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Graduate Program in Special Education

The activities of this Program have been presided over by theoretical and philosophical principles emanated from the conceptual evolution, definition of policies for Special Education as an area of knowledge and field of professional action, seeking to contribute, in an intentional and planned way, to overcome a mistaken Special Education: the one that makes the disabled person or their immediate environment responsible for the difficulties of learning and adaptation to the environment, has a segregating and exclusive role and acts against the ideals of inclusion and social integration of the target public of special education and the guarantee of their full citizenship.

PPGEEs presupposes the existence of human resources prepared (scientifically and conceptually) to identify the pitfalls of misconceptions and procedures, which lies in the possibility of altering the reality of Special Education in Brazil.

The specialized literature points to recent major advances, but at the same time present several huge gaps in knowledge about problems involving special person, their families, school and community; problems whose solution depends on scientific research and intervention that is scientifically based and evaluated. Open questions in the area cover issues related to characteristics and potentials of target public of special education, effective and feasible teaching procedures and strategies, the construction of meaningful curriculum (including professionalization and strategies for autonomous survival), types and modalities of appropriate services and how to make them accessible, ways of involving the community, school organization, public policies and the distribution of resources, among others things.

Moving from plans and ideals to realization requires knowledge and practice. One must ask what practice is needed - and then ask what knowledge is needed to substantiate the practice. This is an exercise for scientific research, which requires an installed potential - in human resources and in working conditions, in constant operation. The Graduate Program that brings together the conditions for the training of Master’s degree and Doctorate course can constitute this potential.

PPGEEs in the Special Education area in Brazil

PPGEEs was the first Graduate Program in Special Education in Brazil, and since then the program has been the only specific program in the area. Nowadays, there are several other Graduate programs, particularly in Education, that constituted thematic axes, centers or lines of research dedicated to Special Education.

The effort to create the conditions, implement and consolidate this program has resulted in the development of a very active research center in recent years. The research production of this center has shown a continuous growth in quantitative and qualitative terms and the performance of the Program and that has been fundamental for the training of human resources in Special Education.

The Program enabled 300 Master’s and X Ph.D. graduates by September 2016, which represents a substantial contingent of qualified human resources for higher education, with a potential multiplier.