Curriculum History in Europe: A Historiographic Added Value

Daniel Tröhler


This article advocates for a particular understanding of curriculum history that enables educational research to emancipate itself from national idiosyncrasies. It suggests focusing, in the frame of a cultural history, on the interrelation between the constitutions, which define the ideal social order and the envisaged ideal citizens, and the curriculum, which provides “educational opportunities” – that is, pre-organised or preconfigured pathways of educational careers. The article thereby stresses that the fundamental notions of this research program – nation, society, and citizen – need to be handled as floating signifiers that are materialised differently in the various individual nation-states. The article argues that against this background, a European education history that respects national or cultural distinctions without getting trapped by national idiosyncrasies is possible.

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