Normalität, Abnormalität und Devianz.
Gesellschaftliche Konstruktionsprozesse und ihre Umwalzungen in der Moderne
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.