The Visual Turn in the History of Education

Origins, Methodologies, and Examples
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


A proliferation of images and visuals in the contemporary era has generated a profound impact on our society in a multitude of ways. This growing visual culture also affects the work of the historian and the historical method. This chapter examines the field of visual methodology within historical studies. First, this chapter examines how historians in past centuries have dealt with images as compared to scholars from other scientific disciplines. Then the chapter discusses the visual turn that has led to a small explosion of books, themed issues of journals about visual research, and different methodologies regarding the way in which images may be analyzed. Third, the authors present the ways in which historians of education have dealt with images before and after the visual turn. Finally, this chapter will discuss some future challenges for historical studies in education that will deal with the analysis of visual images.


Visual turn Visual methodology Content analysis Semiotics Images 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  2. 2.Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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