ArticlePDF Available

Curriculum history or the educational construction of Europe in the long nineteenth century



Although it is generally acknowledged that the building of mass schooling systems must be considered in close relation to the emerging nation-states of the long 19th century, few published studies discuss the interrelation between the actual foundation of the (nation-) states and the introduction of the modern school. This article examines the role that constitutions play in the construction of national citizens as an expression of a particular cultural understanding of a political entity, and then discusses European examples, indicating how the particular constitutional construction of the citizens of European countries almost immediately triggered the need to create new school laws designed to organize the actual implementation of the constitutionally created citizens. The focus is on the specific need to ‘make’ loyal citizens by creating the symbiosis between the nation and the constitutional state and by emphasizing the cultural differences between the individual nation-states and their overall curricula. The article concludes with a formulation of research desiderata which envision a transnational curriculum history that is emancipated from both national and global research agendas, enabling a European education history that respects cultural distinctions rather than levelling them into one grand narrative
European Educational Research Journal
2016, Vol. 15(3) 279 –297
© The Author(s) 2016
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/1474904116645111
Curriculum history or the
educational construction of Europe
in the long nineteenth century
Daniel Tröhler
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Although it is generally acknowledged that the building of mass schooling systems must be
considered in close relation to the emerging nation-states of the long 19th century, few published
studies discuss the interrelation between the actual foundation of the (nation-) states and the
introduction of the modern school. This article examines the role that constitutions play in
the construction of national citizens as an expression of a particular cultural understanding of a
political entity, and then discusses European examples, indicating how the particular constitutional
construction of the citizens of European countries almost immediately triggered the need to
create new school laws designed to organize the actual implementation of the constitutionally
created citizens. The focus is on the specific need to ‘make’ loyal citizens by creating the symbiosis
between the nation and the constitutional state and by emphasizing the cultural differences between
the individual nation-states and their overall curricula. The article concludes with a formulation of
research desiderata which envision a transnational curriculum history that is emancipated from
both national and global research agendas, enabling a European education history that respects
cultural distinctions rather than levelling them into one grand narrative.
Curriculum, curriculum history, constitutions, Europe, long 19th century, loyal citizens, mass
school system, nation-state, national citizens, transnational research agenda
Today, education is increasingly discussed on a transnational level – for example, the European
Union and European attempts to harmonize education policy (see, for instance, Lawn and Lingard,
2002; Sivesind et al., 2012). The difficulties that these political attempts encounter and which are
discussed may well relate to the fact that despite the transnational policy approach that they
Corresponding author:
Daniel Tröhler, University of Luxembourg, 11, Porte des Sciences, Esch-Belval, 4366, Luxembourg.
645111EER0010.1177/1474904116645111European Educational Research JournalTrohler
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
280 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
represent, and its idiosyncratic rhetoric, the national education systems still bear often invisible
elements of national identity that have not vanished. This can be seen, for instance, in the political
reactions to the immigration crises in 2015/2016. This seems to be true in particular in the field of
education, both today and a long time ago: over 100 years ago, one of the first comparatists in
education, the British historian Michael Sadler, noted: ‘A national system of education is a living
thing, the outcome of forgotten struggles and difficulties and “of battles long ago”. It has in it some
of the secret workings of national life’ (Sadler, 1900: 11). It seems that these ‘secret workings of
national life’ still exist, and they deserve to be reconstructed in their origins and effects.
This article is therefore based on the premise of the desirability of a European education history
that respects its diversity, and suggests that such an undertaking is possible if this European educa-
tion history focuses on the means provided by curriculum history or, more precisely, by a particular
form of curriculum history that is being developed in this paper. The emphasis on a particular form
of curriculum history relates to the fact that curriculum history as an academic field did not emerge
in a vacuum and may still bear the motives that once led to its emergence. The genre ‘curriculum
history’ at first presupposed an institutional environment at universities or colleges, as a rule in
departments of Curriculum and Instruction (or the like), which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in
the context of teacher education at universities in the United States. These departments were estab-
lished as a consequence of what was then called curriculum construction,1 or curriculum studies,
and the obvious quest for curriculum theory which has boomed since the 1920s and 1930s as a
reaction to mass immigration, and to which the authorities reacted with curriculum reform that was
meant to enhance democracy.
The education research focus on curriculum highlights a fundamental difference between the
United States and the European discussion on education and schooling. In Europe the discussion
focused primarily on school-subject didactics (Gundem, 2000; Autio, 2006) and in Germany in
addition on general didactics, referring to the idea of Bildung (Horlacher and De Vincenti, 2013).
This makes an international comparative discussion on curriculum difficult (Hopmann and
Riquarts, 1995; Westbury et al., 2000; see also Pinar, 2011), even more so when considering that
against the background of the culturally non-negotiable epitome of Bildung, questions of schooling
and curriculum or course of studies in Germany have always had a difficult standing in the aca-
demic community (Horlacher, 2016).
Accordingly, in (continental) Europe a more or less continuous research tradition under the
catchword ‘curriculum’ has never really existed, and even interest in relevant transatlantic research
has been somewhat marginal.2 Thus curriculum as an academic field of research and study has to
be regarded as being largely an offshoot of a particular US way of understanding the organization
of schooling and instruction that emerged from the challenges of mass immigration, modernization
in terms of commercialization of life and the growth of large cities, and then the experiences of the
First World War. It was the time when the social sciences were established at the modern research
universities to confront societal challenges; they developed programmes in Education for
Citizenship in a Democracy (Woellner, 1923) and published books such as The American Citizen
in response to the ‘growing demand for the more adequate teaching of morals in the schools, espe-
cially with reference to the making of good citizens’ (Dole, 1892: v). Accordingly, the schools
started to implement ‘social studies’ in their curricula to reinforce civics and social responsibility
as democratic desiderata (Lybarger, 1983).
Curriculum or curricula were understood as core public educational or instructional means to
reinforce US citizenship, and in times of change and uncertainty curriculum studies dealt in an
academic way with these public means to make them more effective or efficient. This explicit com-
mitment to (the US interpretation of) democracy is still relevant, even in historical accounts, as can
be found in the popular book by Tanner and Tanner (1990), History of the School Curriculum.
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 281
Curriculum history seems to have a practical character, given that it is intended to advise actual
curriculum development and reform (Goodlad, 1966: 91; Bellack, 1969; Kridel, 1989).
In Europe similar endeavours to (re-)connect education to democratic citizenship are found only
in exceptional cases,3 which creates a particular challenge when adapting curriculum history as a
particular research mode to reconstruct historically the educational construction of Europe in the
long 19th century. Without a shift within the US curriculum debate called the ‘reconceptualist
movement’, with its attempt to ‘understand, not just implement or evaluate, the curriculum’ (Pinar,
1999: xiv), connecting to other parts of the world would have been difficult, whereby the quest to
‘understand’ was directed towards an understanding of a cultural construction that includes par-
ticular visions of the child, the (ideal) social order and the (ideal) citizens. Due in particular to its
international focus, the ‘reconceptualist’ discussion was less engaged in advocating and more
engaged in critical analysis of curriculum (Apple, 1979; Popkewitz, 1991, 2009, 2013; Popkewitz
et al., 2001; Pinar, 2006, 2014; Tröhler et al., 2011). This current international analytical-critical
movement in curriculum research serves as the frame of this article, which deals essentially with
two major aspects: the historiographic challenge between the national and the global, and the two-
part team of constitution and curriculum.
The article is organized in six sections. The first starts with defining the problems of this histori-
cal framing, the fact of ‘export’ (of curriculum history) and its epistemological pitfalls. The next
two sections look at the role that constitutions play in the construction of citizens as an expression
of particular cultural understandings, and then discuss examples indicating how the particular con-
stitutional construction of the citizens of European countries almost immediately triggered the
need to create new school laws designed to organize the actual redemption of the constitutionally
created citizens. The next two sections then examine the specific need to create loyal citizens by
creating symbiosis between the nation and the constitutional state, and emphasize the cultural dif-
ferences between the individual nation-states and their curricula. Based on these five sections, the
final section summarizes and formulates research desiderata which envision transnational curricu-
lum history that is emancipated from both national and global research agendas and may serve as
research agenda for a European education history.
Epistemological pitfalls of curriculum history
Analysing recent trends in curriculum research (and thus curriculum history), Pinar (2014) iden-
tified a process of internationalization. For epistemological reasons Pinar earlier attached great
importance to interpreting this as an ‘international’ rather than a ‘global’ development (Pinar,
2013). The significant epistemological difference between the global and the international may
be derived from the basic assumptions of a world culture and it indicated the emergence of an
‘international society’ or a ‘world polity’ (Meyer, 1980; Boli and Thomas, 1997). To make the
emergence and existence of a largely homogenized or standardized global or world culture plau-
sible, the researchers evidently relativized the traditional assumption according to which the
school systems of the nation-states of 19th-century Europe on the one side, and today’s globally
more and more isomorphic schools on the other side, are to a large extent incompatible. They
therefore claimed that as a rule both the functionality and singularity of the national education
systems of the 19th century are greatly overestimated. They identified myriad international simi-
larities, despite the fact that the national education systems became institutionalized in the
national societies based on national and even nationalistic agendas (Meyer and Ramirez, 2000;
see also Ramirez and Boli, 1987).
