The panel will focus on the political and social dynamics of schooling from colonization to the first decade of independence. The communications will aim to understand how educational policies and practices are bounded with the building of colonial and independent states and societies.
The panel School Education and the Shaping of Colonial and Independent States and Societies (19th century-1970') will focus on the history of educational institutions, their actors, their curricula, and on the social dynamics of schooling from colonization to the first decade of independence. Drawing on situated approaches, the communications will aim to understand the ways in which educational policies and practices are closely bounded with the building of colonial and independent states and societies. Questions related to education were instrumental to the construction of colonial empires. At the interface of colonial powers and colonized populations, schools are relevant places to understand the colonial "encounter", its violence, conflicts, contradictions, negotiations, and processes of domestication. Moreover, school education was central in the shaping of anti-colonial movements. Despite their imperial objectives, educational institutions were focal point for claims to equality, and they trained the future nationalist elites, leaders of political parties and trade-unions. Finally, after the independences, education was considered as one of the main instruments of new state-buildings. Our aim is, therefore, double. First, in analyzing educational policies, we want to read anew the objectives of colonial and post-colonial states, their internal contradictions, their the permanences and inflexions. Second, the social history of education will enable to understand the experiences of populations confronted to the political, economical, and cultural transformations engendered by colonization and post-independence state-building. This will, in turn, help to understand how Africans contributed to shape their own societies.