Article: article from journal or magazin.
The Swiss Willensnation at Risk: Teachers in the Cultural Gap during the First World War
History of Education
As a neutral and multilingual country, Switzerland struggled with major domestic political conflicts during the First World War due to the two cultures of the French-speaking and German-speaking parts of the country. The divided cultural loyalties ('fossé moral', 'Röstigraben'), consisting of Swiss-Germans supporting Germany and Swiss-French supporting France, were discussed intensively in both of the main teachers' journals in Switzerland. Teachers felt the need to react and to promote unity from the beginning of the war. Despite the fact that the cantons are responsible for public education and, therefore, for the education of their students, teachers considered themselves called to educate their students to be national citizens rather than to be members of a language group. This threefold citizenship - communal, cantonal and national - was not scrutinised, but national unity became crucial due to the critical political circumstances. How did teachers promote and constitute citizenship for themselves and for their students in a nation united by free will during the First World War, a time of severe internal political conflicts?
Switzerland, First World War, teacher, cultural gap, citizenship
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