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


Published on

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.
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 schoolorganising
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

Published in: Education
1 Comment
  • World Yellow Pages for Higher studies.Find University, Institute, Colleges World wide & talk business.Free Listing www.kezkostudy.com
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

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

  1. 1. Katalin KÉRI (PTE, Faculty of Arts, Institute of Education ) (PTE, Philologische Fakultät, Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft) The education of subnormal children in Spain in the nineteenth century
  2. 2. 14/02
  3. 3. 14/03 Miguel Cervantes Virtual Library (http://www.cervantesvirtual.com)
  4. 4. I. The initial steps of therapeutic education in Spain from the Middle Ages up to modern times II. The special schools and basic books used in the 19 th century III. The way of the Spanish (in some places Catalan) terminology 14/04
  5. 5. The Beginnings of Education of Children with Special Needs: I. The Education of deaf and dumb Pedro Ponce de Leon (1520-1584) (the monastery of Oña) 14/05
  6. 6. 14/06 Juan Pablo Bonet (1573 appr.-1633) Reduction de las letras y arte para enseñar á ablar los mudos (1620, Madrid)
  7. 7. Escuela española de sordomudos, o Arte para enseñarles a escribir y hablar el idioma español (1795, Madrid) Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro (1735-1809) 14/07
  8. 8. II. The education of the blinds in Spain 1. The first Muslim shelter for the blind: Granada, 12 th century 2. The Home for the blind: Madrid, 1422 3. Vives: De subventione Pauperum , 1525 4. First school for the blind: Sevilla, 1666 5. 18 th century : Influence of French authors (Diderot, Haüy) in Spanish special education 14/08
  9. 9. Specialised Education in 19 th century Spain The School for Blind and Deaf and Dumb, Madrid, 1795 (King Charles IV.) The School for Deaf and Dumb (Escuela de Sordomudos) Barcelona, 1816 (M. Estrada) Madrid International School of the Blind (Colegio Nacional de Ciegos de Madrid) 1863 Private schools in Barcelona and in Madrid, 1819 , 1833 The Moyano-Law: schools for blind and deaf and dumb, 1857 The education of mentally handicapped children: Instituto Médico-Pedagógico para Niños Atrasados : Barcelona, 1897 14/09
  10. 10. Attitudes towards the Subnormal and Abnormal in Spain from the Middle Ages up to the Twentieth Century Sources : - textbooks - medical books - methodology guidelines - education plans - school reports - newspaper articles - letters - conference reports - names of schools etc. 14/10
  11. 11. Changes in the terminology I. „ deaf and dumb and the blind” (sordo-mudos és ciegos) (constantly used) 1409 : Hospital for the half-witted, idiots and insane (ignoscents, folls e orats) 1410 : Hospital of Fools (Hospital apellat dels folls) In the 19 th and in the beginning of the 20th centuries „ idiots” (los idiotas) 1870 „ retarded children” (niños atrasados) 1897 „ mentally handicapped children” (niños con deficiencias intelectuales) 1897 „ subnormal children” (niños anormales) 1897 „ chidren of lower intellect” (niños con inteligencia disminuida) 1897 „ mentally subnormal children” (niños mentalmente anormales) 1907 „ degenerated children” (infancia degenerada) 1908 „ children with subnormal mental capacities” (los niños mentalmente anormales) 1908-1912 „ children with mental deficiencies” (niños mentalmente deficientes) 1914 etc. 14/11
  12. 12. Changes in the terminology II. Constitution of Spain of 1978 : „ people with reduced abilities” psychically, physically, or from a sensory aspect (los disminuidos psíquicos, físicos y sensoriales) 1990, 2002 Law of Education (Ley de Calidad de la Educación) : „ children requiring specific education” ( niños con necesidades educativas especiales) 2006 Organic Law (La Ley Orgánica) : „ integrative and inclusive school” (escuela integradora e inclusive) „ pupils of higher intellect” (alumnos con altas capacidades intelectuales) „ pupils with severe behavioural problems” (alumnos con trastornos graves de conducta) „ functional diversity” (diversidad funcional) 14/12
  13. 13. Summary I. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance: The individual initiatives for special education in Spain II. In 18 th century: The first steps for foundation of the specialised public schools; The publication of Spanish books and methods about special education; The becoming known of the foreign (French) books and methods III. In the 19 th -20 th centuries: The establishment of network of specialised schools (Moyano Law – 1857; the initiatives of 1920s; Law of Primary Education of 1945 etc.) IV. From 1970s: The attempt to harmonise the different types of special schools (Constitution of Spain – 1978) Strong and clear steps towards integrative and inclusive education (2002 Law of Education, 2006 Organic Law) 14/13
  14. 14. Salamanca Statement: Network for Action on Special Needs Education „ 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.” (UNESCO – Ministry of Education ad Science of Spain, Salamanca, 1994.) 14/14
  15. 15. Thank you for your attention ! Vielen Dank für Ihre Aufmerksamkeit! E-mail : kerik@ btk .pte.hu URL: http:// kerikata.hu /