Accordingly, it is suggested that due to ‘world forces’ acting behind the nation-states the
developments of curricula ‘show surprising degrees of homogeneity around the world’(Meyer,
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
282 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
1992: 2) and that ‘variance across national societies is less noticeable than most arguments
would have had it’, so that we may speak of a ‘world curriculum’ of the ‘global village’, indicat-
ing the ‘relative unimportance of the national, so far as mass curricular outlines go’ (Meyer,
1992: 6). As a consequence, curriculum history could be written as one history with some –
mostly irrelevant – variances (of the same). If this suggestion is not followed here, it is not
because some of the striking similarities that this research group has brought to our attention do
not deserve interest. The scepticism arises from the fact that the ‘sociological mind’ (Meyer,
1992: 13) of inquiry may be over-emphasized, contributing to grand narratives encompassing
some 500 years of history and advocating globalization narratives much more than analysing
historical developments around the globe.
This ‘sociological mind’ (Meyer, 1992: 13) not only constructs grand narratives but also
refrains from using the notion of ‘society’ as a culturally biased term, respectively as a floating
signifier (Meyer, 1992: 8). In contrast to Meyer, it is argued that ‘society’ in one country was (and
is) not ‘society’ in another and, furthermore, respective societies shaped the meaning of public
transportation (Dobbin, 1994), art (Wosk, 1992), technology (Nye, 1994) and society itself and,
through that, its educational aspirations, theories and curricula (Tröhler, 2014). Curricula, then,
are to be understood against the background of the respective perceptions of a just society, the
respective ideal citizen(s) and the respective child as a learner, respectively as a becoming citizen,
and may therefore not be reduced to the formality of the simple existence of school subjects,
expressed in ‘simple curricular outlines, listing subjects of instruction, and usually indicating the
number of periods per week or year to be devoted to them’ (Meyer, 1992: 4).
School subjects have at times included many elements that were later identified as ‘autono-
mous’ – such as reading, history and morals, and vice versa – and have been clustered together –
for instance (recently) chemistry and physics or history and geography. School subjects are indeed
not ‘monolithic entities but shifting amalgamations of sub-groups and traditions’, as Goodson
(1982: 3) once noted. The relevant definition of a school subject as a school subject, its respective
contents and its hierarchical position within all school subjects are expressions of particular cul-
tural and alchemistic hopes and strategies, even in the case of mostly innocuous school subjects
such as mathematics (Popkewitz, 2004), which transform children into valuable or loyal citizens in
the frame or the cultural value system of the respective nation-states.
It seems that this cultural understanding was more common over 100 years ago. In The Making
of Citizens: A Study in Comparative Education, Hughes (1902) compared schooling and curricu-
lum in France, England, the United States and Germany and recalled that ‘the school is a political
institution maintained by the State for the cultivation and propagation of national ideals’ and that
therefore ‘every school is a machine deliberately contrived for the manufactures of citizens’
(Hughes, 1902: 4). Hughes stressed that ‘each nation has…the system best suited to its idiosyncra-
sies’ (Hughes, 1902: 12) and can therefore ‘only be understood when seen in its own setting’, since
it expresses ‘its nation’s genius; it is characteristic of its people’; it is an ‘indigenous product’.
Hence it ‘is impossible to measure comprehensively any system of national education in terms of
another’ (Hughes, 1902: 387).
To understand curricula historically, Hughes continues, ‘these national idiosyncrasies will need
to be very carefully estimated’ (Hughes, 1902: 11), and there is little reason to disagree with that.
It is true, however, that on a formal level there is unmistakably an isomorphic tendency, but mainly
because the nation-states had a constant concern and searched internationally for even better or
more efficient means by which to transform their children into loyal citizens. When Horace Mann
reported his impressions from his voyage to Europe in 1843 (Mann, 1844) and introduced some
major elements of the Prussian education system while reforming the education system, he never
intended that the United States should turn into an ultra-conservative Prussian-style kingdom
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 283
lacking any political constitution and having a highly segregated school organization. Quite the
contrary – and the same applies to the French philosopher and cultural theorist Victor Cousin, who
expressed admiration in his report (Cousin, 1832) on the state of public instruction in Prussia in the
early 1830s. Both Mann and Cousin ‘read’ Prussia in the frame of their (different!) democratic
republicanism and interpreted organizational and curricular models as suitable in the service of
their respective cultural, social and political ideals.
It is here that the epistemologically motivated alternative to a global approach – the interna-
tional approach – needs to take a transnational stance, in order not to be misguided by a national(ist)
historiography that takes for granted the self-declared uniqueness (and primacy) of the proponents
of the respective nation-states. The cross-boundary approach is devoted to questions of ‘traveling
models’ and fashions in the course of the history. ‘Borrowing’ was done quite unscrupulously, but
it never meant simply copying but, rather, translating into its own idiosyncrasy. As Harry Thiselton
Mark said in 1913,
‘American citizen’ is America’s watchword. In that name a Western civilization has to be built up. Our
elementary schools might well borrow the suggestion and do more to foster and make intelligent the fine
ideal of British citizenship. (Mark, 1913: 44)
Mark had no doubts that a British citizen was not identical to an American citizen. Not every-
thing that was admired was to be adopted, if it was not ‘translatable’ into one’s own ideological
‘language’, as Hughes pointed out:
The discipline of the German school is admirable, so is the general system of training – for German
children; yet there can be no doubt that such a system would be the very worst for English or American
children’. (Hughes, 1902: 11)
To understand the cultural framing of the curricula and the international and transnational
movements in the development of them it is essential to refer to the very basis of curricula: namely,
the school laws which, as a rule, were passed after the adoption of new constitutions. This is no
coincidence, as the next two sections will show. The first section below describes how constitu-
tions both express and sanction the very normative base of modern citizens, which entails the need
for mass education and therefore for curricula, providing ‘educational opportunities’ – that is, pre-
organized pathways of educational careers, structured in school subjects and their (selected)
knowledge, grades and tracks, whereby particular transition regimes decide on promotion from
grade to grade (repetition), access to one of the different school tracks or to further education at the
tertiary education level (or, alternatively, to vocational training). In contrast to some foci in curricu-
lum history, the emphasis is less on what students learn at school and more on what kind of a per-
son a student is meant to become while passing through (the original meaning of currere, the
infinitive form of curriculum; see Pinar, 2012: 43) pathways of educational careers. The section
after that presents several European cases which illustrate how, in general, new school laws fol-
lowed upon new constitutions: clearly, the creation of citizens via a constitution needed implemen-
tation or redemption.
Constitutions and the creation of citizens
Although it is generally acknowledged that the construction of the mass schooling systems has to
be seen in close relation to the emerging nation-states of the (very late) 18th century and mainly the
19th century, very few published studies discuss the interrelation between the foundation of the
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
284 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
(nation-) states and the establishment of modern schools. This is striking, because constitutional
historians would have no doubts about the outstanding importance of the constitutions, which
started to be implemented after American independence as sets of fundamental principles accord-
ing to which states should be governed. Constitutions are expressions of sovereignty, be it in the
hand of one, a few, or a people, which in turn can be created by the very act of the adoption of a
constitution, as we find in exemplary manner in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United
States ratified in 1787: ‘We, the people of the United States’. Constitutions define and unite resi-
dents into a people and, through that, identify at the same time foreigners as different from native-
born inhabitants, specify the rights and duties of the inhabitants (which may not be the same for all
of them), arrange the basis of political interaction and participation, and define the relationship
between the political and the religious. In short, constitutions express the dominant views of the
ideal citizen, respectively the ideal citizens, of a given (ideal) political entity, and they ‘contain
institutionalized mechanisms of power control for the protection of the interests and liberties of the
citizenry’ (Gordon, 1999: 4).
Ideal, respectively constitutionally defined citizens are not born but made. One of the major
elements in this ‘making of citizens’ has been compulsory schooling, interpreted as the ‘pedagogic
machine that operates not only to impart knowledge but to instruct in conduct and to supervise,
evaluate and rectify childhood pathologies’ (Rose, 1989: 122). Thus constitutions and school laws
(and hence curricula) have a threefold relationship. On a very formal level, there is a clear hierar-
chy, because a school law in any event has to follow the fundamental guidelines defined in the
constitution. On a more content level, the constitution and school laws/curricula are like specifica-
tion and implementation: namely, the definition and the making of the ideal citizen; but on a more
cultural level they are organizational brothers in arms for traditionally culturally-embedded beliefs
and values, at least for dominant parts of the respective societies. This shared cultural background
is important for understanding that the ‘political elites’ did not simply invent a new social order at
will and from scratch but had to ‘construct their ideologies in such a way that they resonate with
the public, which partly depends on their ability to connect, in a meaningful way, to pre-existing
cultural and moral frameworks’ (Zimmer, 2003: 5). In other words, ‘people do invent traditions,
but not in circumstances of their own choosing’ (Zimmer, 2003: 8).
