Brazilian Culture: An Introduction to the Study of Culture in Brazil

By Fernando de Azevedo; William Rex Crawford | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE
GENERAL EDUCATION AND VARIOUS TYPES OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

Education and culture in the light of their historic development -- The cultural heritage of Brazil -- The enlargement in the system of the general or common education -- Primary education, according to statistics -- The quantitative extension and the lowering of level in secondary education -- Special types of education -- The predominance of schools preparing for the liberal professions -- Military and naval teaching -- Industrial development and the new technical requirements of a society in the course of transformation -- Vocational, agricultural, commercial and industrial schools -- Industry and the training of technicians and vocational training -- The cooperation of workshops and factories in vocational education -- The hierarchy of vocational types -- The universities and the formation of the cultural, technical and political elite -- The mission of the schools of higher studies and of pure research -- Professional specialization and scientific specialization -- Aesthetic culture -- The pedagogical training of teachers of all grades -- From the unity of education to the intellectual unity of Brazil-A national policy of education and culture.

IN THE PAGES ABOVE, which are neither very difficult nor very technical, in which reflections and opinions have been mixed with an abundant source material, unfortunately of unequal merit and heterogeneous in character, we have traced in summary the picture of the cultural evolution of Brazil and of its educational institutions down to the point where they reach their present structure. But, if in this synthesis of culture and education in the country, the general picture is historical, it has not been constructed according to a chronological plan, the strict plan of pure historians, but on the contrary with a sociological attitude, one of analysis and of interpretation, which would permit us to detach from the complex network of facts, activities and reforms, the movement of ideas and the most significant phenomena which appeared to us to dominate education in the various phases of its development. In this study, which is at once analytic and genetic, in which we have attempted to go back to the origins of institutions and to establish through their evolution the tendencies of modern education, the character of Brazilian culture, its relations with the social state of each period, and the Europeanizing influences, generally so retarded, which the general currents of thought in the western world exercised upon it have all been set down. All Brazilian culture in the colonial period, as in the nineteenth century, is in the lines which the Jesuits drew of it with their notable teaching of the humanities, which had such profound and persistent effects that far from disappearing during their absence of more than eighty years ( 1759-1843), they made themselves strongly felt, seconded by the influence of the French, through the period of the Empire and took on new vigor during the part of the republican period. The culture which was attained by general or common education of the middle grade and without any ideas of specialization, constituted

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