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Historical development and reception of the reform pedagogy in Croatia


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Batinić, Štefka. (2014). Historical development and reception of the reform pedagogy in Croatia. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Pedagogy. [mentor Previšić, Vlatko].

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The work is based on the research of the historical development and reception of the reform pedagogy in Croatia within the reforming pedagogical process identified in European countries and in the USA as a part of broader reforming endeavors in the society during transition from the 19th to the 20th century. The research covers the time period stretching from the end of the 19th century till the beginning of the Second World War. Research data were collected from the wide spectrum of secondary and primary literature, memoirs and archival materials about teachers and schools belonging to the above mentioned time period. Research of development and reception of the reform pedagogy in Croatia was preceded by different views of the historical establishment of the reform pedagogy – since its perception as a unique and original pedagogic period till its demystification and associations related to the phenomenon of déjà vu. The work introduces the reform pedagogy covering different educational conceptions developed at the end of the 19th century and during the first decades of the 20th century as a response to the process of modernization and as a consequence of the cultural and school crisis occurred in the 19th century, ultimately as a result of gaining new knowledge about a child. It’s a basic overview of the main reforming pedagogical movements emerged within the European fin de siècle atmosphere and upon occurrence of the „century of the child “. Processes of modernization at all levels, mirroring everyday life causing thus life’s reform and encouraging social, cultural and pedagogic movements of European fin de siècle, influenced Croatia as well, in particular its urban areas. European reform pedagogy, including its main representatives and conceptions, regardless of the geographic origins, reached Croatian teachers, although only at an informational level. The founders of the reform pedagogy in Croatia are Zagreb's teachers Vjekoslav Koščević and Ivan Tomašić. Their attitudes in respect of reform were revealed in raising their voice against Herbart's pedagogy, in acquiring experience and knowledge about reforming pedagogical movements in mid European countries they implemented consequently into the own educational practice, including the attempts to promote the idea of reform pedagogy using Croatian Society for the Advancement of Education and the newspaper „Preporod“. Numerous male and female teachers listened to the pulse of the „ century of the child“ adjusting discreetly its educational work to the new age. After the First World War – in the new state of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (since 1929 the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) – Croatian teachers were involved in practical school reform, i.e. didactic and methodological renewal, which induced the continuation of the process introduced before the First World War. The Work School, as the main aim of didactic and methodological renewal, became in 1930s of the 20th century an official pedagogical direction, strongly influenced by the educational policy and ideology imposed by Yugoslavia at that period. The function of teachers’ ''youth” courses for the Work School, as a model of further professional development of teachers for the new school, was overtaken by the state representative schools in mid 1930s. The representatives of the theoretical pedagogy in Croatia between the two World Wars being close to German cultural circle in respect of their educational, cultural and spiritual formation, were accordingly under the influence of the pedagogical developments in Germany and Austria. This model has existed since the very beginning of pedagogical development in Croatia considering historical background. However, we observed attempts of original theoretical thinking and equal “dialog” with the leading protagonists of the German pedagogy during 1920s and 1930s of the 20th century, while reception and assumption of completed pedagogical findings and knowledge had prevailed at times when pedagogy was considered to be mostly teacher's discipline and its creative side manifested itself in adjustments to the local environment. Thoughts on the reform pedagogy were perceived also in other areas of educational work, like: education of adults, health education, social care and child protection, organization of children and youth, cooperation among families and schools and different forms of cultural and artistic work with and for the children. Popularity of the reform pedagogy at the beginning of the 21st century has reflected in existence and revitalization of autonomous conceptions of „classic” reform pedagogy, in establishment of new alternative schools and didactic conceptions inspired by the ideas of reform educators, including the influence of the reform pedagogy on modern pedagogic theory and teaching practice in regular state schools.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reform pedagogy, Croatia, Europe, 19th and 20th century, the history of pedagogy, history of education, (pedagogues) educators, the Work School
Subjects: Pedagogy
Departments: Department of Pedagogy
Supervisor: Previšić, Vlatko
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 09:58
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2015 09:58

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