Curricula reflect – as do constitutions – fundamental, taken-for-granted ‘cultural–cognitive’
(Scott, 2001: 57) assumptions about the respective ideals of the ‘good life’ and the just social order
made up by ideal citizens, as Hughes indicated as early as in 1902, when he correlated – suppos-
edly analytically – democracy and the end of classical languages in the curriculum: ‘Democracy is
impossible in a school where the classics reign supreme’ (Hughes, 1902: 390). The rejection of
classical ‘dead’ languages in the context of democratic-republican states has a long tradition and
can be identified in Benjamin Rush’s writings on the mode of education proper in a republic (Rush,
1786/1965) or in Thomas Paine’s (1794) The Age of Reason:
As there is now nothing new to be learned from the dead languages, all the useful books, being already
translated, the languages are become useless, and the time expended in teaching and in learning them is
wasted. (Paine, 1794/1989: 296)
Even if we are tempted by democratic confessions, a normative point of view is not an ideal
starting point for a historical analysis of curricula, not least because, first, at least until the First
World War, most of the nation-states had very limited forms of democracy and, second, very dif-
ferent forms of democracy exist(ed). The type and degree of democracy is defined by the constitu-
tions, whereby constitutions are not simply concerned with defining either more or fewer rights for
their citizens: they differ not merely in terms of the material aspects of constitutions – that is,
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 285
decisions about the form of government, division of powers, participation of the people in the leg-
islative, executive, and judicial systems, and of the range of further individual liberties.4 Beyond
the material aspects of the constitution, there is a formal dimension which characterizes the consti-
tution as a constitution – that is, its ‘location’ within the legal system as a whole: it makes a funda-
mental difference whether or not the constitution has absolute priority over the laws, as has been
the case in the United States since the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison (1803); or whether
the laws passed by parliament are almost equivalent to the constitution, as in the case of France; or
whether a constitution does not exist at all and the tradition of court decisions takes the place of
constitutions, as in the United Kingdom. Given, in addition, that the Constitution of the United
States is fundamentally federal, whereas the Constitution of France is largely central, the relation
between the ‘free citizens’ and the two republics could hardly be more different. The US citizen is
locally defined, with legal certainty provided by the Constitution, protected from an excess of state
power by the system of checks and balances; the French citizen is a centrally defined citizen with
legal certainty in the laws adopted by the parliament as the epitome of French Republicanism.
This in turn explains why no federal law in the United States regulates any educational policy
directly, and why laypersons, as members of the local school boards, control the school to a large
degree; whereas, in contrast, education policy in France is almost completely governed by central
experts, often trained in the highly elitist Écoles normale supérieure. This explains how the notion
of citizen – as is also the case with ‘society’ – may only be used as a generic term or floating signi-
fier: a French citoyen is not a US citizen, a US citizen is not a British citizen, a British citizen is not
a German Bürger, and a German Bürger is not a Swiss Bürger, despite the fact that France, the
United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland are all constitutional democracies
and that any dictionary in the world would translate citoyen as citizen or Bürger. I will make this
thesis plausible by giving some selected European examples that indicate all three levels of the
interrelation between constitution and curriculum: the close cultural relation, the substantive rela-
tionship, and the formal hierarchy.
New constitutions and new school laws: European examples
Whether or not the nation-states’ new constitutions were liberal, heading towards a secular and
even democratic republic, or conservative, protecting the nobility, monarchy, the church or a com-
bination of them, and whether or not the constitutions had articles concerning education, almost
every time a constitution tried to (re-)formulate a new social ideal for the (nation-) state, a new
school law followed as a rule within five years. The most striking and unmatched example is
France. The first French Constitution was adopted in 1791, and Condorcet presented his new
school law to the parliament in April 1792. Due to the political turmoil, the French constitution was
altered in June 1793, and a new school law was adopted in November 1794; and when the French
again adopted a new constitution in August 1795, the new school law (known as the Daunou law)
was adopted in October 1795. The next constitution followed in December 1799, and the new
school law followed in May 1802. After the end of Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign, the French Charter
(equivalent to a constitution) was adopted in 1814, bringing the House of Bourbon back to power,
and a new school order (ordonnance) was passed in February 1816 (and another in 1820). When in
1830 the July Revolution limited the Bourbon regime, expressed by the constitution in 1830, the
new school law (called the Guizot law) followed in 1833.
That’s not all. The February Revolution in 1848 established the Second Republic, based on
France’s new constitution adapted in November 1848, and the new school law (the Falloux law)
was passed in March 1850. Two years later, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor
Napoleon III (after he was President of the Republic), decreed a new constitution in January 1852,
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
286 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
and issued as a decree the new school law on 9 March 1852, which was passed by parliament in
June 1854. When Louis Napoleon Bonaparte expanded his power dramatically between 1866 and
1869 by quasi-constitutional acts, a new school law followed in April 1867, and after the French
defeat in the Franco–Prussian War (1870–1871) new constitutional laws followed in 1875, fol-
lowed by the two important Jules Ferry laws in 1881 (making schools free of charge) and in 1882
(making schools mandatory and secular).
France is an exceptional example, of course, and not all European countries followed this pat-
tern, in particular not those countries that were more or less forced by historical events to draft
constitutions rather than to create (or legitimate) new social ideas and power structures, such as
some of the Nordic States. Denmark – loyal to Napoleon and thus defeated in 1814 – adopted a
new school law in the year 1814, with no new constitution until 1849,5 the result of a national
movement emerging in the 1830s.6 How much the feeling of liberation affected the interrelation of
constitution and school law may be seen in Finland where, after centuries of being occupied by
Sweden (1249–1809) and then by Russia (1809–1917), the Finns adopted a constitution in July
1919 and passed a school law in 1921.
In the immediate context of Napoleon Bonaparte there were even closer relations between the
emergence of a new constitution and a new school law and curriculum. The French gave the
Batavian Republic its constitution in 1797; a new school law was passed in 1801, followed by
the laws of 1803 and 1806, the latter being the foundation of the development of not only the
Dutch nation-state. The Helvetic Republic introduced its constitution in 1798, and its school law
came into force in 1799 (influenced by the plan that Condorcet had presented to the French par-
liament in 1792). These two revolutionary case studies reveal the interconnection between new
social and political ideas and the education of the future citizen, as does the instance of Belgium,
which separated from the Netherlands in 1830 and passed a new constitution in 1831, followed
by a draft of a comprehensive school law in the same year (Commission spéciale, 1832), which,
however, seems not to have been passed until 1842. Meanwhile, in 1839, today’s Luxembourg,
originally a part of segregationist Belgium in 1830, became independent and gave itself a con-
stitution in 1841 and a new school law in 1842, whereby the hidden, sometimes amazing and
surprising borrowings connected the school laws of France, the Netherlands, Belgium and
Luxembourg, without depriving them of their peculiarity (Thyssen, 2013). The same depend-
ence on a new constitution and a new school law occurred in federal countries such as Switzerland.
Zurich adopted a new constitution in 1830, and the new school law followed in 1832; Bern
adopted its new constitution in 1831, and the new school law followed in 1833.
This most striking two-part team of constitution and school law/curriculum, providing the struc-
tured educational opportunities, can be found in almost all other European nation-states, including
Spain. With the effective occupation of Spain by the Napoleonic troops in 1807/08,7 Spanish
national sentiment became overwhelming, praising the Spanish nation as a unity and its citizens as
enemies of the French. This sentiment found expression, for instance, in an extremely popular
publication of 1808, Civil Catechism, and brief summary of the obligations of the Spanish, useful
knowledge of their freedom, and the explanation of its enemy, very useful in the present circum-
stances, as a dialogue,8 which some years later was translated into German by the Prussian poet
Heinrich von Kleist to fuel German anti-French sentiments: it was published in 1813 as Catechism
of the Germans (Katechismus der Deutschen) (Schulze, 1994: 191) and republished in 1926, 1939
and 1940. To challenge the constitution of 6 July 1808 imposed by Napoleon, stakeholders in the
free part of Spain – the very south of the country – organized the first national sovereign assembly
in Cadiz and adopted the Spanish Constitution of 1812. The constitution never came fully into
effect, in fact, but it triggered educational reforms: in 1813 the poet and politician Manuel José
Quintana prepared a report known as the Quintana report (Quintana, 1813/2013), which was
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 287
subsequently signed into law. When a version of a constitutional monarchy was established in
1834, a new school plan – Plan general de Instrucción Pública drafted by Duque de Rivas in 1836
– followed almost immediately. Furthermore, when in 1845 a ‘real’ constitution was adopted,
which defined in its first article who ‘the Spanish are’, the next educational reform law, Plan
General de estudios, by Pedro José Pidal, was passed in the same year.
In Austria, matters were somewhat different. During the Austro–Prussian War in 1866 Austria
lost its supremacy in the German confederation to Prussia; a year later, in December 1867, it gave
itself a constitution defining Austria as a constitutional monarchy – although the emperor was still
defined as ‘by Grace of God’ – and less than 18 months later, in May 1869, the Reichsvolksschulgesetz
[school law] was passed, organizing the entire school system anew. These Austrian developments
were also affected by developments in Italy, because Italy started to unite in 1859 by liberating
Lombardy from Austria and proclaiming itself as the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, finding its lasting
form in 1871; it adopted the 1848 constitution (Statuto Albertino) of Piedmont–Sardinia. The
Statuto Albertino remained the basis of the new Kingdom’s legal system after Italian unification
was achieved, and the Kingdom of Sardinia became the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. In Piedmont–
Sardinia the first school law had been issued in 1848 (Bon Compagni), a revision was issued in
1859 (Cabro Casati, largely following the French law) (Casati, 1859), and six years after the new
Kingdom of Italy had found its definite form a comprehensive Italian school law was adopted in
1877 (Legge Coppino). Here, Italy was even later than England: England introduced the Elementary
Education Act in 1870 as a fundamental framework for the schooling of all children between the
ages of 5 and 13 in England and Wales. It should be noted that England, to the present day, has
never had a constitution in the modern sense because it bases its social order on what is called com-
mon law, developed by judges through the decisions of courts and equivalent tribunals.
The example of Spain described above makes particularly clear how the idea of the nation, the
implementation of a national sentiment, was an important factor in the implementation of the two-
columned programme in making citizens (constitution and curriculum): the nation became the
quasi-sacred expression of the cultural tradition, uniting people and turning citizens into loyal citi-
zens of a particular social order. However, the cultural differences between the different nation-
states were striking.
The next section will engage first with the actual need to invent the idea of the nation as creating
identity beyond both inalienable natural freedom and commitment to the region, and the section
following that will indicate how this national agenda was translated into curricula.
