De-colonising education: the case of British imperialism – Cass seminar 10 March 2020, 5.30-7.30 pm. Cass ED2.02

UEL Cass Open Seminar  All Welcome! 

ET7750 Education Policy in Practice week 8 session: De-colonising Education Policy

10 March 2020, 5.30-7.30 pm.  Cass ED2.02 University of East London, Stratford Campus, Water Lane, London E15 4LZ

Convenors: Professor Terri Kim ( & Dr. Fran Zanatta

Cass School of Education and Communities

De-colonising education: the case of British imperialism

Dr. Leslie Bash

Director of ICIS, UCL Institute of Education

Education has been central to the maintenance of modern empires. Educational policies and practices under British imperialism reflected the complexities, tensions and conflicts in the different territories of the Empire. Cultural imperialism was an inherent aspect of colonial education with curricular implications for schooling in the United Kingdom. As the British Empire underwent change and eventually declined, education also changed in response. However, the change was not linear, with the legacy of empire continuing both in the former colonial territories and in the UK itself up to present times, with implications both for the formal and informal dimensions of learning. Importantly, the English language is maintained, in different forms, as a continuing symbol of empire, together with diverse and sometimes complex responses at a time when interculturalism, post-colonialism, and globalisation have affected the discourse on the British Empire. At the same time, the discourse is sometimes complicated by an apparent resurgence of imperial sentiment while the arts continue to reflect critical attitudes towards past imperial power. I conclude with the view that the development of a critical understanding of the relationship between education and empire is necessary to ensure changes in pedagogy with regard to greater inclusion of those with histories of marginalisation and subordination.

Beyond comforting histories: The colonial/imperial entanglements of the International Institute, Paul Monroe and Isaac L. Kandel at Teachers College, Columbia University

Professor Keita Takayama

Kyoto University, Japan

In this talk, I assess the works of Paul Monroe, Isaac L. Kandel and the International Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University in the early 20th century. Drawing on Edward Said’s notion of contrapuntal reading, I foreground the colonial and imperial realities of the time as constitutively significant to the early formation of the field of comparative and international education. In so doing, I try to unsettle the comforting ways in which the founding histories of the field have been narrated. By illuminating colonial/imperial entanglements during the formative period, I invite comparative education researchers to reflect upon how the historical and geopolitical context sets limits on what knowledge we produce and how, when the relationship between our scholarship and international development agencies is closer than ever.

Guest-speakers’ biographical notes

Dr Leslie Bash

Leslie Bash is Honorary Reader at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where he is Director of the International Centre for Intercultural Studies. He is also Reader in Jewish Education at Leo Baeck College and teaches on the MA in Jewish Education Leadership. Having graduated in sociology he taught in London secondary schools while pursuing postgraduate studies, ultimately gaining a PhD in comparative education. He has taught for many years in universities and published widely in urban, international and intercultural education, with current interests in migration, diversity, equity and cultural issues. Leslie presently serves as Vice-President of the International Association for Intercultural Education.  Email:

Professor Keita Takayama

Keita Takayama is Professor at the Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Japan and Adjunct Professor in the School of Education, University of New England, Australia. His research explores globalization of education policy and decolonization of educational research. Many of his publications have appeared in Comparative Education and Comparative Education Review. He is the recipient of 2010 George Bereday Award from the Comparative & International Education Society.  Email:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.