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ERIC Number: EJ748400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
A Step towards Clerical Preferment: Secondary School Teachers' Careers in Early Modern Sweden
Lindmark, Daniel
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v40 n1-2 p57-74 Apr 2004
This article investigates the function served by embarking on a teaching career in the Latin school system for recruitment to the clergy in early modern Sweden. The study is restricted to the eighty-nine teachers serving at Pitea Grammar School in Northern Sweden in the period from 1650 to 1849. The investigation pays considerable attention to the impact of the system of double evaluation of teaching merits that was introduced by the School Act of 1724. When applying for low-and medium-rank pastorates, teachers' experience counted twice as much as ministers' did. The study examines how this system influenced the social recruitment of teachers to the Latin school, as well as the recruitment of teachers to clerical positions. The hypothesis is that the double evaluation system opened a career for candidates without a clerical background. Aimed at compensating for low salaries and providing a secure old age, the double evaluation system should have encouraged the teachers to seek clerical promotion. By analysing the teachers' participation in synodal meetings, the study sheds some light on the question as to whether the teachers actually prepared their clerical careers when serving in school. However, the Latin school offered different opportunities for different categories of teachers. The principal and assistant principal were better paid than the ordinary teachers, and consequently the article pays special attention to differences in social background, study merits and career opportunities between the two categories. Furthermore, the status of the different teacher categories is related to the status of the ministry in order to explain why teachers stayed in school or changed careers. The conceptual tools of this study were developed by Ralph H. Turner in 1960, when he discussed the differences between British and American educational systems. Contest mobility signifies an open and inclusive system, where elite status is granted to the most qualified contenders. Sponsored mobility refers to an exclusive system of controlled selection by which young recruits are inducted into the elite. In 1988, Anthony J. La Vopa showed that sponsored mobility dominated the clergy in eighteenth-century Germany. This study investigates the recruitment policy of the Swedish clergy, with special reference to the role of the Latin school. The Swedish clergy comprised one of the four estates of the national Parliament and, in order to maintain the status of the clerical estate, the clergy developed certain strategies. One strategy is manifested in clergymen's preference for taking ministers' daughters as their wives. Another strategy is indicated by a high rate of self-recruitment, meaning that many clergymen were sons of ministers. From the perspective of the clerical estate's recruitment policy, the self-recruitment rate is of vital importance. Ministers could promote their sons' clerical careers by tutoring them and employing them as curates and assistants. Sponsored by their fathers, the sons of the clergy most frequently managed to take a Master's degree, which was a formal requirement for receiving a pastorate. Previous research has shown that the self-recruitment rate was very high among the Swedish clergy. This is also the case with the Harnosand Diocese, where the city of Pitea was situated. In this huge diocese, covering the entire northern half of present-day Sweden, the self-recruitment rate was 40%, while 30% of the clergy came from the peasantry, and 25% from the "middle classes". In comparison with Germany, the self-recruitment rate was not conspicuously high, and taking into consideration the great contribution from the peasantry, the recruitment policy of the clergy in Northern Sweden qualifies for the designation contest mobility. Consequently, the Latin school system, through which all future ministers were prepared for their clerical careers, served as an open and inclusive instrument of recruitment. There were huge variations in income between the two teacher categories, the principal earning between two and four times as much as his lower-ranked colleagues. The difference in status is also indicated by the differentiated insurance contributions to the clergy's poor relief funds. An analysis of three different revisions of the size of the contributions from 1787 to 1806 shows that the teachers in grammar schools were usually divided into two different categories. The principal and assistant principal used to be placed among the higher clergy, while the regular teaching staff always belonged to the lower clergy. The distinction between two categories of teachers is not founded only upon financial status; there was also a significant difference in study merits. Before 1724, nine of thirteen deputies and principals had taken their Master's degree, while only two of twenty-two ordinary teachers held the same merit. After 1724, the difference is less remarkable. Obviously, the favourable system of merit evaluation increased the recruitment of teachers with Master's degrees. The teachers of Pitea Grammar School did not have a clerical background as often as the clergy of Harnosand Diocese (27% and 39%, respectively). The teachers came more frequently from the "middle classes", while the peasantry was more weakly represented. Consequently, the teachers' social backgrounds were more diverse and secular, especially after 1724. This leads to the conclusion that the grammar school served as an alternative career for those of a secular background. The present study does not verify the hypothesis concerning an increasing transition from teaching to clerical positions after 1724. On the contrary, of a total of forty career changes, twenty-two took place before 1724 and only eighteen after, a difference even more marked when related to the increasing number of teachers serving in Pitea Grammar School. Before 1724, three out of five teachers left school for a clerical position, while only one out of three shifted careers in the later period. No principals or assistant principals accepted lower clerical positions, and even most of the career-changing staff were promoted to a vicarage, almost exclusively after 1724. Consequently, the double evaluation system seems to have offered staff teachers greater opportunities for receiving a vicarage. Many teachers prepared their clerical careers when serving at school. They used to fill in temporarily for the clergy in Pitea parish, and in some cases they were on leave to serve as acting vicars in distant parishes. This means that ordination could be offered during teaching service, but many teachers were already ordained ministers before starting their teaching careers. The synod served as a meeting place for the teaching and preaching branches of the clerical estate. Well trained in theology and classical languages, the teachers often gave the Latin oration and served as opponents at the disputation over the synodal dissertation. During the nineteenth century their participation gradually declined, a development indicating the gradual separation of the clerical and teaching professions. The year of 1849 represented a milestone, when the double evaluation system was abandoned. At the same time teachers' salaries and retirement conditions were regulated. Secondary schools no longer served as waiting rooms for clerical promotion, and teaching was recognized as a profession in its own right.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; Sweden