The political invention of the nation-state and the creation of the
loyal citizen
The first two modern constitutions creating modern citizens – the Constitution of the United
States ratified in 1788, and the Constitution française ratified in 1791 – were pioneering for the
19th century and the establishment of the European nation-states that did not exist before that
time. Irrespective of how different these two constitutions were, and how different their destinies
were to be (the Constitution of the United States still exists today, supplemented – and altered
– by amendments; the Constitution française did not even survive two years), they both operate
in a similar way by defining the idea of the nation as ‘ties that bind’ and thus the need for the
creation of the loyal citizen. Both constitutions build on declared ideas of universal and inalien-
able human rights.9
The strategy of building a new political order (constitution) by first setting every human free
in principle (human rights) creates the problem of to how to ‘convince’ these ‘free’ beings within
a state to be loyal to its constitution and laws. This problem had been familiar to Jean-Jacques
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
288 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
Rousseau, who added a chapter on ‘Civil Religion’ at the very end of The Social Contract
because, as he argued,
…it is very important for the State that every citizen should have a religion which may make him delight
in his duties…a purely civil profession of faith…without which it is impossible to be a good citizen.
(Rousseau, 1762/2002: 252)
It is comparatively easy to unite people against a regime that is understood as unjust – for
instance the British and the French monarchies – by declaring all people free by nature (and, that
is, by principle), but it is much more difficult to make them into loyal or good citizens of the new
constitutional state (and, for instance, not only of the region). It had been intellectuals who pro-
claimed people as free by nature based on theories of natural rights, and it was intellectuals again,
often poets, who somehow reunited the people as citizens in the imagined community (Anderson,
1983) of the nation by uniting the ideas of nation and the constitutional state.
The idea – or at least the concept – of the nation is old, but it became a powerful politically
explosive force only in combination with the constitutional states. In the United States this combi-
nation of the constitutional state and the nation may already be detected in the Constitution, but it
became much more evident when the United States – as did most of the European states – gained
its national(ist) momentum after Napoleon’s reign – that is, in the ‘Era of Good Feelings’
(Dangerfield, 1965) followed by an ‘Era of Reforms’ between 1830 and 1860, when a modern
mass schooling system was implemented in most parts of the United States (Green, 1990). France
was the exception, because the constitution was understood to be an expression of the always exist-
ing nation, which, according to Abbé Sièyes (1789/2002: 2), was essentially the Third Estate.
Accordingly, in the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of
Man and of the Citizen, passed by France’s National Constituent Assembly in August 1789), all
sovereignty is said to reside in the nation, protecting human and citizens’ rights (Article 3). The
Constitution française in 1792 defined French citizenship formally as birthright citizenship and
defined the exceptions (Title II, Article 2). However, the stakeholders deemed this formal defini-
tion of a French citizen inadequate, because every French citizen was required in a Rousseau-like
manner to express their ‘civil profession of faith’ by swearing a citizen’s oath:
I swear to be faithful to the nation, to the law, and to the King, and to maintain with all my power the
Constitution of the kingdom, decreed by the National Constituent Assembly in the years 1789, 1790, and
1791. (Title II, Article 5)
In contrast, the German states before 1871, even those that adopted constitutions of their
own, were not nation-states. Only after the Franco–Prussian War (1870–1871), during which
the North German Confederation and the South German states united to become the German
empire as a nation-state under the King of Prussia, was a German constitution adopted, in 1871,
characterizing the German empire as a nation-state. After having defeated France, it also
included four formerly French departments (départements français), now called the Imperial
Territory of Alsace-Lorraine. The inhabitants of this territory, who had in the course of the 19th
century learned to be foremost French citizens, not least by the expansion of formal schooling
(Weber, 1976) now had to learn that they were, in fact, Germans, only to be taught again after
1918 that this was not the case, that they were actually French, at least until 1940 and then after
1945, and in between, during World War 2, they were Germans once more. Learning to Be
Loyal (Harp, 1998) had been a constant back and forth for the people of this region, and primary
schooling served to a significant extent the ever-changing loyalties of the citizens by changing
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 289
the curricula – not so much the school subjects as formal teaching units but the content and also
the administration of schooling, including teacher education.
The nation had become both the guidance and point of hope, even a secular vision of redemp-
tion of a meanwhile almost entirely educationalized Western culture, emerging around 1800. By
the late 19th century this educationalized culture assigned almost any perceived social problems or
challenges to education, and this served as the basis for the massive expansion and increasing dif-
ferentiation of the school system (Tröhler, 2013). In 1882, stimulated by the question of the nation-
ality of people living in the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, the French intellectual Ernest
Renan tried to answer the question of what the nation is. Renan (1882) considered all the defini-
tions that he knew – common race, common language, common religion and common interests –
and rejected all of them, to conclude that a nation is something spiritual behind its appearances:
A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things which, properly speaking, are really one and the same
constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession
in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together. (Renan,
1882: 28)
Indeed, most of the definitions of the nation in use in Europe were transcendent and sacred, but
besides that they emphasized either commonality of language, race, religion, history or interests,
which all found expression in the school curricula. This becomes clear, for instance, in the curricu-
lum of 19th century France, where history, geography, music and even physical education were
rarely taught, in contrast to Germany where national self-assurance had to include the sense of
Germany’s heroic historical past, knowledge about the different German states, a feeling of togeth-
erness through community singing (of either religious or national songs) and physical strength as
the basis for future soldiers (Harp, 1998: 60). France, in contrast, limited itself mainly to the Three
Rs, religion, and – against the background of France’s actual multilingualism – the French lan-
guage. In the course of the 19th century, the conviction grew, to the extent of perfect certainty, that
‘one could not really be French without speaking French’ (Harp, 1998: 33).
It is these differences made evident by the examples of France and Germany that also make the
notion of the ‘nation’ – like the notion of ‘society’ and ‘citizen’ – a generic term. ‘Nation’ bundles
the culture-specific or idiosyncratic content into the formal definition that Renan provided: ‘A
great aggregation of men, in sane mind and warm heart, created a moral conscience that calls itself
a nation’ (Renan, 1882: 31). To construct this ‘moral conscience’ that ‘calls itself a nation’ in the
‘aggregation of men’ in ‘sane mind and warm heart’ was the noble duty of the modern mass school-
ing system, as the following section, indicating how the national agendas were translated into their
respective curricula, will show.
Cultural agendas and curricula
The idea of the nation-state connected psychologically the constitutions and curricula in their aspi-
ration to make the desired loyal citizens. What was said in 1828 in Luxembourg was a general
belief throughout the Western world:
The primary schools are the cradle of the citizen. Therefore the youth has to be trained to the practice of
all the civic, moral, and religious virtues that a true citizen has to be accustomed to. (quoted in Witry, 1900:
The triangulation of constitution–nation–curriculum in the making of the citizens may again sug-
gest a global narrative about the emergence of a largely homogenized or standardized global or world
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
290 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
culture. This linear and teleological view is idiosyncratic with regard to the agenda of institutions
with globalized and hegemonic agendas like the OECD (Tröhler, 2010), but it hardly passes the test
of historical inquiry. It made a great difference for real life in the respective social orders if a constitu-
tion was decreed from above in the ‘name of God Almighty’, describing the monarch as ‘by the grace
of God’ and defining, in Article 1, the Catholic Church as fundamental (‘The Catholic, Apostolic and
Roman Church, in Spain and in all Spanish possessions, will be the religion of the King and the
nation, and not allow any other’) as in the Spanish Constitution of 1808, or if, 10 years previously, in
1798, Article 2 of the Helvetic Republic says: ‘The totality of the citizens is the sovereign’ and that
freedom of religion is guaranteed (Article 6) and the ‘two pillars of the public good are security and
the Enlightenment’, whereby the ‘Enlightenment is preferable to prosperity’ (Article 4).
These were not word games without relevance for daily life. They expressed dominant cultural
convictions about the social and political order that were reflected in the curriculum and its idiosyn-
cratic arrangement of school subjects and the selection of knowledge, the grades, the tracks and the
transition regimes between them, preparing and providing social stratification via selection. To be a
citizen could have completely different meanings, as can be seen in the definition of the political
rights of the citizens, which defined the degree of participation in sovereignty: Italy in 1861 was a
constitutional monarchy with a census suffrage, as most of the European constitutional nation-states
had, and its actual suffrage in 1861 was around 3% of the population, and around 7% in 1882,
whereas France and Switzerland had full male suffrage in 1848 (for resident male citizens) and the
German Empire implemented full male suffrage in 1871. Full universal suffrage (including women)
usually followed about 10 to 20 years after full male suffrage, whereby France followed only in
1945, Italy (men and women at the same time) in 1945, Belgium in 1948 and Switzerland in 1971.
Progressive school administration and innovative pedagogy were not always the twin brothers
of a progressive or liberal constitution, as can be seen in Prussia, which had the most advanced
educational administration, exemplary teacher education and Didaktik and, at the same time, a
highly segregated school system. This tension was an integral component of the constitution
decreed by the Prussian king in 1850. It provided religious freedom (Article 13), allowed civil mar-
riage (Article 19), declared the principle of academic autonomy and freedom (Article 20), devoted
five articles to public education (Articles 21–26), declared freedom of opinion and abolished cen-
sorship (Article 27), allowed unlimited right of assembly and the right of petition (Articles 29, 30,
32), and guaranteed the secrecy of correspondence (Article 33). In contrast, however, the constitu-
tion implemented a three-class franchise, according to which a chamber of the parliament was
composed of one-third very rich citizens, representing some 4.7% of the population, one-third
medium-rich citizens, representing some 12.6% of the population, and the last third representing
over 82% of the population. Furthermore, the king alone was entitled to hold executive power
(Article 45). The king appointed and dismissed all ministers, ordered the proclamation of laws and
issued the decrees necessary for their execution (Article 45); and the king commanded the army
(Article 46), whereby the army had regulations that could differ from the constitution: ‘A swear-
ing-in of the army on the Constitution does not occur’ (Article 108).
