The development of School mathematics and reforms of the Swedish school system in the 20th century: A comparative and historical study of changes of contents, methods and institutional conditions

The development of School mathematics and reforms of the Swedish school system in the 20th century: A comparative and historical study of changes of contents, methods and institutional conditions

The project aims to examine how Swedish school mathematics change in primary school (Year 4-9) during the period 1910-2010 and to identify mechanisms that have influenced the choice of content and methods.

The main question concerns how general school reforms and other attempts to reform school mathematics have impact on educational texts. The focus is on the production of educational texts; both the textual contents and the social conditions for the production of educational texts are studied.

The main material is policy documents, textbooks, teachers’ magazines, books on teaching and exams. The analysis of textual content is based on concepts from curriculum theory: goals, content and method. The project also includes a sociological study of the people who produced the educational texts. The sociological analysis has a prosopographical approach and is based on Bourdieu’s theory of field and capital. In order to discern what is typical for changes in Swedish school mathematics, comparisons are made between Sweden and Germany during the period 1910-2010. Material and people from both Sweden and Germany is studied.

Collaborators: Johan Prytz
Department of Education, Uppsala University
Funding Body: Swedish Research Council

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