Pedagogy as cultural transfer: brokers and reinterpretations of knowledge between switzerland and France (1850-1900)

Alexandre Fontaine About the author

This paper seeks to reassess the way in which pedagogical knowledge circulated between France and Switzerland. In terms of method, we have chosen to focus on the way in which this knowledge passed from one cultural context to another by studying the related actors and vectors, as well as the inevitable semantic transformations which, of necessity, accompany transnational exchanges of this nature. The paper also highlights the way in which European pedagogical knowledge, developed collectively, was applied in a variety of ways depending on local particularities. The issue here is to show the way in which, as identities became more firmly established, distinctive national features were increasingly honoured at Universal Expositions, while the various forms of exoticism soon fell out of favour, sometimes even to the point of being concealed in favour of national genius. This paper therefore seeks to contextualise the deceptive semblance of Sonderfälle and provide a clearer picture of the collective emergence of a multifaceted European pedagogy.

cultural transfer; semantic transformation; circulation of knowledge; history of european pedagogy; Ferdinand Buisson; French Third Republic


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