The Prussian constitution stated that,
…all Prussians are equal before the law. Class privileges do not take place. The public offices are, in
compliance with the conditions established in the laws, equally accessible for all able persons. (Article 4)
In truth, this was a kind of lip service: it was not completely wrong, but neither was it real. In
the explanatory notes to the new school law in 1854 the author, Anton Wilhelm Ferdinand Stiehl,
a Lutheran theologian and member of the privy council (Geheimrat), aiming to educate youth in
Christian and Prussian-patriotic attitudes as well as domestic virtues, stated – with regard to
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 291
equality and concerning universal human education, and thus expressing the tension to be found in
the constitution – that:
The idea of a universal human education through formal development of the mental faculties on abstract
content has been found by experience to be ineffective or harmful. (…) Accordingly, the elementary school
in which the majority of the people receive the basis if not the completion of their education must serve
not an abstract system or a thought of science but practical life in church, family, work, community and
state, and to prepare for this life … within its circles (Stiehl, 1854: 64)
Against this background, Stiehl (1854: 65) concluded that in elementary schooling for the
masses four school subjects should be taught; namely, and first of all, Religion, the German
Language (reading and writing), some Mathematics, and Singing. Given the very minor impor-
tance of mathematics, an average Prussian pupil had to become a hardworking, disciplined, and
devoted German-speaking Christian Prussian. In particular, he (or she) had no Latin in school,
although its mastery was required for transition to the Gymnasium (academic-track secondary
school), which devoted far more than 40% of the teaching time to Latin and Greek (Herrlitz et al.,
1993: 48). The Prussian school system therefore foresaw for wealthier parents a school run in par-
allel to the free elementary school, the fee-paying ‘prep school’ (Vorschule) – ‘prep school’ under-
stood here as the preparation or preliminary stage leading to the Gymnasium – with the career
gatekeeper Latin in the core of its syllabus. This highly socially segregated curricular order was
abolished only during the otherwise unsuccessful school reform of the Weimar Republic in 1925.
This curricular practice of segregation was by no means a Prussian peculiarity: it was found in
most strictly hierarchical societies.10
The result of the German efforts was quite impressive, however, because in Prussia some 82%
of an age cohort attended school (Dieterici, 1849: 47) whereas, in Italy, for instance, with a consti-
tution (also imposed, by Charles Albert of Sardinia, in 1848) approximately as ‘liberal’ or ‘con-
servative’ as the Prussian constitution, only some 40% went to school (Weber, 2010: 70). What was
even more serious in Italy was that compulsory schooling lasted only two years, so that it is hardly
possible to speak of ‘curriculum’ in the modern sense. In Prussia, at least as defined by the law,
compulsory schooling lasted eight years. It is no wonder that the literacy rate in Italy was substan-
tially lower than in Prussia; in 1861 only 25% of Italy’s inhabitants were literate. This Italian lit-
eracy rate was even lower than the worst regional rates in France: the illiteracy rate in middle and
southern France in 1866 ranged from 55% to 65%, but was only from 5% to 10% in the north-
eastern regions bordering Germany and Switzerland (Furet and Ozouf, 1977: 201). Thus, as in
other nation-states, too, Italy’s political unification became primarily an educational matter, but for
distinct reasons, because learning the standardized language (which means Tuscan rather than the
very different dialects) was seen as essential – but required people to be literate. Indeed, the fight
against the dialects was a major driving force of the fight for literacy, with the aim of imposing a
standardized Italian language for the sake of Italian unity (Lepschy and Lepschy, 1986: 21). For
this reason, the Italian minister of education, Emilio Broglio, and others, published a four volume
New Vocabulary of the Italian Language (Novo vocabolario della lingua italiana) between 1870
and 1897 for use in the schools (Broglio and Battista, 1870–1890).
Transnationalism and curriculum history: a theoretical framework
for Europe
The making of citizens was achieved in places where schooling was poorly institutionalized in the
same way as it was in places where schooling was highly institutionalized, because the very degree
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
292 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
of institutionalization represented largely what kind of (loyal) citizens a given culture felt it needed
and intended to make. A statistically verified existence of simple school subjects – the basis of
world culture theory – therefore gives both a distorted and an overgeneralized picture of curricu-
lum history. At least as important as the formal existence of school subjects are school structures,
grades, school tracks, regimes of control, transition regimes, stratification and exclusion mecha-
nisms, the order of school subjects (in the syllabus and in the weekly timetable), and the selected
and arranged contents in the curricular guidelines and in the textbooks or schoolbooks (for England,
see Heathorn, 2000). Extra-curricular activities offered by the schools belong to the making of citi-
zens, such as – foremost in the United States – athletic programmes, drama clubs and marching
bands. Equally important are school uniforms (Dussel, 2001) or school rituals (McLaren, 1986)
constituting ‘curriculum’ in its historical development, unifying people as a national ‘we’ and citi-
zens, but at the same time stratifying them socially into different categories such as gender, class
and talent, and distinguishing them from others. Curriculum is an amalgam, appearing as a whole,
hardly revealing its ingredients and revealing not at all the previous processing of those ingredi-
ents. What may be a delicacy in one country may well be judged inedible in another.
Against this background, curriculum history needs to pay attention to previously somewhat
marginalized items such as music (Gustafson, 2009), allegedly neutral mathematics (Diaz, 2014)
or presumed harmless physical education – the latter representing in England part of the education
of the gentleman, in Prussia part of the education of the strong, willing and executing soldier as
subject, and in Switzerland part of the education of the militia’s citizen-soldier as a part of civic
education. Besides these various individual school subjects, the hierarchy of the school subjects
depicted in the timetables deserves special attention, beginning – for a very long time and almost
without exception – with religion, followed by languages, mathematics, history and geography,
and, invariably in last place, physical education and home economics for girls, reflecting the late
implementation of women’s suffrage. The hierarchy is neither alphabetical nor does it follow the
quantitative allocations of the weekly lessons, but it does express cultural values. Religion is of
particular interest because it dominated the curricular hierarchy even long after religious education
had in some places been declared voluntary.
The very fact of a politically and economically dominant global force and its inherent academic
system with its particular system of reasoning is no licence to extrapolate national narratives to global
ones. The exporting of a particular way to understand curriculum – suggesting a close relation to
democratic citizenship – runs the risk of imposing this normative agenda on other nation-states rather
than to refer back to the ideological background of this construction – the political philosophy of
Reformed Protestantism – and to reconstruct from there the political philosophies reflecting funda-
mental values and beliefs as they are expressed in the constitutions, school laws and curricula.
The alleged global perception and agenda hide these origins, and it is in this concealment that
the inevitable curse and mark of Cain of the national origin of curriculum studies and curriculum
history carries the danger of globally extrapolating specific national connotations of ‘nation’,
‘society’ and ‘citizen’ to the world, rather than using them as floating signifiers. This globalization
took place in particular in the case of the change in paradigm from input to output steering in edu-
cational policy, which made sense somehow only in the particular, parochial context of the United
States but which has now been disseminated increasingly to other parts of the world, where this
educational policy model would actually be unnecessary (Tröhler, 2011). The well-meant large-
scale studies on citizenship education conducted in several European countries and Australia,
where the results did not seem to correlate at all with the enormous effort in citizenship education,
are a further example, leaving researchers like Hahn (1999) somewhat perplexed: ‘Whether they
are rooted in culture, history, or some aspects of schooling is not evident’; the results appear to be
some sort of a ‘combination of all those factors’, which cannot be operationalized by empirical
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 293
research. The problem, Hahn (1999: 231) concluded, is that what works in one political culture
with its ‘distinct set of values’ cannot simply be adopted in another that has ‘differing traditions,
values and meanings’. There is nothing more to contribute to this insight except to envisage what
this means for research in the field of curriculum history and curriculum study.
The pitfalls are manifold and quite layered. The educational sciences are children of the education-
alized cultures of the 19th century nation-states, and up to the present time they have not really eman-
cipated themselves from these national(ist) ambitions. The national constraints can have two
consequences: either they lead to often decontextualized but certainly non-comparative case studies of
curriculum study, history or theory, or they follow the sacred imperial energy of the nation, promising
global redemption by global standardization according to the patterns of the national agenda that are
most dominant globally. Being culturally part of this national agenda makes it tempting to give this
global redemptive aspiration legitimation by a history of its own, suggesting a rational structure in it,
permitting no alternatives, or variances (of the same) at most. The grand narrative contains accidents
and exceptions, but these are accidents and exceptions within the grand narrative. However, history,
and especially ‘curriculum history’, lies somewhere in between the culturally decontextualized local
case study and the grand narrative of an imperialized national culture (Tröhler and Lenz, 2015). It
obviously profits substantially from being aware of legacies, from international-comparative scopes,
and from transnational tracking, and through all that from being enabled to be analytical rather than
unconsciously activist in some sense, national or imperial. Against this background, a European his-
tory of education, reconstructing a striking educationalized nation-building in its diversity and transna-
tional flows, seems to be not only desirable but also possible; it does not promise a basis of a European
standardization, but, rather, simply insights and clarification, and perhaps even enlightenment.
Declaration of conflicting interest
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or
publication of this article.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit
1. I want to thank John Rudolph, Chair of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education, University of
Wisconsin-Madison, for this information.
