Chapter 9 Patriotism and Civic Identity in Swedish and Finnish School Readers after 1860

In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
Author: Henrik Edgren

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From the 1850s, the state extended its control over school and education in many European countries via reforms and legislation on curriculums, school buildings, teaching materials and teacher education programs. In this chapter, the focal point is a teaching material – the reader – that would promulgate knowledge, or “Bildung”, not primarily concentrated on evangelical-Lutheran values. The main purpose of the reader was to increase young pupils’, from all social groups, awareness of their patriotic identity. Via the readers, the pupils participated in a target-oriented nation building process. One school subject that was especially convenient for a strengthening of a patriotic identity at that time was history. Accordingly, in this chapter historical representations are studied in two readers from the 1860s and 1870s: the Finnish Boken om vårt land and the Swedish Läsebok för Folkskolan.


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