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The Development of Progressive Education in Sweden Prior to the Comprehensive School Reform of the 1960s

  • Journal of the Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Abbr : JSSK
  • 2015, (16), pp.255-288
  • Publisher : The Scandinavian Society of Korea
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > North Europe(Scandinavian)

Yoonmi Lee 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is an overview on the evolvement of progressive education in Sweden. Progressive education refers to the educational movement that sprang up around 1890 in Europe and the United States, based on child-centered and social-reform centered ideas of education. Numerous educators and scholars have been associated with progressive education through major organizations such as the New Education Fellowship (later, World Education Fellowship) in Europe and the Progressive Education Association in the U.S. In Sweden, educators since the 19th century onwards have looked to a new education as opposed to the traditional elitist education based on the dual structure of schools along the division between academic and vocational education. Among the earlier progressives were Ågardh, Hedin, Berg and the world-renown writer, Ellen Key. Since the 1920s educators also contributed to the development of progressive education through participating in the activities organized by the national branch of New Education Fellowship. The educational policy of the Social Democratic Party went in line with the basic tenets of progressive education, and major experiments during the 1940s and 1950s were centered around the ideas of progressive education such as the working school plan and activity based learning. This paper traces the origin and development of the Swedish progressive education by looking at the ideas of the major figures who contributed to the movement and the practices during the earlier stages of the comprehensive school reform, and discusses its implication regarding the education of today.

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