O MÉTODO DE HISTÓRIA DE VIDA NA PESQUISA EM EDUCAÇÃO ESPECIAL
THE LIFE HISTORY METHOD IN SPECIAL EDUCATION RESEARCH
Rosana GLAT; Rosangela da Silva SANTOS; Márcia Denise PLETSCH; Mario Lúcio de Lima NOGUEIRA; Maria Auxiliadora Ferreira Tiburcio DUQUE
ABSTRACT : this article aims to present a synthesis of a group of studies developed in the area of Special Education which made use of the Life History method, with different types of subjects. This research methodology has been employed in Brazil since the late 80´s, and has as its main instrument the open interview, with no pre-determined questions. From the analysis of individual perceptions, Life History studies search for universal patterns of human relations, behaviors and attitudes characteristic of certain specific social groups — in the present case, people with special needs, their families and professionals of the area. Since the main objective of this type of inquiry is to understand the meanings that the subjects attribute to the events in their lives, the structure of the interview is not determined a priori by the researcher; it is conducted naturally by the informers. From the conversation with the subjects, the researcher is able to identify the main thematic categories. Due to methodological flexibility, there are no strict rules of data analysis. Since the Life History method allows the subjects to speak for themselves, it is particularly productive for Special Education and other fields of investigation that deal with excluded groups. This research perspective also brings a reflective analysis, since as the subject tells about his / her life, he /she not only describes his / her experiences and world view, but, inevitably, identifies his /her needs and difficulties, as well as the strategies employed to adapt and overcome his / her stigmatized condition. The majority of the studies here discussed, therefore, make recommendations for therapeutic and educative actions.
KEYWORDS: special education; life history method; qualitative research.
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