In the period 1919-1933 the experimental and community schools in Hamburg tried to put into practice a new model of schooling without a set curriculum that was based on providing a considerable amount of freedom for pupils and teachers. These experiences were introduced in the Netherlands by way of magazines published by the New Education Fellowship (NEF) or Dutch journals edited by educationalists and university professors. The Hamburg schools were also visited by Christian Anarchist teachers who were connected with new schools in the Netherlands and who already had experimented with new ways of life in small communities. In this article we describe their experiences in Hamburg. Their observation reports would not trigger a growing interest in a social community type of schooling; in general Dutch teachers, even the socialist ones, did not change their preference for the traditional classroom system of education. More individualistic methods from Montessori and Parkhurst (Dalton Plan), supported by university professors and inspectors of education, were considered to have more potential for changing the classroom system from within.

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Paedagogica Historica
Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS)

Braster, S. (2014). From Holland to Hamburg: The experimental and community schools of Hamburg seen through the eyes of Dutch observers (1919-1933). Paedagogica Historica, 50(5), 615–630. doi:10.1080/00309230.2014.927513