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Symbols on walls

bidussaBy David Bidussa*

We have recently come back to debate the issue of religious symbols on classrooms’ walls.

Once it has been decided that those walls should not remain empty, which symbol should be used? It depends on whether the symbol that is proposed has a design function (it talks about what we would like for tomorrow) or a descriptive one (who we are).

In both cases the symbol chosen has an educational function: in one case it conceives education as a construction project expressed by an ideologically oriented project (to become someone different from what one is now or to defend what one is already) or universalistic and, therefore, inclusive. In the first case it depends on the project one chooses (not all of us have the same project regarding values, contents, religious beliefs, political beliefs …). In the second case it depends on the minimum threshold we recognize as a shared content. That is, something that speaks about me as about anybody else.

*David Bidussa is a historian of social ideas.