ISCHE 40 Pre-Conference Workshop CFP: Funding Mass Education. Deadline: Feb. 28, 2018



Funding Mass Education: Models, Debates and Policies in an International Perspective (1800-2000)

ISCHE Pre-conference workshop / August, 28th 2018 / 9h00-18h00

Call for proposals


Convenors :
Clémence Cardon-Quint, associate professor, history, University of Bordeaux,
Damiano Matasci, Teaching and Research Fellow, University of Lausanne,
Johannes Westberg, professor of education, Örebro University,


This workshop is a first step towards the establishing of a permanent Standing working group on educational funding within the ISCHE

Educational funding is vital for our understanding of mass schooling. As Brian Simon once noted, finance is “the life blood of any system that requires effective resources for healthy functioning.”[1] An increasing number of researchers – both in history of education and in economic history – have consequently addressed various aspects of the economic and financial dimension of primary, secondary and tertiary education[2]. Economic historians have investigated how variations and changes in educational expenditure have been linked to, for example, factors such as wealth inequality, political voice and fiscal capacity, social historians have explored systems of local funding, and historians and educationalist have also explored finance from a policy-perspective.

Despite the immense contributions of these studies, there nevertheless remains a wide range of unanswered questions. These include the issues of school vouchers and centralized versus decentralized systems of funding on primary school level, and how the funding of secondary education (that in many countries at least used to be a privilege for those who could afford it) relates to primary school finance. On the tertiary level, we have the question of the funding of universities, and, not the least, the history of student loans that require further studies.

The purpose of this workshop is to stimulate the growing research in the history of educational finance by bringing researchers of different disciplines and nationalities together. Thus, our workshop will foster a dialogue between quantitative and qualitative approaches, and promote international comparative perspectives on education funding. One the one hand, we will try to use the comparison as a tool to better identify and analyze common trends; on the other hand, we will be attentive to the circulation and local reinterpretations of different funding models, advocated for political, economic or pedagogic reasons. 

The one day pre-conference workshop will give the opportunity to identify current trends of research. The conclusive discussions will focus on the future Standing Working Group (objectives, planning, publications etc.)


Terms of submission


Proposals may include:

  •  Literature reviews : with geographical, chronological, thematic or methodological focuses
  • Presentation of current researches : sources, methodology, results
  • Presentation of planned projects : sources, methodology, planning, expected results

The proposals may deal with (but are not restricted to) the following topics:

  • The public debate. What issues are publicly discussed? Who takes part in the debates?  What kind of arguments (economic, politic, social etc.)? What models of social, territorial or international solidarity are eventually advocated?
  • Administrative routines. To what extent may the analysis of administrative routines shed light on changes in funding models (shift to gratuity, growing involvement of the state etc.) [3]?
  • Funding models. How have education been funded using monetary and non-monetary resources? How have these resources been distributed between schools and various levels of education? What consequences have the funding models had on schooling and society?
  • Pedagogical aspects. Educational funding does, as Donald Warren noticed, reveal intentions, plans and visions[4]. Thus, it would be useful to scrutinize and compare the articulations of pedagogic transformations and extension of a level of education. Considering the gradualist trend of public budgets, we may think that educational system that have massively engaged in  democratization before costly pedagogic reforms took place may have attained lower level of expenses than countries where pedagogic renovation and democratization have gone hand in hand.
  • Local, national and international actors

During the 19th and the 20th centuries, mass schooling and educational expansion became a concern for a vast array of local, national and international actors. The workshop will provide the opportunity to study how local administrations, private bodies, Nation-States and international organizations (Unesco, World Bank) produced and implemented funding models of educational systems in various historical and cultural settings. Rivalries and interplays between those actors will be particularly investigated, as well as their effects in Western and extra-European countries[5]

Deadline: February 28, 2018. Please submit your abstract (max. 500 words) including title, name, institutional affiliation, conceptual approach, historical sources, main discussion points and references (not required) to:



[1] Brian Simon’s preface to Norman Morris, The Politics of English Elementary School Finance 1833–1870, Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2003, p. iii.

[2] Marcelo Caruso, « Why Do Finance? A Comment About Entanglements and Research in the History of Education », Nordic Journal of Educational History, vol. 2, no 1, 2015, p. 141–149.

[3] Philippe Savoie, La construction de l’enseignement secondaire (1802-1914). Aux origines d’un service public, Lyon, France, ENS éditions, 2013, 501 p.

[4] Donald Warren, « Beginnings Again: Looking for Education in American Histories », History of Education Quarterly 43, no. 3, 2003.

[5] Philip W. Jones, World Bank Financing of Education: Lending, Learning, and Development, New York, Routledge, 2006.



Previous CFP: International Federation of Public History. Deadline: 15 February 2018
Next Three PhD student positions in Sociology of Education and History of Education

You might also like


Documents for ISCHE General Assembly

Please consult Documents for General Assembly ISCHE 38 (Chicago) The GA will take place during ISCHE 38 on August 19 from 2:30 until 4:00 PM at the American Dental Association at

General Announcement

Call for Papers — The Vulnerability and Marginality of Youth in the Mediterranean Basin (19th-20th centuries), Revue d’histoire de l’enfance (RHEI)

La Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière » consacre son prochain numéro à la façon dont la jeunesse marginale a été perçue et prise en charge dans les pays méditerranéens au XIXe et au XXe siècles….

General Announcement

Call for Papers – Historical Association of Slovenia (28-30 Sept 2016) Deadline 5 February 2016

The 38th HAS assembly will take place in collaboration with the Koroško zgodovinsko društvo / Carinthian Historical Society in Ravne na Koroškem (Slovenia) from 28-30 September 2016.  The main theme