Histories of educational technologies. Introducing the cultural and social dimensions of pedagogical objects

Simonetta Polenghi*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Spanish scholars started to pay particular attention to the history of schools’ material culture, defining this as “etnohistoria de la escuela”. Reflections on the “materiality of schooling” and “school heritage” continued in the years that followed. Teaching tools or, more widely, “school objects” challenge the concepts of space, time and sociality. They speak of school practices, cultural history, and ideology. School artefacts are either handmade products created by pupils and teachers, or the school equipment that is made up of commercial products, which also respond to an industrial and economic logic, linked to the achievement of mass schooling. The aims and means of education are intermingled, but if educational theories have long attracted scholars’ attention, the history of educational objects can be further explored from different angles. This paper shows the connection between educational models and pedagogical tools, but also between ideology and the cultural dimension of pedago-gical objects, and between economy and pedagogical artefacts. ISCHE 43 was dedicated to the histories of educational technologies and the articles in this special issue of Paedagogica Historica repre-sent some of the leading papers presented at the conference, which was held for the first time as a hybrid event at the Catholic University of Milan from 31 August to 6 September 2022.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • History of educational technologies
  • History of learning tools
  • Material history of education


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