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Experts et expertise dans les mandats de la société des nations : figures, champs, outils

 | 
Philippe Bourmaud
, 
Norig Neveu
, 
Chantal Verdeil

Dialectique asymétrique de l'expertise et de la contre-expertise

Local and Colonial Educators in the Mandates for Iraq and Palestine: Contested Expertise within National and International Frameworks

Des éducateurs locaux et coloniaux dans les mandats d’Irak et de Palestine : une expertise contestée en contexte national et international

Hilary Falb Kalisman

Résumé

Ce chapitre s’intéresse à la portée et aux limites de l’expertise des experts de l’éducation, dans les mandats britanniques d’Irak et de Palestine. Pour chaque mandat, les parcours éducatifs et nationaux furent définis selon les exigences du mandat : soit une autorité indirecte et limitée dans le temps, des politiques éducatives britanniques, de nouvelles pédagogies et la place de l’enseignement public comme institution nationale soumises indirectement aux normes internationales. Les gouverneurs des colonies revendiquaient le droit d’exercer une autorité partielle sur le système général d’éducation. Pourtant, la formation et les connaissances spécialisées des experts locaux et étrangers sous‑tendaient une nouvelle autorité centrée sur le développement. Cet article s’appuie sur des documents de l’administration mandataire, des mémoires, des journaux et des rapports afin d’explorer les conflits entre experts et fonctionnaires locaux et britanniques mais aussi de nouveaux types d’experts de l’éducation s’appuyant sur l’évolution des notions d’autorité et d’expertise. Ces confrontations engendrèrent deux systèmes d’éducation différents. Le système irakien était fondamentalement nationaliste et académique. Le système palestinien se constitua autour d’une combinaison de spécialistes et de généralistes en miroir des politiques éducatives nationales britanniques.

Texte intégral

  • 1 League of Nations, 1924, p. 22.

1The League of Nations’ Middle Eastern mandates were explicitly tutelary institutions, meant to teach the “sons” of the former Arab Provinces of the Ottoman Empire to be modern citizens of their new nations, and the postwar world.1 That modernity included new technologies, in the conventional sense of new machines and forms of communication, as well as new methods of administration, governance, and the training of bureaucrats and technicians to perform these functions. Education was therefore crucial to the civilizing, and modernizing mission of the mandate projects, as it had been to the mandatory regimes’ Ottoman predecessors.

  • 2 Pedersen, 2007, pp. 34‑36.
  • 3 The League of Nations Child Welfare Committee focused on the physical well being of children rathe (...)
  • 4 Davies, 1943, p. 12; Fuchs, 2007, p. 201, 206.

2The League of Nations brought together numerous experts in a variety of subjects, thereby forging international bodies, new international norms, and new techniques of managing populations.2 Fields that related to education, like child welfare and intellectual cooperation, became topics of League of Nations’ initiatives.3 The League of Nations did not regulate education as schooling was viewed as a uniquely national institution. British delegates in particular protested the idea that schooling would be under the League of Nations’ jurisdiction, noting, “national education lies outside and will always lie outside the competence of any official committee of the League […]”4 These delegates’ primary concern was to avoid international interference in domestic educational policies; foreign meddling in the mandates’ educational systems was a secondary consideration. Local educationalists in the mandates also viewed government education as key to national progress. Government education in the mandates therefore represented a contradiction; it was meant to facilitate the implementation of the League of Nations’ standards of modern citizenship and development, but without the League’s involvement. This situation also opened the door for British and local individuals to spar over what type and how much education the mandate inhabitants would receive.

3This paper argues that government schooling represented one of the more conservative and fraught aspects of expertise. Experts in specialized forms of education would be necessary to create the most efficient teachers and schools possible. Efficiency meant aligning students’ training with the needs of each country, in terms of its economy, society and other notions of development. However, new countries also required political leaders; a fact only begrudgingly accepted, if that, by the mandatory authorities.