2. For instance, Tyler’s (1949) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, first published in 1949, was
translated into Norwegian only in 1971 and into German and Dutch in 1973; the 45th printing in 1989
seems to have been the last one in the United States, whereas the Norwegian edition was republished
a second (and last) time in 1972, perhaps because Tyler’s unspoken background was the democrati-
cally controlled local community school with its autonomy in constructing its very own curriculum – a
phenomenon almost completely unknown in Europe. In the same manner, none of the three editions of
Kliebard’s (1986) The Struggle for the American Curriculum 1893–1958 have ever been received in
Germany, and almost the same applies to Apple’s (1979; translated into Spanish in 1986) Ideology and
Curriculum, or the classic Understanding Curriculum (Pinar et al, 1995).
3. Thomas Englund’s (1986) Curriculum as a Political Problem is, for Sweden, an exception, but in con-
trast to the American discussion (that Englund reflects), which focuses on the whole curriculum, Englund
restricts himself to the school subject ‘citizenship education’.
4. To some degree, these material aspects of organizing social order are (at least as institutionalized prac-
tices) much older than the formal constitution itself, the written fundamental right and its relation to the
different law books.
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
294 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
5. In an unpublished conference paper Christian Larsen (Larsen, 2015) indicated that the Danish school law
of 1814 was in fact a ‘series of school laws’ for different children according to their social background,
the region they lived in, their gender and religion. The unifying principle of the school laws was loyalty
to the Danish king and not to the Danish nation-state, which at least partly explains the Danish exception.
6. The ‘reversed’ route happened in Sweden, which adopted a new constitution in 1809 after its defeat
against Russia, losing Finland, and passed a school law only in 1842 after long debates about a school
law (Boli, 1989: 214). Norway, however, was more ‘continental’ because it declared its independence
immediately, after having lost – as an ally of Denmark – the Napoleonic War in 1814 by adopting a con-
stitution immediately before it was invaded by the Swedes. In a compromise, the Norwegians accepted
the Swedish king as ‘their’ king, and the Swedes accepted the comparatively liberal Norwegian constitu-
tion. In 1816, a provisional school law was accepted; it was passed officially in 1827, as the first com-
prehensive Norwegian school law was passed. For more details on the somewhat particular situation in
Scandinavia, see Tröhler (in press).
7. Formally, it was permission for the French troops to pass through Spain to fight the British stationed in
8. Catecismo civil y breve compendio de las obligaciones del español, conocimiento práctico de su libertad
y explicacion de su enemigo, muy útil en las actuales circunstancias, puesto en forma de diálogo.
9. In the case of the United States the Virginia Bill of Rights (June 1776) and the Declaration of Independence
(July 1776), and in the case of France the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (August
1789), which would later serve as the precursor of the first three French constitutions (1791, 1793, 1795).
10. Luxembourg, for instance, taught boys in the city of Luxembourg more French than it taught girls in
the city and all children outside the city, because French was Luxembourg’s official administrative lan-
guage, spoken by the urban elite, in a nation-state with a German dialect as the vernacular language (a
Moselle Franconian dialect). To prevent parents outside the city from sending their sons to schools in
Luxembourg-City, the local council introduced in December 1865 a school tax for all children whose
parents did not live within the city limits (Schreiber, 2014: 126).
Anderson B (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London:
Apple MW (1979) Ideology and Curriculum. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Apple MW (1986) Ideología y currículo. Madrid: Akal.
Autio T (2006) Between and Beyond the German Didaktik and Anglo-American Curriculum Studies. Mahwah:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bellack AA (1969) History of curriculum thought and practice. Review of Educational Research 39(3): 283–292.
Boli T (1989) New Citizens for a New Society: The Institutional Origins of Mass Schooling in Sweden.
Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Boli J and Thomas GM (1997) World culture in the world polity: A century of international non-governmen-
tal organization, American Sociological Review 62(2): 171–190.
Broglio E and Giorgini GB (1870–1890) Novo vocabolario della lingua italiana, Vol. I-IV. Firenze: M
Casati G (1859) Legge Casati, in Collezione celerifera delle leggi, decreti, istruzioni e circolari 39, Volume
II, pp. 1425–1480. Torino, Italy: Tipographia editrice di Enrico Dalmazzo.
Commission spéciale (1832) Projet de loi pour l’enseignement public Belgique, présenté par al commission
spécial, créée par arrête du 30 Aout 1831, et publié par le ministre de l’intérieur. Brussels: H. Remy,
Cousin V (1832) Rapport sur l’état de l’instruction publique dans quelques pays de l’Allemagne, et particu-
lièrement en Prusse. Paris: Imprimerie Royale.
Dangerfield G (1965) The Awakening of American Nationalism: 1815–1828. New York: Harper and Row.
Diaz J (2014) Signs of in/equality: a History of representation and reform in elementary school mathematics
from the 1950s to the present (PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014). Available at: (accessed 4 March 2016).
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 295
Dieterici FWC (ed) (1849) Mittheilungen des statistischen Bureau’s in Berlin. Berlin: Mittler und Sohn.
Dobbin F (1994) Forging Industrial Policy: The United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dole CF (1892) The American Citizen. Boston: D C Heath.
Dussel I (2001) School Uniforms and the Disciplining of Appearances: Towards a Comparative History of the
Regulation of Bodies in Early Modern France, Argentina, and the United States. PhD Thesis, University
of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
Englund T (1986) Curriculum as a Political Problem: Changing Educational Conceptions, with Special
Reference to Citizenship Education. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
Furet F and Ozouf J (1977) Lire et écrire: L’alphabetisation des français de Calvin à Jules Ferry. Paris: Les
Editions de Minuit.
Goodlad J I (1966) The Changing School Curriculum. New York: Fund for the Advancement of Education.
Goodson I (1982) School Subjects and Curriculum Change: Case Studies in Curriculum History. London:
Gordon S (1999) Controlling the State: Constitutionalism from Ancient Athens to Today. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press.
Green A (1900) Education and State Formation: The Rise of Education Systems in England, France and the
USA. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gundem BB (2000) Understanding European didactics. In: Moon B, Brown S and Ben-Peretz M (eds)
Routledge International Companion to Education. London: Routledge, pp. 235–262.
Gustafson RI (2009) Race and Curriculum: Music in Childhood Education. New York: Palgrave.
Hahn CL (1999) Citizenship education: An empirical study of policy, practices and outcomes. Oxford Review
of Education 25(1/2): 231–250.
Harp SL (1998) Learning to Be Loyal: Primary Schooling as Nation Building in Alsace and Lorraine, 1850–
1940. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.
Heathorn SJ (2000) For Home, Country and Race: Constructing Gender, Class and Englishness in the
Elementary School 1880–1914. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Herrlitz HG, Hopf W, Titze H and Cloer E (1993) Deutsche Schulgeschichte von 1800 bis zur Gegenwart.
Weinheim: Juventa.
Hopmann S and Riquarts K (1995) Didaktik und, oder Curriculum: Grundprobleme einer internationalen
vergleichenden Didaktik. Weinheim: Beltz.
Horlacher R (2016) The Educated Subject and the German Concept of Bildung: A Comparative Cultural
History. New York: Routledge.
Horlacher R and De Vincenti A (2013) From rationalist autonomy to scientific empiricism: A history of
curriculum in Switzerland. In: Pinar WF (ed) International Handbook of Curriculum Research, 2nd ed.
New York: Routledge, pp. 476–492.
Hughes RE (1902) The Making of Citizens: A Study in Comparative Education. London: Walter Scott
Hughes RE (1902) The Democratic Ideal in Education. London: Charles and Dible.
Kliebard HM (1986) The Struggle for the American Curriculum 1893–1958. Boston: Routledge.
Kridel C (ed) (1989) Curriculum History: Conference Presentations from the Society for the Study of
Curriculum History. Lanham: University Press of America.
Larsen C (2015) A Diversity of Schools: The Danish School Acts 1814. Unpublished paper presented on the
occasion of the Sixth Nordic Conference on the History of Education, 20–21 August 2015, Uppsala
University, Sweden.
Lepschy AL and Lepschy GC (1986) Die italienische Sprache. Tübingen: A Francke.
Lawn M and Lingard B (2002) Constructing a European policy space in educational governance: The role of
transnational policy actors. European Educational Research Journal 1(2): 290–307.
Lybarger M (1983) Origins of the modern social studies: 1900–1916. History of Education Quarterly 23(4):
Mann H (1844) Seventh Annual Report of the [Massachusetts] Board of Education, Together with the Seventh
Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth.
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
296 European Educational Research Journal 15(3)
Mark HT (1913) Modern Views on Education. London: Collins’ Clear-Type Press.
McLaren P (1986) Schooling as a Ritual Performance: Towards a Political Economy of Educational Symbols
and Gestures. London: Routledge & Keagan Paul.
Meyer JW (1980) The World Polity and the Authority of the Nation-State. In: Bergeson A (ed.) Studies of the
Modern World-System. New York: Academic Press, pp. 109–137.
Meyer JW (1992) Introduction. In: Meyer JW, Kamens DH and Benavot A (eds) School Knowledge for
the Masses: World Models and National Primary Curricular Categories in the Twentieth Century.
Washington DC: Falmer Press, pp. 1–16.
Meyer JW and Ramirez F (2000) The world institutionalization of education. In: Schriewer J (ed) Discourse
Formation in Comparative Education. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 111–132.
Nye DE (1994) American Technological Sublime. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Paine T (1794/1989) The age of reason. In: Kuklick B (ed) Thomas Paine, Political Writings. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, pp. 265–317.
Pinar WF (1999) Introduction: A Farewell and a Celebration. In: Pinar W (ed) Contemporary Curriculum
Discourses. New York: Peter Lang, pp. xi–xx.
Pinar WF (2006) The Synoptic Text Today and Other Essays: Curriculum Development after the
Reconceptualization. New York: Peter Lang.
