This publication is comprised within a recent strand of studies devoted to scholastic culture, understood as an original and complex form of mediation between academic and popular culture. The history of scholastic disciplines is actually one of the most innovative and interesting sectors of the social history of education, and also links up with similar initiatives in other academic sectors, even at international level. These include studies on scholastic and educational publishing, the history of professional associations in the area of geography and cartography (both local and national), and on possible interactions between classical geographical studies and technological applications (digital history and geography). The study of geography teaching, in particular, is extremely useful and significant for analysing: the structure, functioning and changes in scholastic culture; the contribution it made at the time of foundation and consolidation of the Italian State and at other times of political and cultural discontinuity and, finally, the tormented relations of scholastic geography with numerous aspects of an ideological nature and related to the building of Italian identity.
From a methodical and historical aspect, the approach of this book is distinctly interdisciplinary: it involves specialists from scientific communities that differ in their origins and current structure, but share the same argument of study and the wish for open exchange. The various contributions seek to highlight the close interrelations between past and present in geography, never severing the links between current and historic study, between the educational and operational concerns of today and those of yesterday. Rather, they underscore the importance and advantages of a historic perspective, which can supply useful keys for interpreting the moments of discontinuity and the (ideal and operational) tensions that have distinguished geographical culture, both scholastic and academic.
La Vita Scolastica Rivista n. 5 Dicembre 2013