Politics of Education in Colonial India  book cover
1st Edition

Politics of Education in Colonial India

ISBN 9781138660182
Published January 20, 2016 by Routledge India
260 Pages

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Book Description

In retracting from the popular view that India’s modern educational policy was shaped almost entirely by Macaulay, this incisive work reveals the complex ideological and institutional rubric of the colonial educational system. It examines its wide-ranging and lasting impact on curriculum, pedagogy, textbooks, teachers’ role and status, and indigenous forms of knowledge. Recounting the nationalist response to educational reforms, the book reinforces three major quests: justice as expressed in the demand for equal educational opportunities for the lower castes; self-identity as manifest in the urge to define India’s educational needs from within its own cultural repertoire; and the idea of progress based on industrialization.

An exceptional contribution to educational theory, including a nuanced discussion of caste, gender and girls’ education, this book will be invaluable to teachers, scholars and students of education, modern Indian history and sociology of education, and policy makers.

Table of Contents

Prologue. I. Introduction Part I: Dynamics of Colonization II. Colonial Citizen as an Educational Ideal III. Appropriate Knowledge: Conflict of Curriculum and Culture IV. Meek Dictator: The Paradox of Teacher’s Personality Part II: Dynamics of the Freedom Struggle V. Pursuit of Equality VI. Quest for Self-Identity VII. Meanings of Progress VIII. Conclusion. Bibliography. About the Author. Index

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Krishna Kumar is Professor of Education at the University of Delhi and former Director of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT).


‘[N]ovel in its perspective and incisive in its insights.’ — N. Jayaram

‘[Kumar’s] narrative is smooth and flawless. And he makes his points with an uncanny courage of conviction.’ — J. L. Azad

‘[Krishna Kumar] presents a coherent, often gripping, representation of the politics and values inherent in ‘modern education’ within a historical perspective.’ — Harsh Sethi

‘[T]he best work on Indian educational development.’ — A. Mathew