Fall / automne 2015
Special feature II: Selections from CHEA 2014 / Section thématique II : Articles émanant du congrès de l’ACHÉ 2014

An Elusive Search for Peace: The Rise and Fall of the World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA), 1923-1941

Harry Smaller
York University Faculty of Education
Published September 23, 2015
How to Cite
Smaller, Harry. 2015. “An Elusive Search for Peace: The Rise and Fall of the World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA), 1923-1941”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 27 (2). https://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/hse/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/4416.

Abstract

Abstract

In the aftermath of the First World War, the National Education Association in the USA actively organized to establish an international association of education associations. The founding conference was held in San Francisco in 1923, and first biennial conference of the newly-formed World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA) was held two years later in Edinburgh, Scotland. Although the organization was able to hold six subsequent biennial gatherings, attracting large delegations, almost from the outset it seemed to be riven by tension and dissent, both internal and external. As a result, it did not even survive its second decade, disappearing from view during the Second World War. This paper explores the rise and fall of the WFEA, suggesting that the seeds of its failure were sown even during its inaugural gatherings.

Résumé

À la suite de la Première Guerre mondiale, la National Education Association aux États-Unis travailla activement afin d’établir une association internationale des associations d’éducation. La fondation a eu lieu à San Francisco en 1923 et le premier congrès biennal de la nouvelle World Federation of Education Associations (WFEA) se déroula deux ans plus tard à Édimbourg en Écosse. Malgré le fait que la Fédération ait pu tenir six congrès biennaux attirant d’importantes délégations, l’organisme fut affaibli dès ses débuts par des tensions et des désaccords internes et externes. En conséquence, la Fédération n’a pu survivre très longtemps et disparut durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Cet article retrace la montée et la chute de la WFEA et démontre que les germes de son échec étaient présents lors de ses premières réunions.