Spring/printemps 2004
Articles

William Arnold and Experimental Education in North India, 1855-1859: An Innovative Model of State Schooling

Tim Allender
Lecturer in the history of education, University of Sydney
Bio
Published October 1, 2004
How to Cite
Allender, Tim. 2004. “William Arnold and Experimental Education in North India, 1855-1859: An Innovative Model of State Schooling”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 16 (1), 63-83. https://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/hse/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/435.

Abstract

This article is about a progressive experiment concerning state-sponsored schooling that was carried out in north India in the early 1850s. It was on a large scale and, almost uniquely, aimed to engage the poor village boy by building a system designed to wean him onto a sympathetic curriculum that contained both Western and Eastern elements. Even though it was to eventually fail, William Arnold, who implemented the Indian experiment, aimed to avoid the pitfalls of the class-based, English education system by offering village boys the prospect of promotion across a unitary government curriculum that could eventually result in a college education. In this way he hoped to overcome the barriers of both race and class. Arnold’s government-run scheme predated William Forster’s Education Act of 1870 in England even though the precursors for the Indian experiment related to “orientalist” thought that had emerged on the subcontinent a generation earlier.