Information and experience: Audiovisual observations of reading activities in Swedish comprehensive school classrooms 1967–1969
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This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in History of Education on 20/04/2016 available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0046760X.2016.1166268
This study investigates reading activities in Swedish primary school classrooms during the late 1960s. Sound and video recordings of 223 Swedish lessons held between 1967 and 1969 are used to analyse the activity of reading as taught and performed. The results indicate that the practice of informational reading, often based on finding predetermined, explicit "facts" in textbooks through individual, silent reading, was common. The practice of experiential reading, based on fiction, imagination and the joy of reading, was not only less common, but also often compromised by instrumental concerns. In the national curriculum of the time, the practice of informational reading was related to study skills and was intended to prepare all pupils for higher-level education. While often appearing over-proportioned, superficial and fragmented, these reading practices were still intentional objects of learning and teaching, and were grounded in the democratic and egalitarian ideals of Swedish post-war educational policy.
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