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Histoire de l'éducation, n°150/2018

Pour une histoire renouvelée des élèves (XVIe-XXIe siècles). Volume 1 : approches historiographiques

Histoire de l'éducation

Towards a renewed history of students (16th-21st Centuries). Volume 1: historiographical approaches

The history of primary and secondary school students, while existing, has long been forgotten in the writings dedicated to the history of education whereas the other educational actors were much more studied (teachers, students, administrators etc.), just like the legislative framework (the major laws, the reforms), school knowledge and the educational ideas and methods. For a long time, the pupil was examined through the single prism of the representations delivered by the prescribed texts (the definition of an ideal pupil), the literary testimonies and the life stories often written a posteriori or the iconographic documents. Then he was only considered as a unit of account with the strong will to get statistics on schooling and its various forms according to the existing curricula. From the beginning of the 1990s, however, the historians, just as the sociologists, were more concerned with that major actor of the school realities – the student – to analyze his characteristics, his daily life but also his perceptions and commitments to school and social lives. The present issue offers five historiographical approaches that make it possible to put into perspective the evolution of research on student history in France (Modern and Contemporary Age), in Italy, in three German-speaking countries and in the United States of America.