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Educational Ambitions in History

Childhood and Education in an Expanding Educational Space from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century

Jeroen Dekker

Growing educational ambitions, today raised to a historically unprecedented level and shared by parents, the state and educational professionals, seem to not always result in happier children. With more parents apparently becoming more uncertain about their educational capacities, the variety of categories of children at risk is increasing, alongside unprecedented growth in welfare, educational investment, laws on children’s protection and rights, and knowledge about children and education. This book addresses the topic of educational ambitions and spaces in a European context from the 17th century to the present, paying special attention to the Dutch case, from three perspectives. Firstly, it looks at how educational ambitions have changed from the 17 th century to the present. Secondly, it looks at the role of the educational space. Finally, it addresses the issue of how the educational ambition of acting in the children’s best interests is connected with the phenomenon of children at risk.

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