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'De dageraad der natuurwetenschappen, ook in de volksschool'. Wetenschap, vormingsidealen en vrijdenken in het lager onderwijs (1855-1870)

Author:

Vincent Stolk

J.P. van Praag Instituut, Universiteit voor Humanistiek, NL
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Abstract

'The dawn of science, in the primary school too'. Science, pedagogical ideals and freethinking in primary education (1855-1870)

Historical research has been done into science education in primary schools in the Netherlands. This is remarkable, because the introduction of science in the curriculum marked an important shift in the history of the primary school. This article focuses on the pedagogical meaning of science education in the period after 1857, the year when several scientific subjects, like natural science and the ‘study of forms’, became obligatory to all pupils. Some teachers feared that this change would turn primary schools into industrial schools. This, however, was not the case. On the contrary, as became clear by studying cultural and pedagogical journals, teachers appreciated the benefits of science education because it supported the development of pupils in all the aspects of life: cognitive, moral and religious. Freethinkers are included in this research because their liberal theological thought and interest in the moral meaning of science was both exemplary and limiting for the identity of science education.The outcome of this article challenges the idea in historiography that the function of Dutch primary schools in the mid-nineteenth century was either socialisation or qualification. Instead, it intended to educate pupils towards ‘full humanity’, science education having an important role in this.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/studium.8192
How to Cite: Stolk, V., 2012. 'De dageraad der natuurwetenschappen, ook in de volksschool'. Wetenschap, vormingsidealen en vrijdenken in het lager onderwijs (1855-1870). Studium, 5(2), pp.65–79. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/studium.8192
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Published on 07 Nov 2012.
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