Herbartilainen pedagoginen uudistus Suomen kansakoulussa vuosisadan alussa (1900-1935)
The study examines the contents of the Herbartian demand for reform and the spread of Herbartiansim in the elementary school at the start of the century. According to earlier research Herbartianism became a predominant trend in the elementary school. This view is questioned in the present study. Educational trend is defined in the present study as a relatively stable learning structure, as a doctrine which can only be identified by knowing its main underlying ideas and the pedagogical requirements immediately dependent on them. The contents of the Herbartian demand for reform are examined by means of an analysis of the works of Mikael Soininen, an influential figure in the Herbartian movement, and then compared to the neohumanistic pedagogy that was prevalent earlier. The study creates a discrimination system which makes it possible to distinguish the Herbartian doctrine from all other pedagogical doctrines that have had an influence on the Finnish elementary school. The data used in the study consists of the pedagogical viewpoints put forward by elementary school staff and recorded in the minutes of meetings held by the intermediate administration of the elementary school. The study has analysed the minutes of staff meetings of all Finnish teacher training colleges, those of elementary school regional inspectors-meetings and those of staff meetings of several elementary school inspection boards. According to the results of the study, the Herbartian doctrine is interpreted as a cognitive theory which emphasized the role of feelings in the generation of knowledge structures. Herbartian pedagogues demanded the reduction of information content in learning. Herbartianism spread rapidly before World War I. Independent and spontaneous activity by teachers and inspectors accelerated its spread. Before World War I approximately one-third of all graduating teachers received a Herbartian training in teacher training colleges. About half of the inspectors seem to have been in support of the trend. Herbartian principles brought the movement into conflict with religious circles. The Herbartian demand for reducing the number of mother-tongue and mathematics courses was also met with resistance. The self-government experiment, which was influenced by Fr. W. Foerster, had also spread into schools at the same time as Herbartiansim and similarly became a contentious issue. After the Finnish Civil War (1918) the cultural-political atmosphere underwent a change and there was a significant reduction in support for Herbartianism. At no stage did Herbartianism become a dominant trend in the elementary school. During the whole period it remained a reform movement offering its supporters a cognitive educational basis which emphasized the role of feelings. It was also able to compete with other doctrines for supporters throughout the entire period examined in the study. ...
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