Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Connecting Histories of Education

Connecting Histories of Education: Transnational and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in (Post)Colonial Education

Barnita Bagchi
Eckhardt Fuchs
Kate Rousmaniere
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 262
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Connecting Histories of Education
    Book Description:

    The history of education in the modern world is a history of transnational and cross-cultural influence. This collection explores those influences in (post) colonial and indigenous education across different geographical contexts. The authors emphasize how local actors constructed their own adaptation of colonialism, identity, and autonomy, creating a multi-centric and entangled history of modern education. In both formal as well as informal aspects, they demonstrate that transnational and cross-cultural exchanges in education have been characterized by appropriation, re-contextualization, and hybridization, thereby rejecting traditional notions of colonial education as an export of pre-existing metropolitan educational systems.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-267-6
    Subjects: History, Education

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Introduction. Connecting Histories of Education: Transnational and Cross-Cultural Exchanges in (Post-)Colonial Education
    (pp. 1-8)
    Barnita Bagchi, Eckhardt Fuchs and Kate Rousmaniere

    Connecting Histories of Educationbears a double meaning. The volume connects historians of education from South Asia and other parts of the world to enhance a comparative perspective and create a wider research network beyond the Euro-Western world. In addition, it presents local, regional, national and transnational research, with the goal of highlighting the interconnectedness of histories of education in the modern world. The volume thus upholds a commitment to the transnational history of education located in a non-Eurocentric framework, with encounters taking place between South Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Americas.

    Our argument for a volume on transnational...

  4. Chapter 1 History of Education beyond the Nation? Trends in Historical and Educational Scholarship
    (pp. 11-26)
    Eckhardt Fuchs

    The de-specialization and denationalization of political and social processes constitutes a keytoposof the current globalization discourse and shifts the category of the nation, the central frame of reference for modern scholarship, into a new perspective. This paradigm shift seizes upon fundamental claims of the constructivist turn, a perspective in which spatial social units such as the nation serve as ‘imagined’ forms of collective identity processes (Anderson 1983; Hobsbawm 1996) and space is not seen as an objective category but as a form of specific collective spatial interpretations and representations – ‘mental maps’ – of social groups and communities. Amongst scholars...

  5. Chapter 2 Towards a Global History of Education: Alternative Strategies
    (pp. 27-40)
    Sabyasachi Bhattacharya

    In attempting to advance towards a global history beyond national histories, historiographers of education avail themselves of two common kinds of research strategies. First, they trend towards adiffusionistpoint of view that stresses the spread of ideas and practices – for example, pedagogical methods, patterns of textbooks or, at a higher conceptual level, paradigms in the philosophy of education – beyond national boundaries. More often than not, the narrative is one of diffusion from Western metropolitan centres to the less developed countries at the periphery. A reverse flow has sometimes been noticed, for instance the monitorial system in schools that spread...

  6. Chapter 3 Writing Histories of Congolese Colonial and Post-Colonial Education: A Historiographical View from Belgium
    (pp. 41-60)
    Marc Depaepe

    Elaborate celebrations marked the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of the République Démocratique du Congo on 30 June 2010. In Belgium, this jubilee occasioned numerous publications about the former colony, one of which even garnered several awards, including the most prestigious prize for Dutch-language literature (van Reybrouck 2010). The festivities devoted little attention, however, to the history of the education, despite its importance to social development. In this regard, we must continue to make do with the studies launched in the 1990s by the Centre for the History of Education at the University of Leuven (Depaepe and van Rompaey 1995;...

  7. Chapter 4 Range and Limits of the Countryside Schooling Historiography in Latin America (Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries): Some Reflections
    (pp. 61-82)
    Alicia Civera

    The goal of this chapter is to review the rural school historiography in Mexico and thereby dialogue with rural histories in other Latin American countries in an attempt to understand what Latin American rural schooling has been, who it has benefited or left out, where and how it has developed and for what purpose. Instead of composing a generic vision of rural educational development in Latin America, I aim to go beyond national barriers to generate a debate about the heterogeneity of different local realities and theoretical and methodological perspectives. The overall purpose is to spark a future dialogue between...

  8. Chapter 5 A Transcultural Transaction: William Carey’s Baptist Mission, the Monitorial Method and the Bengali Renaissance
    (pp. 85-104)
    Mary Hilton

    This chapter explores an aspect of the legacies of colonialism and the intermixing of cultures in the past by examining the educational and religious ideology of William Carey, who together with fellow Baptist missionaries William Ward and Joshua Marshman formed the famous ‘Serampore Trio’. Actually, recent historical work has shown that they were in fact a quartet. Hannah Marshman, Joshua’s wife, was also a leading intellectual and executive figure in the mission at Serampore and eventually spearheaded the move to educate girls (Chatterjee 1987). Through the lens of Carey’s journal and letters, it is possible to look outwards from his...

