The diversity of 'progressive school pedagogues' 1929-1960: A space of opposites making society making the child

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This article examines the structure and dynamics of
progressive school pedagogues’ ‘collective ideology’
which emerged and institutionalised itself in Denmark
in the period 1929-1960. A common methodological
culture was promoted as opposed to a traditional academic
school culture. The article uses a social spacial
approach and depicts a collective biography using
prosopographical data from existing biographical
lexicons regarding 549 progressive school pedagogues.
First, a space of social positions is identified,
i.e., opposites between teachers from rural areas versus
art professions and biological professions from
urban districts. Second, a space of pedagogical position-
taking is portrayed, i.e., opposites between scientific
rationalisation of the population’s potential versus
humanistic cultivation of the individual’s potential.
It is suggested that, in the small state of Denmark,
progressive pedagogy developed as a heterogeneous
middle-class project of consensus-making within the
state structure, seeking cohesion of society in a time
of emergency around WWII.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPraktiske Grunde. Tidsskrift for kultur- og samfundsvidenskab
Volume2013, 7
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2015

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - progressivism, social space approach, collective biography, professions, welfare state, nation state


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