A Diversity of Schools: The Danish School Acts of 1814 and the Emergence of Mass Schooling in Denmark

Christian Larsen

Abstract


During the nineteenth century, national systems of mass schooling were established in western Europe. In Denmark, King Frederik VI passed a set of five schools’ laws in 1814: one for the village schools, one for the market town schools, one for Copenhagen, one for the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein and one for Jews, in order to create and regulate a system of mass schooling within his realms. This study aims to analyse the impact of the 1814 School Acts and thereby, the emergence of mass schooling in Denmark in the nineteenth century. Three aspects of the 1814 Acts are analysed in this article: firstly, how a local school administration was established; secondly, how new school buildings were built and thirdly, how a new form of teacher and a new teachers’ education was enacted at different stages across the King’s realm and countries, and with very different consequences.

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