources and literature on the topic. As background information I would like to mention the enormous and invaluable help with which the Miguel Cervantes Virtual Library1 contributed to my being able to expand my research with its millions of freely available digital volumes and books of utmost importance concerning the history of the education of subnormal children in Spain from the medieval times to the present, unabridged in the original pictured versions in Spanish and/or Catalan. First of all, I would like to briefly discuss the initial steps of therapeutic education in Spain from the Middle Ages up to modern times. Then I am going to mention the special schools and basic books used in the 19th century and finally I intend to present the way the Spanish (in some places Catalan) terminology reflected the changes in the treatment and acceptance of people (children) with aptitudes and abilities different from the ‘normal’ from the Middle Ages up to the present. Let me also call attention to the limitations of this study: although I have pursued smaller and larger research in the past two decades touching upon the history of education in Spain, as a researcher I have not dealt with the history of the education of subnormal children so far. Therefore, in some places I had difficulties understanding the special terminology fully and rendering it properly into English and Hungarian. The Beginnings of Education of Children with Special Needs In medieval Spain – similarly to other countries on the continent – people with physical handicap (the crippled and lame), psychic abnormalities (the mad) and those who had problems with the sensory organs (primarily the blind) were considered lunatic and sinful and were subsequently outcast from society and confined just as in previous ages2. The Middle Ages saw them as others, as different and did not provide them schooling. It was not until the Renaissance that changes started to be felt in Hispany in the ways these people were seen and treated. It was only then when their fate was treated in a more humane way, and in some places even schooling was provided. From this time onward, we can mention several pedagogic thinkers who in their works and school- organising efforts were trying to provide special help to disadvantaged pupils. The well-known humanist Juan Luis Vives (1492-1540) felt and also described the psychological and social differences among his pupils and encouraged a special approach and treatment to pupils with substandard abilities or disadvantaged status. In his work De anima et viva (1538) for example – referring also to Aristotle – he emphasized hearing as the most vital sensory ability for learning and education. In the Enlightenment it was, among others, Benito Jeronimo Feijóo y Montenegro (1676-1764), Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro (1735-1809) és Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (1744-1811) who in their works touched upon the issue of the education of subnormal children. The end of the 18th century saw the emergence of schools for children with special needs mainly in the bigger cities of Spain, but typically, then and throughout the 19th century only the education of children with sensory disabilities was paid attention to. The first documents of Spanish history of education are about that of deaf and dumb3. Pedro Ponce de Leon (1520-1584) the Benedictine monk who lived in the 16th century was teaching deaf and dumb children (among them many with an aristocratic background) in the monastery of Oña the basics of speech and other useful skills and subjects e.g. Religion, Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Astronomy, Physics, History and Politics. 4 At the beginning of his work published in 17945 the Jesuit Juan Andrés y Morell (1740-1817) emphasized that with this 1 La Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/ (Downloaded: 2009.08.11.) 2 Castaño Gómez, Ana María: La atención a la diversidad en el marco de una escuela inclusiva. Evolución histórica. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. La educación Especial y Social del siglo a nuestros días. vol. I. Universidad Pública de Navarra – SEDHE, Pamplona, 2009. p. 405. 3 Concerning the history of the education of the deaf in Spain, the most reknown persons, coursebooks, methods abcs and the effects of these in Europe and America consult: Gascón Ricao, Antonio – Storch de Gracia y Asensio, José Gabriel: Historia de la educación de los sordos en España y su influencia en Europa y América. Ramón Areces, Madrid, 2004.; About the education of the deaf worldwide consult:Vickrey, Van Cleve John (ed.): Deaf History Unveiled. Interpretations from the New Scholarship. Gallaudet University Press, Washington, 1999. 4 Carta del Abate Don Juan Andrés sobre el origen y las vicistudes del arte de enseñar a hablar a los mudo sordos. Trad.: Andrés, Don Carlos. La Imprenta de Sancha, Madrid, 1794. p. 7. (The electronic version can be found at: http://213.0.4.19/servlet/SirveObras/01474985490169562979079/index.htm (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.)) 5 An analysis of the source can be consulted at: Vergara Ciordia, Javier: La primera Historia de la Educación de los Sordos en España: la carta del jesuita Juan Andrés y Morell (17401817) a su hermano Carlos sobre el arte de educar a los sordomudos. Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva... I. Op. cit. pp. 101-113. 2
