During the era of New Imperialism, the newly-formed French Third Republic continued France's civilizing mission both in France and in Algeria. Founded on a series of reforms, republican leaders and educational experts judged primary level education taught in the French language to be the most effective means of uniting a linguistically and culturally diverse population in the metropole. These republican values, based on revolutionary tenet of universality, would help France to sustain a republican regime, would thwart attempts to reestablish monarchical rule, and would teach future French citizens what it meant to be politically active. At the same time, another group of metropolitan republicans set out to reform the educational system in Algeria, the crown jewel of the French empire. These men, using the civilizing mission as their justification, wanted to export the reformed metropolitan curriculum to Algeria in order to inculcate French values into the indigenous populations. The exclusive use of the French language and of metropolitan educational materials, based on assimilationist beliefs, resulted in the devaluation of Algerians' culture, language, and traditions. A third group of leaders and educational experts who had lived in Algeria recognized the peril involved in the direct export of metropolitan education. This third group championed Algerian exceptionalism, arguing that local circumstances must be considered when reforming education in Algeria so that indigenous culture is respected. Their associationalist perspectives predated the metropolitan shift in colonial ideology from assimilation to association.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Brooks, Michael, "By Book and School: The Politics of Educational Reform in France and Algeria during the Early Third Republic" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4909.