Moving out of Oppression into Empowerment: An Evaluation of Indian Educational History
Educators seeking to empower young leaders need to understand the worldviews that drive the educational systems around them. This brief overview of the educational history of India explores on the one hand how oppressive educational models have developed and dominated, and on the other hand pursues discovery of empowering models. Ancient Hindu philosophies based on the caste system and fatalistic thinking as well as Buddhist schools of thought emphasizing renunciation contributed to the growth of ancient home-based schooling and universities dedicated to open dialogue. British colonial influence utilized a banking system of education but brought many positive changes to Indian society in breaking through traditional caste and gender barriers. With such extensive history, post-colonial India is torn between either building national and religious identity by returning to Hindu roots or rather taking advantage of India’s most profound strength: continuing as an example of how peoples of different religions and languages can live alongside each other in pluralistic community.