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In: Eighteenth-Century Periodicals as Agents of Change
Chapter 5 Using Textbooks to Constitute a Nation

Abstract

In this chapter it is demonstrated how prime minister Ove Høeg-Guldberg in 1775 after the fall of Struensee – and in opposition to Struensee’s radical enlightenment government – reformed the curriculum in the Dano-Norwegian Latin schools as an explicit political project. Høeg-Guldberg’s Latin school reform was conservative, yet it presented some untraditional patriotic features. The reform was supposed to establish in the students minds an unquestionable religious faith, as well as a resilient loyalty with the absolute monarchy. It his way the students should be empowered in their future positions as the King’s and the Lutheran church’s officials. A necessary tool for this cultural formation was the teaching and reading of the textbooks that constituted the Latin school curriculum. Together this literature represents the text culture that the Latin school pupils had to read and to learn by heart, to be accepted as a student at the university. This Latin school text culture was construed as a canon consisting of religious texts, classics from ancient Rome and Greece. The untraditional elements of the reform was the implementation of so-called “science texts”, but first and foremost texts that was supposed to encourage the Latin school students to master the Danish “Fatherland language” in writing and speaking in other to strengthen the Latin school students’ Danish identity. In this way Ove Høeg-Guldberg introduced a patriotic and nation-building oriented mother-tongue education for the first time in the Dano-Norwegian Latin schools.

In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
Part 3 The Growth of Nationalism and the Formation of Democracy
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
In: Exploring Textbooks and Cultural Change in Nordic Education 1536–2020
Listen to the podcast with Editors Merethe Roos and Henrik Edgren

This volume addresses a gap in previous research and explores Nordic textbooks chronologically and empirically from the Protestant Reformation to our present time. The chapters are written by scholars from universities in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, countries that distinguish themselves with a rich tradition of textbook research. The authors represent different academic traditions and use a wide range of scholarly methods and perspectives. The overall objective is to highlight how textbooks reflect national cultural politics and legislation. The various chapters cast light on how textbooks are integrated in national politics and demonstrate how they have contributed to nation-building and to strengthening the nations’ core values and other major political projects.

Contributors are: Karl Christian Alvestad, Norunn Askeland, Kjell Lars Berge, Peter Bernhardsson, Kerstin Bornholdt, Mads B. Claudi, Henrik Edgren, Morten Fink-Jensen, Stig Toke Gissel, Thomas Illum Hansen, Pirjo Hiidenmaa, Marthe Hommerstad, Axel Hörstedt, Kari-Anne Jørgensen-Vittersø, Tujia Laine, Esbjörn Larsson, Ragnhild Elisabeth Lund, Christina Matthiesen, Eva Maagerø, Tuva Skjelbred Nodeland, Kari H. Nordberg, Merethe Roos, Henriette Hogga Siljan, Johan Laurits Tønnesson and Janne Varjo.