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Disassembling school in Micronesia : genealogy, subjectivity, possibility

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Item Summary

Title: Disassembling school in Micronesia : genealogy, subjectivity, possibility
Authors: Kupferman, David Warren
Keywords: Micronesia
Issue Date: May 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2011]
Abstract: Schooling in the region known as Micronesia is today a normalized, ubiquitous, and largely unexamined habit. As a result, many of its effects have also gone unnoticed and unchallenged. By interrogating the processes of normalization that circulate and operate through schooling in the region through the deployment of Foucaultian conceptions of power, knowledge, and subjectivity, this dissertation destabilizes conventional notions of schooling's neutrality, self-evident benefit, and its role as the key to contemporary notions of so-called political, economic, and social development.
This work aims to disquiet the idea that school today is both rooted in some distant past and a force for decolonization and the postcolonial moment. Instead, through a genealogy of schooling, I argue that school as it is currently practiced in the region is the product of the present, emerging from the mid-1960s shift in US policy in the islands, the very moment when the US was trying to simultaneously prepare the islands for putative self-determination while producing ever-increasing colonial relations through the practice of schooling.
The dissertation goes on to conduct a genealogy of the various subjectivities produced through this present schooling practice, notably the student, the teacher, and the child/parent/family. In the case of the student, I examine both visually and discursively the statue of Lee Boo, Palau's venerated "first true scholar," fronting Palau Community College. Next, I consider the construction of the teacher as a convergence of forces that brought the Peace Corps to the region in the mid-1960s and today demands a scientific and technical level of "certification," thereby displacing local conceptions of what it means to speak as a holder of indigenous knowledges. Finally, I consider the effects of No Child Left Behind legislation and its Parental Information Resource Centers, through a lens disruptive of conventional development discourses of the state, on the creation of the child and parent (and ultimately the family) in the islands. I conclude by offering a counter-discourse to the normalized narrative of schooling, and suggest that what is displaced and foreclosed on by that narrative in fact holds a possible key to meaningful decolonization and self-determination.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Education

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