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«Al undervisning i folkeskolen bør lægges saa nær ind til det hjemlige som mulig» – debatten om skulen på landsbygda – frå skulelovene av 1889 til skulelova av 1959

f. 1941, cand.philol. 1972, professor emeritus ved Høgskolen i Telemark.

olav.rovde@hit.no

Heilt fram til skulelova av 1959 og etableringa av den niårige ungdomsskulen deretter var det store skilnader mellom det skuletilbodet barn og ungdom fekk på landsbygda jamført med byane. Det galdt i første rekkje folkeskulen der «annankvardag-skulen» var vanleg i bygdene. Det galdt også tilbodet om vidaregåande opplæring som var langt betre utbygd i byane. Artikkelen set søkelyset på dette fenomenet i tidsromet frå og med folkeskulelovene av 1889. Med utgangspunkt i skulepolitiske planar Norsk Landmandsforbund, frå 1922 Norges Bondelag, la fram i perioden 1903 til 1950-talet, syner artikkelen at ein viktig bakgrunn var holdningar og krav som kom frå bygdene sjølve – og frå bonderørsla.

 Skilje mellom by- og landsskulen var ikkje noko særnorsk fenomen, men er vel kjent i internasjonal skulehistorie. I denne artikkelen blir den nordiske skuleutbygginga dregen inn for å setje den norske utviklinga i eit komparativt perspektiv.

‘All instruction in the elementary school should be adapted to the pupils’ reality as close as possible’. Primary and secondary education in rural Norway – from the Education Acts of 1889 to the Education Act of 1959

The article deals with the great differences that once existed between rural and urban schools in Norway, where the school year and the school week were shorter in the country school and pupils receiving education only every other day was a common occurrence in the period examined. According to the Education Acts of 1889, rural children would receive only half as many hours of instruction over a seven-year period as did children in the cities. Although steps were taken to reduce the differences, up until the mid-1950s country children still received only about 70% as much instruction as children in urban schools. Equal status was not achieved until the Education Act of 1959. The article shows that this differentiated education policy rested on a political and ideological view advocated especially by the Norwegian Agrarian Association and the Agrarian party (Bondepartiet, later Senterpartiet), which linked education in the countryside closely with rural culture and practical work.

 The article places the development in Norway in a Nordic comparative perspective – in particular with Denmark and Sweden. In Denmark, as in Norway, agricultural interests strongly influenced education in country schools, but these schools were strengthened earlier than in Norway. Sweden abolished the system of classes only every other day before World War II, and in the interwar period went far to putting schooling in the countryside on equal terms with the urban areas. An underlying cause of the development in Sweden was strong industrialization, which demanded a more educated workforce. Sweden also had a stronger culture for centralization compared to Norway, where interests and culture tied to the periphery were sturdy and persistent. It is argued here that this explains why the split school system lasted for such a long time in Norway.

Keywords: Nordic school system, rural school, school reform, school system.
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