Chinese Schools Inculcated more Avant-Garde Gender Ideologies than English Schools? A Critical Review on Schooling Diaspora
Schooling Diaspora从性别的角度探讨从1850到1960年代新加坡及马来亚的华人女子教育。该段时间西方传教士、土生华人、及新客华人都有参与营办女子学校。教会及峇峇的女校以英文教学，模仿欧洲的教育模式；新客办理的华校以华文教学，课程受中国影响。该书指出尽管华文女校的性别社教化有保守一面，它们传播的性别观念比英文女校的前卫，因为华校课程有“非性别特定”的特性、没有像英校般提供专为女生而设的课程；又传递先进的性别意识、鼓励学生走出家庭实现自我；并藉课堂教导、课外活动、及参与社会政治事务提高学生的政治意识。Schooling Diaspora有力的呈现女子教育对族群政治的重要作用。然而该书专注于女校、忽略了男女合校的女生的教育经验。此外，笔者认为该书作者需要进行更严格的比较以证明华校确实传授比英校前卫的性别意识。
Schooling Diaspora examines development of Chinese education in Singapore and British Malaya from the 1850s to the 1960s through a perspective of gender study. During that period young Chinese females in the two territories attended three types of girls’ schools—English schools operated by western missionaries, English institutions run by the Straits-Chinese, and Chinese schools established by the Chinese-born, newly arrived Chinese. Both English schools followed the pedagogic model of Europe; while Chinese schools adopted the model of China. Though their teaching regarding women’s roles were traditional and conservative in some ways, Chinese girls’inculcated more modern and avant-garde gender ideologies than their English counterparts, as they adopted a non-gender specific curriculum, encouraged students to venture into and realize themselves in the public sphere, and raised students’ political consciousness through classroom teaching and other activities. Schooling Diaspora powerfully demonstrates the importance of women’s education in the reproduction of ethnic groups. But the book can be improved by researching also Chinese girls’ education experiences in co-educational schools and comparing more rigorously gender socializations in English and Chinese schools.
Keywords: Women’s education, Chinese schools, English schools, Singapore, Malaya
A Profile Study: 1976 Group of Government-Aided Secondary and Full School Principals (Planning and Review Branch, Ministry of Education, Singapore, 1977).
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