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Nature's Canon: The Formation and Change of the Science Curriculum in Swedish Compulsory School 1842–2007
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation analyses the science curriculum in Swedish compulsory school 1842–2007. National curricula, textbooks, textbook adverts, and handbooks are analysed. These all have a strong position in defining the school curricula and their contents, methods and aims, and can therefore be called canonic texts. What contents, methods and aims have dominated the curricula? How have these changed? The aim of the study is to contribute to the understanding of what ideologies have dominated compulsory school science texts and how these ideologies have been shaped by social, pedagogical and cultural currents in society.

The start of this study is set by the issuing of the first Statute on Common Schools in Sweden, June 18, 1842. In this statute a natural science based subject was present. Even though the subject wasn’t new to the public school system, the year 1842 marked an important step in the formation of a “science for the people” in Sweden.

Six different canons are discerned in the history of the science subject in compulsory school: God’s canon (1842–1900); The canon of the physical environment (1900–1919); The canon of the national landscape (1919–1936); The canon of the citizen (1936–1962); The canon of science (1962–1980); and The canon of the bricoleur (1980–2007).

On a broad scale, these canons have been shaped by on the one hand natural science and on the other hand broad social, cultural and pedagogic currents in society. While researchers have mainly focused on the first source of influence, the latter have to a large extent been neglected. In the thesis I show that there have been major changes in the curriculum genre over time and that these changes first and foremost must be understood as shaped by pedagogic, social and cultural forces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen , 2008. , 334 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 145
Keyword [en]
Compulsory school, Science education, Curriculum history, Textbook, Primary, Secondary, Ideology
Keyword [sv]
naturkunskap, naturkunnighet, naturorientering, naturvetenskap, folkskola, grundskola, lärmedel, läroböcker, lärobok, läroplansteori, läroplanshistoria, innehåll, ideologi, utbildning, fysik, kemi, biologi
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7421ISBN: 978-91-7155-612-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7421DiVA: diva2:198236
Public defence
2008-04-18, Tillbergsalen, Lärarhögskolan, hus T, Rålambsvägen 32, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-03-27 Created: 2008-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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Language
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Output format
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