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From alphabet book to smartboard

Touring exhibition of the Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung (Research Library for the History of Education) of the Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (German Institute for International Educational Research)

The history of reading and writing lessons in the last 250 years is brought to life with the aid of seven wall charts.

We show this small exhibition in the "modern" conference room of the Mitte Museum directly opposite the historic classroom. Our popular educational workshop "Writing with ink and quill or nib" takes place in this room. The first wallchart presents the school as a place for learning to read and write in its changing spatial and social architecture, illustrating the importance of attending school as a prerequisite for participation in the professional and social world. The second chart shows tools for reading and writing from different ages, such as a stylus and slate, ink and nib, reading box and alphabet book.

The next four charts give a detailed overview of the practice of learning to read and write with a pedagogic discourse about the best methods, which are in part continued even today: for reading about the spelling by letters, phonetical or whole-word method or for reading the selection of the best "school script" such as block letters or cursive. The question as to the degree of standardisation or freedom in the application of this basic cultural technology is raised which is reflected, among other ways, in the punishment or reward by the teacher.
The last chart shows recent developments in teaching literacy such as individualised novice reading and writing and the increasing influence of media and technology thanks to e-learning software, e-books and interactive smartboards.


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