This book is a comparative history that explores the social, cultural, and political formation of the modern nation through the construction of public schooling. It asks how modern school systems arose in a variety of different republics and non-republics across four continents during the period from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The authors begin with the republican preoccupation with civic virtue – the need to overcome self-interest in order to take up the common interest – which requires a form of education that can produce individuals who are capable of self-guided rational action for the public good. They then ask how these educational preoccupations led to the emergence of modern school systems in a disparate array of national contexts, even those that were not republican.
By examining historical changes in republicanism across time and space, the authors explore central epistemologies that connect the modern individual to community and citizenship through the medium of schooling. Ideas of the individual were reformulated in the nineteenth century in reaction to new ideas about justice, social order, and progress, and the organization and pedagogy of the school turned these changes into a way to transform the self into the citizen.
Daniel Tröhler is Professor at the Faculty for Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education at the University of Luxembourg. He is editor and annotator of the critical edition of the complete letters written to Pestalozzi, chief editor of the journal Zeitschrift für pädagogische Historiographie [Journal of the Historiography of Education]. His research interests include the analysis of educational and political languages, republicanism, pragmatism, and methodological problems of historiography.
Thomas S. Popkewitz is Professor and former Chair in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His studies in the US and comparatively are concerned with the systems of reason that govern educational reforms and research in teaching, teacher education and the sciences of education.
David F. Labaree is a professor and associate dean for student affairs in the Stanford University School of Education (USA). His research focuses on the history of American education. He was president of the History of Education Society (USA) in 2004-2005 and vice president for Division F (history of education) of the American Educational Research Association (2003-06). His books include: The Making of an American High School (1988), How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning (1997), and The Trouble with Ed Schools (2003).