Theme Of Education In Heidi By Johanna Spyri

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Education is a key theme in Johanna Spyri’s ‘Heidi’, which is clearly presented through the publication titles of the story: ‘Heidi: her years of wandering and learning’ and ‘Heidi: how she used what she learned’. Here, the education Heidi undergoes in the house is informal, which is classified as:
Learnings from incidents, radio, television, films, elders, peers, and parents get classified as informal education. Informal learning helps little ones to grow and adapt to the ways and traditions of the society, and they learn to adapt to the environment in a much better manner.’ (DifferenceBetween.COM, 2012).
Interestingly, Heidi’s formal education also divulges the class differences between the working-class villagers of the Swiss Alps and
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This process is essential for social reproduction – the reproduction of a new generation of workers schooled (disciplined) into accepting their role in society. For instance, schools reward punctuality and obedience and are dismissive of independence, critical awareness and creativity – this mirrors the workplace expectations’ (Thompson, 2008).

Therefore, Heidi’s formal education has had a negative impact on her development since upon returning to the mountains she has lost her wild and carefree nature to some degree and encouraged her Grandfather and Peter to become more civilised and imposes the norms of the society they willingly isolated themselves from in the past, this demonstrating her internalised values. This especially occurs when she threatens Peter to learn how to read and warns him of how embarrassing it will be ‘when it comes to your turn you won't be able to read and will make mistakes in your spelling. Then you'll see how they'll make fun of you’ (Abbott, 1916, p. 168) in reference to the middle-class boys in Frankfurt’s schools. Although Heidi’s threats are harmless they do unveil how Heidi has become yet another obedient civilian in the capitalist society. Additionally, due to her internalised values she has learnt, in the story she is yet another character who upholds classism in education, also, through her becoming

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