Internationalisation dans le champ éducatif (18e – 20e siècles) Internationalization in Education (18th – 20th centuries) Genève / Geneva, 27-30 juin / June 2012


Christina REIMANN, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany



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Christina REIMANN, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

This paper argues that the national French and Belgian Education Leagues, gaining considerable political influence and being deeply rooted in their respective countries’ social-political order, are to be considered as transnational phenomena. The Belgian Education League (Ligue belge de l’Enseignement) founded in 1864 not only served as an example for the creation of the French Education League (Ligue française de l’Enseignement) in 1868, and not only did the two Leagues develop simultaneously, but also were they, to some extent, interdependent. Not only did their activists correspond closely with each other, exchanging and discussing their views and ways of acting, but also got the Leagues personally and structurally intertwined. Hence, considering that one League’s evolution and character cannot be entirely grasped without reference to its Belgian or French equivalent, these national civil society organizations can be regarded as transnational hybrids that are transnational products whose components cannot be re-separated. This paper proposes an analysis of the Education Leagues’ transnational relation from an actors’ perspective by mainly using the Belgian League’s archive material. The material most importantly contains transnational correspondence between different League activists; documents published by the French League that were sent to its Belgian counterpart; the League’s monthly publications including reports about the French League’s activity. Grounded on these documents, the paper is meant to answer the following questions: Which were, according to the activists, the interest and purpose of their transnational relationship and were these considered equally on both sides? What exactly did their relationship and mutual exchange consist in – and what was it supposed to consist in? How did the activists reconcile, connect or even justify their national social-political interests and intentions with them being eager to entertain transnational activities? How and by whom was the transnational contact established and maintained? Which was the role of the two founding fathers Charles Buls and Jean Macé in establishing and maintaining the Leagues’ correspondence and mutual support? How is the leaders’ personal relationship to be weighed compared to the institutionalization of the League’s transnational relation? To what extent did the social-political context interfere with the intensity and character of their relation? How did, for example, the activists consider the difference between Belgian and France with regard to civil liberties and individual rights? Which was the specificity of the French-Belgian relationship in comparison to the other European connections both Leagues entertained? Taking some distance from the sources and considering the evolution of the national education systems that, one may ask about the conclusions that could be drawn from the transnational character of civil society activists interfering with national educational politics. This means to consider the broader question of how to grasp the interconnection between the national and the transnational not only within civil society activity but within entire social-political systems. The study of the “transnationally national Education Leagues” might provide some possible answers to these questionings.

Vendredi / Friday 14:30 - 16:30 Room: 1140

6.12. Symposium [Part 2]. Mécanismes, acteurs et projets de coopération intellectuelle internationale au temps de la Société des Nations / Mecanisms, actors and projects of intellectual cooperation in the time of the League of Nations

[Part 1: 5.15.]



Coordinator(s): Joëlle DROUX; Rita HOFSTETTER

Discussant: Chloé MAUREL

Education for International Understanding: British secondary schools, educational travel and cultural exchange, 1919-1939



Sarah WINFIELD, University of Cambridge, Newnham College, United Kingdom

A key agent for the internationalisation of education has historically centred on the travel and exchange of students and teachers across national frontiers. Travel, as a medium for instruction, has a long and fascinating history that has largely been overlooked by historians of education. In Britain, for many centuries it was the privilege of young men of means. In the inter-war period, however, it grew to become an increasingly common feature of mainstream school experience. This was achieved principally through the efforts of a host of voluntary organisations founded for the promotion of international understanding and world peace. Then, as now, the goal of fostering an international outlook was perceived to be consolidated and enhanced through programmes designed to give participants first-hand knowledge and experience of peoples, cultures and living conditions overseas. In Britain, tens of thousands of students and teachers participated in travel and exchange programmes during the inter-war years that took them to the far-flung corners of Europe, the Empire and English-speaking world. Using these programmes as a lens through which to approach the internationalisation of education, this paper provides fresh insights into the ways in which pedagogical and cultural transfer were effected during a period of intense social and political flux. Through the triangulation of documentary and archival sources along with the retrospective oral commentaries of former participants, the paper seeks to give a more nuanced description of international education in action as well as appraising the significance of educational travel and exchange for international understanding across the twentieth century.

Between cooperation and rivalry: Internationalizing education at the Pan American Union and the League of Nations

Corinne PERNET, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Fostering intellectual cooperation through academic exchanges between educational establishments was high among the goals of the two largest international organizations of the interwar period: the Pan American Union (established 1889) and the League of Nations. The paper will examine the stance and the measures taken by these organizations and assess to which point their enterprises ran parallel, and at which junctures and fields they started to compete with one another. Though the literature tends to describe activities in the Americas as outcomes of League initiatives, we have to be careful in taking seriously the Pan American Union's previous efforts and the Latin American protagonist' agenda at the League as well as recognize the limitations of the League's projects. Based on multiple research in several archives, this paper contributes to our understanding of the complex transatlantic interactions in the field of education.