  • 5 Bowman, 1942, pp. 58, 268, 270‑271; William Ormsby‑Gore, PMC: Minutes, Fourteenth Session, quoted (...)
  • 6 Blake, 1991.

4The 19th and 20th centuries marked a transition in British educational priorities : from colonial generalist to national, and internationally recognized, expert. Colonial governors had claimed the right to rule in part on their liberal arts education: a generalist curriculum that produced academic dilettantes but supposedly honed leadership skills. In the colonies, and mandates, British officials claimed to favor vocational learning, and the training of specialist experts, particularly in agriculture and handicrafts, rather than academic generalists who the British feared might undermine their control.5 However, in the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, civilian government education had guaranteed government employment.6 Public education in the mandates for Iraq and Palestine was therefore called upon to fulfil both of these functions: the training of governors and the preparing of the governed for professions, preferably those that would advance each country’s economic development.

  • 7 I consider the Mandate for Iraq to begin in 1920 when the League of Nations granted Great Britain (...)
  • 8 In Iraq, the British administration re‑opened the Ottoman Law College and school of handicrafts du (...)

5The Mandate for Mesopotamia (Iraq) lasted a scant 12 years7, the mandate for Palestine 25. British officials initially attempted nearly the same educational policies in both mandates; however, their educational paths rapidly diverged. In Iraq, individuals with Iraqi citizenship controlled schooling, whereas in Palestine British officials held the reins, in part to preclude complaints of bias on the part of either the Arab or the Jewish communities. Local and colonial officials underscored each mandate’s need to train experts in technical fields. However, the mandate governments were loath to, and often unable to, change the structure of government schooling. The British mandatory administrations focused on creating bureaucracies, with gestures towards vocational training in a few limited fields: agriculture, medicine, and law.8 Local educational experts’ priorities differed from those of British officials, as they sought to realize self‑government as soon as possible. Educational policymakers, as well as practitioners, fought over what education should do, and who had the authority to decide. In Iraq, bureaucratic battles between Ottoman‑trained educators, and their British counterparts tended to train teachers within a system criticized by local and colonial officials alike as being too academic and too removed from children’s everyday lives. In Palestine, limited government schooling produced a combination of academic elites and agricultural experts in accordance with British and some Palestinian priorities.

6The first section of this paper discusses British civil servants that worked in education, and the training that undergirded their authority and expertise. The second section focuses on two of the most important Ottoman‑trained educational experts in the mandates, analyzing how these individuals’ background informed a different notion of government education and its role in Iraqi and Palestinian society. The third section outlines the effects of each mandate system of education. It examines individuals who studied or worked in mandate‑era schools, before achieving PhDs in education in the United States, and a new understanding of educational expertise within an international framework. By analyzing educational experts, their training, opinions and the policies they implemented, this paper explores the varied types of training necessary to claim expertise during the mandate period.

Amateur experts: british colonial educators in the mandates

7During the military and into the mandate administrations, British civil servants held key posts in Palestine, and suffered the indignity of having their power usurped in Iraq. Their training linked liberal education with liberal, imperial governance, connecting vocational education, as well as a limited expertise in one field, with the governed. Colonial educators formed part of a web of supposedly interchangeable civil servants, who could be placed across the British Empire, performing the same functions with varied degrees of translation and griping over local conditions. Their public school educations granted them authority and expertise amongst each other. It also informed how they viewed the purpose of education in British and colonial contexts.

  • 9 Usher & Brown, 2004.
  • 10 Hodgkin, 1993, p. 41.
  • 11 Government of Palestine, 1932; Sluglett, 2007, p. 200.
  • 12 Bowman, 1942, pp. 191‑192; Tibawi, 1956; Government of Palestine, 1939; interview with Tarif al‑Kh (...)
  • 13 “Et Cetera”, The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly, 6 March 1920, p. 24.

