The observation of a classroom is similar to a theatre stage. Active practices take place there, supported by a wide range of objects used for teaching purposes. Whether they are designed for pedagogical purposes or whether they take on this function through the use that is assigned to them, these devices possess material characteristics that are invested in the process of transmitting knowledge.
Their graphic forms – appearance, colour, volume – constitute a “pedagogical materiality”, whose effects on learning can be defined. Because in nursery school children develop their motor skills and gradually discover the codes required for the exercise of language, the first exchanges call for many tangible tools. Their forms acquire, in fact, a central role in the pedagogical act. We can then understand their characteristics in order to improve the methods in use.
By approaching the classroom as a support for graphic forms, this essay proposes a material reading of elementary education. This raises a twofold question: what graphic forms accompany contemporary educational practices and to what extent do they contribute to the formation of critical thinking in teachers and pupils?
The “Milieux” series, of which La salle de classe: un objet graphique? is the first title, aims to help us understand the visual and textual forms that surround us. Each book explores our contemporary visual culture and questions the materiality and visuality of our social practices. Bureau 205 has designed a collection of pocket-sized books, guided by the desire to find a project economy that allows the book to be sold at low cost.