  9. Chapter 6 A Colonial Experiment in Education: Madras, 1789–1796
    (pp. 105-120)
    Jana Tschurenev

    This chapter explores part of the history of the so-called monitorial system of education, which was one of the first global currents in the field of elementary schooling (Schriewer and Caruso 2005). Based on the ‘distinguishing characteristic’ (Bell 1808b: 3) of students mutually instructing each other, the monitorial system included a number of innovations. Teaching was based on a sequence of short, standardized successive lessons. Students were grouped in classes according to their progress and constantly re-ranked within classes according to their performance. Monitorial schools introduced a strict disciplinary regime, which ideally substituted corporal punishment by ‘emulation’ on the part...

  10. Chapter 7 A New Education for ‘Young India’: Exploring Nai Talim from the Perspective of a Connected History
    (pp. 123-139)
    Simone Holzwarth

    Zakir Husain, an economist with a keen interest in education who later became the third president of independent India, wrote these lines in a report on the Wardha¹ Conference of 1937, an important event in the debates on education within the Indian independence movement. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948), by that time undoubtedly an icon of the independence movement, presented his ideas on education at this conference. Its participants affirmed them, and they became known as the Wardha Scheme. Gandhi himself called his education concept ‘rural national education through village handicrafts’ orNai Talim.² As he wrote in 1938:


  11. Chapter 8 Colonial Education and Saami Resistance in Early Modern Sweden
    (pp. 140-155)
    Daniel Lindmark

    ‘Why do people find it so difficult to accept Sweden’s colonial past?’ Rolf Sjöström (1999: 53) asks in an article about the Swedish slave trade in the Caribbean. His own answer suggests that such a process would force the mental preconditions for slavery up to the surface. In any case, it is safe to assume that we Swedes do not like to be reminded of the grading of peoples and cultures that is indeed part of our heritage. Such a colonial world view would be an all-too-blunt challenge to our image of Sweden as a stronghold of freedom, justice and...

  12. Chapter 9 Constructive Orientalism: Debates on Languages and Educational Policies in Colonial India, 1830–1880
    (pp. 156-172)
    Hakim Ikhlef

    In British India, philological scholarship held a central position among the different types of knowledge the colonial state utilized to maintain its power. In fact, Bernard S. Cohn (1996) convincingly argued that knowledge of language was essential for the British, as it allowed them to gain access to, and process information about, Indian society and cultures. Looking at the same issue from a different perspective, Michael S. Dodson argued that ‘the work of translation into English can be seen to operate in colonial contexts to construct European authority, whether that authority be of an eminently practical kind for the extension...

  13. Chapter 10 Raden Ajeng Kartini and Cultural Nationalism in Java
    (pp. 175-197)
    Joost Coté

    In 1911, a collection of selected, carefully edited letters written by a largely self-educated Javanese woman was published in the Netherlands in memory of her untimely death seven years previously. The letters, written in Dutch over a period of five years to five Dutch women and six Dutch men, describe, on one level, her efforts to gain further Western education. This personal goal was wrapped up in a larger vision: that her educated self would contribute to the ‘advancement’ of her society. On both a personal and a social level, these goals involved a broader vision of social and cultural...

  14. Chapter 11 Women’s Education through Women’s Eyes: Literary Articulations in Colonial Western India
    (pp. 198-212)
    Meera Kosambi

    In the late nineteenth century, women’s education was an embattled though relatively less invasive social reform issue in the region of Maharashtra in western India.¹ The other social reform issues were marriage-related and thus more deeply entrenched and resistant to change. A significant marker of this reform discourse was its transnational and transcultural impulse, received in various ways from the British colonial rule (1818–1947), especially through the dissemination of Western, secular education imbued with a Western value system and designed to inculcate a self-critical outlook among Indians.

    Strangely enough, the social reform discourse in Maharashtra – as elsewhere in India...

  15. Chapter 12 Connecting Literature and History of Education: Analysing the Educative Fiction of Jean Webster and Lila Majumdar Transculturally and Connotatively
    (pp. 213-226)
    Barnita Bagchi

    In this chapter, I examine the work of two women writers who wrote primarily for children and young adults on two different continents in two different parts of the twentieth century. They are the American writer Jean Webster (1876–1916) and the Indian, Bengali writer Lila Majumdar (1908–2007). My focus on their fiction will analytically connect literature, history and education using a connotative, transcultural, comparative approach. By connotative, I refer to a fuzzy, multi-resonanced approach to knowledge. By transcultural, I mean an approach to knowledge that is interested in tracing connections, resonances and relationships across cultures. I argue that...

  16. Chapter 13 Transcending the Centre-Periphery Paradigm: Loreto Teaching in India, 1842–2010
    (pp. 227-243)
    Tim Allender

    Loreto is a Catholic teaching order for girls. This chapter explores its educational work in India in the past 160 years. Though Loreto operates throughout most of India today, the focus here is on Calcutta as the place where it first engaged with the subcontinent in 1842 before spreading west and eventually south. The chapter explores the complexity of this educational site to consider theorization about knowledge transfer that goes beyond simpler centre-periphery binaries. It also contextualizes and positions Loreto’s work in pre-and post-independence India to explain why it has been able to transcend Partition despite its Western and Christian...

  17. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 244-246)
  18. Index
    (pp. 247-255)