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Den resande eleven: folkskolans skolreserörelse 1890-1940
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Historical Studies.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The travelling pupil : the school journey movement in Sweden (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation describes the introduction and development of school journeys within the Swedish elementary schools during the period 1890 to 1940. The study focuses on how the jour­neys were perceived, organised and performed by elementary school teachers and their pupils. The development of school journeys is mainly due to two different organisations: The Elemen­tary School Teachers of Sweden (Sveriges allmänna folkskollärarförening, SAF) and the Swe­dish Tourist Association (Svenska Turistföreningen, STF). The latter started to support school journeys performed by elementary schools in 1898, by allowing teachers to apply for economic benefits. SAF, on the other hand, helped the development of journeys through the production of guidelines. They also appointed a special School Journey Committee 1899 that were to pro­mote school journeys, and they introduced special youth hostels for travelling school-classes in about 50 cities in Sweden during 1897-1930.

School journeys were introduced in Sweden in 1894. The term was used to describe longer journeys taken by school children under the direction of teachers. Its intention was to give the pupil direct experience of the work that had been done in the classroom. The subjects that were dealt with in school, geography, history and nature studies, were thus objectified during the journey. Children were to see and experience such things that hitherto had been nothing but names.

In this dissertation the different purposes of the journeys are discussed and it is argued that the journeys became a mean to translate into practise some of the progressive educational prin­ciples that Swedish progressive educators discussed at the end of the nineteenth century. These principles included that education should be based on direct observation, that it should pro­mote self-activity and that it should give the pupils a sense of the national community and shape their national identity.

The study consists of three parts. The first part deals with the origin of school journeys and the educational principle of direct observation. The second part presents the ways the notion of school journeys were translated into practise. The third part discusses the image of Sweden that was presented to the children, through the journeys.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2002. , 210 p.
, Skrifter från forskningsprogrammet Landskapet som arena, ISSN 1650-4526 ; 4
Keyword [en]
school journey, outdoor education, progressive education, elementary school, tou¬rism, nationalism
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-59664ISBN: 91-7305-362-7OAI: diva2:555841
Public defence
2002-12-06, Humanisthuset hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-04-18 Created: 2012-09-21 Last updated: 2013-04-19Bibliographically approved

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