Lund University Dissertation
Postal address of Department
Title and subtitle
The starting point for this dissertation can be
characterised with the question: why don't dreams come true? In 1900, Ellen
Key proclaimed the coming hundred years as the children's century. One
of the great questions of the time concerned the relation between the individual
and the community. Through the years, school curricula became influenced
by visions of "reform-pedagogics" (Reformpedagogik). The main aim of this
study was to investigate the encounter between the visions of "reform-pedagogics"
and the Swedish state school system from a perspective of "reform-pedagogics".
A second aim was to discuss the importance of social-philosophical views.
The investigation was accomplished using the philosophical perspectives
of Husserl's phenomenology, together with the Gadamer hermeneutic tradition.
The discussion was made by reference to the social-philosophy of Habermas
and his Theory of Communicative Action. In the dissertation, three educational
concepts were focused on: the "school of the future" by Ellen Key, "activity-pedagogics"
by Elsa Köhler and the "culture-humanistic school" (Waldorf methods)
by Rudolf Steiner. In the encounter between visions of "reform-pedagogics"
and the Swedish state school system, the realisation of ideas of "reform-pedagogics"
seemed to be hindered. Lifeworld-conflicts were developed by the increasing
systemintegration of the field of schools. The antagonistic tension between
transforming educational goals into practice ("exchanging") and the "acquiring
of culture" was found to be a dominating characteristic of the encounter.
Power, money and control seemed to have a depressing influence on the field
of schooling and seemed to lead towards unconscious sclerotic system-buildings.
The rigidity of the system prevented "communicative actions" and led to
a lifeworld colonisation. In the future teachers, parents and pupils in
schools or "centres for culture " will need space to carry out creative,
individual, social and epistemological action based on individual conceptions
and reflection-in-action. It was suggested that in the future, democracy
will require a new constitutional law to protect the freedom of education.