The development of School mathematics and reforms of the Swedish school system in the 20th century. A comparative and historical study of changes of contents, methods and institutional conditions

The project aims to examine how Swedish school mathematics change in primary school (Year 4-9) during the period 1910-2010 and to identify mechanisms that have influenced the choice of content and methods.

The project problematizes where in a school system changes of school mathematics were initiated and how suggested changes had impact. The focus is on the production of educational texts; both the contents of the texts and the social conditions for the production of the texts are studied.

The main material is policy documents, textbooks, teachers' magazines, books on teaching and exams. The analysis of textual content is based on concepts from curriculum theory: goals, content and method. The project also includes a sociological study of the people who produced the educational texts. The sociological analysis has a prosopographic approach and is based on Bourdieu's theory of field and capital. In order to discern what is typical for changes in Swedish school mathematics, comparisons are made between Sweden and Germany during the period 1910-2010.

Researcher: Johan Prytz, Uppsala University


Financing: Swedish Research Council