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Hans Christian ØrstedReading Nature's Mind$
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Dan Ch. Christensen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669264.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020

| 1833–9 | 1833–9 The Natural Laws of General Education

| 1833–9 | 1833–9 The Natural Laws of General Education

(p.506) 49 | 1833–9 The Natural Laws of General Education
Hans Christian Ørsted

Dan C. Christensen

Oxford University Press

This chapter confronts and compares the educational ideas of Ørsted and Grundtvig which came to dominate the educational debate till today. Ørsted believes in man's rationality and considers the university teacher's vocation to be ‘to strike divine sparks in the minds of his pupils’. Grundtvig, on the other hand, considers the natural sciences materialistic and alien to man's cultural life. In 1838 ‘the great natural law of the effect and dissemination of the real spirit dawned upon him’, he declares deliberately twisting Ørsted's metaphor to mean that ‘the living word’ (not physical forces) exchanged between ordinary people will empower them. Both are partly inspired by the British Mechanical Institutes. Grundtvig's ideas of establishing an Academic Union of Scandinavia and a folk high school at Sorø and Ørsted's meritocratic policy of prioritizing the University of Copenhagen including his Polytechnic Institute, by appropriating the fortune of Sorø Academy is explained.

Keywords:   Ørsted's and Grundtvig's educational ideas, Mechanics’ Institutes, bread-and-butter-students versus philosophical minds, the Folk High School movement, Academic Union of Scandinavia, reform-humanism, Sorø Academy, constitutional change sets al plans aside

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