05 August 2013

Exporting European Education

The final paper in our recent special issue of European Education: Issues and Studies exploring European education outside of Europe comes from Barbara Schulte. She is an associate professor of education at Lund University in Sweden and at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen. She specializes in research on education and contemporary history in China. Her research focuses on issues of transnational educational transfer, governmentality, and the discursive construction of the educational field in China. Her paper is entitled "Europe Refracted: Western Education and Knowledge in China" and the abstract is reproduced below. If you would like to read the entire paper or any other content from our journal, you can find out more about subscriptions here.
European educational knowledge and practices have been deeply impacted by the colonial experience. While hegemonic knowledge was exported to the colonies, practices of teaching and governing colonial subjects were tested in the periphery and then reimported to the center. This contribution looks at a case of European education outside Europe that did not take place, at least not entirely, in a colonial setting: China. It argues that the (at least potentially) non-colonial encounter with societies that presented possible alternatives to European civilization was as important in refracting and reframing European knowledge, education, and identity as was the colonial encounter. European education outside Europe was enacted not only in settings of hegemony and resistance but also in more subtly nuanced spaces of encounter.