The struggle for comprehensive education in the Netherlands: the representation of secondary school innovation in Dutch newspaper articles in the 1970s

Hilda T. A. Amsing*, Linda Greveling, Jeroen J. H. Dekker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on how Dutch newspapers represented the debate in the Netherlands in the 1970s on comprehensive education and thus influenced the Dutch Middle School experiment. Wiborg's identification of key factors of success in Scandinavia was used as a point of reference. The article shows that these key factors did not exist in the Netherlands because of the polarisation of liberals and social democrats. Furthermore, the article shows how newspapers played different roles, varying from disseminators of new ideas to sparking debate and from communicators of political views to a barometer, consequently influencing the political strategies chosen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-485
Number of pages26
JournalHistory of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jul-2013


  • comprehensive
  • educational reform
  • policy
  • political
  • secondary education

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