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History of Schooling

Politics and Local Practice

Carla Aubry and Johannes Westberg Ph.D.

The relationship between education policy and local practices is at the core of research pertaining to the history of education. In this volume, the authors examine this issue from a multitude of perspectives, presenting a broad and comprehensive picture of schooling on international, national and local levels. Three issues of great significance, both in the history of schooling, and for educational policy – «School Finance», «School Reform» and «School Media» – are discussed in relation to five European countries by addressing topics such as textbook supply in the eighteenth century, the spread of monitorial education, the rise of educational expenditure during the nineteenth century, and the internationalization of educational policy during the twentieth century.

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School reform: inter(national) policy and local adaptations

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ties and its specific cultural heritage.2 Indeed, Luxembourg was almost the last country in Europe to establish its own national university (in 2003) - the very last country to do so, the Principality of Liechtenstein, is regarded as lagging behind other nations not only in education policy, but also in other political and social areas. The central thesis of this chapter is that while the internationalization of education policy in Luxembourg between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the 1970s certainly did take place with great dynamism, it remained in large part unconsummated. Internationalization was dynami- cally organized, particularly at a formal conceptual level: following the Second World War, there was increasing dialog between Luxembourg and organiza- tions active at a supranational level, and a tight personal network was created linking the national and international levels. Institutional channels were also established for the transfer of ideas and policies between states. These formal changes also transformed the nature of education policy discussions. Luxembourg’s education policy not only dealt with the same questions that stood out as important elements in reform programs at an in­ ternational level. Moreover, in a few instances, Luxembourg even gave priority to internationally discussed reforms in school policy over national solutions, and thereby risked breaking with its traditions as a nation state. However, this apparent trend toward the internationalization of educa­ tion policy remained largely incomplete, in part because it was quite deliber- ately ‘nationalized’ within domestic political discourse: even arguments and...

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