Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, the cultural panorama in Portugal was largely dominated by education issues. The awareness of the weaknesses of the Portuguese education system was now based on a growing interest in statistics, which allowed the reinforcement of arguments regarding the country's backwardness and the need to adopt measures that would put Portugal on the road to regeneration and progress. The debate regarding education was based on a wide range of subjects. However, two aspects are of particular interest to as: i) the need to provide the country with properly qualified teachers, creating establishments for this purpose, which would provide primary school teachers with a specific, specialised and relatively long training of a pedagogical and practical nature; ii) the attention focused on institutions for the protection of children and young people at risk in the context of the social protection policies of the time, which were based on the concept of social regeneration and on the role of education in the progress and development of the country. These two fields overlap when some pupils, who got their education in asylums, seek to construct a more dignified professional future through teacher training school.