A History of the Low Countries (Palgrave Essential Histories)

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Among these may be specially noted the contents of a model schoolhouse exhibited by the Commissioners for Sweden. The whole of these were purchased. They comprised models of school buildings, and of gymnastic apparatus, examples of school furniture and fittings, maps, scientific apparatus, and about volumes of books.

The Library is now especially strong in Swedish school literature. Sets of Common school regulations, accounts and arrangements, and comparative texts on foreign common schools plus reports and tables from School Inspectors. No other country produced this volume of material in the Kensington catalogue and it reflected the investment by Sweden in schoolhouse equipment and texts, and illustrated the quality of its contents. Michael Sadler commandeered the Education Library, with its large proportion of Swedish texts, for his Office of Special Inquiries and Reports in The 9th and last edition of the Catalogue also notes that the collection was recently given several hundred Swedish and Austrian books.

Dittrich, Klaus Experts going transnational: education at world exhibitions during the second half of the nineteenth century. PhD thesis, University of Portsmouth. Lawn, M [] Sites of the Future: comparing and ordering new educational actualities pp in Modelling the Future — Exhibitions and the Materiality of Education. Stray, C [] A Cellarful of Ghosts? The arrangement of an Exhibition is a piece of Roman statecraft [carried out] within the realm of commerce.

Paulsson [Dec quoted in Pred p ]. There is an important factor in the project which does not follow our clear periodization and our foreshadowed subjects of study. It is a silence but it is deafening, it is invisible but it materializes constantly. It is necessary to illuminate this phenomenon not just in itself but because it may be a significant factor in the way that influence in other areas, like education, research and innovation, grew significantly. The relation between the national and the international, and the different forms of transnationalism, can be studied through the national practices we are studying, their movement across borders and the wide effects they produce, that is, the way they create and extend mythologies of the nation.

The 20thC appears as a period when the brand of Swedishness and the Swedish state appears to be created through a series of internal and external acts, by accident or design, and develops into a form of soft power, used in statecraft and with private partners. The paper continues the narrative about sloyd which, although it begins to decline as an international movement with its strict pedagogic order by the s, continued strongly in Sweden as a distinct practice of handicraft with its own nationally important association.

The association was active in supporting new national actors in modern design, indeed in the design of modernism, who produced a major national exhibition of domestic and national design in Stockholm in It was a point of sale for Swedish design, a crucial event in the production of a new Swedish identity, and influential in the pedagogy of exhibitions [1]. The idea of Sweden as a leading modernist nation, in domestic consumption, housing and culture, continued to grow in the immediate post war years and in turn, it allowed Sweden to take a dominant role in education innovation.

So, comparison with Sweden would not be on the basis of particular techniques or objects but increasingly on the idea of societal innovation as a whole. Sweden consolidated its reputation as a modern, innovative education state and society and acted as a centre of attention in the post-war period for European nations in flux. By accident or design, Sweden was able to create a persuasive soft power around its modernist educational and social policies, and through this, flows of ideas and practices took place.

Even very distinctive and local practices are capable of dislocation and flow from the local to the regional and the international.


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The latter exhibition was intended to show the latest designs of artists and architects for contemporary mass living and it showed 23 fully furnished apartments. Everyday goods needed an artistic representation, and be practical and easy to maintain. The Stockholm Exhibition of was a national exhibition, with no international representation, but with a dual aim; to promote Swedish design internationally and to create a new internal market for aesthetically pleasing goods for mass consumption.

Like the Ideal Homes Exhibition, the Stockholm exhibition was focused on the education of the public, indeed they were intended to construct a new public. Parallel to the new functional approaches to design in objects and architecture was a social modernization, in which the public would be able to view new designs and understand how they were to be used.

Visitors walked along the corso and into apartments in which objects were placed in ideal settings. It was a new and particular way to manage the new European problem of mass consumption and mass production. It stayed within the embedded concern with sloyd, now updated and rationalized into a question of appraisal and judgment. It involved appreciation and instruction. These Exhibition aims were set high. The three storey building, Svea Rike, the Swedish Realm, concentrated on creating a new mythology of the nation by radical new technologies, photomontage and the visualization of fact, and amplified the already strong message that capital and social democracy were to be subsumed in the modernity of Sweden.

The Stockholm Exhibition is an important milestone in the creation of a powerful Swedish modernity, built out of strong commercial and state interests, which projected Sweden into a lead position in European modernity, and strongly aided the construction of a new Swedish identity as modern Europeans. Sweden had demonstrated, according to Naylor, that Sweden was the only European country capable of producing a viable form of modernity [Naylor p]. This meant that any action by Sweden in the next decades was treated as an influential act.

Housing policy, family policy and the issue of material consumption were linked with the creation of taste and aesthetic judgment of the people and the modernization of society. The quest, however, was not only for better housing, but also for better homes.

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If society were to be turned in to a good home for everyone, it had to be reorganized in a more democratic and modern way. The domestic interior — its objects, furnishing practices and its use — became an arena where the vision of the ideal society should be mirrored in the ideal home, which should be modern, tasteful and rational. People were irrational, and did not use their new homes suitably; they were judged on their inability to organize their homes properly, buy the right furniture or connect their otherwise modern and progressive lifestyle to their conventional tastes.

Courses on the furnishing and decoration of the home could be ordered from the Swedish Society and a speaker organized. Good taste was not just a question of good objects, but of achieving an ideal home. In a paper for the Yearbook of Education in , comparativists in education were introduced to the Swedish arguments about aesthetics and function, and their development in education. The programme, or home course, would create a home knowledge, incorporating functions, economics, sociology and psychology, specialist elements [lighting, colour, textiles and furniture] [Steenburg p].

