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The Black Box of Schooling

A Cultural History of the Classroom

Edited By Sjaak Braster, Ian Grosvenor and María del Mar del Pozo Andrés

This book is about the classroom, the most important meeting place for teachers and pupils in an education building. Our knowledge, however, about what happens inside this space is limited. In many respects the classroom is still the black box of the educational system.
To open up this box, this volume brings together scholars from the disciplines of Art, Architecture, History, Pedagogy and Sociology. They present a wide variety of new perspectives, methodologies and sources for studying classrooms.
The book examines images and representations of classrooms (photographs, paintings and pictures on school walls), writings and documents inside the classroom (school exercise books, teachers’ log books and observer reports), memories and personal experiences of classrooms (egodocuments from teachers and pupils, and oral history interviews), the space and design of classrooms (architecture, school murals and the transformation of space), and material objects in the classroom (school furniture, primers for reading and school wall charts). The essays are illustrated with a unique collection of more than fifty photographs of classrooms in Europe.


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PART II WRITINGS AND DOCUMENTS INSIDE CLASSROOMS 81 Peeking into the Classroom of Post Civil War Spain Children’s Classroom Work, Routines and Dynamics Ana BADANELLI & Kira MAHAMUD Open University Madrid Introduction This chapter presents research in progress based on an extensive study of several school exercise books written by girls and boys in the 1940s and 1950s in Spain, that is, during the Franco dictatorship. It is a micro case study of children’s individual and collective course work in three different schools with two different teachers. The material was donated to us by the daughter of the teachers, together with other certifi- cates, letters, school books and the whole collection of documents containing the professional history of her parents. Since 2005, we have gradually organised, classified and examined most of the documents. Furthermore, we have analysed and paid particular attention to the girls’ collective classroom exercise books.1 Our concerns focus on understanding the experience of past school- ing and teaching; on the life, activities and work which were carried out inside the classrooms in Spain during those two decades marked by 1 Badanelli, A.M. & K. Mahamud, “La huella de los manuales escolares en la cultura escrita: un estudio de caso en la escuela franquista”, in J. Gómez Fernández, G. Espigado Tocino & M. Beas Miranda (eds.), La escuela y sus escenarios. Actas de los IX Encuentros de Primavera en El Puerto, El Puerto de Santa María, 2007. Badanelli, A.M. & K. Mahamud, “Cuadernos escolares. Un ejemplo de la pr...

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