Pinar WF (2011) The Character of Curriculum Studies: Bildung, Currere, and the Recurring Question of the
Subject. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pinar WF (2012) What is Curriculum Theory? 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.
Pinar WF (2013) Toward the internationalization of curriculum studies. In: Trueit D, Doll WE Jr., Wang H
and Pinar WF (eds) The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies: Selected Proceedings from the LSU
Conference 2000. New York: Peter Lang, pp. 1–13.
Pinar WF (2014) Curriculum research in the United States: Crisis, reconceptualization, and internationali-
zation. In: Pinar WF (ed) International Handbook of Curriculum Research, 2nd edition. New York:
Routledge, pp. 521–532.
Pinar WF, Reynolds WM, Slattery P and Taubman PM (1995) Understanding Curriculum: An Introduction to
the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses. New York: Peter Lang.
Popkewitz TS (1991) A Political Sociology of Educational Reform: Power/Knowledge and Power in Teaching,
Teacher Education, and Research. New York: Teachers College Press.
Popkewitz TS (2004) The alchemy of the mathematics curriculum: Inscriptions and the fabrication of the
child. American Educational Research Journal 41(1): 3–34.
Popkewitz TS (2009) Curriculum study, curriculum history, and curriculum theory: The reason of reason.
Journal of Curriculum Studies 41(3): 301–319.
Popkewitz TS (ed) (2013) Rethinking the History of Education: An Intercontinental Perspective on the
Questions, Methods and Knowledge of Schools. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Popkewitz TS, Franklin BM and Pereyra MA (eds) (2001) Cultural History and Education: Critical
Knowledge and Schooling. New York: Routledge.
Quintana MJ (1813/2013) Informe de la junta creada por la rejencia para proponer los medios de proceder al
arreglo de los diversos ramos de instrucción pública. In: Hongagas NA (ed) Manuel José Quintana y la
instrucción pública. Madrid: Carlos III University of Madrid, pp. 179–215.
Ramirez F and Boli J (1987) The political construction of mass schooling: European origins and worldwide
institutionalization. Sociology of Education 60(1): 2–17.
Renan E (1882) Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? Conférence faite en Sorbonne, le 11 mars 1882. Paris, France: C
Rose NS (1989) Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. London: Routledge.
Rousseau J-J (1762/2002) The social contract. In: Dunn S (ed) Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract
and the First and Second Discourses. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 149–254.
Rush B (1786/1965) Thoughts upon the mode of education proper in a republic. In: Rudolph F (ed) Essays
on Education in the Early Republic. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, pp. 9–23.
Sadler ME (1900) How can we learn anything of practical value from the study of foreign systems of educa-
tion? Guildford: Surrey Advertiser.
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Tröhler 297
Schreiber C (2014) Curricula and the construction of citizens: an analysis of the Luxembourgian curriculum
in the 19th and 20th centuries. PhD Thesis, University of Luxembourg.
Schulze H (1994) Staat und Nation in der europäischen Geschichte. Munich: Beck.
Scott WR (2001) Institutions and Organizations, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Sieyès E-J (1780/2002) Qu’est-ce que le Tiers état? Paris: Éditions du Boucher.
Sivesind K, Van den Akker J and Rosenmund M (2012) The European curriculum: Restructuring and renewal.
European Educational Research Journal 11(3): 320–327.
Stiehl F (1854) Die drei Preußischen Regulative vom 1., 2. und 3. Oktober 1854 über Einrichtung des evan-
gelischen Seminar-, Präparanden- und Elementarunterrichts. Berlin: Vilhelm Hertz.
Tanner D and Tanner L (1990) History of the School Curriculum. New York: Macmillan.
Thyssen G (2013) The stranger within: Luxembourg’s early school system as a European prototype of nation-
ally legitimized international blends (ca. 1794–1844). Paedagogica Historic, 49(5): 625–644.
Tröhler D. (2010) Harmonizing the educational globe: World polity, cultural features, and the challenges to
educational research. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29(1), 7–29.
Tröhler D (2011) The global language on education policy and prospects of education research. In: Tröhler D
and Barbu R (eds) Education Systems in Historical, Cultural, and Sociological Perspectives. Rotterdam:
Sense Publishers, pp. 55–73.
Tröhler D (2013) Pestalozzi and the Educationalization of the World. New York: Palgrave Pivot.
Tröhler D (2014) The construction of society and conceptions of education: Comparative visions in Germany,
France, and the United States around 1900. In: Popkewitz TS (ed) The Reason of Schooling: Historicizing
Curriculum Studies, Pedagogy, and Teacher Education. New York: Routledge, pp. 21–39.
Tröhler D (in press) Curriculum history in Europe: A historiographic added value. Nordic Journal of
Educational History.
Tröhler D and Lenz T (eds) (2015) Trajectories in the Development of Modern School Systems: Between the
National and the Global. New York: Routledge.
Tröhler D, Popkewitz TS and Labaree DF (eds) (2011) Schooling and the Making of Citizens in the Long 19th
Century: Comparative Visions. New York: Routledge.
Tyler RW (1949) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Weber C (2010) Camillo Covour in den Schulbüchern des liberalen Italien. Bern: Peter Lang.
Weber E (1976) Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France 1870–1914. Stanford:
Stanford University Press.
Westbury I, Hopmann S and Riquarts K (2000) Teaching as a Reflective Practice: The German Didaktik
Tradition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Witry T (1900) Statistique historique du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg: La situation de l’enseignement
primaire dans le Grand-Duché de Luxembourg pendant la période de 1815 à 1900. Luxembourg,
Luxembourg: V Buck.
Woellner FP (1923) Education for Citizenship in a Democracy: A Text-book for Teachers in the Elementary
Schools. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Wosk J (1992) Breaking Frame: Technology and the Visual Arts in the 19th Century. Newark: Rutgers
University Press.
Zimmer O (2003) A Contested Nation: History, Memory and Nationalism in Switzerland, 1798–1891.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
by guest on May 15, 2016eer.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... He also shows that learning is possible in the case of logical-mathematical structures, but on one condition-that is, that the structure which one wants to teach to the subjects can be supported by simpler, more elementary, logical-mathematical structures [8]. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi is the star of a specific cultural shift that occurred around 1800 and that can be labeled an "educational turn" [9], [10]. The development of technology has brought the presentation and transmission of knowledge to pupils in a more fun way and in a simpler and easier way to obtain or present new, information or knowledge both through posters and presentations as well as through videos and animations. ...
... For each of the criteria is calculated the fuzzy geometric mean value: Extremely strong (9,9,9) (1/9,1/9,1/9) Intermediate values (7,8,9) (1/9,1/8,1/7) After step (3) becomes the defuzzification of fuzzy numbers � with the method "Center of Area" named as COA for the fuzzy weights, and according to Voskoglou [30] the coordinates of the Center of Area for the triangular formed with fuzzy numbers are G( ...
... For each of the criteria is calculated the fuzzy geometric mean value: Extremely strong (9,9,9) (1/9,1/9,1/9) Intermediate values (7,8,9) (1/9,1/8,1/7) After step (3) becomes the defuzzification of fuzzy numbers � with the method "Center of Area" named as COA for the fuzzy weights, and according to Voskoglou [30] the coordinates of the Center of Area for the triangular formed with fuzzy numbers are G( ...
Full-text available
This paper aims to determine the factors that influence the teacher-pupil communication for the primary school grades 1-5 in Albania. We already know that nowadays education system in Albania is tending to follow the western model, as it wasn't so in the previous years of transition. In order to explain better about the factors that affect this communication we use the Fuzzy AHP method, a decision making theory. Two online surveys were developed for pupils and teachers in the year 2018-2019, with ten questions respectively. The objective of the paper is to rank these questions and finding the most important and the last important one, by using Saaty scale with triangular fuzzy numbers. In accordance with both group teacher and pupil, the most important question among the surveys is the parent's communication with the teacher. A factor that pupils have difficulty is the understanding of the lesson all the time the teacher explains. For the teachers a difficult factor is giving confidence to pupils, in order to explain their talent or their feelings. The study results help the education system to focus more on teacher-pupil communication by giving due importance both of them.
... According to these authors, national educational systems developed early in countries where the state and the church were closely linked. More recently, Tröhler (2016) examined the relationship between the creation of national constitutions and the issuing of school acts, whereas Beadie (2010) compared Green's state formation theory with the argument advanced by Peter Lindert. Challenging Green's perspective, Lindert argued that the rise of schooling during the nineteenth century was the result of 'spontaneous political will' of local school districts, rather state action (Lindert 2004, p. 121). ...
... 016) noted on the relationship between schooling and state formation, there is a strong link between new constitutions and new school laws. France is perhaps the best example of this relationship, as new constitutions were passed in 1791, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1814, and 1830, whereas new school laws were issued in 1792, 1794, 1795, 1802, 1816, and 1833. Tröhler (2016 also noted other examples, such as the constitution of the Helvetic Republic in 1798 that was followed by the school law of 1799. Similarly, in Austria, the constitution of 1867 was followed by the school law of 1869. ...
