Ball, Stephen J. 1983. “Imperialism, Social Control and the Colonial Curriculum in Africa.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 15 (3): 237–63.

PDF Document

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.


All rights reserved.



Contributed date

May 24, 2018 - 9:59pm

Critical Commentary

Angela Okune: This 1983 paper by Stephen Ball raised three important points regarding the role that British colonial education policies played in African development. He highlighted the demand for education by local Africans; that the history of colonial schooling is marked by the contestation between rival social and political groups with separate and conflicting vested interests (he names the colonial authorities, missionaries, groups within indigenous peoples, and immigrant Indians, and white settlers, and precursors to modern-day international aid agencies); and that economistic frames of analysis over-estimate the economic and underestimate the political functions of the colonial school. Ball also outlined three competing types of curricula that were based on radically different assumptions about the nature and purpose of schooling: the evangelical curriculum; the adapted curriculum; and the academic curriculum. This may be a useful framing for categorizing the different investments in “African schooling.”