Popular education in times of societal transformation: A Swedish perspective
2011 (English)In: The International Transformative Learning Conference in Europe 9th International Conference on Transformative Learning: Transformative Learning in Time of Crisis: Individual and Collective Challenges / [ed] Michel Alhadeff-Jones & Alexis Kokkos, Teachers College, Columbia University & The Hellenic Open University, 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
This paper examines the Swedish popular education in a historical perspective with particular focus on how its ideology and practices contribute to a transformation of the individuals involved and society.
Popular education is part and parcel of modern Sweden's identity. The story of popular education is actually the story of a poor and deeply conservative country, which developed to a modern, democratic and affluent society through education of the people by the people. The essence of popular education’s pedagogy is communication, reflection, discourse and deliberation. The narrative of popular education’s successful struggle for the enlightenment of unprivileged groups and the emancipation from arbitrary and oppressive power structures, such as the state apparatus and the state church, is predominant in the Swedish research literature. It cannot be excluded that the positive and partially self-fulfilling myth of modernity’s blessings includes also popular education anthropology as an essentially transformative power. This transformation, as complex and contradictory as it might be, was mainly carried out by social movements and it was thoroughly accomplished within the tenets of social democratic consensus.
We tentatively use a variety of concepts from the theoretical tradition of transformative learning to argue that popular education's contribution to Sweden's transformation into a well-functioning society can be attributed to high social capital and trust, which are but prerequisites of societal and institutional reflexivity. Reflexivity is characteristic of learning citizens and collectives and an expression of a specific mentality. Mentalities are culturally shaped, and at the same time they shape culture. They appear in the communication, are refined in communication and manifested in both individual and collective habits of mind, points of view, experiences, reflections and action.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Teachers College, Columbia University & The Hellenic Open University, 2011.
popular education/folkbildning, mentality, popular movements, transformative learning, societal transformation
Social Sciences Pedagogy
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131849OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131849DiVA: diva2:484888
The International Transformative Learning Conference in Europe 9th International Conference on Transformative Learning
Texten presenterades först som paper på The 9th International Conference on Transformative Learning i Aten-Grekland. En omarbetad version har skickats för publicering till Australian Journal of Adult Learning.2012-01-272012-01-272012-07-06Bibliographically approved