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Missionary CalculusAmericans in the Making of Sunday Schools in Victorian India$
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Anilkumar Belvadi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190052423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190052423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Pre-Victorian Colonial Education

Pre-Victorian Colonial Education

(p.26) 2 Pre-Victorian Colonial Education
Missionary Calculus

Anilkumar Belvadi

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 is a retelling of nearly two hundred years of pre-Victorian Indian colonial education, presented to aid interpretations of American missionary action in the Victorian period. The chapter shows how, despite their “universal” Christian intent, mission schools were closely allied with colonial authority and deeply racialized in their functioning. Extensive archival data (1708–1849) is used to describe the typical composition of the student body, syllabi, classroom techniques, and examination methods in mission-run schools. Missionaries used the very “heathen” curricular material and pedagogical practices they denounced. And they deliberated over the advantages of establishing schools that would further the interests of the East India Company. In the other direction, British parliamentary papers show official colonial thinking on how Western education could serve the colonial cause, and on whether a part of the teaching endeavor could be delegated to Christian missionaries. The chapter summarizes the decline of indigenous education under colonial rule as reported by Company officials just as evangelicals, chiefly, educated and ambitious middle-class people in Britain and America, began to express interest in Indian education. Between 1833 and 1854, mission schools were widely established, filling the void in indigenous education. The chapter considers the problematic of the language of education, recounting the Anglicist/Orientalist debate. It then discusses the “Woods Despatch” of 1854, the new education law, which called for a secular curriculum and for inspections to be instituted in private schools seeking government grants-in-aid. The chapter ends with a discussion of American missionary thought and practice of exploring new ways of attracting student audiences to the evangelical cause.

Keywords:   colonial education, mission schools, East India Company, Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg, Madras Asylum, Andrew Bell, monitorial method, Anglicist/Orientalist, Woods Despatch

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