Dutch Economic Textbooks in the 1970s: Raising the Status of a New Secondary School Type by Means of Mathematical Abstraction

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Abstract

Essential Economics, the influential economics education textbook written by Arnold Heertje for use in Dutch secondary schools in the 1970s, was characterized by a previously unknown and internationally exceptional degree of abstraction. Its users justified this degree of abstraction by arguing that it fulfilled the needs of mental schooling (in line with the formal education argument upheld by defenders of humanism) and that it would enhance the rigorous status of the new type of school known as athenaeum A. In the 1970s, this economics education design was criticized by Herman Hartkamp, who strove to ground economics education on pupil-centered and social meliorist principles. By explaining this struggle and its outcome, this article exposes the various educational ideologies found in textbooks in the segmented Dutch school system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-106
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2016

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