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Liberal Education and Its Discontents: The Crisis in the Indian University

Srinivasan, Shashikala

978 0 429 83531 5
Electronic book text
List price(s):
54.95 USD
39.99 GBP

Publication date:
8 August 2018

Full description: 

What explains the peculiar trajectory of the University and liberal education in India? Can we understand the crisis in the university in terms of the idea of education underlying it? This book explores these vital questions and traces the intellectual history of the idea of education and the cluster of concepts associated with it. It probes into the cultural roots of liberal education and seeks to understand its effects and limits when transplanted into the Indian context. With an extensive analysis of the philosophical writing on the idea of university and education in the West and colonial documents on education in India, the book reconstructs the ideas of Gandhi and Tagore on education and learning as a radical alternative to the inherited, European model. The author further reflects upon how we can successfully deepen liberal education in India as well as construct alternative models that will help us diversify higher learning for future generations.

Table of contents: 

Acknowledgements. List of abbreviations. 1. Introduction: Framing the `Crisis' Debate 2. The Humboldtian Heritage and the Idea of Education 3. The Pedagogical Mission: The Colonial Debate on Liberal Education in India 4. Unexpected Departures: Liberal Education `Distorted' 5. The Common Pursuit: The Nationalist Search for Alternatives 6. Limits of the Cognitive Framework: Indigenous Education through European Lenses. Conclusion. Glossary. Bibliography. Index


Shashikala Srinivasan is an independent research scholar based in Bengaluru, India. A Fulbright-Nehru Scholar (2012-13), she has a doctorate in Cultural Studies from the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Manipal University, Karnataka, India. Her work cuts across philosophy of education and culture, social epistemology, postcolonial studies and literature. She has offered courses in liberal arts as a visiting faculty in Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru and has previously taught as a senior faculty member in the English Department, Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru. She is at present further exploring the comparative intellectual history of learning traditions, the relationship between cultures and forms of knowledge as well as the differing conceptions of education, ethical learning and reflection across cultures.




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