'Making good wives and mothers': The african education group and missionary reactions to the phelps stokes reports

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discussions that took place between the Colonial Office and Christian missions over the implementation of the recommendations of the Phelps Stokes Education Commissions merit more historical investigation. While missions voiced little public opposition to the reforms of mission education outlined in the two reports, over time, in meetings and conferences sponsored by the International Missionary Council (IMC), missionary challenges to the recommendations mounted. This was especially the case with the recommendations concerning the education of African girls. Thomas Jesse Jones, leader of the two Phelps Stokes Education Commissions and author of the two reports, argued that schools for African girls should focus on the training of future Christian matriarchs, who would supply colonial states with the healthy, disciplined labour forces those states desperately desired. Jones identified the school maintained by the missionary Mabel Shaw at Mbereshi in Zambia as the model other missions might emulate. Based upon Jones' recommendations concerning Shaw and her school, the British Colonial Office placed before Christian missions a gendered educational policy that would feature the education of African girls as wives and mothers. J. H. Oldham of the IMC took the point in presenting the Phelps Stokes recommendations and the government proposals based upon the recommendations to missionaries. Oldham discovered that missionaries questioned Shaw's expertise and rejected the idea that girls should be educated only to be wives and mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-85
Number of pages20
JournalStudies in World Christianity
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Education
Africa
Missionaries
Wives
Colonies
George Shaw
Christian Mission
Government
Zambia
Merit
Colonial State
Labor
Expertise
Educational Policy

Keywords

  • Gender and education
  • Girl's education
  • J. H. Oldham
  • Mabel Shaw
  • Mission schools
  • Phelps Stokes Education Commission
  • Thomas Jesse Jones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History

Cite this

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