Att inteckna framtiden Läroplansdebatter gällande naturvetenskap, matematik och teknik i svenska allmänna läroverk 1900-1965
Sammanfattning: This dissertation deals with curriculum debates concerning science, mathematics and technology within the Swedish secondary schools between 1900 and 1965. The aim of the study is to analyze different conceptions of these school subjects. How were they looked upon and presented during the debates? What kind of values and functions were they said to promote? I also discuss more principal questions regarding why the school subjects became objects for debate. Why did different actors engage in these discussions? A leading perspective of the study is that schools and their curricula often are used as arenas for larger debates concerning the role of science and technology in society. One of the reasons for this, I argue, is that a curriculum often is seen as representing a standpoint in these broader societal discussions. In the study, this is shown through a number of different debates concerning, for example, the amount of hours devoted to science, student conducted experiments, eugenics and environmental aspects. All of these issues demonstrate how the shape of curriculum was seen as having wider significance for society. An important reason for this is the connection between curriculum and future perspectives. Situations where a curriculum was to be rewritten were apprehended as opportunities to influence and secure the future. Much previous work on curriculum matters has been occupied with the question of what curriculum “does” in schools; it includes and excludes certain ideas, it regulates and governs students to understand and reason about themselves in specific ways. In relation to this, my own research deals with what curriculum – or rather the image of curriculum – does to other groups in society. Through analyzing the engagement of teachers, politicians, authors and editors, I conclude that a curriculum can threaten or promise future perspectives and values that are important to these groups.
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