A research into the problem area of the school system requires a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach that differs essentially from the researches undertaken thus far and closed within the boundaries of the discipline. Thus, pedagogical and sociological researches do not take into account historiographic research and vice versa. Within historiography too, a certain shift must take place and researches into the school system should be approached from different perspectives. The history of the school system needs to be researched in interaction with the researches of cultural, economic, political, social and church history, as well as in interaction with sociological and pedagogical researches. In this way, research of the school system will be given a greater thematic broadness, and particular and one-dimensional researches will be avoided. The project implementation envisages such approach to research. The emphasis would be laid, in addition to a comparative aspect of research, on an interdisciplinary approach, within which different aspects of the school system would be examined: hegemonic (symbolic domination, language domination in a specific period, political and social lines of force related to the ideologisation of the school system, “regimes of truth” related to curricula and textbooks), national and ethnic (school system and national integration, Hungarian, Serbian and German schools), religious-secular (religious schools, resistance of the Church to school system reforms, secularisation of school system), economic (vocational and apprentice schools, Realschulen and school gardens), intellectual (grammar school/gymnasium with classical languages and Universities in Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Zagreb as nurseries of Croatia’s intellectual elite), social (accessibility of primary, secondary and higher education, literacy and social stratification), gender (division of schools and school curricula by gender) and cultural-anthropological (everyday life of pupils, attitude towards one’s body, hygienic measures and health protection in schools).
Chronologically, the research is limited to the period from the mid-18th century to the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, in other words to 1918. It has become a conventional practice to count the “long” 19th century of Croatia’s history so as to include this year as its end. The period has been selected because we believe that proto-modernisation and modernisation processes and the school reforms implemented during this period were of key importance for forming the school system as an educational system that became an important factor in the emergence of modern civil societies, and thus crucial for understanding society as a whole. In spite of the fact that in the 19th century, Dalmatia and the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) became integral part of the Habsburg Monarchy / Austrian Empire, the research will, for the most part, be limited to the area of the Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, in other words to those Croatian Lands that was part of the community of the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen. This limitation arises from a realistic potential of research in the project period of three years. However, part of the research will still refer to Dalmatia and the Republic of Ragusa, namely that pertaining to the establishment of the database of students pursuing studies at institutions of higher learning in the Monarchy and that pertaining to the analysis of the legislative framework of the Habsburg state school system. Further work on the initiated research after three years of the project implementation will be focused on Dalmatia and the Republic of Ragusa and organised either by the Croatian Institute of History or within the framework of an international project and in cooperation with other scholars.
Inspection, transcription, translation and critical analysis of the archival records will constitute a significant part of the research. This especially refers to the archival holdings of the Royal Council in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, the Supreme School Directorate, the Vice-Roy’s Council, the Vice-Roy’s Government, the Office of the Governor-General for Croatia and Slavonia and the Department of Religious Affairs and Education that are held in the Croatian State Archives in Zagreb. Also, researches will be undertaken in the Croatian School Museum and in the State Archives in Zagreb, Osijek, Karlovac, Slavonski Brod and Varaždin. As to foreign archives, the holdings of the Education Department of the Locotenential Council / Hungarian Royal Council of Governor-General in the National Archives of Hungary in Budapest that was from 1779 to 1848 in charge of school affairs in Croatia and Slavonia, as well as the holdings of the “Ungarisches Kamerale” in the Chamber Archives of the Austrian State Archives in Vienna containing material on the financial aspects of the establishment of the state school system are of crucial importance for the proposed research. Archival research will also be conducted in the university archives. This will be necessary to set up the database of students at institutions of higher learning. Furthermore, important sources for the research at hand are periodicals, in particular those originating from the second half of the 19th century onwards, as well as many heirloom personal effects of teachers and professors.
The project does not include research of such nature which would in any way stand opposite to the standards of ethical conduct in scientific research.