Colonial Education

Joost J. Coté

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter considers colonial education as experienced by children of both colonists and the colonized in three quite different colonial contexts. It briefly considers the cases of schooling in the Dutch colony of the East Indies, the Japanese colony of Taiwan, and the British Australian colonies (and early Australian Commonwealth), focusing on the period between 1880 and 1920. This was a time when, broadly speaking, “modern” educational ideals and practices were being developed in each of the associated imperial centers and beginning to influence the structure and content of education provided by colonial authorities. The chapter argues that despite cultural, demographic, political, and structural differences, significant similarities can be detected in education practices in the three colonial contexts examined. These demonstrate not only the pervasive influence of metropolitan “new education” pedagogical philosophies but also the underlying similarities in political and cultural assumptions across different imperial and colonial regimes at the time. The chapter concludes by identifying what appear to be the main differences between schooling in the colonies and schooling “at home” in metropolitan centers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Historical Studies in Education
Subtitle of host publicationDebates, Tensions, and Directions
EditorsTanya Fitzgerald
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789811023620, 9789811023637
ISBN (Print)9789811023613
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Education
ISSN (Print)2197-196X
ISSN (Electronic)2197-1951


  • Colonialism
  • Colonial education
  • Dutch East Indies
  • Taiwan
  • Colonial Australia

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