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Title: A.V. Laferla and education : a post-colonial approach
Other Titles: Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history
Authors: Abela, Josienne
Keywords: Laferla, Albert V., 1887-1943 -- Biography
Malta -- History -- 1964-
Malta -- History -- British occupation, 1800-1964
Education -- Malta -- History
Comparative education
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Xirocco Publishing
Citation: Abela, J. (2017). A.V. Laferla and education : a post-colonial approach. In R. G. Sultana (Eds.), Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history (pp. 199-224). Malta: Xirocco Publishing.
Abstract: The writing of history in the form of the disinterested scholarship of academics studying the past objectively and for its own sake, is now unsustainable. The idea that history is dedicated to the pursuit of certaintist truth has been rejected and replaced by a fragmentary pluralistic ideal of reality. Contemporary thought has charged conventional history of partiality, of incompleteness and one-sidedness. Historiography was found to be not absolute or true, but historically and socially constructed. No historical account can recover the past as it ‘was’. Only different interpretations exist. The story of A. V. Laferla (1887-1943) and that of the Maltese educational system can be narrated in various ways. Here, I have chosen the post-colonial explanatory framework. Post-colonialism is here defined not as postindependence, as its semantic basis may seem to suggest, but as the sustained attention to the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day. In the historical period under discussion, the 1920’s—1940’s, the power relations were dictated by imperial discourse. To ignore imperialism is to miss what was essential about Laferla’s world. So, I have drawn on the concept of post-colonialism not because it is better or superior than other approaches, but as the most useful concept available to explain the economical, political, social and cultural conditions prevalent in Laferla’s time. A. V. Laferla is a figure that must be grasped within what Michel Foucault would call the ‘archive’ of his time. Post-colonialism stresses the examination of strategies that subvert the actual material and discursive effects of the imperial process. In the following sections I try to historicize the history of education through a ‘contrapuntal reading’. This is an oppositional way of interpreting history that enables the emergence of colonial implications that might otherwise remain hidden.
ISBN: 9789995711788
Appears in Collections:Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history

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