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Empire and Education in Africa

The Shaping of a Comparative Perspective


Edited By Peter Kallaway and Rebecca Swartz

Empire and Education in Africa brings together a rich body of scholarship on the history of education in colonial Africa. It provides a unique contribution to the historiography of education in different African countries and a useful point of entry for scholars new to the field of African colonial education. The collection includes case studies from South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, French West Africa (Afrique Occidentale Française) and Tanzania (then Tanganyika). It will therefore prove invaluable for scholars in the histories of French, British and German colonialism in Africa. The book examines similarities and differences in approaches to education across a broad geographical and chronological framework, with chapters focusing on the period between 1830 and 1950. The chapters highlight some central concerns in writing histories of education that transcend geographic or imperial boundaries. The text addresses the relationship between voluntary societies’ role in education provision and state education. The book also deals with ‘adapted’ education: what kind of education was appropriate to African people or African contexts, and how did this differ across and between colonial contexts? Finally, many of the chapters deal with issues of gender in colonial education, showing how issues of gender were central to education provision in Africa.

Peter Kallaway, a teacher educator/historian/comparative educationalist/policy analyst, is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of the Western Cape and Research Associate at the University of Cape Town. A past and current member of the editorial boards of several academic journals, including History of Education, he is editor of The History of Education under Apartheid: 1948–1994 (2003); Education after Apartheid (1997); Johannesburg: Images and Continuities: A History of Working Class Life through Pictures, 1885–1935 (with P. Pearson, 1986); and Apartheid and Education (1984).

Rebecca Swartz completed her Ph.D., "Ignorant and Idle: Indigenous Education in Natal and Western Australia, 1833–1875", at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2015. She was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town.