La enseñanza primaria en Mallorca (1939-1949). Cultura y prácticas escolares

  1. Barceló Bauzà, Gabriel
Supervised by:
  1. Bernat Sureda Garcia Director
  2. Francesca Comas Rubí Director

Defence university: Universitat de les Illes Balears

Fecha de defensa: 26 June 2017

  1. María del Mar del Pozo Andrés Chair
  2. Xavier Motilla Salas Secretary
  3. Juri Meda Committee member

Type: Thesis


The doctoral dissertation titled «Primary Education in Majorca (1939-1949). School culture and practices» focuses on studying school practices carried out by teachers after the end of the Spanish Civil War. In general, the view on schools under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco tends to be overly homogenous and stereotypical. For that reason, this doctoral dissertation aims to analyse the extent to which school practices in those years broke away from the set of teaching-learning practices and strategies belonging to some of the movements for pedagogical renewal in Spain since the late 19th century. The dissertation limits itself to the study of a specific territory, the island of Majorca, and to a specific time period, the decade of the 1940s. Two main questions form the basis for this dissertation. First was to find out whether school practices in those years changed radically, or to the contrary, whether there were any continuities of those practices for renewal. Secondly, it was of interest to know the extent to which school practices influenced the construction of the school culture Franco’s regime hoped to impose. At that time the aim was to make all realms of public life as uniform as possible, including primary education. The study herein investigates whether those politically approved guidelines and ordinances took immediate effect or, to the contrary, if schools kept an entire set of practices and habits that guided their operation regardless of the legislative orders. The methodology used in the dissertation is the historical method adapted to the field of the history of education, along with borrowings from other social sciences such as ethnography, sociology, etc. that allow closer scrutiny of some of the practices that characterised schools at that time. To find out more about this practice, different sources were used, such as practicum journals kept by Education student teachers, journals kept by applicants for teaching posts, photographs, oral histories, notebooks, etc. These and other, more classical sources in education history research (the press, bureaucratic documentation, legislation, etc.) have proved useful in furthering knowledge of day-to-day classroom practices. The main findings of the dissertation indicate that while on the political level the aim was to break cleanly from the reformist pedagogic legacy, the practices in those early years show more continuities than breaks. On the theoretical level, traditionalism and Catholicism were upheld as bastions to guide school practices, but a closer look at how teachers taught reveals that some of them continued to apply teaching methods that were characteristic of the pedagogical renewal movements. This may be due in part to the fact that many of the teachers who were teaching in the 1940s had been teachers before the war as well. Teachers had been purged, but they were also heirs to an earlier school culture, and most of all, custodians of an entire set of knowledge and methodological resources that, amidst a context of political transformation, their school practices showed more continuities than breaks.