Internationalising the English schoolchild: League of Nations teaching through extra-activities (1919-39)

Susannah WRIGHT, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom

The League of Nations Union was formed in towards the end of 1918, with the objects of influencing government policy and promoting the newly founded League of Nations among the English general public. Given this focus on public opinion, attention was soon focused on the use that could be made of the education system, and an Education Committee was formed in 1919. For twenty years, the Education Committee promoted what contemporaries called League of Nations teaching in English schools. Such teaching aimed to internationalise pupils, by informing them about the aims, machinery and activities of the League of Nations, and also, more broadly, to encourage them to take an interest in other countries and develop the values and behaviours required in citizens in an interconnected and peaceful world. These aims were to be achieved through teaching within the school curriculum, and also a range of extra-curricular activities which, the LNU argued, in keeping with many contemporary educationalists, were particularly appropriate for its aim of creating “a sense of world citizenship” (The New Era, August 1930, p.52). Whilst League of Nations teaching has been discussed by John Elliott and, recently, by Helen McCarthy (Elliott, 1977; McCarthy, 2011), there is scope for a more detailed analysis of the different teaching approaches adopted and the pedagogical debates of the period. This applies in particular to extra-curricular activities, which will be the focus of this presentation. Many extra-curricular activities were organised by League of Nations Union Junior Branches formed in elementary and secondary schools, but some were coordinated from LNU headquarters in London. Drawing on the records and publications of the LNU and educational periodicals of the time, an overview will be given of the work of Junior Branches, the range of extra-curricular activities undertaken, and, within the context of broader educational debates of the time, the reputed benefits of these activities as educational tools. Two activities will be considered in detail. Model Assemblies were a popular activity undertaken by many Junior Branches during the 1920s and 1930s. Participants took on the role of nation state delegates, imitating the procedures and even, where possible, the seating arrangements of the Assembly at Geneva. Nansen Pioneer Camps were organised by headquarters each summer from 1933 to 1939. English pupils mixed with young foreign leaders (and in some years foreign students) for a fortnight of woodcraft and outdoor activities combined with study of the League and international politics. A final section of the presentation will consider how successful the League of Nations Union was, through these extra-curricular activities, in internationalising pupils in English schools.

National Culture, ‘Asia,’ and the World: Japan and China in the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation in the 1930s

Takashi SAIKAWA, University of Heidelberg, Germany

This paper seeks to examine cultural assertions of Japanese and Chinese intellectuals in an international context, by focusing on intellectuals in the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC). Founded in 1922 as an advisory organization for the Council of the League of Nations, the ICIC aimed at facilitating understanding among nations through constructing an international network of intellectuals. It soon became the most representative organization for cultural exchange in the interwar period. Among the members from non-western countries, Japan and China were both the most ardent advocates and the most outspoken critics of the ICIC. On the one hand, they promoted a close relationship with the organization, but on the other hand they emphasized the significance of national culture for rebelling against the Eurocentric universalism upon which the ICIC was predicated. The backlash from Chinese and Japanese intellectuals against the ICIC’s underlying assumptions prompted the organization to shift its guiding principle from intellectual cooperation based on the presumed universality of western civilization to international cultural exchange based on the particularity of national cultures. This paper in particular examines the discourse in the ICIC in the 1930s, when the organization came to identify itself as the “league of cultures,” while Japan and China called for recognition of their respective national cultures in connection with regional concepts such as “Asia.” It argues that while Japan and China shared common motives in making cultural assertions to the ICIC under the rubric of regional concepts, their views of the content of such notions were inherently incompatible.



Au-delà de la Genève internationale? Genèse et réseaux de l’Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales dans l’entre-deux-guerres

