1st Edition

A History of Popular Education Educating the People of the World

Edited By Sjaak Braster, Frank Simon, Ian Grosvenor Copyright 2013

    Popular Education is a concept with many meanings. With the rise of national systems of education at the beginning of the nineteenth-century, it was related to the socially inclusive concept of citizenship coined by privileged members with vested interests in the urban society that could only be achieved by educating the common people, or in other words, the uncontrollable masses that had nothing to lose. In the twentieth-century, Popular Education became another word for initiatives taken by religious and socialist groups for educating working-class adults, and women. However, in the course of the twentieth-century, the meaning of the term shifted towards empowerment and the education of the oppressed. This book explores the several ways in which Popular Education has been theoretically and empirically defined, in several regions of the world, over the last three centuries. It is the result of work by scholars from Europe and the Americas during the 31st session of the International Standing Conference on the History of Education (ISCHE) that was organised at Utrecht University, the Netherlands in August 2009.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Paedagogica Historica.

    Introduction: The people, the poor, and the oppressed: the concept of popular education through time Sjaak Braster

    1. The concept of popular education revisited – or what do we talk about when we speak of popular education Alejandro Tiana Ferrer

    2. Popular education and the logics of schooling Elsie Rockwell

    3. La Genese du concept d’éducation publique au Portugal et au Brésil Ana Waleska Pollo Campos Mendonça and Maria Celi Chaves Vasconcelos

    4. Schooling as a means of popular education: Pestalozzi’s method as a popular education experiment Rebekka Horlacher

    5. Education of poor children as an answer to a social and economic crisis: Dutch local government policies in the eighteenth century T.W.M. van Gijlswijk

    6. Poverty, education and gender: pedagogic transformations in the schools for the poor (Armenschulwesen) in Hamburg, 1788–1871 Christine Mayer

    7. Popular education – rights and duties: school reforms in the Sardinian Kingdom between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Paolo Bianchini

    8. Popular education and republican ideals: the Portuguese lay missions in colonial Africa, 1917–1927 Ana Isabel Madeira

    9. Nursery schools for the few or the many? Childhood, education and the State in mid-twentieth-century England Amy Palmer

    10. "I promised them that I would tell England about them": a woman teacher activist’s life in popular humanitarian education Sian Roberts

    11. The American role in education in the Middle East: ideology and experiment, 1920–1940 David M. Ment

    12. The New Education Fellowship and UNESCO’s programme of fundamental education Joseph Watras

    13. The Educational Missions under the Second Republic in Spain (1931–1936): a framework for popular education Eugenio Otero-Urtaza

    14. Exploring new concepts of popular education: politics, religion and citizenship in the suburban schools of Madrid, 1940–1975 María del Mar del Pozo Andrés and Teresa Rabazas Romero


    Sjaak Braster is Associate Professor for Sociology of Education at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and was Emeritus Professor of History of Education at Utrecht University, The Netherlands from 2003 to 2010. In 1996 he published his Ph.D. thesis on the identity of public education. Previous publications include The Black Box of Schooling. A Cultural History of the Classroom (2011) (with Grosvenor & Del Pozo), and Passion and Pragmatism. The Educational Inspectorate and the Rise and Fall of Classroom Teaching (2011).

    Frank Simon, is Professor Emeritus in the Foundations of Education Department at Ghent University, Belgium. His research deals with pre-school and primary education in Belgium (education policy, teacher unions, the teaching profession). For the last decade, he has worked in collaboration with the Centre of the History of Education at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. His research focusses on everyday educational processes and practice, classroom and curriculum history, education and cultural heritage, and Progressive Education, in particular looking at the biography of Ovide Decroly. He was Editor-in-Chief of Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education from1992-2007, and chairperson of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE) in 2006-2009.

    Ian Grosvenor is Professor of Urban Educational History at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is author of numerous articles and books on racism, education and identity, the visual in educational research, the material culture of education and the history of urban education. Previous publications include include Silences and Images: The Social History of the Classroom (1999) with Martin Lawn and Kate Rousmaniere, The School I’d Like (2003) and School (2008) both with Catherine Burke , Materialities of Schooling (2005) with Martin Lawn and Children and Youth at Risk (2009) with Christine Mayer and Ingrid Lohmann.