The Economic Aspects on the Introduction of Monitorial Education in Swedish Common Schools
2012 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Andrew Bell’s and Joseph Lancaster’s monitorial systems were introduced in Sweden during the 1820s. As in many other countries, monitorial education in Sweden, has been perceived as an inexpensive form of education, due to the fact that it allowed a single teacher to teach several hundreds of pupils at the same time. The actual costs of the introduction of monitorial education in Sweden has however never been analyzed.As Swedish common schools at that time were founded by the local communities, the study consists of case studies of different parishes. In my studies of some rural parishes I can show that the introduction of monitorial education was far from an inexpensive reform, due to the fact that most parishes had to build a new school house or reconstruct the old one in the process. It was also difficult to benefit from the possibility to enrol large numbers of pupils as most parishes were sparsely populated.Furthermore there is no evidence to show that economic considerations played any part when a parish decided to adopt monitorial education in their school. The arguments found in the minutes from the parish meetings rather suggest that the shift in educational methods was motivated by a wish for better education. In the parishes studied, the transfer to monitorial education often coincided with the introduction of writing and simpler forms of arithmetic in the schools.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286753OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-286753DiVA: diva2:921972
European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow, Skottland, 11-14 April 2012