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Education for service: social service and higher education in India and Britain, 1905-1919

(2013) Education for service: social service and higher education in India and Britain, 1905-1919. History of Education Review , 42 (2) pp. 119-136. 10.1108/HER-07-2012-0020.

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Abstract

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss a vibrant social service culture in British and Indian higher education institutions in the period 1905-1919. The paper explores the many reciprocal influences between India and Britain, which lay behind the student social service movement. Developments in metropole and colony were so influenced by transnational movements of people and ideas that the common approaches and shared ideals which emerged cannot be fully understood by study of either setting in isolation.Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on a rich vein of college magazines and social service league publications as well as the writings of a range of enthusiasts for social service. The rapid spread of social service ideas across India and Britain relied on the exchange of ideas through English-language magazines and journals and the outreach work of leading social servants who addressed numerous student groups and meetings.Findings – Developments in Indian and British student service were shaped by and shaped in turn a wider social movement in the early twentieth century. Indian and western educationalists spread ideas about student social service through lectures, publications and international exchanges. Student social servants in both metropole and colony shared a set of core values which made up an “ideal of service”. Students in both metropole and colony were enjoined to view their education as a period of preparation for greater service to the nation after graduation. Student service leagues were involved in reworking patriotic idiom to link social service with nation building.Originality/value – The paper builds on recent work on social service and education to develop knowledge and understanding of transnational networks of educationalists, particular movements of people and ideas between colonial India and metropolitan Britain. Taking social service in higher education as a case study, the paper argues for the need to study developments in both metropole and colony in order to better understand reciprocal impacts.

Type: Article
Title: Education for service: social service and higher education in India and Britain, 1905-1919
DOI: 10.1108/HER-07-2012-0020
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1497880
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