Between discipline and self-improvement: Differences in the implementation of Monitorial Education for different social classes in Sweden, approx. 1820-1870
A system of different schools for different social classes was established in Sweden during the 19th century. In this study the pedagogical implications of this development is analysed regarding the use of monitorial education. In this type of education more experienced students were used as help teachers and the teaching methods were often characterized by drill-like instructions. Monitorial education has often been described as a tool to discipline and control the working classes. A closer look at the situation in Sweden shows however that monitorial education was used also in more prestigious schools with students from higher social classes. In these schools monitorial education was characterized by self-activity and individualization.
In this study I will compare the monitorial education in schools for children from lower social classes (for example Växelundervisningssällskapets normalskola) to schools for children from higher social classes, such as grammar schools (for example Nya elementarskolan and Hillska skolan i Barnängen). The study of the educational practices at these schools will also be complemented by a study of the public debate. In a wider perspective the purpose of this study is to investigate the importance of social class in educational practices. I also hope that my study will increase the knowledge of the encounter between pedagogical ideas and various social environments in a more general manner.
Collaborators: Esbjörn Larsson
Department of Education, Uppsala University
Funding body: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond