The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Published by a popular Mexican illustrated magazine Todo. La mejor revista de Mexico, this article highlights the leading role of the Secretaría de Educación Pública [SEP, Ministry of Public Education] and its leader Narciso Bassols in the recent construction of a new educational model for Mexico. Drawing upon both Anglo-Saxon and Soviet experiences, new schools built in Mexico City use a new type of curriculum and attend to both the intellectual and physical needs of the students in order to form and nurture young people. The author also comments on the modern architecture of these new school buildings—with its simplicity, spaciousness, good air circulation, plentiful light, and openness to nature—and its role as an essential tool that serves to enhance the development of the students.
Post-revolutionary governments of Mexico were the main sponsors and promoters of modern architecture in the country. They invested heavily in construction of public buildings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, and public housing. These structures would at once take care of the material needs of the dispossessed masses and at the same time transform them into new model citizenry. They would also become symbols of the nation’s modernization, development, and progress. Narciso Bassols (1897–1959) was the Minister of Public Education between 1931 and 1934. In 1932 he appointed a young architect Juan O’Gorman (1905–1982) to be the Chief of Constructions of the same governmental entity. Together they promoted low-cost modern functionalist architectural designs (like the schools mentioned in this article) and their implementation in poor working-class neighborhoods and in small towns and villages on the outskirts of Mexico City. Often these buildings incorporated mural paintings that would complement the program enacted by architecture. [See also: Juan O’Gorman, “Escuelas Nuevas,” document # 773404; and Juan O’Gorman, “Escuelas primarias,” document # 789180.]