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‘Cheap, efficient, and easy to implement’?: Economic aspects of monitorial education in Swedish elementary schools during the 1820s
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Uppsala Studies of History and Education (SHED))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6803-4010
2016 (English)In: History of Education, ISSN 0046-760X, E-ISSN 1464-5130, Vol. 45, no 1, 18-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the economic aspects of monitorial education in Sweden during the 1820s. In contrast to previous research, which has often emphasised monitorial education as a cheap method of education, this article shows that this was rarely the case. Monitorial education could in fact lead to increased costs, especially during the initial stage of implementation. By analysing the minutes and accounts of some 30 Swedish schools which introduced monitorial education during the 1820s, it is shown that the new method did not result in any real savings in terms of expenditure on teachers, school premises or school supplies. The method's only real potential for savings was lowering the total cost per pupil by increasing the number of children per teacher. However, this was possible only in cities, where the population concentration was high. Overall, monitorial education was not cheap, efficient and easy to implement from an economic perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The History of Education Society , 2016. Vol. 45, no 1, 18-37 p.
Keyword [sv]
monitorial education, elementary school, costs, history
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268941DOI: 10.1080/0046760X.2015.1066882ISI: 000365590400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268941DiVA: diva2:881760
Mellan disciplinering och självverksamhet: skillnader i växelundervisningens användning vid skolor för olika samhällsklasser i Sverige, ca 1820-1870
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P09-0474:1-E
Available from: 2015-12-11 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2016-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, Esbjörn
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