  • 3. Spain had been 200 years ahead of Europe’s marvelled and envied cities of Vienna and Paris and also mentioned that even Epée recognised Spain’s first place regarding the matter of education. He also wrote that there had been many (for example Francesco Valles medical doctor in his book Sacra philosophia and also Feijóo in his works) who discussed the essence of Ponce’s special educational methods and that they were available and well-known in many places in Europe. Andrés y Morell himself, for example, heard German students studying in Italy and Vienna mention them.6 Juan Pablo Bonet7 (1573 appr.-1633) was the outstanding Spanish pedagogic thinker who in the beginning of the 17th century laid the foundations of the education of the deaf and dumb. His work entitled Reduction de las letras y arte para enseñar á ablar los mudos offered to King Philip III. published in 1620 in Madrid8 was the first used as a methodological schoolbook though, the essence of the method had been summarised earlier by Pedro Ponce in Latin. His idea was to teach the pupils a sign language using the hands, which would familiarise them with the letters of the alphabet. This would subsequently be followed by the correct pronunciation of the sounds with the observation of the movements of the mouth (lips, tongue, teeth). According to Bonet, the teacher was to correct the pronunciation of pupils constantly without putting his fingers into their mouths or molesting them in any other ways. He also described the methods of teaching the rules of grammar to the deaf and dumb and determined the age-groups most adequate for learning and stressed the importance of reading.9 Manuel Ramírez de Carrión10 (1579-1652) in his work published in 1622 and later in 1629 entitled Maravillas de naturaleza (The Wonders of Nature) already mentioned using Bonet’s methods in teaching his deaf and dumb pupils to speak, read and write.11 Bonet’s method was spread in Europe in the 18th century by the Spanish-Portugese Jacobo Rodríguez de Pereira (1715-1780) who was also familiar with Ponce’s methods from the works of Feijóo.12 He wrote about the method in 1749 in the French paper Mercurius further extended Bonet’s abc and even developed his methods drawing some criticism with his dactilological process. 13 The institutionalised education of the blind and the deaf and dumb in Spain started in 1795, when Charles IV. opened the first cost-free public school for them.14 It was in the same year that the 2-volume work of Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro15 was published in Madrid giving a thorough insight into and examination of the education of the deaf and blind. His work consisted of 5 larger parts, the first of which discussed medical, theological, philosophical and political opinions and arguments concerning the deaf and dumb, the second was about the history of teaching reading and writing for these pupils, in the third – which he called the most useful in his introduction – he elaborated on the methods of teaching written Spanish. The fourth part was about the way spoken Spanish, Italian and Portugese should be mastered, which the writer thought would be useful for other nations in the teaching of deaf and dumb children. The final part was devoted to the ways he thought metaphysical and ethicoreligious ideas could be taught to these disadvantaged people. As a Christian, he considered these as the prior and final goals of education, that is the spreading and affirmation of Catholic teachings among students. Even in the beginning of his book he claimed the priority and efficacy of Catholic education over any other. Regarding the deaf and dumb and the blind he claimed that as creatures of God they had the right to be integrated into society and thus should receive special care and that all men were to treat them as their brothers and sisters.16 He said, our Creator gave the chance to those with physical disabilities also to become learned individuals: „The 6 Carta del Abate Don Juan Andrés ... Op. cit. p. 8. 