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Between ideology and institution: the curriculum of upper-secondary education

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Abstract:

This study examines apparently similar historical phenomena in 19th-century Prussia and Switzerland: the establishment of modern foreign languages in the curriculum of upper-secondary education. Through the course of the 19th century, there appear to have been great transnational European affinities with regard to both the differentiation of the upper-secondary education into types and the development of the curriculum. However, the contextualization of the curriculum within the overall organization of the school system raises doubts as to whether the similarity is more than only quantitative. A second contextualization of the overall organization of education within cultural convictions also reveals fundamental differences rooted in different political convictions, such as monarchism and republicanism. As a result, despite the formal similarities, the establishment of the foreign language education in Switzerland and Prussia could not have been more different.

Keywords: Prussia; Switzerland; comparative education; curriculum; gymnasium; modern foreign languages; secondary education

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220270802537087

Affiliations: University of Luxembourg, L-7220 Walferdange, Luxembourg

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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