The contradictions within inclusion in Brazil

Adriane Cenci, Monica Ferreira Lemos, Daniela Fuhro Vilas Boas, Magda Floriana Damiani, Yrjo Engestrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article presents data from a formative intervention conducted with Brazilian regular school teachers to develop strategies for their work with students with disabilities. The analysis was oriented by two questions: 1) How did the concept of inclusion of children with disabilities evolve during the intervention? and 2) What contradictions related to inclusion were manifested in the teacher's discourse and how might these contradictions explain the evolution of the teachers' concepts? Answering the first question, data were organized in two categories: inclusion as learning and inclusion as fallacy, with a higher incidence of the latter. The second question helped to understand the former, data showed discursive manifestations of contradictions of four types: dilemmas, conflicts, critical conflicts and double binds. Contradictions were also analyzed by content 1) evaluation based on tests and reports versus evaluation based on students' learning; 2) teaching students with disabilities versus teaching non-disabled students; 3) current conditions versus possibilities versus needs. Throughout the intervention, especially towards its end, discursive manifestations of contradictions increased, showing teachers did not find themselves supported for undertaking such a task. The intervention process was not enough to overcome the contradictions, as they are deeply rooted in the historical conception of inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100375
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • School inclusion
  • Cultural-historical activity theory
  • Formative intervention
  • 516 Educational sciences

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