Teaching Gender in the Colony

Parna Sengupta

in Pedagogy for Religion

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268296
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950412 | DOI:
Teaching Gender in the Colony

Show Summary Details


This chapter diagnoses and suggests remedies to “improve” and “extend” female education in the colonies. The history of women teachers in colonial Bengal offers a significant contrast to the history of male teacher education. The difficulty of training women teachers offers a striking contrast to the popularity and status of women's education. The notion of the teacher as a kind of model for appropriate gendered behavior, introduced by evangelicals and increasingly taken up by bhadra society, created a demand for both single-sex schooling and female teachers to staff such schools. It was native Christian women, trained in mission schools, who came to dominate the female teaching profession well into the twentieth century. The decision to expand upper-caste women's education paradoxically created greater educational opportunities for lowercaste, non-Hindu women. The training of women teachers was one of the most successful missionary educational endeavors. Racial, castes, and class hierarchies fundamentally shaped the ways mission societies interacted with their female students.

Keywords: teaching; gender; colony; female education; teachers; students

Chapter.  8504 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.