Empire, Education, and Indigenous Childhoods: Nineteenth-Century Missionary Infant Schools in Three British Colonies
Taking up a little-known story of education, schooling, and missionary endeavor, Helen May, Baljit Kaur, and Larry Prochner focus on the experiences of very young ’native’ children in three British colonies. In missionary settlements across the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand, Upper Canada, and British-controlled India, experimental British ventures for placing young children of the poor in infant schools were simultaneously transported to and adopted for all three colonies. From the 1820s to the 1850s, this transplantation of Britain’s infant schools to its distant colonies was deemed a radical and enlightened tool that was meant to hasten the conversion of 'heathen' peoples by missionaries to Christianity and to European modes of civilization. The intertwined legacies of European exploration, enlightenment ideals, education, and empire building, the authors argue, provided a springboard for British colonial and missionary activity across the globe during the nineteenth century. Informed by archival research and focused on the shared as well as unique aspects of the infant schools’ colonial experience, Empire, Education, and Indigenous Childhoods illuminates both the pervasiveness of missionary education and the diverse contexts in which its attendant ideals were applied.
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Aboriginal adults American attended Auckland Bambridge Bengal Betsey Stockton Bishop boys Britain British Calcutta Canadian Chapter child Christian Guardian Church Missionary civilization colonial Committee contexts converts cultural described discipline Dunedin Early Childhood Empire England English Enlightenment established European evangelical female gallery girls Grape Island heathen Henry History Hocken Collections Hooghly Ibid ideas Imperial India Indigenous Childhoods infant education infant school Infant School Society infant system James John Journal Kindergarten L.B. Seeley Lanark language learning lessons literacy Mackenzie Maori Māori children Marianne Matthews Methodist mission schools missionary infant schools Missionary Society native Ngā Puhi nineteenth century Owen’s Paihia Pākehā parents Philadelphia Phrenology playground practice Public Instruction Quoted Report Robert Owen Samuel Wilderspin settlement social swing Taoka o Hakena teachers teaching Toronto Uare Taoka University of Otago University Press Upper Canada Waimate Waimate Mission Wellington William Wilson women York young children Zealand