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The Special Educator

National statistics loaded alarming indices of learners whose special needs imply specialized and different programs, in kind, from those offered in regular education.

The diagnosis of the reality of Special Education in the country points to the need to increase the training course process in this area, due to the huge dimensions that the problem assumes, when considering also the imbalance between the contingent of those who require special care and the contingent of those available to provide it.

Another reason to invest in the training of staff in this area is that there is an advanced production in the area of Special Education, demonstrated in the scientific references, whose knowledge and technological resources are not in the field domain of Education in general.

The advances achieved in the last decades of national research in this area have not completely eliminated many of the deep gaps in scientific knowledge, nor, in particular, our backwardness in relation to values, philosophy of action and public policies. We have, therefore, an important (but still insufficient) knowledge to support the continuity of scientific research, in search of overcoming the gaps that still exist.

The requirements for the preparation of teaching staff for Special Education Subjects were followed by new demands for training or improvement of human resources in this area (MEC, 1994).

Initiatives in the field of educational policy in the country have recognized the need to ensure the development of conceptions and sensitivity in relation to the rights and needs of people with disabilities in the training of professionals from the most diverse areas, coming from Brazilian universities. This has recommended the inclusion, in the curricula of undergraduate courses, of Subjects or contents related to Special Education. However, the lack of properly trained higher education professors and accessible didactic material has made it difficult to implement these recommendations. This is another potential area of action for graduates of Graduate courses in Special Education.

In addition to these factors, the proposal of Inclusive Education that has been progressively adopted throughout the country, added new demands for the training of human resources in this area, due to the need to prepare the entire educational community for the insertion of learners in regular schools.