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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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This book has its origin in the silence that confronted its authors regarding pupils’ involvement in everyday past educational practices, as well as in a joint desire for more active dialogue concerning the issue among researchers. Though the idea for a book on the theme was first broached almost a decade ago, a more structured phase in its genesis was entered at a 2011 conference arranged in Birmingham by the European Educational Research Association. Through discussion and contacts made at this conference, the scope of the project became clearer and broadened to include examples from throughout Europe. In December the same year, a workshop gathering a majority of the authors was held at Stockholm University, and a little less than a year later, a follow-up meeting took place at the Nordic Standing Conference on the History of Education at Umeå University. The final result is both more multifaceted and frankly more interesting than we ever had imagined.

Aside from our co-authors, the efforts of a number of individuals have been particularly valuable in the making of this book. These include our colleagues at the Umeå Research Group for Studies in History and Education for providing such an inspiring working atmosphere, Dr. Stephen Fruitman for neatly molding the English, and the editors and reviewers of Studia Educationis Historica who provided valuable commentary and critique in the last stages of the editing process. Finally, this book could not have been published without financial support from the Swedish Research...

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