7 The following website has a collection of articles regarding his life and works: La cultura sorda. http://www.cultura-sorda.eu/4.html (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 8 The electronic version can be found at : http://213.0.4.19/servlet/SirveObras/12826516449063734198624/index.htm (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 9 Ibid. pp. 15-16. 10 About his life and works consult for example: Manuel Ramírez de Carrión y sus maravillas”. In: Gascón Ricao – Storch de Gracia y Asensio: Historia de la educación de los sordos en España... Op. cit. pp. 159-173. (Note:the year of his death varies in the different sources, I have read the years 1533, 1550 and also 1554s.) 11 Vergara Ciordia Op. cit.p. 109. 12 Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Jeronimo: Cartas eruditas y curiosas. Tomo IV., VII. carta: Sobre la invención del Arte, que enseñar a hablar a los mudos. Madrid, 1753. (The digital version can be found at.: http://www.filosofia.org/bjf/bjfc407.htm (Downloaded: 2009.08.15.)) 13 Ibid. p. 111. 14 Fernández, María Inés García: Iniciativas pedagógicas, motrices y sociales en el origen institucional de la Educación Especial en España. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva I. Op. cit. p. 238. 15 Hervás y Panduro, Lorenzo: Escuela española de sordomudos, o Arte para enseñarles a escribir y hablar el idioma español, dividida en dos tomos. La Imprenta Real, Madrid, 1795. (http://213.0.4.19/servlet/SirveObras/01478407544604506554480/index.htm (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.)) 16 Ibid. p. VI. 3
  • 4. pure wisdom flowing down from above opens up the prison for the human soul, where the dumb who have been waiting in silence become eloquent speakers...”17 The first place of shelter for the blind18 was established by the Muslims in the 12th century in Granada, on the Iberian Peninsula. (They had already had experiences with the education of the blind since the Azhar University established in Kairo at the end of the 10th century was the first to organise the oral education of the blind in the world.19) In 1422 the secretary of king John II. Pedro Fernández Lorca established a home for them in Madrid. In 1517 Girolamo Cardano carved out the letters of the alphabet in order to help the blind master the skills of reading and writing. In his work De subventione Pauperum (1525) Vives also emphasized the importance of educating the blind and those with visual impairment and pointed out that besides training them for work their intellectual development was also crucial. It was Francisco Lunas who in 1585 was also attempting to teach his blind pupils, and in 1666 in Pozo Santo monastery Sevilla their first school opened. Later in the 18th century in Spain there were many pedagogic thinkers who encouraged and insisted on the special needs of the blind.20 Contemporary textbooks often referred to many well-known worthy thinkers from history who despite their visual problems or complete lack of vision had outstanding achievements and ever-lasting impact on human history. In the mid-18th century French works and initiatives trying to encourage the education of the blind became well-known in Spain. Denis Diderot’s letters published in 1749 in London21 and the insitute for the blind founded by Valentín Haüy in 1784 (Institut National de Jeunes Aveugles) were also known among experts in Spain. The first hospital established for patients suffering from mental illnesses on the Iberian Peninsula was in Granada in the 14th century during the reign of Sultan Mohamed V. Here, however, they did not deal with children. The first Spanish hospital trying to pay more attention and encourage the schooling and development of the mentally retarded opened in Valencia in 1410 following the ideas of brother Juan Gilabert Jofré (1350-1417)22 and with the finantial support of local merchants and handicraftsmen. Brother Jofré knew the Muslim attempts at curing the mentally ill well, and as opposed to the majority of his contemporaries claimed that these people needed care, protection and support and that their seclusion from society was unfair and improper.This Valencia hospital was the very first specifically psychiatric institute in the world. A contemporary visitor Münzer reported that this was a superbly well-organised establishment where the idiots, the melancholic and other inmates resided who had been collected from various other hospitals in Valencia. 