8The three most influential colonial educators in Iraq and Palestine were Humphrey Bowman, Wilfrid Jerome Farrell and Arthur Lionel Forster Smith. Humphrey Bowman worked in colonial education for over 30 years, in Egypt, the Sudan, Iraq, and then as the Director of Education in Palestine from 1920 through 1936.9 Smith was the Director and then British Adviser of Education in Iraq from 1921‑1931.10 Farrell worked in Iraq from 1919 to 1922, as officiating director and then advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Education, in Smith’s absence.11 Farrell became the Deputy Director of Education in Palestine, then succeeded Bowman as Director from 1936‑1946.12 All three educators were born around 1880, and graduated from either Oxford or Cambridge. While the Catholic Farrell attended a Catholic secondary school, Bowman and Smith went to English public schools: traditionally elite and elitist.13

  • 14 Osborne, 1994, p. 294.
  • 15 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.

9These officials benefitted from shifts in Britain’s domestic policy towards education and governance. By the late 19th century, the British governing classes were no longer comprised solely of the aristocracy and landed elite. Nor was aristocratic birth enough to legitimize a position of power. Competitive examinations based on the liberal curriculum taught at English public schools, Oxford and Cambridge supplanted patronage as the criteria for appointing civil servants. This practice cemented the connections between government employment and a liberal education.14 In Britain, a liberal curriculum implied the training of character for governance, while a utilitarian model fitted the remainder of the population for occupations.15

  • 16 Donald, 1992, p. 147.
  • 17 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.
  • 18 White, 1986, p. 40.
  • 19 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.
  • 20 Osborne, 1994, p. 310.
  • 21 Honey, 1977, p. 229.

10As late as the 1980s, debates over whether a liberal or vocational curriculum was better, or if the two could be combined, defined arguments as to the value of higher education.16 A liberal curriculum aimed at training the minds and bodies of pupils.17 In the mid‑nineteenth century, critics of a liberal education asked why an emergent, ambitious middle class should pay for expensive schooling whose curriculum fitted “the supposed interests of a landed aristocracy.”18 In contrast, proponents of liberal education argued that the hard work and discipline required to master the Classics, specifically Latin and Greek, as well as the liberal values promoted in Greek and Roman history and philosophy “would prepare the new Guardians for the task of rule.”19 Associating a spirit of sacrifice with the impractical study of Latin, Greek and Philosophy undergirded “a typically ‘liberal’ view of education” namely that this type of schooling inculcated an altruistic and noble sense of obligation to work for society as a whole.20 Despite this supposedly selfless spirit, an education at elite institutions prepared graduates for careers in government, the military, the civil service and education. It also gave students access to the quintessential old boys’ network that spanned the British Empire.21

11Bowman, Farrell and Smith’s liberal educations honed their ideals of what governance meant and who was fit to govern. They learned that schooling solidified societal hierarchies based on merit as well as birth. However, in colonial practice, and in the mandates, the question of liberal vs. utilitarian education had a more direct relevance. While Bowman was particularly interested in educating the governed, Farrell the governors, and Smith with his own career, all three of them connected a liberal curriculum with the top of the educational and societal ladder. In Iraq and Palestine, Bowman, Farrell and Smith sought to teach their charges the only mode of education they knew and valued, while preventing them from achieving its ultimate result and ostensibly the goal of the mandates: self‑government. Politically, these educators hoped to use schooling as a means of controlling as well as civilizing the mandate populations.

Eclectic experts: Ottoman‑trained officials in Iraq and Palestine

12In contrast to the uniform educational trajectories of British educational officials, the Arabs tapped to fill the Iraqi and Palestinian educational systems had experienced widely varied schools during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Their backgrounds shaped their political and scholastic priorities, as well as their views on educational authority and expertise.

  • 22 Cleveland, 1972, pp. 13‑15.
  • 23 Ibid., p. 52.
  • 24 Meseci Giorgetti, 2014, p. 51, 55.
  • 25 Cleveland, 1972, p. 52.

