Ph.d. Vegard Kvam
Avhandlingens tittel er:
A study of Einar Høigård ant the fight against the Nazification of the Norwegian educational system 1940-1945.
With the German occupation of Norway (1940–1945) a long, cohesive education policy trend was broken. If we ignore the five years of the occupation, education policy in the inter-war and post-war years has been expanded, adopted and implemented to a large extent with a high degree of political consensus. The policy was rooted in the humanistic tradition, a concept of unified general education and strengthening political democracy Values such as freedom, co-determination, equality and solidarity were central. The development of Norwegian schools during the occupation can be seen as a five-year national-socialist school experiment that contrasted both ideologically and pedagogically with this education policy approach. It did not take long from the time the occupation became a reality until educators at all levels in the education system were challenged to sign up to a new national-socialist school system.
The study about Skolefronten deals with teachers’ efforts against the Nazification of secondary schools in general and the pedagogue Einar Høigård’s (1907–1943) involvement as one of their leaders in particular. Questions about the academic and personal issues Høigård was involved in in the fight against Nazification, how he got involved, how he asserted himself and what the consequences were are central in this study.
The study shows that early on in the occupation, Høigård drew up the political lines for teachers’ resistance campaigns. He led illegal action committees, called meetings, wrote illegal newspapers, gave lectures and acted as an itinerant advisor to educationalists in secondary schools. His work was of particular significance for the strategic choices that were made by illegal civilian resistance groups in the field of education during the first years of the occupation. Høigård also held a central position in public school administration. He did extensive work to ensure as normal an education as possible for students in secondary schools. Overall, the study forms a basis for discussing fundamental pedagogical questions relating to a society’s objectives in bringing up children, the values upon which education should build and how the school can form a directive for public policy.
The study belongs to the discipline of pedagogical history. A historic methodological approach has been used. The work has been carried out at NLA University College in Bergen.