Saturday 15 April 2023
14.00 - 16.00
Changing Perceptions of Education
Emma Hellström :
Christianity and the Creation of Capable and Democratic Citizens: an Analysis of Swedish Textbooks Used for Christian Education
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the strong influence of Christianity in Swedish primary school during the 1930s and 1940s. This point of departure has the ability to problematize the widespread notion that Christian education became irrelevant in educating citizens after the democratic breakthrough. The curriculum of 1919, ... (Show more)
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the strong influence of Christianity in Swedish primary school during the 1930s and 1940s. This point of departure has the ability to problematize the widespread notion that Christian education became irrelevant in educating citizens after the democratic breakthrough. The curriculum of 1919, which coincided with the democratic breakthrough, has by previous research been seen as a watershed in the history of the Swedish primary school. It has been stated that the previously strong influence conducted by the church of Sweden and its view on Christianity was marginalized, since Luther’s small Catechism was placed in the periphery (Arvidson 1958; Englund 1986). The diminishing role of the church is clear, but that does not mean that Christianity was replaced by democracy and secularization. The reform of Christian education was not an expression of secularization. Instead, concepts such as transformation and sacralization should be highlighted (Buchardt 2015).
An interesting object for problematizing ideas about the marginalization of Christianity is textbooks. This presentation focuses mainly on the 1930s and 1940s, but my dissertation examines the role of religion in the democratization of Swedish primary school from 1920-1969. The 1930s and 1940s are interesting because the new curriculum had been used for over 10 years, which meant that the prescribed changes began to show off in the textbooks, and also because the Swedish government issued, in 1938, a Textbook Board whose task was, among other things, to examine the objectivity in textbooks.
Based on Jeroen Dekker’s concept educational ambitions (Dekker 2010), eight textbooks in Christianity have been analyzed in order to illuminate the educational ambitions of Christianity.
The result shows that there was a widespread notion of the necessity of the Christian faith in order to educate capable citizens. Christianity imparted values (humility, helpfulness, charity etc.) that were necessary to become a diligent and desirable citizen. However, these values were not only important in a Christian framework. They also reflect a wider societal development where the Swedish welfare project transformed Christian values to a universal network of social security (Østergård 1997). This shows how Christian values could be decoupled from the religious context, and hence be depicted as culture-bearing (Alvunger 2006). Although this decoupling was possible, it was not prominent in the textbooks, which conveyed the idea that these values were best realized in a religious framework. Therefore, it should be noted that the changes that took place after 1919 still sought to educate Christian individuals, but not in accordance with the old Lutheran confessions.
The values conveyed by the textbooks should be seen as typical and highly valued in the Swedish society during the 1930s and 1940s. Whether or not they were religiously framed, these values were an important cornerstone in the welfare state. Through Christian education, pupils were to be educated to become humble, hard-working, helpful and obedient citizens who helped to maintain a democratic society. (Show less)
Joakim Landahl, Anna Larsson :
Exploring the Roots of Educational Sociology
In 1964, a book was published in Sweden that presented a number of Swedish studies in a field that we now would call sociology of education. Sociology of education, or educational sociology, was not really identified as a particular field in Sweden by the time. By calling the book Skolans ... (Show more)
In 1964, a book was published in Sweden that presented a number of Swedish studies in a field that we now would call sociology of education. Sociology of education, or educational sociology, was not really identified as a particular field in Sweden by the time. By calling the book Skolans sociologi (the sociology of the school) the authors – one professor of education (Torsten Husén) and one of sociology (Gunnar Boalt) – wished to present the social/behavioral science studies that had been done in Sweden about education since the late 1940s. One aim, according to the preface, was to show how the Swedish recent school reforms – by the time among the most comprehensive in the world – was planned and implemented in close cooperation with social scientists. This is even more obvious from the title of the book in translation Educational Research and Educational Change: The Case of Sweden.
The book became something of a success as it was republished in no less than four editions (1964, 1965, 1967 och 1970). It was also translated into Norwegian (1966), English (1968), German (1968) and Italian (1973). The interest for the new Swedish school system, for how the reformation were performed and for the studies made on the reforms were thus obviously large, both inside Sweden and abroad.
