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Joakim Landahl

Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Aesthetic modernisation and international comparisons

    2019. Joakim Landahl. History of Education 48 (1), 41-59


    This article is concerned with an early phase in the history of educational comparisons in which international exhibitions played a major role as spaces for comparison. It looks at the educational exhibits at the Exposition Universelle in Paris 1900, and more specifically its exhibitions on drawing instruction. By following a central Swedish actor, Hjalmar Berg, and his ambition to modernise drawing instruction in Sweden based on his impressions at the exhibition, the article argues that the exhibition was a medium with the potential to promote aesthetic modernisation. Previous research has highlighted the world's fairs as important arenas for the international comparison of education. This article is intended to contribute to this field by also exploring what these exhibitions meant on a national level. [GRAPHICS] .

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  • De-scandalisation and international assessments

    2018. Joakim Landahl. Globalisation, Societies and Education 16 (5), 566-576


    This article is concerned with the early phase of international large-scale assessments. Drawing on media discussions before and after the release of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) surveys of 1973, the chapter discusses the relationship between international assessments, scandalisation, and de-scandalisation, with a specific focus on the interpretation of the comprehensive school reform in Sweden. The first section of this article deals with the early years of the 1970s, a time in which international data on education played a minimal role in educational discourse, creating space for other ways of discussing the perceived quality of schooling. The second section covers the effects of the IEA surveys released in 1973, whose positive results took Sweden by surprise, leading to what could be called a de-scandalisation. Finally, the implications of the emergence of international testing are analysed in terms of what de-scandalisation meant in this particular historical phase, and what it tells us about the nature of large-scale assessments.

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  • Learning to listen and look

    2019. Joakim Landahl. The Senses & Society 14 (2), 194-206


    This article discusses the relationship between the senses, power and educational change. A case study of a significant shift in instruction methods will be used to show how educational change is related to both the senses and to power. The monitorial system of education, as developed by Bell and Lancaster in the early 19th century, was a system that facilitated the instruction of large numbers of pupils by just one teacher. Most of the instruction was conducted by pupils, older and/or more experienced children, whereas the teacher had an overarching responsibility for overlooking the machinery without teaching much himself. In the second half of the 19th century the method was replaced by a new method in public elementary schools. From now on teacher-led lessons came to be the norm for what mass education should look like. This momentous change meant, among other things, that the relationship between pupils and teacher was transformed as the teacher increasingly was supposed to hold lessons, whereas the pupil to a greater extent became associated with listening to and closely observing a lesson.

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  • The politics of immortality

    2019. Joakim Landahl, Annika Ullman. History of Education and Children's Literature 14 (1), 261-278


    The funeral of former Education Minister and teacher unionist Fridtjuv Berg in 1916 is analysed here from the perspective of collective remembrance. Drawing on obituaries and on media coverage depicting the funeral, this article discusses how the commemoration of Berg was an expression of two uncompleted achievements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: the rising social status of elementary school teachers and the emergence of a collective teacher identity. The funeral is analysed both as an expression of these tendencies and as an attempt to strengthen the very same tendencies, thereby counteracting the fact that the elementary school and its teachers were still haunted by a lack of social status as well as by fragmentation. Thus the funeral provided an opportunity to symbolically express cherished but precarious ideals.

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