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Hellstenius, Mats
Publications (3 of 3) Show all publications
Elgström, O. & Hellstenius, M. (2011). Curriculum debate and policy change. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(6), 717-738
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Curriculum debate and policy change
2011 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 717-738Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the underlying themes and principles that inform curriculum debate and how they are articulated in current school policy discussions. This topic is approached with the help of a case study covering the debate on which subjects should be mandatory for students at the upper secondary school curriculum in Sweden. The focus is on the arguments for and against the inclusion of History among these core subjects. The aim is to order and structure this debate and to link the arguments found to basic underlying principles. Why was History considered important or unimportant? What arguments are found about the best way to teach History? This study employs a 4-fold distinction which distinguishes between perennialism, essentialism, progressivism, and reconstructivism as four schools of thought, each outlining its own particular view on what kind of knowledge is important and how such knowledge should be taught. One major finding is that two of the schools-progressivism and essentialism-completely dominate the debates under study. There existed a major fault line between those who emphasized the instrumental value of History as a tool for fostering good citizens, and those who considered History part of essential general knowledge about society.

Keywords
curriculum debate, school policy, history, school of thought, curriculum, questions, history, schools
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-9197 (URN)10.1080/00220272.2011.584562 (DOI)000299900300002 ()
Available from: 2012-03-30 Created: 2012-03-30 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
Elgström, O. & Hellstenius, M. (2010). How history became a core subject in Swedish upper secondary schools. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 54(6), 565-580
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How history became a core subject in Swedish upper secondary schools
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 54, no 6, p. 565-580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2004, history was introduced by a Parliamentary decision as a new core subject in the Swedish upper secondary school system. This event constituted a major break—history now became a compulsory subject for all upper secondary school students after having been subject to a continually diminishing number of teaching hours ever since 1945. This surprising change forms the puzzle that this article seeks to address. Based on interviews and documentary analysis, we map and interpret the decision‐making processes that ended with the Parliamentary decision to make history a new core subject. We add to existing insights about curriculum change by interpreting the process in terms of negotiation, persuasion, and framing and by linking actor strategies to structural—ideational and material—changes that created a window of opportunity for policy entrepreneurs.

Keywords
curriculum change, history, negotiation, policy entrepreneurs
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-6035 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2010.522846 (DOI)000285416000004 ()
Available from: 2010-02-17 Created: 2010-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Hellstenius, M. (2008). Svårt att förstå nyttan med historia. Pedagogiska Magasinet (4), 70-71
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Svårt att förstå nyttan med historia
2008 (Swedish)In: Pedagogiska Magasinet, ISSN 1401-3320, no 4, p. 70-71Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-6034 (URN)
Available from: 2010-02-17 Created: 2010-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
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