Why did Denmark develop mass education for all in 1814, while Britain created a public-school system only in 1870 and primarily educated academic achievers? Fiction writers are the protagonists of this story, as their literary narratives inspired education campaigns over the long nineteenth-century. Danish writers imagined mass schools as the foundation for a great society and economic growth. Their depictions fortified the mandate to educate all the people: neglecting low-skill youth would waste societal resources and threaten the social fabric. British authors pictured mass education as harming social stability, lower-class work, and national culture. Their stories of youths who overcame structural injustices with individual determination made it easier to blame students who failed to seize educational opportunities. This book is for people who care about educating children of all abilities, are baffled by culture wars over public policy and worry about the future of collective action in our dystopian world.
Organized by the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society
Co-sponsors: European Union Program and the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination
- Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society
- Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination
- European Union Program at Princeton