Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2016 Archive

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Why education history matters


28 October 2016

A Comparative and International Research Network seminar.

Prior to the 20th century, ‘modern' schools (developed along a British model) did not exist in Uganda. Across six decades, this context changed as British missionaries and colonists, in addition to Ugandans, worked, sometimes collaboratively and sometimes separately, to develop schools, train teachers, and implement curricula for Ugandan children. At the same time, these schools (re-)enforced gender, race, and religious hierarchies and inequalities. By the time of its independence in 1962, Uganda had developed one of the most robust systems of schooling for African children in East Africa, which included the first post-secondary institution in the region. And yet, this development of ‘modern' schooling came at a substantial cost to traditional education as well as the production and preservation of local knowledge.

This seminar, featuring Dr Elisabeth Lefebvre (top, right) as presenter, and Dr Helen Proctor as discussant, will be based on Dr Lefebvre's research on education in Uganda. Drawing on Baker (2002) and others, who have examined the entangled history of childhood and schooling, Dr Lefebvre will discuss how colonial schooling disrupted traditional child-rearing patterns – in which children were raised in communities of practice – and dislocated educational processes from local knowledge and practice, formalising them as 'schooling'.

To summarise, Dr Lefebvre argues that understanding colonial educational history in context, including in Uganda, is essential to disentangling the deep and complicated roots of educational inequalities in our classrooms and beyond.

Event details

  • When: 2.30–4pm

  • Where: Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • RSVP: RSVP by emailing Dr Matthew AM Thomas.

  • Contact: Dr Matthew AM Thomas
    T: +61 2 8627 4304

  • Presenter: Elisabeth Lefebvre is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota. She holds a PhD. in Comparative and International Development Education with a minor in Sociocultural Studies in Education from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Oregon. Before attending graduate school, Dr Lefebvre worked as an elementary school teacher in the US and Morocco. Lefebvre's interdisciplinary research examines the mutually constitutive and historical relationship between schooling and childhood, as well as the ways in which ideas about schooling impact student and teacher experiences in the classroom. Her articles have been published in the International Journal of Educational Development: Papers, Essays, and Reviews; the Yonsei Journal of International Studies; and Reconsidering Development. She is currently working on a monograph based on her dissertation research.

  • Discussant: Helen Proctor is an associate professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. Her publications include A History of Australian Schooling (Campbell & Proctor 2014).

Why education history matters

Where Room 612, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.


28 October 2016

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