This research shows how the Spanish Pedagogical Conferences between 1882 and 1908 influenced the promotion of innovative teaching at that time. Pedagogical Conferences were the only forum through which both rural and urban schoolteachers were able to implement new educational ideas. Books were not available, so at that time schoolteachers would write their own textbooks to use in their schools. We will focus on one of these teachers, and through his eyes we will show how these conferences helped tackle illiteracy and elementary school dropout. Furthermore, we will highlight this teacher particular contributions to the Teacher Training, through the work of the Free Teaching Institute, in which he directed a programme of in-depth educational reform, focusing on primary schools, as the foundation of a child’s education, but also including the development of the National Pedagogical Museum project. In addition, we include the dissemination of knowledge through school libraries in places and circumstances where no such resources had been available hitherto. To sum up, the Spanish Pedagogical Conferences highlight the vision and initiatives that our infectious and energetic author brought to the development of professional teaching networks, whose ultimate goal was to promote equal and free education.
Rafael Salinas, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
Isabel Alvarez, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain