Η παιδαγωγική αξία των εικόνων κατά τη διδασκαλία της σχολικής Ιστορίας είναι αποδεκτή από όλους, παρά τα πολλά προβλήματα που δημιουργούνται κατά τη χρήση τους στη σχολική τάξη. Η επιλογή αυτών, πέρα από την απαραίτητη κατανόηση ότι δεν υπάρχουν αδιαμεσολάβητες εικονικές αναπαραστάσεις της πραγματικότητας, οφείλει να ακολουθεί και μια συστηματική διαδικασία προσέγγισής τους. Στο παρόν άρθρο, διερευνώνται τα προβλήματα κατά την αξιοποίηση των εικόνων, οι θεωρίες προσέγγισής τους και αναφέρονται ενδεικτικά παραδείγματα διδασκαλίας της βυζαντινής Ιστορίας μέσα από εικόνες που υπάρχουν στα σχολικά εγχειρίδια.
The pedagogical value of pictures during the teaching of History at school is acceptable by everyone as far as it concerns mostly the development of empathy and the approach of multiplicity. Of course, while using the pictures there are a few problems emerging in the school classroom. At first, these problems concern the investigation of their degree of objectivity, their decoding or their footage.Then, these problems are also intensified by some other difficulties such as the diversity of visual materials, the structural and aesthetic characteristics of artistic creations which are transformed as time passes by, and finally the absence of a structured teaching methodology when analyzing pictures. The teachers have specific questions about the use of pictures in teaching; more specifically, the pictures as works of art or the diagrams, the sketches etc. which are quoted in the school History books condense most of the advantages and disadvantages of working with sources in the classroom.At first, the width of the questions that can be posed is limited by the fact that the pictures are dealt with, most of the times, a) either as a supplement of the text thus confirming what has already been mentioned in it and they specify its content, or b) as a decorative element which is sometimes of dubious aesthetics because of bad printing quality, even if they are included in specific chapters of civilization or History of Art. Moreover, the accompanying texts, the captions, rarely infiltrate the spirit of the creator and his era, that is to say the climate of the researches and the conditions that led to the production of the specific work which is quoted. This absence is particularly obvious in the presentation of the works of art. In some other cases, we have an unchanged and stable catalogue of pictures which are repeated in several handbooks and in different grades of education.Consequently, the pictures in History books are not dealt with, most of the times, as stimuli for dialogue and reflection or as a means of attracting interest and activating motives of learning and interpreting certain points or senses in a text. They do not make the students process them creatively with their thought, in order to infiltrate aestheticism, social arrangements, ways of consideration and thought, assumptions and contexts of another era.For all these reasons, their choice, beyond the necessary understanding that there are no uninitiated visual representations of reality, must follow a systematic procedure of approaching them, not only when selecting the material but also when wording the questions about them. In addition, their understanding and interpretation presuppose a holistic approach of the historical environment which is studied and an interdisciplinary examination of visual sources.