23 Inmates were trying to be cured by methods of occupational therapy, they were gardening, girls and women were taught needlework. Specialised Education in 19th century Spain The 19th century brought a great upsurge in therapeutic education in Spain as well as in other countries in Europe. Beside the school founded by Charles IV. in1795 others also came into existence. Not only Spanish teachers and doctors but also people of other professions started to take part in the improvement of teaching methods and the working out of new plans. Beside schools receiving royal or municipal support private school appeared in certain bigger cities. Novel foreign methods and textbooks for the deaf and dumb, the blind and those with visual impairment became quickly well-know on the Iberian Peninsula, for example: the writing system perfected by the French Louis Braille in 1825, who had lost his eyesight as a small child, was first taught by Jaime Bruno Berenguer to his blind Spanish pupils and in 1863 was introduced at the Madrid International School of the Blind (Colegio Nacional de Ciegos de Madrid) just opening its gates for the students.24 In Spain the Braille system was made officially compulsory for the blind in 1918.25 17 Ibid. p. VII-VIII. 18 Concerning the history of the blind see the monumental work of: Montoro Martínez, Jesús: Los ciegos en la historia. I-V. Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles, Dirección de Cultura, Madrid, 1991-1998. 19 Ipland García, Jerónima – Parra Cañadas, Diego: La formación de ciegos y discapacitados visuales: visión histórica de un proceso de inclusión. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. p. 454. 20 Fernández Op. cit. p. 239. 21 A later edition of the work is included in : Diderot, Denis: Lettres sur les aveugles à l’sage de ceux que voient. Lettre sur les sourds et muets à l’usage de ceux qui entendent et qui parlent, présentation, notes, dossier, chronologie, bibliographie par Marian Hobson et Simon Harvey, Flammarion, «GF», Paris, 2000. The electronic version can be found at: http://rde.revues.org/index470.html (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 22 About his life consult: Ramajo Aliste, Félix: Vida y obra del padre Juan Gilabert Jofre. Diputación Provincial de Valencia, Valencia, 1998. 23 Sala, Daniel: El padre Juan Gilabert Jofré y el primer hospital psiquiátrico del mundo. http://www.lasprovincias.es/valencia/prensa/20070216/cultura/padre-juan-gilabert-jofre_20070216.html (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 24 Gascon – Storch Op. cit. p. 369. 25 España Caparros, José A.: El sistema Braille. Consejería de Educación – Junta de Andalucía, Málaga, 2002. p. 4. (The electronic version can be found at.: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/averroes/caidv/interedvisual/ftp/el_sistema_braille.doc. (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.)) 4
  • 5. The School for Deaf and Dumb (Escuela de Sordomudos), opened in Barcelona in 1816 founded by the Dominican monk Manuel Estrada. According to a later report the school was applying the methods of Pestalozzi, Bell and Lancaster. An important thing to know concerning the history of the school which had financial difficulties is, that besides teachers a medical doctor was also employed there trying to help their work with his methods. José Ricart (1775-1837) watchmaker, as regards his trade, opened a private school in the Catalan capital for the blind in 1819. Pupils could attend the school free, and after his death from 1839 it was taken over and run by the city council. A similar institution opened its gates in Madrid in 1833 initiated by the physician Juan Manuel Ballesteros y Santa María (1794-1869).26 In the history of the education of the blind in Spain teaching them music meant a separate phase, its history between 1830-1938 was discussed by Esther Burgos in her doctoral theses.27 However, it was the 20th century that brought significant steps in their education with a vital role played by the National Institute of the Blind (still functioning) (ONCE: Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles 28). The Spanish law of general education (similar to the 1868 law of public education in Hungary) passed in 1857, the Moyano-Law decreed that there should be a school for the deaf and dumb in every university district. (This meant 7 districts sorrounding the following universities: Álava, Burgos, Guipúzcoa, Palencia, Santander, Valladolid, Vizcaya.29) After a lot of organisation and debate the first educational centre opened in Burgos in 1866 starting teaching in July 1868 with approximately 200 pupils. Since it continuously had financial difficulties the number of students suffered a considerable decline in the decade following its opening. Pupils generally spent around 5 years at the school and were mainly between 7-13 years of age. The school continued as the district centre till 1928.30 The Moyano-Law did not deal with the education of children with other types of handicap, it was not until the 1970s that their needs