13Sāṭiʿ al‑Ḥuṣrī , appointed acting Director General of Education in Iraq by the end of 1921, whose authority superseded that of Arthur Lionel Smith by 1923, had an Ottoman education par excellence. His father was a judge, employed within the Ottoman bureaucracy. This meant al‑Ḥuṣrī moved with his family all over the empire. At the age of 13, he attended the Mekteb‑i Mülkiye in Istanbul, an institution geared explicitly towards training Ottoman bureaucrats.22 Al‑Ḥuṣrī then served as an official in positions ranging from governor in Macedonia, to the director of the Teacher Training College in Istanbul.23 He traveled in Europe extensively, visiting schools while publishing textbooks and periodicals on education. He also founded his own private school that he used as an “educational laboratory” combining a variety of approaches to determine the methods he thought would best suit the children of the Ottoman Empire.24 By the end of World War I, he was working as the Minister of Education in the independent government of Syria and came with King Faysal to Iraq to shape its schooling system along Arab nationalist lines.25

  • 26 Weber, 1976; Bashkin, 2009, p. 323.
  • 27 Dawisha, 2013, p. 85.
  • 28 Al‑u, 1967, p. 66.
  • 29 Simon, 1986, pp. 37‑51.
  • 30 Berkes, 1998.
  • 31 Al‑u, 1977, “Letter to E.C. Hogdkin”, A.L.F. Smith Collection, GB 165‑0266. Box 1. File 1. Mid (...)

14As an Ottoman living in a post‑Ottoman world, al‑Ḥuṣrī sought to find a nation, form of governance and type of schooling that would accept him. His pedagogical and political program emphasized pan‑Arabism, and an eclectic Ottoman, German and French style curriculum that would turn not “peasants into Frenchmen” but the children of the newly created Iraq into Iraqis, of a pan‑Arab bent.26 For al‑Ḥuṣrī, this meant emphasizing Arabic and Arab history. He goaded history teachers to instill patriotism in their students by focusing on the glories of an Arab past, whether the students or teachers considered themselves Arab, and whether or not aspects of that past were perhaps less than glorious.27 In arguments with Jerome Farrell during the first years of the British administration, al‑Ḥuṣrī asserted, “We must find a unique system of education without complying with a system from an existing system in another country.”28 In practice, this meant attempting to fill the first four years of Iraqi public school with as much information as possible. Once he became Director of Education, al‑Ḥuṣrī modified the curriculum the British had initially implemented, adding civics, Arabic and History; the latter two subjects took up approximately half of the weekly schedule.29 Al‑Ḥuṣrī’s views of schooling differed radically from Farrell, as well as the increasingly disgruntled Smith who found himself playing second fiddle to al‑Ḥuṣrī within the Iraqi Ministry of Education. Al‑Ḥuṣrī, the “father of the new pedagogy” in the Ottoman Empire, viewed teaching itself as a science, requiring training and specific expertise.30 Smith on the other hand, was a British civil servant; for him, “the all‑rounded amateur” was the best man to wield authority, including in the classroom.31 However, in Iraq, al‑Ḥuṣrī’s program reigned supreme. He was able to impose his view of education over and above the objections of Smith. Writing to Smith in 1926, Farrell dryly commented on the need to compromise with local officials, telling Smith

  • 32 Jerome Farrell, “Letter to A.L.F. Smith”, 23 August 1926; A.L.F. Smith Collection, GB 165‑0266. Bo (...)

you can never get the fads and fancies out of the head of a turko‑continental pedagogue by giving him advice. Even with power to give orders it has taken me years to persuade Katul, Ahmad Khalidi and others that there are faults in American as well as in French and English methods […].32

  • 33 Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, s.d; American University of B (...)
  • 34 Khālidī, 2013.
  • 35 The National Archives, Kew: Colonial Office Records Hearafter NA, CO 742/18, The Palestine Gazette (...)
  • 36 Abidi, 1997, p. 211.

