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Beyond the Classroom

Studies on Pupils and Informal Schooling Processes in Modern Europe


Edited By Anna Larsson and Björn Norlin

The research on educational history has traditionally focused on its institutional, political and pedagogical aspects, more or less habitually analyzing schooling as a top-down, adult-controlled phenomenon. Even if change has been visible during the last decades, there still remain important topics that are rarely discussed in the field. These topics include practices related to day-to-day school life that are not part of the formal curriculum or classroom routine, but which nevertheless allow pupils to become actively involved in their own schooling. This book provides historical case studies on such extracurricular and informal schooling processes. It argues that the awareness of such topics is essential to our understanding of school settings – in both past and present.
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IX. Material and Affective Movements: Danish Pupils’ Reminiscences, 1945–2008


I remember that I stood in the open space and cried because I had been sent to school on my own. We had to stand in rows, and I didn’t know where I belonged. So ‘little Kjeld’ stood there and cried until the right teacher came and said: I will help you. And then I came to the right classroom. (Kjeld about his first day of school in 1949)1

I found it a little bit scary. We lined up in rows outside, and they gave us balloons. Then we came inside and were told where to sit. And you were given a colored icon – with a cow or something on it – and your seat had a corresponding icon. So did the coat hanger in the corridor. You had your own coat hanger. And I remember the teacher who told us about life at school. Our parents stood at the back of the classroom. (Dorte about her first day of school in 1969)

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