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Image of wave interference projected on blackboard. Design based on the cover of the Sogeresa Commercial Catalog (1971)
Pedagogial transition: sciencie, experience and freedom

Pedagogical Transition is an exhibition that explores the mobilisation of a new democratic culture through science classrooms. It focuses on school scenes, material devices, audiovisual landscapes, and both pedagogical and political debates.

Pedagogical Transition examines science classrooms as a fundamental space for political changes during the Spanish transition to democracy. It covers the period from post-war Francoism to the consolidation of the democratic system, with a particular focus on the period of inflection between late Francoism (1962–1975) and the early transition to democracy (1975–1982).

Pedagogical Transition explores three main themes that represent and communicate the so-called generation of change: teaching practices, pedagogical tools and didactic debates. The essential friction in these three core themes is highlighted in science classrooms. Human agents (teachers, “captive” students, educational institutions, government bodies and families) are combined with material resources (textbooks, pedagogical press, student and teacher notebooks, furniture, scientific instruments, didactic equipment, wall posters, blackboards, projectors and other audiovisual tools), as well as ideological resources (pedagogical philosophy, social epistemology and political regime). The positions and actions related to these three elements shape distinct policies, which are supported by various government regimes.

Teaching science at school can have political implications. Similarly, education is a crucial topic in public discourse and the formation of societal and political systems.

The Pedagogical Transition aimed to reform the educational guidelines established during the Franco regime. These guidelines had been weakened due to various factors, including the purge of teachers, political bias, economic and social crises following the war, autarchic and erratic economic policies, authoritarian and dogmatic teaching, lack of pedagogical and scientific resources, erasure of scientific and didactic contributions achieved during the Second Spanish Republic and isolation from the international context. From the 1960s onwards, the Franco regime repositioned itself in the international diplomatic framework by renewing its relationship with the USA. As a result, new tools promoted by the OECD were progressively introduced, including the translation of textbooks from elite American universities into Spanish. However, these measures did not solve the Spain’s serious educational issues. During the late 1960s, amidst increasing student and citizen protests against the Franco regime, groups such as the Seminario de Pedagogía del Colegio Oficial de Doctores y Licenciados de Valencia were established. These groups were composed of young graduates seeking professional opportunities in secondary education, and they started to develop a new approach to science education. Many members of these groups later played important roles in educational practices and organisation, promoting the professionalisation of science education through universities, unions and regional governments.


Idealized image of work in the science classroom with Torres Quevedo equipment in a commercial catalog of official teaching equipment (Madrid, 1962)


Pedagogical Transition analyses the relationship between education, science and democracy by focusing on science education during the Spanish transition to democracy. The exhibition is interactive and aims to prompt reflection on citizenship-related issues. It highlights the epistemological power of objects, the evocative potential of everyday scenes, and the material and visual culture of classrooms.

Understanding the memory and history of pedagogical renewal is crucial for comprehending the present and building a new educational, social and political future. Since the late 1960s, the contemporary history of pedagogical renewal and the development of science education in Spain has been highly significant for understanding Spanish society and the ongoing processes of progressive democratisation.

Debates regarding education and its objectives, methods and outcomes, as well as discussions about the relationship between science, industry, the economy and the labour market, remain relevant and are fundamentally linked to the prevailing notions of progress in society. These debates have recurred throughout history, expressing the characteristic anxieties of each period and simplifying the great complexity of the practical relationships between science, technology and education. Public debate and politics are characterised by the delineation of fundamental knowledge and its communication it order to promote more meaningful learning. The primary goal of education – whether to train professionals or citizens – is often debated. In addition, education has a political aspect, with investments made in economic, organisational, intellectual and human resources. Pedagogical Transition sheds light on the discussion and comprehension of fundamental issues that underpin the past, present and future of Spanish society.

As part of the exhibition, several parallel activities will be organised. For more information, please visit www.uv.es/ihmc. One of these activities is the 10th History and Teaching Meeting, which is dedicated to the contemporary history of pedagogical renewal. It will take place on 1 and 2 March and is organised by the López Piñeiro Inter-university Institute in collaboration with CEFIRE-CTEM. The programme includes three panel discussions, a workshop and a guided tour of the exhibition. It will feature some of the key historical figures involved in the renewal of science education in Spain.


ScheduleFrom 26 march 2024 to 25 october 2024. Monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday at 09:00 to 20:00.


Palau de Cerveró

Plaça Cisneros, 4

València (46003)

Organized by

Vicerectorat de Cultura i Societat, Universitat de València

Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero.



Contact exponau@uv.es

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