15As Smith wrestled with al‑Ḥuṣrī, so Farrell struggled with his colleague Aḥmad Sāmih al‑Khālidī. Al‑Khālidī, like Sāṭiʿal‑Ḥuṣrī was trained during the Ottoman period. Born in 1896 to a distinguished Palestinian family, he attended a missionary school in Jerusalem, then the Ottoman College of Medicine, and after the war graduated with a BA followed by an MA in pharmacy from the American University of Beirut.33 Al‑Khālidī focused his considerable energies on applying scientific and sociological notions of schooling to the educational systems of the Arab World. He wrote and translated over 20 books, including works on education, psychology, history and Islamic Studies.34 From 1926 through 1948, al‑Khālidī headed the mandate’s institution of teacher training and the top of the educational ladder of the Arab government schools in Palestine: the Arab College of Jerusalem. By 1941, he was the highest‑ranking Arab Palestinian in the mandate’s Department of Education.35 Under al‑Khālidī and Farrell, the College began not only to train teachers but also to provide secondary schooling for Arab Palestinians (and some from surrounding mandates) who hoped to attend universities.36

  • 37 Jabra, 1995, p. 18; Khams Wa‑Sabʿūn Sana ʿAla Taʾsīs Al‑Kulliyya Al‑ʿArabiyya fī l‑Quds, 1995, p.  (...)
  • 38 Mattar, 2000, p. 25.
  • 39 Interview with Tarif Khalidi, Hilary Falb, 20 January 2012.

16An avid reader of educational theory, al‑Khālidī used the college as “his laboratory” in which he could test out those theories, provided they fit roughly with the goals of the British administration. Al‑Khālidī’s draconian rule of the college was legendary; he kept students to strict academic standards that would prepare them for academic careers.37 Al‑Khālidī was particularly interested in intelligence tests that he applied to students seeking admittance to the Arab College, and indeed to his own children.38 His son (now a professor of history at the American University of Beirut) recalled how al‑Khālidī modified foreign intelligence tests to “be culturally relevant in Palestine [so that] examples and the tests themselves and so on would have some resonance for an Arab student […] I remember taking one as a child […] My father decided to administer this test to me and decided I was uneducable, a moron.”39

  • 40 Wilson, 1987, p. 93.
  • 41 Davis, 2003.

17For al‑Khālidī, training the most intelligent young Arab men in the most modern methods was a key priority, regardless of their social and economic background. Despite the greater control the British retained in Palestine as compared to Iraq, al‑Khālidī had if not quite carte blanche, at least a free hand at the Arab College. For example, in 1927, a son of the King of Jordan was sent to the Arab College to receive training in order to, as his father (and British officials) hoped, prepare him for further education in England. However, al‑Khālidī viewed the boy as “ineducable” and he went to Victoria College in Alexandria instead.40 Meanwhile, Farrell managed to include Latin and Greek, as well as Shakespeare in the course of the Arab College, with the goal of producing a small, privileged educated bureaucratic elite.41 Therefore, the College combined a liberal curriculum, courtesy of Farrell, and expert pedagogical knowledge, due to al‑Khālidī’s influence. Both educators stressed meritocracy for the youth of Palestine.

18Al‑Ḥuṣrī and al‑Khālidī’s understandings of the function of education were quite different from each other, from those of the British officials involved in each country’s schooling, and particularly in al‑Ḥuṣrī’s case, from those of their countrymen as well. The following section addresses how al‑Ḥuṣrī, al‑Khālidī, Farrell, Bowman and Smith’s policies were implemented.

The expert teacher? Changing perceptions of expertise

  • 42 Bashkin, 2012, pp. 14, 17‑18.
  • 43 Yūsuf, 1956, p. 101.