Gregory MEYER, Université de Genève, Suisse

Fondé en 1927 à Genève, l’Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales (IUHEI) est un établissement d’enseignement supérieur consacré à «l’étude scientifique des relations internationales». Projet formulé dans le microcosme internationaliste genevois, cet institut, de par son fonctionnement, son financement et ses ambitions, est un produit des réseaux de la «Genève internationale». Cette contribution propose d’étudier l’Institut comme lieu de l’internationalisme de l’entre-deux-guerres, structure académique d’études des relations internationales et acteur de la coopération intellectuelle, en mettant à profit les archives d’État de Genève, de l’Université de Genève ainsi que celles de l’IUHEI. De plus, elle explique le positionnement de l’Institut dans le champ des études internationales dans sa configuration locale et internationale. Il s’agit d’abord de s’intéresser à la genèse de l’IUHEI en analysant l’élaboration et la mise sur pied du projet d’un institut d’études internationales. D’une part, il se définit en partie par rapport aux divers instituts, écoles et summer schools traitant des questions internationales qui fleurissent dès les années vingt à Genève. La ville est alors déjà un centre d’études des questions internationales à travers ces nombreux projets éducatifs qui gravitent autour de la Société des Nations (SdN), du Bureau international du Travail et des nombreuses organisations non-gouvernementales et associations privées. D’autre part, la question cruciale du financement montre qu’outre le Canton de Genève et la Confédération suisse, une fondation philanthropique américaine assure une grande partie du budget de l’Institut. En effet, certaines fondations philanthropiques, très actives dans les réseaux internationalistes, sont présentes à Genève où elles financent en partie les activités dites techniques de la SdN. Elles montrent par ailleurs un intérêt marqué pour la question de l’étude des relations internationales en finançant plusieurs institutions académiques européennes. Les études à l’IUHEI, ses étudiants et ses professeurs constituent un deuxième axe d’analyse. L’Institut capte en effet un public estudiantin d’origines diverses et recrute des professeurs en Europe et aux Etats-Unis. La composition de son corps d’étudiants et d’enseignants lui donne donc une dimension réellement internationale. Enfin, le programme d’étude insiste sur une formation pluridisciplinaire où l’étude des relations internationales ne se cantonne pas qu’au droit international comme c’est encore souvent le cas à l’époque. Il s’agit de comprendre par ce biais, comment on étudie les relations internationales et comment on forme une élite spécialiste de ces questions. Loin de fonctionner en vase clos, l’IUHEI est bien connecté avec d’autres établissements aux buts similaires. Il participe ainsi à la Conférence pour l'étude scientifique des relations internationales, créée en 1928 sous les auspices de l’Institut International de Coopération Intellectuelle de la Société des Nations qui constitue une mise en réseaux des institutions se consacrant à l’étude des questions internationales. Parmi les travaux de la Conférence qui traitent généralement des grandes questions économiques et financières ainsi que des problèmes de la paix et du désarmement, l’accent sera mis sur les discussions autour de l’enseignement universitaire des relations internationales, notamment dans les comparaisons qui sont alors faites et les convergences envisagées dans ce domaine dans l’enseignement supérieur.

Vendredi / Friday 14:30 - 16:30 Room: 2130

6.13. Symposium [Part 2]. Education coloniale / Colonial Education

[Part 1: session 5.14.]



Coordinator(s): Peter KALLAWAY; Kate ROUSMANIERE

Discussant: Marc DEPAEPE

Colonial and Post-Colonial Education Policy Parallels along African Borders



Linda CHISHOLM, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa

People living on the border of South Africa and Botswana share a common language and mission education history, and were joined in a political union for a brief period in the nineteenth century (see Comaroff and Comaroff, 1991). Common colonial networks facilitated common goals from the early twentieth century (Kallaway, 2007 & 2009:219). But the advent of apartheid in South Africa in 1948 and independence in Botswana in 1966 resulted in a cooling of relations. Botswana’s rapid expansion of mass education ‘with … less conflict than might have been expected’ after 1966 has been the subject of analysis by institutionalists, Meyer, Nagel and Snyder (1993: 457). They see this expansion as a consequence of Botswana’s benign relationship with the colonial power, Great Britain, its use of expatriates in the immediate post-colonial period to staff the civil service, a strong economy and absence of intermediate groups who could have fostered opposition (Meyer, Nagel and Snyder: 471; see also Tabulawa in press). South Africa by contrast also developed a system of mass education during this period, but under considerably different conditions, including most notably racial inequality, repression of resistance and international isolation. A central feature of apartheid policy was the Bantustan policy which sought to create putative independent states within the borders of South Africa. Nonetheless, despite these increasingly divergent political histories, Botswana, and the South African ‘homeland’ on the Botswana border, adopted similar educational policies, strategies and approaches during the 1970s and 1980s. This would appear to confirm the institutionalist argument of greater convergence across international and national borders. And yet, there is enough evidence of differences to support the approach taken by Jurgen Schriewer that, rather than convergence, there is evidence of ‘an abstract universalism of transnationally disseminated models, which fans out into multiform structural patterns wherever such models interact in the course of their intellectual adoption of institutional implementation….’ (Schriewer 2003: 273). This paper will examine how similar ideas were linearly adopted, diffused and indigenized in these specific local contexts, by whom and with what consequences. It will examine who the principal beneficiaries were, as well as the consequences for emancipation, exclusion and resistance. The paper will draw on both primary and secondary evidence, including life history interviews.