were legally dealt with. Thus, in the 19th century most of these other children received no institutionalised education whatsoever.31 This fact – similar to other European countries – reflected the lack of understanding, rigidity and sticking to older habits and the continual existence of prejudice in the Spanish society: cultural establishments (schools included) were for the ‘normal’ and healthy. Therefore, for example the 19th century did not bring any significant change in the education of mentally handicapped children in Spain, special provisions for them were started in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1897 in Barcelona the Instituto Médico- Pedagógico para Niños Atrasados was started following the initiative of Agustín Rius i Borrell (1837-1912) teacher32 and Francesc de Paula Xercavins i Rius (1855-1937) medical doctor33. At this institute they were trying in many steps, to educate the pupils’ intellect and morals. The former, Rius i Borrell, realised the failure of the end-of-century educational system to provide any solution for the education of mentally retarded, deaf-and –dumb or blind children, and was thus searching for new ideas and suggestions which he also published.34 The later Xercavins i Rius, a doctor well-aware of the diseases of the nervous system, was searching for possibilities of treatment and improvement. Attitudes towards the Subnormal and Abnormal in Spain from the Middle Ages up to the Twentieth Century The changes in the attitudes towards the subnormal in the history of education in Spain can also be clearly followed if we take a closer look at the relevant terminology.35 There are several sources available for the 26 Fernández Op. cit. p. 239. 27 Burgos Bordoau, Esther: Historia de la enseñanza musical para ciegos en España, 1830-1938. Organización Nacional de Ciegos Españoles, Dirección General, Dirección de Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, 2004. 28 The homepage of the organisation: http://www.once.es/new/ (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 29 Ojeda González, Ana Isabel: La Educación especial en Burgos: estudio de los centros específicos. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit.p. 512. 30 Ibid. p. 513. 31 González Pérez, Teresa: Itinerario de la Educación Especial en el sistema educativo. De la Ley Moyano a la Ley General de Educación. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. p. 249. 32 About his life and works in the teaching profession see: Rincón i Igea, Benet del: Aportació pedagògica del mestre Rius. Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, Barcelona, 1999. 33 About his life consult e.g.: Calbet i Camarasa, Josep M. – Montaña i Bouchaca, Daniel: Metges i farmacèutics catalanistes (1880- 1906). Cossetània Edicions, Valls, 2001. p. 198. 34 Works: La educación de los niños atrasados. (The Education of Retarded Children) Imprenta F. Sánchez, Barcelona, 1897. és El tartamudeo y otros vicios de pronunciación con su tratamiento. (Stattering and other Impediments of Speech and their Therapy) Tip. Inglada, Barcelona, 1900. 35 Concerning the topic and mainly the word usage in the last three decades consult: Aparicio Ágreda, Maria Lourdes: Evolución de la conceptualización de la discapacidad y de las condiciones de vida proyectadas para las personas en esta situación. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. pp. 129-138. 5
  • 6. examination of terminological changes, primarily, books written about or for these people (textbooks, medical books, methodology guidelines etc.) and from the 18th-19th centuries onwards education plans, school reports, newspaper articles, letters and conference reports. Even the names of schools are quite revealing. I collected a number of expressions from Spanish sources from the 15th century onwards that show the typical terms used in the given period. In his preaching of 1409 Juan Gilabert Jofré mentioned the importance of establishing a hospital for the half-witted, idiots and insane (ignoscents, folls e orats). The institution that opened in 1410 was called Hospital of Fools (Hospital apellat dels folls). The words used for the deaf and dumb and the blind did not change during the centuries (sordo-mudos és ciegos). In the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th centuries the terms appearing in textual sources and in names if institutions were: retarded children (niños atrasados)36, mentally handicapped children (niños con deficiencias intelectuales), subnormal children (niños anormales), chidren of lower intellect (niños con inteligencia disminuida)37, children with mental deficiencies (niños mentalmente deficientes)38, mentally subnormal children (niños mentalmente anormales39, degenerated children (infancia degenerada)40, moreover the term idiots (los idiotas41)was also commonly used. The periodicle La Escuela Moderna published a 15-part series between 1908 and 1912 with the title Los niños mentalmente anormales y su educación especial in one part of which Nyns provided a definition and classification „children with subnormal mental capacities” According to him these are „those children who due to any physical, intellectual or moral cause cannot receive the same education as others of the same age. They can be classified into 4 categories: those having sensory disabilities: the blind and the deaf, physical disabilities: the lame or crippled, and those not having a limb etc., children having problems with speaking: the dumb, the stuttering or any other such problem and those being mentally disabled: the idiots, the imbecile or those of hindered development.”42 Recently, however, such terms and expressions have undergone considerable changes in Spain as well in harmony with international guidelines and usage considering human rights. The 1978 constitution wrote about „people with reduced abilities” psychically, physically, or from a sensory aspect (los disminuidos psíquicos, físicos y sensoriales). The 1982 law concerning the social integration of disabled people, however, recognised their rights and differentiated among them according to the specific injury or disability (las personas con deficiencia, discapacidad o minusvalía). In 1990 LOGSE cancelled the use of the term specialised education and any other related pejorative expression and initiated the uniform use of „children requiring specific education” (niños con necesidades educativas especiales) facilitating thereby their educational integration. The 2002 law of education (Ley de Calidad de la Educación) uses the same expression, in text of the 2006 law (La Ley Orgánica) the name of the school providing equal opportunities „integrative and inclusive” (escuela integradora e inclusive) appeared as a new expression. It is important to emphasize, however, that while earlier texts in Spain rarely mention a law for the special treatment of talented children as a separate group these two recent documents both refer to them: the 2006 law with the term „pupils of higher intellect” (alumnos con altas capacidades intelectuales). Another novelty is the expression „pupils with severe behavioural problems” (alumnos con trastornos graves de conducta). A further new term used is „functional diversity” (diversidad funcional), which became widely used from 200543 and expressed the claim people with disabilities may have for a rightful place in society together with equal rights and possibilities in all areas of everyday life. As these examples from primary sources all point out, in Spain (similarly in Hungary) just as in other countries it was a long way in history to the acceptance and integration into society and the educational system of children with subnormal mental or physical conditions. (It is important to note that we are highly unlikely to find a definition of normality, it is always deviance from it that is usually discussed and defined – with differing descriptions and definitions in the different ages. The above brief semantic examination clearly shows how terminology reflect the attitude of the society. It needed hundreds of years for seclusion, prejudice, pejorative 36 For instance in the name of the following institute: Instituto Médico-Pedagógico para Niños Atrasados (Barcelona, 1897.) 37 Barcelona, 1897. 38 Pereira, F.: La Escuela-Sanitario para los niños mentalmente deficientes. Madrid, 1914. 39 Pereira, F.: De la organización de la Escuelas especiales para niños mentalmente anormales. Madrid, 1907. 40 Pereira, F.: De la educación de la infancia degenerada. Madrid, 1908. 41 See e.g. in the writings of Carlos Nebreda , Madrid, 1870’s. 42 Nyns, A.: La educación de los niños anormales. La escuela Moderna 1912. 245. pp. 25-26. Quoted in: Montes Moreno, Soledad – Ramírez Trapero, Francisco: Evolución de la Educación Especial través de las revistas educativas (1891-1934) In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. pp. 85-86. 43 About the topic see: Romañach, Javier – Lobato, Manuel.: Diversidad funcional nuevo término para la lucha por la dignidad en la diversidad del ser humano. En foro de Vida Independiente, 2005. http://www.minusval2000.com/relaciones/vidaIndependiente/diversidad_funcional.html (Downloaded: 2009.08.15.) 6
