Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Gendered School Discipline and Nation-Building in Finnish Secondary Schools, 1905−1925
Karolina Puranen

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


In the nineteenth century Finland, secondary school was the option for those aiming at careers at public service or religious establishment. It was traditionally associated with pupils of wealthier backgrounds, but during the latter part of the century secondary education started to become more common not only among lower ranks but also among women. At the same time, national citizenship education became central in schooling in western world, Finland included. It was a part of the official curriculum but it also defined education in a broader sense. The importance of citizenship education increased also in Finnish secondary schools; rather than educating mere public servants, their main function had become broader. In other words, secondary schools became central in the process of Finnish nation-building.

This paper examines the relation of school discipline and nation-building by focusing on the punishments that were implemented in Finnish secondary schools during the early twentieth century. This study shares the focus of the Foucauldian approach, which has emphasized the significance of surveillance and discipline in education. The idea of punishment is an inherent part of the idea of discipline. When implemented, the punishments also indicate how the contemporaries perceived the nature of education and, most importantly, the role of gender within that practice. Hence, I focus on the questions of how gender defined school discipline and what kind of male or female citizenship was produced in the discipline.

As a main source, I employ punishment records kept by teachers. These records were official documents. I examine also school histories in order to broaden the understanding of the discipline practices. The main focus of my paper is to reveal gender based differences in the implemented punishments.