School Curricula between Global Isomorphism and Local Idiosyncrasies: The Example of Luxembourg
Against that background the desideratum of a sound cultural reconstruction of the institutionalization process of the national school systems becomes evident. The general hypotheses of my paper is that when educational policy successfully transfers formal structures of one system to another, it will first be in tension with the idiosyncratic convictions of the local culture and then it will affect primarily the formal structures, with little effects on the inner activities of the organization.
I will try to support these theoretical considerations with a historical reconstruction of the development of the Luxembourgish school curriculum. I will argue that while Luxembourg has tried to keep track with the “scientification” and rationalization of the curriculum as promoted by supranational policy agents (like the OECD), this attempt to follow international reform patterns was contradicted by national and local traditions inscribed into the curriculum and classroom practices prevalent at least since the founding of the Luxembourgish nation state. The case of the luxembourgish curriculum will demonstrate how international curricular discussions shift and change when they are applied on a national level.