By analyzing how the book through its editions and translations changed over time and in different national settings, the aim of this paper is to discuss the relation between sociology and education in a foundational period of educational sociology. What did the field of education had to offer sociology and vice versa? How did two relatively young disciplines connect to each other? Was there a hierarchy between the respective disciplines? And how did this change across time and space? Can the rise of educational sociology best be understood in terms of interdisciplinarity (Steinmetz 2017; Bortolini & Cossu 2020), epistemic transfer (Bod et al 2019) or hybridization (Karstens 2012) between two disciplines? (Show less)
Anne-Li Lindgren, Sara Backman Prytz :
History of State School Sex Education in Sweden (20th and Early 21st Centuries)
This paper combines education history with childhood history in an analysis of Swedish sex education during the 20th and 21st centuries. It concerns how state guidance, engagement and control created and implemented school sex education. This means that we, in the analysis, focus on the State as an actor. By ... (Show more)
This paper combines education history with childhood history in an analysis of Swedish sex education during the 20th and 21st centuries. It concerns how state guidance, engagement and control created and implemented school sex education. This means that we, in the analysis, focus on the State as an actor. By “the State” we mean not only the government but also politicians presenting propositions as members’ motions, debates in parliamentary committees and in parliament, experts summoned to take part in governmental commissions and the publications compiled by civil servants in National Agencies, such as the Swedish National Agency for Education. The paper highlights continuities and discontinuities in how the engagement with school sex education has evolved, from the first parliamentary discussion, in which the subject was framed as sexual hygiene, via initiatives to reform the curriculum, investigate school sex education via governmental inquiries, and publish teacher guidelines, until today’s understanding of the subject as sexuality, consent and relationships. We pay attention to differences in the ways in which state school sex education (Lindgren and Backman Prytz 2021), has organized; guidelines for teachers, how students have been included, what the preferred pedagogical method was and how, generally speaking, the content has changed (or not). In addition, we analyze how references to age was used in the state school sex education discourse and how it produced notions of childhood and adulthood during the 20th and early 21st centuries.
Lindgren, Anne-Li & Backman Prytz, Sara (2021). Staten, skolan och sexuallivet. En skolsexualpolitik tar form och sexualpolitiken skolifieras. I: Joakim Landahl, David Sjögren och Johannes Westberg (Red.), Skolans kriser: Historiska perspektiv på utbildningsreformer och skoldebatter (Lund: Nordic Academic Press): 83?107. (Show less)
Sasha Mullally, Anders Ottosson :
Slöjd without Borders: Tracking Nordic Curricula for Holistic Health, 1890s-1920s
This paper investigates the transnational circulation of European Nordic ideas about and programs for manual education and training over the decades spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on the unexamined but voluminous correspondence (English-language) of Otto Salomon, an internationally famous education reformer who popularized a form ... (Show more)
This paper investigates the transnational circulation of European Nordic ideas about and programs for manual education and training over the decades spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Based on the unexamined but voluminous correspondence (English-language) of Otto Salomon, an internationally famous education reformer who popularized a form of manual training called "slöjd" (anglicized as "sloyd"), this paper examines its circulation and translation across global cultures. Salomon, a multilingual promoter of new standardized program for manual training, based his curricula on traditional handcrafts, particularly Swedish woodworking. He and his followers claimed that the integration of manual training and craft work provided primary and secondary educators with an opportunity to cultivate the mental, but also the physical, and tangentially, the spiritual, health of children.
While historians have examined the networks who came together in person to train at his slöjd school for educators in western Sweden, no one has mapped the international community he cultivated over decades of letter writing. Additionally, while the circulation of his ideas in Britain and Germany, as well as the northeastern United States has been placed in a broader narrative of "western" education reform in the Progressive or late Victorian era, no scholar has examined the correspondence for evidence of the program's wider international appeal beyond Europe and North America. This paper fills this gap by examining the breadth of his reach through active correspondence with educators throughout the global south. As such, this research presents an opportunity to map the international communities of education reformers active at the turn of the last century, compare and contrast their understandings of and interpretations of "holistic" education, and reveal the ways manual formation was understood to be foundational to the healthy development of children. (Show less)