After months of closed classrooms, teachers and students still cannot envisage when they will be able to return to schools. Roger Chartier, in the article “Post- pandemic world”, published on June 1st on the Sesc-SP website, highlights the “infinite sadness of teaching” in isolation. In the wake of this perception, we have seen, since classes were interrupted, the most diverse assessments of the role of the school as an institution and of the socialization it promotes for the education of children and youth. Hoping to broaden the views on this topic, we propose to historicize what we call the “image of the classroom”. To achieve our purpose, we analyzed the images found in the famous French comic books Petit Nicholas, signed by René Goscinny and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé between 1956 and 1964. These images will be construed with the aid of the notion of representation, according to the voice of authors that educators have long read and re-read: Émile Durkheim and Roger Chartier. The concept of representation will be useful for us to explore the multiple responses of the authors to the problems and potential of the school in their respective historical times. Recalling the words of Ítalo Calvino (1993), we should take time to revisit important readings of our own education. The references remain the same, but the trajectories and challenges change. The current situation is an invitation to re-read these “classic” works that, because of their fruitfulness, especially in explaining the strength of representation, allow us to reflect on constructing what is desirable in education today.
Images of the classroom; Collective representations; Émile Durkheim; Roger Chartier