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Education & Language | Disassembling and Decolonizing School in the Pacific - A Genealogy from Micronesia

Disassembling and Decolonizing School in the Pacific

A Genealogy from Micronesia

Kupferman, David W.

2013, XXII, 182 p.

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  • Integrates contemporary theories and applications with Pacific Studies in the field of education
  • Crosses disciplinary boundaries by drawing on a variety of methodological approaches
  • Critically engages the self-evident nature of schooling in Micronesia as well as the larger Pacific
  • Questions conventional approaches to colonization, culture, and schooling prevalent in economic and political development theories

Schooling in the region known as Micronesia is today a normalized, ubiquitous, and largely unexamined habit. As a result, many of its effects have also gone unnoticed and unchallenged. By interrogating the processes of normalization and governmentality that circulate and operate through schooling in the region through the deployment of Foucaultian conceptions of power, knowledge, and subjectivity, this work destabilizes conventional notions of schooling’s neutrality, self-evident benefit, and its role as the key to contemporary notions of so-called political, economic, and social development. 

This work aims to disquiet the idea that school today is both rooted in some distant past and a force for decolonization and the postcolonial moment. Instead, through a genealogy of schooling, the author argues that school as it is currently practiced in the region is the product of the present, emerging from the mid-1960s shift in US policy in the islands, the very moment when the US was trying to simultaneously prepare the islands for putative self-determination while producing ever-increasing colonial relations through the practice of schooling. 

The work goes on to conduct a genealogy of the various subjectivities produced through this present schooling practice, notably the student, the teacher, and the child/parent/family. It concludes by offering a counter-discourse to the normalized narrative of schooling, and suggests that what is displaced and foreclosed on by that narrative in fact holds a possible key to meaningful decolonization and self-determination.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Decolonization of schooling - Education for indigenous people - Foucaultian perspective - Genealogy of schooling - Indigenous education - Lee Boo - Micronesian education - Narrative of schooling - No Child Left Behind Legislation - Normalization of American-style schooling - Normalization of schooling - Normalization of western schooling - Palau Community College - Palau's first scholar - Parental Information Resource Centers - Schooling and decolonization - Schooling in Micronesia

Related subjects » Education & Language - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Table of contents 

List of Figures.- Preface.- Acknowledgements.-  1. Introduction: Where Do We Go From Here?.- 2. Theory, Power, and the Pacific.- 3. Atolls and Origins: A Genealogy of Schooling in Micronesia.- 4. Power and Pantaloons: The Case of Lee Boo and the Normalizing of the Student.- 5. Certifiably Qualified: Corps, College, and the Construction of the Teacher.- 6. The Mother and Child Reunion: Governing the Family.- 7. Conclusion: The Emperor is a Nudist: A Case for Counter-Discourse(s).- References.- Index.

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