ERIC Number: ED330704
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Formation of Educational Reform as a Social Field in Iceland in the 1970s and the 1980s: Legitimating Principles and the Social Strategies of Epistemic Individuals.
Johannesson, Ingolfur A.
Reform in elementary education in Iceland during the last 25 years is discussed in the context of the conceptual framework developed by Pierre Bourdieu. The reform that started in the 1960's provides an opportunity to examine the usefulness of Bourdieu's concepts of legitimating principles that are historically and socially constructed and social strategies that convert discursive themes into symbolic capital. In Iceland, reform challenged the prereform tradition in many ways, particularly in advocating scientific curriculum strategies, progressive pedagogy, and developmental psychology. Bourdieu's concepts of the "habitus," a durable principle of regulated improvisations that produces social strategies, and his idea of epistemic individuals who shape and are shaped by events are illustrated by Icelandic educational reform efforts. Educational theory had not existed in Iceland prior to the reform effort; there was no Icelandic educational theory habitus before the reform. The social strategies needed to make political advances for educational reform were especially unpredictable. The three spectra of legitimating principles of discursive themes operating in the social field of educational reform were: (1) reform versus the prereform spectrum; (2) the reform spectrum with its technological and progressive poles; and (3) traditional academic capital versus curriculum theory capital. A 68-item list of references is included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).