19International organizations, including the League of Nations, did not impose standards upon the schools of Iraq and Palestine. However, international norms of schooling led foreign‑trained former students and teachers in the mandates’ schools, to criticize their educations. These experts formed their opinions on education both at home and abroad. They faulted the government schools of Iraq and Palestine for failing to live up to the mandates’ civilizing missions, as well as globally recognized educational criteria. Dr. ʿAbd al‑Qādir Yūsuf, Dr. Fāḍil Jamālī and Dr. Anīs ʿĀdil passed through the educational systems of the mandates, but gained doctorates in education in the United States (U.S.), thereby becoming educational experts. They sought independent nation‑states for their countrymen, as al‑Ḥuṣrī and al‑Khālidī had. However, their ideas of the type of citizen government schools ought to create differed from those of their Ottoman‑trained predecessors and colleagues, to say nothing of British officials’ goals, and the results of the educational systems overall. Conflicts within the Iraqi educational bureaucracy, as well as a lack of facilities and educators meant that the system did not produce the technical experts desired by the individuals discussed until well after the end of the mandate period. Instead, Iraq’s government school graduates sought bureaucratic posts.42 In Palestine, al‑Khālidī and Farrell concentrated on creating a Palestinian elite class of leaders and academics, and Bowman worked to produce of experts in agriculture, and agricultural training. This led to a divide between literate farmers and their teachers on the one hand, and professors, intellectuals and bureaucrats on the other. Many Palestinians believed the British‑run educational system had hampered their national development, contributing to their defeat and the erasure of Palestine in 1948.43

  • 44 Ibid., p. 20.

20Dr. ʿAbd al‑Qādir Yūsuf, a graduate of Palestine’s rural schools sought to reconcile cutting‑edge pedagogy, American political ideals and an idea of Arab society and culture that allowed for modernization, development and progress. Yūsuf grounded his expertise in a combination of training and experience. He advocated independence, rather than international intervention in the Arab world. His PhD dissertation both disparages Britain’s role in Palestine’s schooling, and offers a prescription for a new, “Arab national system of education […] based on and guided by educational theory, and methods and ideas which represent a democratic philosophy of education.”44

  • 45 Tibawi, 1956, p. 227.
  • 46 Ibid., pp. 237‑239 ; Davis, 2003, p. 203; Falb, 2013, p. 59.

21Yūsuf faults the British for failing to provide either the educational system they and the League of Nations’ mandates had promised, or more importantly, one that would train technical experts who would have developed Arab Palestinian economy and society in a democratic mold. The reality of Palestine’s educational system bears out many of Yūsuf’s critiques. A little over 30% of Arab school‑age children were enrolled in schools by 1946, including those studying at non‑government institutions.45 The majority of government school students received four years of elementary school, an elite group attended the Arab College of Jerusalem and an even smaller minority gained some expertise in agriculture or handicrafts. This combination of limited specialists in agriculture, and academic generalists with a liberal college education paralleled British domestic policies in schooling, and followed British standards. For example, the Palestine Intermediate Certificate equaled the London Intermediate.46

  • 47 Binghamton University, s.d.
  • 48 Bowman, 1942, pp. 275‑278.
  • 49 Yūsuf, 1956, p. 185.
  • 50 Ibid., p. 186, 261.

22As a child, Yūsuf studied at a village school, whose short course was designed to impart literacy, and some knowledge of agriculture through the maintenance of a school garden.47 School gardens and an agricultural college that would produce teachers ready to tend these gardens was a pet project of Bowman’s.48 However, these utilitarian attempts at schooling were insufficient to improve Palestinians’ situation, according to Yūsuf. He argues that not only did the British curriculum “merely encourage… memorization…with very little or no care about the prevailing problems of life” but it also “appeared to contribute only slightly the character as was supposed to be true of the liberal education program in the British secondary schools.”49 Yūsuf dismissed the value of a liberal education in Palestine, and indeed a colonial education, wholesale writing “thus instead of initiating professional studies in agriculture, engineering, medicine, health, and other technical subjects necessary for the life of the Arabs of Palestine, Farrell’s policy was to produce amateur or experts in Latin and Greek.”50

  • 51 Ibid., p. 158.
  • 52 Ibid., p. 185.
  • 53 Guttsman, 1969, p. 224.