  • 7. attitude and the so-called deficit-model44 to gradually change, nevertheless, despite this significant development the process itself has not ended, since it is not only a linguistic and legal issue but one that necessitates a change in attitude together with such an economic, political and cultural background that is able to provide for a successful inclusive education and a complete social acceptance. In the Spanish language it is so far only the terminology used by close expert circles that has changed considerably, that is although they may speak about functional diversity and children requiring specific education men on the street would continue talking about the invalid or disabled suggesting that these fellow citizens represent a lesser value. Summary Started in the Middle Ages and following in the steps of what can be seen as individual initiatives up to the turn of the 18th-19th centuries similarly to other European countries a network of specialised schools besides those providing general education became established in Spain as well in the 19th-20th centuries. The 1857 Moyano-Law can be seen as a pioneering attempt in Hispany. A considerable development could be observed from the 1920s in the establishment of specialised institutions, the Law of Primary Education of 1945 (Ley de Enseñanza Primaria) further emphasizing its vital role. Although schools providing specialised education were separated, there were several efforts made in the 1970s in an attempt to harmonise the different types of schools. The 1978 constitution not only included the rights of every citizen together with those of reduced mental or physical capabilities for education, but declared that authorities were to facilitate their getting treatment, rehabilitation and integration.45 Many rulings of the end of the 20th century pointed towards integrative education and it was in the city of Salamanca, Spain where participants of the 1994 UNESCO World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality made their suggestions on inclusive education.46 The above mentioned 2006 law and other legal regulations47 decreed the introduction of inclusive education in Spain. It needs to be emphasized that in the recent years it is a large population of children that belong to ‘specialised education’ category since – in accordance with the Salamanca action plan48 and other international documents – pupils with behaviour problems also belong there together with the outstanding talents or the children of immigrants (whose number may reach a few million in Spain). We may conclude, that Spain has had a similar history as regards specialised education as other European countries in the past centuries. A unique feature, however, is that there have been some prominent attempts at the provision for the handicapped since the Middle Ages. Although the initial steps of institutionalisation were made at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries it was only from the end of the 19th century that the establishment of specialised schools for those with reduced abilities set off. Although the third millennium has brought with it the closing down of these separate institutions, their history has accumulated an immensely rich pedagogical and psychological experience and knowledge the analysis of which in a new light and aspects shall be that of the upcoming era. Such a future study would be crucial in the understanding of the changes in public thinking, and in eradicating still existing beliefs and prejudice. Dr. Katalin KÉRI University of Pécs, Hungary H-7624 Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6. kerik@btk.pte.hu http://kerikata.hu 44 González García, Erika: Evolución de la Educación especial: del modelo del déficit al modelo de la Escuela Inclusiva. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. p. 429. 45 Castaño Gómez Op. cit. p. 406. 46 See the complete texts of references: Salamanca Statement: Network for Action on Special Needs Education. UNESCO – Ministry of Education ad Science of Spain, Salamanca, 1994. http://www.unesco.org/education/pdf/SALAMA_E.PDF (Downloaded: 2009.08.10.) 47 Concerning the details of legal regulations on the topic see: Domínguez Lázaro, Martín: Atención educativa a la diversidad en Badajoz. In: Conejero López, Susana – Berruezo Albéniz, Reyes (coord.): El largo camino hacia una Educación Inclusiva. I. Op. cit. pp. 417-420.; Olmos Santana, Óscar: La transición a la democracia en la atención educativa a las personas con discapacidad. Análisis legislativo. Ibid., pp. 523-534. 48 „schools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. This should include disabled and gifted children, street and working children, children from remote or nomadic populations, children from linguistic, ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other disadvantaged or marginalized areas or groups.” In: Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. In: Salamanca Statement... Op. cit. p.6.. 7

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