Dutch Economic Textbooks in the 1970s

Raising the Status of a New Secondary School Type by Means of Mathematical Abstraction

in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society
Author:
Gerrit F. GorterGerrit F. Gorter is a lecturer in economics at the NHL University of Applied Sciences, Groningen gf.gorter@home.nl

Search for other papers by Gerrit F. Gorter in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Hilda T. A. AmsingHilda T. A. Amsing is an associate professor of the history of education at the University of Groningen h.t.a.amsing@rug.nl

Search for other papers by Hilda T. A. Amsing in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Jeroen J. H. DekkerJeroen J. H. Dekker is a professor of the history and theory of education at the University of Groningen j.j.h.dekker@rug.nl

Search for other papers by Jeroen J. H. Dekker in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

Essential Economics, the influential economics education textbook written by Arnold Heertje for use in Dutch secondary schools in the 1970s, was characterized by a previously unknown and internationally exceptional degree of abstraction. Its users justified this degree of abstraction by arguing that it fulfilled the needs of mental schooling (in line with the formal education argument upheld by defenders of humanism) and that it would enhance the rigorous status of the new type of school known as athenaeum A. In the 1970s, this economics education design was criticized by Herman Hartkamp, who strove to ground economics education on pupil-centered and social meliorist principles. By explaining this struggle and its outcome, this article exposes the various educational ideologies found in textbooks in the segmented Dutch school system.

  • Collapse
  • Expand