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When learning outcomes were aesthetical: accountability using non-numerical data in late 19th century education
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8173-7474
Department of education, Stockholms University, Stockholm, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: ISCHE 37 Culture And Education, 2015, p. 365-366Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

International comparisons have become central to education governance in Europe and globally; however, they are not just a contemporary phenomenon. On the contrary, governing by comparison in education is historically as deep-rooted as the founding of the European nation-states themselves. When it comes to education the earliest modern examples of systematic comparisons of education and learning outcomes are the late 19th century World fairs’ educational exhibitions (Dittrich 2010, Lundahl & Lawn 2014 Sobe & Boven 2014). 

One important function of international comparisons today as well as from a historical perspective, is to use it for various forms of accountability. Today we often understand accountability as measures, league tables, and formal responsibilities. However, the late 19th century seems to present us with a different view on accountability. In this aspect we are inspired by Ghertner´s (2010) concept aesthetical accountability, as well as Simmel’s notion of exhibitions as (crowded) spaces pushing forward a competition of aesthetics ideals (1998).

In our paper we will especially focus on what was considered learning outcomes,  during the early phase of international comparison that started with the World fairs and national exhibitions such as school museums in late 19th C. For this we use archive material that we have found in our earlier research on World fairs (e.g. Lundahl & Lawn 2014, Landahl 2014). We also have the privilege of investigating the actual historical objects displayed at the late 19th C World exhibitions by the Swedish delegation and at the early 20th C national school museum, since these objects are stored at a museum store room made available to us by the Nordic museum in Stockholm. For instance we have traced accounts on learning outcomes in the shape of handicraft (sloyd), gymnastics drill exhibits, drawings, pupils writings etc.

References

Ghertner, D. A. (2010). Calculating without numbers: aesthetic governmentality in Delhi's slums, Economy and Society, 39:2, 185-217

Landahl, J (2014) ”Estetikens triumf. Världsutställningen i Paris 1900 som utbildningstävling.” [The triumph of aesthetics. The world fair in Paris 1900 as an educational competition] I Vägval i skolans historia, nr 2 2014.

Lundahl, C. & Lawn, M. (2014): The Swedish Schoolhouse: a Case study in Transnational influences in Education at the 1870s World's fairs. Paedagica Historicahttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/.VCJSN0u0zJw

Simmel, G. (1998) “The Berlin trade exhibition” in Simmel on Culture, London: Sage.

Sobe, N. W., & Boven, D. T. (2014). Accountability systems: Scopicsystems, audit practices and educational data. Education Policy AnalysisArchives, 22(118).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. p. 365-366
Keywords [en]
aesthetic accountability, world fairs, school museum
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-48086OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-48086DiVA, id: diva2:901302
Conference
International Standing Conference for the History of Education (ISCHE 37), Culture And Education, Istanbul, Turkey, June 24-27, 2015
Available from: 2016-02-07 Created: 2016-02-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Lundahl, Christian

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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