Förskolepedagogikens framväxt : Pedagogisk förändring och dess förutsättningar, ca 1835-1945
Sammanfattning: This dissertation contributes to the study of educational change and the conditions thereof. During the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, Swedish early care and education (ECE) programs underwent a comprehensive transformation as formal instruction was supplanted by early childhood education. My analysis of this transformation utilizes a comparatively long time-frame, an organizational historical perspective, and archival material from 44 ECE societies. It focuses on three types of ECE programs: infant schools, day nurseries, and kindergartens. Since philanthropic societies organized such programs, this study’s results are also of interest to the history of philanthropy.Early childhood education was established through a selection and adaptation process in which existing ECE programs were closed or changed as new ones were established. My investigation demonstrates that this occurred on the basis of the conditions in which individual ECE programs operated. Factors that stand out in this regard are the debate concerning infant schools, the funding of ECE programs, and the expansion of the mandatory elementary education system, together with changes in the dissemination of ideas about education and the establishment of municipal regulations. How these conditions contributed to educational change constitutes the substance of the dissertation.The results of this dissertation deepen our knowledge of the finances of ECE programs, their organizational niche, and their relations with municipal authorities. This study questions the significance for educational change within these programs that has been attributed to the growth of a romantic conception of childhood. It provides a new picture of the role of the kindergarten movement in this regard and ascribes to day nurseries a previously unobserved role in educational change. This dissertation thereby contributes to a revision of recurrent assumptions concerning educational change and of the connection between such change and general societal or ideological structures.
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