23Writing in the 1950s, Yūsuf’s critique of Britain’s educational policy concentrates on the specific situation of the Arab World. He frequently compares the situation of Arab education in mandate Palestine unfavorably with that of the Jewish community, which was better funded, more comprehensive and less subject to British control. How Yūsuf censures Palestine’s government educational system feeds into debates of the value of a liberal education in developing countries, and in Britain itself. Yūsuf concludes that government educational systems must train the entire population for employment, and for the benefit of society. He argues that in Palestine, limited, liberal education at a secondary level produced “a selected few, who thought that they possessed the knowledge of the ages.”51 Yūsuf disparages this elite group as “highly ignorant of life problems and current issues” describing their education as “theoretical, highly academic, and divorced from the practical problems of life…”52 Similarly, domestic educational experts in Britain criticized elite education for producing graduates out of touch with their own society and the modern world. For example, the British Board of Education’s Committee on Public Schools report of 1944 noted: “it has been very freely stated to us that Public School men generally show a lack of sympathy with, or even understanding of the lives and difficulties of the other classes in society…they are out of touch with social realities and incapable of grasping modern social conditions.”53 For Yūsuf, and the report’s authors, this sort of anachronistically educated elite had no place in the modern world. Instead, experts, like Yūsuf, were required to develop their nations.

  • 54 Jamali, 1934, p. 10.
  • 55 Wien, 2010, pp. 39‑42.
  • 56 Pursley, 2018, p. 85, 96.
  • 57 Jamali, 1942, pp. 290‑295.

24Similarly, in Iraq, individuals who had honed their educational expertise abroad complained the educational system was too academic, too general, and too disconnected from the everyday lives of Iraqis. For example, Fāḍil Jamālī, sent by the Iraqi government to study at Teachers College Columbia argued that when the Iraqi educational system began, the government did need to train civil servants. However, he complained that by the 1930s, the curriculum was “mainly literary and non‑practical” without any connection to “life as it is lived outside the school….” He argued that government education created “a group of non‑producers dependent upon the government for their livelihood...” He also noted that the local press faulted government education for failing to produce the technocrats necessary to develop Iraqi society.54 Jamālī felt that al‑Ḥuṣrī’s syllabus, implemented during the mandate period, was too academic, at the expense of Iraq’s progress and modernization.55 Instead, Jamālī hoped to train specialized teacher‑experts in new methods.56 In a speech given at Iraq’s higher teachers’ college in the early 1940s, Jamālī argued that for his people to advance, scientific education, and government schooling overall needed to be tailored specifically to local conditions. It must be adapted to students’ environment, in essence practical rather than theoretical, specialized rather than broadly academic.57

  • 58 Ādil, 1937, pp. 26‑27.
  • 59 Raybin, 1936.

25Similarly, another Teachers College PhD Anīs ʿĀdil complained of the lack of expertise among Iraq’s science teachers, as the overcrowded Iraqi curriculum was too general. ʿĀdil believed that each science teacher needed a broad‑based practical expertise, which would relate their subject to the complexities of the modern age.58 In his 1937 dissertation, ʿĀdil defined himself as an expert, arguing that through his own experiences in Iraq, and his knowledge of foreign pedagogy, he was fundamentally qualified to determine the most appropriate educational system to modify his country. His criticisms included that system’s emphasis on direct learning from books, and in his view, its failure to keep pace with modern notions of child psychology. The Teachers’ College magazine featured ʿĀdil twice, advocating the new improvements he would bring to his “backward country” including new methods of teaching science.59

  • 60 CO 813/12, NA, The Iraq Government Gazette no 42, October 16, 1938; CO 813/15, NA, The Iraq Govern (...)

