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Classroom Struggle

Organizing Elementary School Teaching in the 19th Century


Edited By Marcelo Caruso

During the institutionalization of mass schooling in the 19 th century, teaching large groups of children became both a necessity and a matter of regulation. For officials and inspectors the systematization of classroom interactions was important for effective results. However, while systematization could bring about the constant attention of children and their uninterrupted work, interactions themselves were difficult to control. Rationalized models of classroom organization provided alternatives for managing large groups before age grading became the dominant pattern of organizing interactions. The contributions in this volume explore diverse paths of transition towards modern classroom organization in different countries, allowing transnational perspectives and comparisons.
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Every book is the result of collective efforts. This statement, while obvious, applies even more strongly to edited books with an international outlook. Working with authors from three continents and putting together pieces of scholarship written in languages other than English required the intense cooperation of all authors and of the staff of the department of History of Education at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Particularly Janika Olschewski and Johannes Türstig reviewed and helped to edit texts and intensively communicated with the authors and the editor. Some insights presented in the introduction and in the two pieces that I have (co)authored are partly the result of the discussions with Till Eble, Anne Frank, Judith Kutter, Maria Moritz, and Fritzi Titzmann in our project on the mixed systems of teaching in the second half of the 19th century. The German Research Fund (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) generously financed our research project “Negotiation and implementation of norms for ‘mixed’ systems of organising classroom instruction: A comparison of transfer processes (Spain, Ireland, and India, circa 1848–1900)”. Crucial elements of the theoretical and historiographical approach of the project are presented in this volume. Mary (Kate) Horning has carefully revised some of the manuscripts and done her best effort to put them in understandable and elegant English.

Marcelo Caruso, Berlin/Phoenix, November 2014← 7 | 8 →


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