Publication Date

July 2004


The paper discusses the ideas of Rui Barbosa on the importance of teaching science in the primary schools of nineteenth-century Brazil. Barbosa was one of the great parliamentarians of his time and one of Brazil’s most vocal advocates of educational reform in the nineteenth century. In 1882, Barbosa was directed to provide a written assessment of the1878 educational reform of Minister Leonçio de Carvalho. In the document that resulted, Barbosa states his rationale for why and how the natural sciences should be taught in the primary school. This paper relates Barbosa’s ideas on science teaching and argues that he was influenced by the methodology proposed in Norman Calkin's book, "Primary Object Lessons."