Schools, through the Art in Schools society, worked through touring exhibitions of modern art and in artistic methods [engraving etc]. It was total —. Architecture, furniture, housing and household ware — in fact, design in all its ramifications as it affects people — have been forced towards certain high aesthetic levels or they will suffer public inattention as a consequence… This rather enviable situation has not come about overnight.

It has been achieved by — and it is still progressing, for such a policy can never end — by an intelligent, far-sighted educational programme, which a group of patriotic citizens, the City of Stockholm and the Swedish crown, have undertaken to make everyday Swedish articles attractive from a design point of view.

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This propaganda is inculcated by the schools, the press, radio and various exhibitions. It had begun with the aim to promote handicrafts and then the qualities of mass produced goods, but by mid century, it was promoting knowledge about modernity and design.

This shift into education and research was paralleled by the growth of state inquiries into housing, everyday life and the family,. Swedish modernity was strongly associated with learning and knowledge, and not just with objects and their relation to each other. Study circles grew with several organizing bodies and with different purposes in mid century. The powerful Cooperative Association [KF] developed Cooperative groups [based on the practice of the English Co-ops] which discussed the ideas of cooperation and the economy of production of modern objects and the problems of family costs and the Domestic Economy [Childs p 49].

They were organized within a Correspondence school so that new courses in this area could be developed and distributed easily. The policies and practices of Swedish society and the deliberate performance of modernity, operated by voluntary organizations with state support, and its focus on education and research, created a model and a mythology out of particular social circumstances which was to become a brand, a form of soft power in which our project subjects were located and received.

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Holford, William. XXIII, no. Already in , The Century of the Child had been translated into nine European languages. Less known, perhaps, is the fact that Key was also discussed in the early Soviet debate on education, side by side with Dewey and Montessori. A Russian educator, K. Ventcel, considered The Century of the Child to be a central work in education.

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The Century of the Child was translated into Japanese in , a second edition followed in and a third edition in This draft tries to explain how Sloyd was explained as a major innovation, how it was codified and enabled to cross borders, how it operated an international training centre, and how it was exported. In addition, it starts the process of seeing how Sloyd was received in different places and the problems of its reception. The international and local perceptions of Sloyd as a form of modern Swedish educational export, derived from the international exhibitions, innovation centre and publications, is discussed.

Sloyd in Sweden started, according to the Life of Otto Salomon [Salomon a], as a movement for training in home industries and crafts. It had no direct educational significance and might vary from area to area, depending upon the purposes of their private sponsors. As his school turned towards producing sloyd teachers from class teachers, the widening of the curriculum necessitated an agreement with the folk high schools. This shift from a vocational to an educational purpose led to the growth of vacation courses for teachers, and further, permanent short courses. Over the course of ten years, the Naas school grew from a local vocational course of useful crafts into an educational movement, focusing on wood, and more and more attractive to teachers from abroad [1].

It is this last factor on which this note is concentrated and the question of how the ideas and practices of Sloyd travelled out of Sweden and what happened to them when they travelled. He offered an account of an entirely new system of education, which, although graded and closely observed, was about values and the education of the person. His keywords were respect, independence, self-reliance, attention, a sense of form etc.

These terms were used as chapter headings but then followed detailed ways in which they could be achieved. This made the works of Salomon stand out from the educational literature of the time, which concentrated on values at the expense of practical pedagogy. For the elementary teacher, often faced with very large classes and few resources, this was essential.

Salomon was a great publicist for Swedish or Naas sloyd. His lectures were written to engage with varied audiences — school teachers in different countries, the experienced Froebelian and kindergarten teacher, those who persisted with direct instruction, and systems which had been built out of ad hoc elements. His texts in newspapers and from lectures were translated into English, and sometimes into German, French, Spanish, and Russian among others. Professors, inspectors, secondary and elementary teachers — these meet on common ground as brethren.

At the time, World Exhibitions were a major means of showing modern innovations produced nationally to a world audience. Abrahamson, his uncle, sent models, plans, tools and information about Naas to the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia but failed to make a big impression, unlike the full scale model of a Swedish Schoolhouse. One clearly saw how even in the most diverse countries, Swedish educational sloyd has served as a paragon.

Close ties with Swedish educational sloyd could be witnessed in the Finnish and Norwegian exhibitions. Salomon often travelled beyond Sweden to discuss his ideas with leading thinkers and practitioners in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, England and France [5]. At the same time he was building a network of sloyd converts, who treated Naas, his work and his methods as the centre of their work, and their mission.

Sluys in Belgium gave a series of lectures around the country and a report for the Belgian government, which was influential in England, France and the US. Salomon appears to have been able to place his teachers, by request, into key positions in national systems of education, especially In South America. One of the most effective champions was Gustaf Larsson who founded the Boston Sloyd School and in the next twenty years trained about teachers. However, this natural process of change and variation, would be viewed as deviations in Naas. The Danes created two rival variations and were described by Salomon as heretics [Whittaker p 90].

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Goetze in Leipzig using the practices of sloyd nevertheless disagreed with the order of the work, and started his osn school, which attracted British teachers [Whittaker p 93]. A Russian variant, focused on vocationalism, was exhibited at the major Exhibitions [Vienna, Philadelphia and Paris]. In several European countries, visits to Naas were followed by local proselytising by Sloyd disciples and the creation of national associations and journals, and sometimes by new educational ordinances and the provision of grants for sloyd adoption in schools.

These new variants from the Salomon model influenced each other, the Russians on the US, and the German on the British etc.