The article argues, we need to interpret the academic discipline of education in relation to general cultural and societal developments, exemplifying this by the developmental history and contemporary tensions in education as a discipline in Finland. In international comparison, since its establishment 1852 as an autonomous discipline, education in Finland has preserved a strong identity, not reduced to "a field of research" or derived from any other discipline. Historically the political developments in Preussia and Finland were similar after the Naopleonic wars (1809), where nation building with the help of education was central. This may partly explain the strong position Education has in Germany and Finland today. In addition, the article reveals that more recent interest in non-affirmative education theory (e.g. Benner, 1991; Uljens, 1998; von Oettingen, 2002), had an early representative in the Finnish hegelian philosopher J. V. Snellman (1806-1881), in the mid 19th century. The connection is reestablishing, having been forgotten for during a century.
- educational theory
- non-affirmative education