Full-text available
This article addresses the role of the state and state formation in the establishment of national education during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Through a comparative case analysis of two countries at the European periphery (Finland and Turkey), this article shows how national educational systems, in both instances, were driven by periods of intense state building. In the nineteenth century, military defeats sparked educational reforms, and in the early nineteenth century school laws were enacted due to the establishment of the republics of Finland and Turkey. Nevertheless, these examples also show the limits of a state formation perspective. Despite changes in educational policy, neither state reached high enrolment levels in the nineteenth century, and only in Finland schooling for all was realised in the 1930s. Thus, this work encourages further comparative analyses of the social, economic and political circumstances in which these states acted. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Thus, the model of linking nation and state had been successfully established and had completely reconceptualizednationalizedthe concept of the citizen (Prak, 2018), who was to be educated so that he was both legally defined and a loyal member of the nationstate. This model gradually spread throughout Europe, where territories started to adopt constitutions that were usually followed within a very short time by new school laws and curricula that aimed at implementing the social order structures established in the constitutions (Tröhler, 2016). This development can be illustrated very nicely by the example of the United States, which in its founding phase was not a nation-state but a republic whose inhabitants saw themselves as 'we, the people' (and not yet as a nation) and who could identify with the republican form of government (Tröhler, 2011, pp. ...
Full-text available
The guiding thesis of this article is that international comparisons have been shaped by nationalist, and thus potentially imperial, religious and consequently also latent missionary, motives. By means of selected milestones in the last 250 years, this thesis is made plausible by asserting a historical development of nationalism that started from an almost defiant national selfdetermination in the eighteenth century, leading to learning from strangers in the long nineteenth century, and resulting in the imperially minded instruction of others in the course of the twentieth century.
... While curriculum studies have more or less agreed that curricula in their respective totalities can be understood as having been designed to educate loyal citizens of and for the respective individual nation-states, that is, the cultural-normative aspect, political education as the curricular area labeled as "civics" usually focuses on the formal and legal aspects of citizenship in the respective nation-states (Horlacher, 2020). It is no coincidence that almost every time in the turbulent history of Europe that a state adopted a new constitution -thus institutionalizing a different concept of what national culture meant -a new school law and thus a new curriculum were immediately adopted in order to fabricate the desired citizen (Tröhler, 2016). ...
Full-text available
This Introductory chapter of the World Yearbook of Education 2022 addresses a fundamental epistemological problem of contemporary analyses of educational issues currently being discussed at the global level. The thesis is that there is an unjustifiable pre-occupation with real or supposed phenomena related to “globalization” and that, as a result, the educational strategies of national reproduction and imperial aspiration have been lost sight of. First, it is analyzed how sociology, by virtue of its own conditions of emergence, can function as a particular epistemology that suggests globalization. Then it is shown how a certain form of educational research – here labeled as large-scale test psychology – owes itself to globalized, i.e., in fact largely imperial, world views. Subsequently, it is indicated that, at least in the field of education, there can be little talk of global isomorphism if one actually looks historically and reveals the essential differences which indicate that school systems and curricula have been attuned to the great cultural theses of the respective nations institutionalized in the modern states. Last research desiderata are formulated at the intersection of education and nationalism that promise to provide a better theoretical understanding of nation, nationalism and nation-state, as well as to expose the educational imperialism of a few nation-state agents.
... Then, around 1700, there were broader educational reforms for social outsiders, mostly in cities of Protestant Europe (children of poor or delinquent parents, orphans), and later for the urban citizenry and then deliberately of political leaders. All these educational conceptions had different ideas about the form, content, mediation and aims of education, and from this huge repertoire of educational conceptions developed during this Age of Enlightenment, the emerging nation-states of the long nineteenth century, triggered in the wake of the French Revolution, were able to be selective in order to turn their inhabitants into loyal citizens (Tröhler, 2016b(Tröhler, , 2020b. ...
Full-text available
The entry attempts to analyze the complexity of curriculum and to reflect on what this means for curriculum theory in four steps. First, the history of the development of curriculum studies as an educational sub-discipline is reconstructed in its specific cultural milieu characterized by particular ideological preferences which became heavily contested in the last third of the twentieth century. In a second step, an excursus into the early seventeenth century demonstrates that “curriculum” is associated with a specific denominational religious interpretation of the world and that another religious system contained an idea of education and learning of its own, which was then called “Didaktik”, which differed substantially from “curriculum”. Building on this, the third step shows how these different models became nationalized during the long nineteenth century and were thus understood as effective means of educating loyal, national citizens in the respective contexts, and that this nationalization affected not only schools but also science, which are shaped by national epistemologies. In a final step, there is a reflection on how research can deal with this institutional and epistemological plurality and, on this basis, three different theoretical models are formulated, the most comprehensive version of which is tightly connected to a comparative educational history.
This article explores recent scholarship on the history of education in the British Empire, with a particular focus on the imperial origins of mass education. Though universal and compulsory education only became a global phenomenon after World War II, the beginnings of mass education can be found in the colonial era. The article examines the rise of a missionary and humanitarian discourse in the early 19th century that powerfully advocated for expanded educational opportunities for working-class Britons and colonized subjects alike, the rise of mass education in Britain and the settlement colonies in the late 19th century that often-excluded nonwhite subjects, and the successive policies of adapted education and schemes for educational development that arose in the interwar period. The article stresses that indigenous peoples throughout the British Empire were active agents in this process, and calls for additional research to better understand the widespread acceptance of mass education across the British Empire.
We discuss the relations and semantic variations of a conceptual triad, namely independence, democracy, and the making of the Brazilian people. To achieve it, we analyze the Brazilian Association of Education (ABE) discourse, between 1927 and 1945. We show that discourse on the making of the Brazilian people was to consolidate nation-state, even though this making did not include fostering the people’s political participation.
The increase in nationalist tendencies around the world after 2001 signifies changes in the concept of citizenship as reflected in the discourses of the parties coming to power. How does this translate into changes in education? In this article, I analyse the case of Poland. The research is focused on finding an answer to the following question: How does the postulate present in the programme discourse of the ruling, conservative party, of strengthening the national identity, translate into the changes in the school core curricula (CCs)? The applied method of analysis is Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The approach by Ruth Wodak and Martin Reisigl was adopted. The application of discursive strategies in learning outcomes relating to national identity, social equality, and diversity in the old and in the new CCs, was investigated. The analyses demonstrated a significant discursive strengthening of the national identity on the one hand, and application of mitigation/exclusion strategies in relation to issues of social equality and diversity on the other. The analyses presented in this paper contribute to the discussion on the relationship between curriculum studies and educational politics by showing the influence of the dominant ideology of contemporary politics on the concept of citizenship in the national CCs.
This chapter focuses on the curriculum history of Australian education. First, the chapter provides a reflexive account of curriculum history in Australia, proposing that curriculum-historical inquiry is an important but under-developed aspect of Australian curriculum inquiry, but that nonetheless there is some indication that a focus on (post-)linguistic and discourse-theoretical perspectives provides new opportunities for work in this area. What are the possibilities for ‘complicated conversation’ with and within the emerging field of transnational curriculum inquiry? Second, the chapter provides a brief introduction to and overview of the role and the significance, and also the distinctiveness, of so-called progressive education in Australia. Focusing on key moments in the twentieth century, and briefly reviewing existing Australian scholarship in this area, it argues that the ‘progressive’ element in Australian education has been one of its longest and most enduring features, although often misrepresented in public and professional debate. How might a curriculum history of ‘progressive education’ in Australia proceed?
Full-text available
Even though the interrelation of the emergence of modern mass school systems andprocesses of nation-building in the modern era has evoked academic interest, suchresearch endeavours are generally exemplified by case studies of established nationstates.Conversely, this article demonstrates the pertinence of widening the researchscope beyond the synthesis of the nation and the state, by focusing on the particularcase of Scotland as a nation without a state and the role schools played in creatingScottish national identity in the wake of the Union of Parliaments in 1707. Therebyfocus is put on textbooks as a materialisation of curricula and an extended armof school governance. The article concludes with insights that can be derived fromthis case study for the case of Scottish nationalism as well as its significance for thestudy of nationalism, education and their interrelation in general.Key words: loyal national citizens; nation-building; school system; Scotland.
Full-text available
This chapter engages with emergence of the “social” as a distinguishable category and argues that from its very beginning, the “social” bore different meanings according to the different visions of political life: The “social” was obviously culturally biased, but it mostly showed up in a generalized or globalized “theory.” The chapter demonstrates this cultural construction of the “social” with its temptation to globalization, taking the example of the “social question” and the academic reaction toward the “social question,” especially in connection with sociology and the educational sciences, by comparing France, Germany, and the United States.
The crucial role of compulsory schooling in the fostering of national identities is dynamically demonstrated in Stephen Heathorn's study of the elementary school system in England at the turn of the century. His book analyses how a specific ideal of English national heritage was consciously nurtured by the professionalizing educational establishment of the period. Implicit within this ideal was an ideology that reinforced gender, class, and race distinctions. Heathorn bases his work on extensive primary material, including more than 450 different elementary schoolbooks. He unpacks the potent symbols and narratives of imperial-nationalist social prescriptions and establishes the centrality in the classroom of a racialized notion of Englishness dependent on middle-class assumptions about 'appropriate' class and gender roles. According to Heathorn, these social prescriptions marked a subtle shift from the mid-Victorian liberal discourse of self and moral improvement. This insightful, well-documented study showcases the multifaceted nature of gender history, and explores the intersection of social, political, and cultural factors in the history of schooling and identity construction.
This book contextualizes the life of Pestalozzi along the lines of what is called ‘the educationalization of the world’ at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, in which social problems were beginning to be understood as, and to be translated into, educational problems. Pestalozzi’s ‘discovery’ of the educational/teaching ‘method’ and its propaganda fit this educationalized culture perfectly and reinforced it. Accordingly, after the end of the Napoleonic rule and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, stakeholders in the newly founded nation-states began to erect public mass school systems in order to “make” future citizens and to realize the vision of the nation. Based on newer research and on new sources – the recent publication of some 2,500 letters sent to Pestalozzi – this work will reconstruct Pestalozzi’s passive and active role in the making of the educationalized world, first in Europe and then overseas.