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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nothing worthy of being called a “national system” of education existed in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Levels of literacy and school attendance varied widely between regions and genders, even where compulsion had been introduced on paper. Secondary schooling had yet to be clearly separated from higher education and involved only males. Formal training and certification of teachers was rare. Changes emerged more rapidly in northern and western regions than in the south and east. Yet in the period since 1990, universal attendance, extension of schooling to at least age sixteen, coeducation, and problems of integrating immigrant populations have in many ways led beyond national systems to a recognizable European system of elementary and secondary education.

Keywords: compulsory schooling, social control, social reproduction, coeducation, curricular changes, PISA tests

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