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Private tutoring for public good? Constructing educational policy in 19th century-Russia.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Curriculum studies. (SEP)
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Private tutoring is a phenomenon that in various forms had existed long before the inception of the national system of education in Imperial Russia. It was slightly downplayed under the Soviet period when collective values were put to the foreground, only to resurrect with a renewed intensity in the recent decades (Mikhaylova, 2016). However, it was during the nineteenth century that private tutoring most frequently appeared on a formulation arena (cf. Lindensjö & Lundgren, 2000). It was also during this time that education came to function as an important instrument for nation building with a strong emphasis on delivering what could be characterized as a public good.

The paper focuses on this period and examines what aspects of private tutoring were recognized as a problem and what policy tools were employed to resolve it. In answering this question, the paper uses the concepts of ‘public good’ and ‘private good’ (see e.g. Labaree, 1997) for framing the discussion. By that, the overall aim is to develop knowledge on the relationship between public education and private tutoring as constructed in policy documents in nineteenth-century Russia.

Theoretically, the study draws on the Foucauldian “history of the present” approach (Foucault, 1979) in order to uncover the conditions that shaped the hierarchical relations between public education and private tutoring. In doing so, I also use curriculum theory, which offers a broad understanding of curriculum as a historically, politically and culturally produced set of ideas about education (Englund, 2005; Lundgren, 1989). Specifically, the study deals with activities and inscriptions on the formulation arena and investigates the (trans)formation of policy regarding private tutoring. It elaborates on the following question: What ‘problems’ were intended to be solved by a particular form of selecting and organizing curriculum?

Preliminary findings suggest that exacerbation of relations between publicly and privately provided education in the first half of the nineteenth century was triggered by two main factors. Firstly, private tutoring was recognized as a serious obstacle for further expansion of public education. Secondly, of special concern was the fact that the majority of tutors were foreigners who potentially could spread dangerous political ideas. By employing a variety of policy tools, the government gradually aligned the goals and content of private tutoring with those of public education. Hence, private tutoring no longer raised the same amount of concerns and eventually faded from the policydiscourse into the ‘shadows’, but, in fact, it has never disappeared from practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30941OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30941DiVA, id: diva2:1370065
Conference
NERA 2019. Education in a globalized world. Uppsala, March 6-8, 2019
Available from: 2019-11-13 Created: 2019-11-13 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Mikhaylova, Tatiana

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  • apa
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