Language and the history of colonial education

The case of Hong Kong

Anthony Sweeting, Edward Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Judith Brown, in her Epilogue to Volume IV of The Oxford History of the British Empire (OHBE), states that of the legacies of the British Empire, the 'most significant of all is the legacy of the school and the university', and in particular the role of English as an international language. Brown's acknowledgement of the importance of colonial education renders all the more striking the lack of attention given to this subject in the OHBE as a whole. For example, while Volume IV contains chapters on 'Gender in the British Empire', 'Critics of Empire in Britain', 'The Popular Culture of Empire in Britain', and 'The British Empire and the Muslim World', education receives barely two dozen references, buried in the text of other chapters. These offer glimpses into the development of literacy in parts of Africa, the expansion of state educational provision in Ceylon, and the concern of Nigeria's colonial authorities regarding the socially and politically destabilizing effects of the spread of Western education; but taken together they provide no overall analysis of colonial education policies, systems of schooling or curricula. Notwithstanding what some have criticised as its ultra-orthodox overall approach, with regard to this particular field the OHBE more-or-less accurately represents the current state of research. Despite a number of interesting forays on the periphery, the history of colonial education remains a vast and largely unexplored field of enquiry: the dark continent of imperial historiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-40
Number of pages40
JournalModern Asian Studies
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2007

Fingerprint

Hong Kong
education
history
language
education policy
literacy
Sri Lanka
popular culture
curriculum
historiography
Nigeria
critic
Muslim
gender
British Empire
Colonial Education
History
Language
university
lack

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Language and the history of colonial education : The case of Hong Kong. / Sweeting, Anthony; Vickers, Edward.

In: Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1, 01.01.2007, p. 1-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{80c027b9b7f24b698850bf953a98856f,
title = "Language and the history of colonial education: The case of Hong Kong",
abstract = "Judith Brown, in her Epilogue to Volume IV of The Oxford History of the British Empire (OHBE), states that of the legacies of the British Empire, the 'most significant of all is the legacy of the school and the university', and in particular the role of English as an international language. Brown's acknowledgement of the importance of colonial education renders all the more striking the lack of attention given to this subject in the OHBE as a whole. For example, while Volume IV contains chapters on 'Gender in the British Empire', 'Critics of Empire in Britain', 'The Popular Culture of Empire in Britain', and 'The British Empire and the Muslim World', education receives barely two dozen references, buried in the text of other chapters. These offer glimpses into the development of literacy in parts of Africa, the expansion of state educational provision in Ceylon, and the concern of Nigeria's colonial authorities regarding the socially and politically destabilizing effects of the spread of Western education; but taken together they provide no overall analysis of colonial education policies, systems of schooling or curricula. Notwithstanding what some have criticised as its ultra-orthodox overall approach, with regard to this particular field the OHBE more-or-less accurately represents the current state of research. Despite a number of interesting forays on the periphery, the history of colonial education remains a vast and largely unexplored field of enquiry: the dark continent of imperial historiography.",
author = "Anthony Sweeting and Edward Vickers",
year = "2007",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0026749X04001635",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
pages = "1--40",
journal = "Modern Asian Studies",
issn = "0026-749X",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Language and the history of colonial education

T2 - The case of Hong Kong

AU - Sweeting, Anthony

AU - Vickers, Edward

PY - 2007/1/1

Y1 - 2007/1/1

N2 - Judith Brown, in her Epilogue to Volume IV of The Oxford History of the British Empire (OHBE), states that of the legacies of the British Empire, the 'most significant of all is the legacy of the school and the university', and in particular the role of English as an international language. Brown's acknowledgement of the importance of colonial education renders all the more striking the lack of attention given to this subject in the OHBE as a whole. For example, while Volume IV contains chapters on 'Gender in the British Empire', 'Critics of Empire in Britain', 'The Popular Culture of Empire in Britain', and 'The British Empire and the Muslim World', education receives barely two dozen references, buried in the text of other chapters. These offer glimpses into the development of literacy in parts of Africa, the expansion of state educational provision in Ceylon, and the concern of Nigeria's colonial authorities regarding the socially and politically destabilizing effects of the spread of Western education; but taken together they provide no overall analysis of colonial education policies, systems of schooling or curricula. Notwithstanding what some have criticised as its ultra-orthodox overall approach, with regard to this particular field the OHBE more-or-less accurately represents the current state of research. Despite a number of interesting forays on the periphery, the history of colonial education remains a vast and largely unexplored field of enquiry: the dark continent of imperial historiography.

AB - Judith Brown, in her Epilogue to Volume IV of The Oxford History of the British Empire (OHBE), states that of the legacies of the British Empire, the 'most significant of all is the legacy of the school and the university', and in particular the role of English as an international language. Brown's acknowledgement of the importance of colonial education renders all the more striking the lack of attention given to this subject in the OHBE as a whole. For example, while Volume IV contains chapters on 'Gender in the British Empire', 'Critics of Empire in Britain', 'The Popular Culture of Empire in Britain', and 'The British Empire and the Muslim World', education receives barely two dozen references, buried in the text of other chapters. These offer glimpses into the development of literacy in parts of Africa, the expansion of state educational provision in Ceylon, and the concern of Nigeria's colonial authorities regarding the socially and politically destabilizing effects of the spread of Western education; but taken together they provide no overall analysis of colonial education policies, systems of schooling or curricula. Notwithstanding what some have criticised as its ultra-orthodox overall approach, with regard to this particular field the OHBE more-or-less accurately represents the current state of research. Despite a number of interesting forays on the periphery, the history of colonial education remains a vast and largely unexplored field of enquiry: the dark continent of imperial historiography.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33845538767&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33845538767&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0026749X04001635

DO - 10.1017/S0026749X04001635

M3 - Article

VL - 41

SP - 1

EP - 40

JO - Modern Asian Studies

JF - Modern Asian Studies

SN - 0026-749X

IS - 1

ER -