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ERIC Number: EJ975418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Science and Policy: Anthropology and Education in British Colonial Africa during the Inter-War Years
Kallaway, Peter
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v48 n3 p411-430 2012
The advent of educational policy debate and educational research in the first half of the twentieth century is part of the quest for respectability and influence in the social sciences. There was an increasing quest for "objective" methodologies and data as missionary societies, philanthropic foundations and governments sought reliable information about existing educational policy and indicators for the direction of future policies in British colonial Africa. One of the earliest attempts along these "scientific" lines was the Phelps-Stokes Commission's report on "Education in Africa" (1922). "An African Survey" (1938), edited by Lord Hailey, was the summation of this inter-war initiative. A key site of the attempt to understand the African colonial environment was social anthropology, grounded in various traditions and institutes of colonial studies across Europe. The work of anthropologists of the time provided the foundation for policy debate and came to have considerable influence on how missionaries, colonial administrators and philanthropic funders assessed the significance of policy proposals. However, the dominant notion of "culture contact", popularised by Bronislaw Malinowski and his students, came under attack from critics like Norman Leys, William M. Macmillan and A. Victor Murray, who placed capital, land and labour at the centre of their analyses of the colonial situation rather than race or culture. These debates were to be central to the early development of scientific planning, and the "triumph of the expert" was to have great significance for the emergence of post-war development planning. What were anthropologists, as scientific advisors to the missionaries and colonial government, saying about the colonial situation, and specifically about education? What kinds of research relevant to this field did they undertake? What roles did they play in the complex interplay of political, intellectual and social forces? This paper will investigate the ways in which social anthropology presented the promise of a creative link between science, development policy and education in the inter-war years, but concludes that little of that promise was realised. (Contains 76 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa