The formation of impartiality: late nineteenth-century attention training and bureaucratic ethos

Anders Kruse Ljungdalh*

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    Abstrakt

    By analysing late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century psychological and pedagogical recommendations to teachers, focusing on exercises for developing students’ voluntary attention, this article investigates how such recommendations intended to develop a bureaucratic ethos, and more specifically the ability to be impartial. Key components in the attention training were memory, perception and reasoning skills, significant elements in the formation of a bureaucratic persona, which were thought to make it possible for a student to solve a task in a disinterested manner. The psychological literature on attention training thereby reflects key elements in the general transition from the old class-based school to a new meritocratic organisation of school systems.

    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftHistory of Education
    Vol/bind50
    Udgave nummer6
    Sider (fra-til)764-783
    ISSN0046-760X
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

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