‘Cheap, efficient, and easy to implement’? Economic aspects of monitorial education in Swedish elementary schools during the 1820s

  • Esbjörn Larsson
  • History of Education, July 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/0046760x.2015.1066882

Monitorial education – not a cheap method of teaching

What is it about?

This article show that contrary to what has previously been claimed, monitorial education does not seem to have been a cheap method of teaching and it did not primarily help to save money (at least not in Sweden).

Why is it important?

For the first time in an internationally published study the economic effects of monitorial education is thoroughly investigated. The selected case is Sweden and some 30 schools that were established in that country during the 1820s. The investigation focuses on teachers’ salaries, school buildings and teaching material.


Dr Esbjörn Larsson
Department of education Uppsala University

It is hoped that this article will not only help to challenge purely theoretical assumptions within history of education, but will also inspire new studies on how monitorial education in other settings was implemented in practice.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Esbjörn Larsson