History of colonial education : key reflections

Ellis, Catriona; Sarangapani, Padma M. and Pappu, Rekha, eds. (2020) History of colonial education : key reflections. In: Handbook of Education Systems in South Asia. Springer Nature, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-13-3309-5 (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3309-5_70-1)

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The history of education in India has long been a contentious but also particularly productive research field, not only for what it reveals about the philosophies and practice of education but also because the transmission of knowledge to the young has been continuously contested and is intimately connected to wider political structures, institutions, and ideologies. Traditionally the focus for historians has been on the role, relevance, and impact of Western knowledge on colonial educational policies and pedagogical practices and the ways in which colonial education was used to provide justification for colonialism as Britain’s gift to the subcontinent, a narrative which has been consistently disputed by Indians themselves. However in the last 30 years, there has been a significant shift towards an engagement with the details of both education policy and practice, so that the reader is now impressed with the vibrancy of the field and the wide range of approaches taken. In short, colonialism is now viewed as only one of many power dynamics involved in the transfer of knowledge alongside other, of course intersectional, social relationships based on region, class, caste, religion, and gender which reflect a wide variety of views and hierarchies within both the British and Indian positions.