Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Modelling the childhood through textbooks: Através do Brasil (1910)
Márcia Cabral da Silva

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


The scene throughout the second half of the nineteenth century in Brazil is referred in the historiography of education through movements of agents and institutions in dispute over the network of the instruction (Gondra& Schuler, 2008). During the debate, some evidences of high levels of illiteracy, poorly equipped schools, lack of school supplies to the primary instruction have been spread. Among the indispensable supplies to the elementary instruction, the school textbooks and the reading books have emerged (Batista, Galvão&Klinke, 2002). If it was necessary to follow the news that were spread in the societies considered civilized; there was also a lack of suitable devices that could guide the reading classes in a society that had been constructed according to slaveholding basis, with a gap in the instruction field. It had been considered the expansion of the incipient teaching network, the still fragile primary instruction, as well as the illiteracy issue, among the great evils that prevented the consolidation of such project from growing. The nation, the instruction and the civilization, under this redemptive bias (Carvalho, 2005), were subjects to be debated in the leading press. In particular, on behalf of the intellectuals aligned to the major institutions in the Brazilian intelligentsia field: Brazilian Academy of Letters, Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute and the educational machinery of government. In this regard, ManoelBomfim and OlavoBilac have been highlighted due to the production of reading books indicated to the development of children, represented as country soldiers as the promise of good citizens in the future. Regarding to the project with a strong educative sense, these authors had been allied in the production of reading books to be distributed to children in the Brazilian schools at that time. In this paper, it is highlighted Através do Brasil, published in 1910 by Francisco Alves Publishing House. It is a novel concerned with the protagonists’ formative years, such as Bildungsroman, which focuses on the conquest of the national identity. In the book, it is narrated the story of two boys, Carlos and Alfredo, that go after their father. For this purpose, they start a journey through the brazilian territory, in which they get to know different regions of the country, all kinds of humans, different means of production. It is extremely relevant that the learning formula indicated in the book operates through dichotomies, such as barbaric and civilized; rural and urban. In this sense and according to such discursive strategy (Foucault, 1990), it is developed as the idea of nation as the child civilized under a binary and excluding logic.  In order to explore these questions, in this paper, it is focalized such discursive strategies and the material aspects that set Através do Brasil up. The main results point out Através do Brasilas a book that, besides providing encyclopedic subjects, it presupposes a joint of values with a formative nature on the basis of the nationalist and the civilization idea of the first republican decade in Brazil.