A Biological Approach to Education in Colonial Africa: J. H. Huxley's engagement with Education in East Africa: 1929-1932

Peter KALLAWAY, University of Cape Town, South Africa

During the 1930s there is a significant shift in the debate about the nature of the curriculum in British colonial education in Africa. Above all, somewhat discreetly hidden behind the formal language of the educational documents, is the question of the challenge presented to the traditional literary/religious missionary curriculum, or even to the adaptationist debate about the need for a curriculum related to the needs of the African rural environment, by emergence of strong public debate over the necessity for science education and the need to address issues of evolution, human heredity, the nature of population growth, and the challenges presented by the race doctrines of the fascist powers in Europe. Such issues were often hidden behind the rhetoric of relevance – to family and community health care, ecological best practice and economic prosperity. In that sense, in the words of Arthur Mayhew, secretary of the Colonial Office Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies (ACEC), the debate about a biological approach to education in Africa takes on considerable significance and needs to be seen as part of the wider set of questions raised by the relationship between “Propaganda, Science and Education” in the Inter-War years. This paper seeks to explore the first major initiative by the Colonial Office relating to the shaping of the African school curriculum along these lines between 1929 and 1933 with attempts to extend science education in general and biology education in particular to a context that had been dominated by Christian missionary education. The paper explores various attempts to launch a research initiative on this issue and to promote new forms of policy related to wider development planning proposals. It explores the processes by which such policy came to be initiated and adopted by the ACEC and its subsequent promotion as official policy.



The Construction of the Modern Coloured Learner in 1940s Cape Town

Azeem BADROODIEN, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, South Africa

This paper explores the ways in which the provision of education for ‘youth at risk’ was conceptualised for young coloured boys in Cape Town in the 1940s and framed by understandings of nationhood and the particular nature of the British colonial subject in South Africa. The paper employs the life history technique to explore the construction of ‘nation’ in South Africa in the 1940s as told through the story of one youth that was institutionalized in a state correctional institution for boys in 1948. The purpose of the one-person life history approach is to provide a micro-lens to the variety of intersecting modernist discourses under colonial rule that framed the ways in which notions of nation was calibrated both within the activities and goals of one correctional facility and onto the bodies of the coloured youth institutionalized there during its more than 50 year existence. Using the British colonial and urban space of Cape Town as an important backdrop, the paper reveals key links between an interweaving welfarist-educational-correctional discourse and the colonial construction of what it meant to be an indigent coloured person in Cape Town at that time. Notably, the material utilized in the paper was collected in a recent funded-research project that captured the life stories of 20 individuals that were institutionalized at one correctional facility in Cape Town in the period 1947 to 1970. The project sought to show multifaceted dimensions of the urban experience of indigent coloured males under apartheid, while problematizing the construction of a particular coloured identity during the twentieth century. Given that part of the project was to explore and interrogate how subjects remember and the kinds of discourses they use to describe their experiences - the real and the imagined, the paper offers three levels of analysis by which to view understandings of nationhood in South Africa. The first lens closely zooms in on the informant’s personal file in the institution’s archive about his early life and the reasons and circumstances for his institutionalisation. Using social worker, police, psychologist and educator inputs about the individual, this section shows the kinds of discourses that captured and held in place the way in which the youth was seen and dealt with when institutionalised. The second lens focuses on the ways in which the informant’s needs were met and cast within the institution during his stay there and the ways in which a particular understanding of nation and ‘colouredness’ shaped his experience at the correctional facility. This is captured in institutional files. The third lens is the micro-institutional and personal viewpoint of the informant of his life after he was released from state care (at the age of 18). The focus here (via interviews with the 80 year old informant) was on how his identity and life experience was framed and captured in his neighbourhood, workplace, and home and how this shaped how he approached life in urban Cape Town after 1960.

Vendredi / Friday 14:30 - 16:30 Room: 1150

6.14. Symposium [Part 2]. "Nous sommes "un" mais nous ne sommes pas les mêmes". L'avènement des acteurs de l'éducation globale, la vision d'un monde unique et la tentative de standardiser les systèmes éducatifs / We're One, but We're not the Same” The Rise of Global Educational Players, the Vision of One World and the Attempt to Standardize Education Systems

[Part 1: session 5.13.]



Coordinator(s): Anne ROHSTOCK; Thomas LENZ

Discussant: Eckhardt FUCHS

Global harmonization or local differentiation? The reform of European higher education systems since 1945: France, West Germany and Luxembourg




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