26These PhDs’ educational credentials granted them local and international authority. Jamālī and ʿĀdil’s training abroad also guaranteed them a place in Iraq’s bureaucracy. Although they criticized the Iraqi educational system, and government, Jamali in particular perpetuated that system by working as a government official, eventually becoming Prime Minister of Iraq. ʿĀdil worked briefly as a government teacher, but eventually founded his own private school where he had more scope to employ the methods he had learned abroad.60 Despite these expert criticisms, and their different notions of educational expertise, the government systems of education did not radically change. The criticisms offered by Jamālī and ʿĀdil in the 1930s paralleled those of British officials in the 1940s, described below, as well as Yūsuf’s, written in the 1950s. Even though concepts of expertise became more solidified, putting them into practice on a broad scale remained out of reach.

Conclusion

  • 61 FO 624/32, NA. 3, “Dispatch from Sg. Kingham Cornwallis, British Embassy Baghdad, no 148”.

27The British, like Yūsuf, Jamālī and ʿĀdil, continued to regret educational policies in Iraq and Palestine. In 1943, British officials lamented that they had focused too much on an academic education, “confusing education with booklearning, by turning out bad clerks instead of good husbandmen, disgruntled lawyer‑politicians instead of doctors and technicians[…]”61

28Education in the mandates occurred when conceptions of expertise and their relation to schooling were in flux. As students from the mandate schools traveled abroad, they became exposed to new ideas of what expertise meant; they also believed that their foreign training and their experience of mandate schools granted them objective authority to critique and improve their school systems. However, they, like their British counterparts affected little change in the educational systems of the mandates, and even the Arab world. The problem of whether to train amateur governors or technocrats and a lack of resources to do either perpetuated two types of government education in Iraq and Palestine; The Iraqi system was fundamentally nationalist and academic. The Palestinian system produced a combination of specialists and generalists that paralleled domestic British educational policies.

Bibliographie

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Government of Palestine, 1932, Government of Palestine Civil Service List 1932, Revised to the 1st April 1932, Whitehead Morris Limited, Alexandria.

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al‑u Abū Khaldūn Sāṭiʻ, 1967, Mudhakiratī Fī al‑ʻIrāq 1921‑1941 [My memories from Iraq, 1921‑1941], Dar at‑Taliʿa, Beirut, 630 p.

Jamālī Muḥammad Fāḍil, 1934, The New Iraq: Its Problem of Bedouin Education, Teachers college, Columbia University, New York, 160 p.

Jamālī Muḥammad Fāḍil, 1942, “Tadrīs al‑ʻulūm fī madārisinā: ahdāfuhu wa‑asālībuh” [Science teaching in our schools: its goals and methods] in Al‑Muʻallim al‑jad īd, vol. 7, n° 4, pp. 290‑295.

League of Nations, 1924, “The Covenant of the League of Nations (Including Amendments Adopted to December, 1924)”, Champaign, Ill. ‑ Boulder, Colo.: Project Gutenberg ‑ NetLibrary eBook Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed on 5 April 2015).

Raybin Louis, 11 February 1936, “There Ain’t No Rocks in Iraq” in Columbia Daily Spectator, vol. 59, n° 3, p. 1, 4.

Yūsuf ʿAbd al‑Qādir Muḥammad, 1956, The British Educational Policy in the Arab Public Schools of Palestine During the Mandate, Indiana University, Indianapolis, 742 p.

Archives

NAK, The National Archives Kew : Colonial Office Records, CO 813, The Iraq Government Gazette.

NAK, The National Archives, Kew : Colonial Office Records, CO 742, The Palestine Gazette.

MECA, Middle East Centre Archive, St. Antony's College, Oxford, A.L.F. Smith Collection, GB 165‑0266.

Interviews

Interview with Tarif al‑Khālidī. Hilary Falb, 20 January 2012.

References

—, 3 April 1936, “T. C. Student to Bring ‘Culture’ to Iraq in ‘School on Wheels’” in Columbia Daily Spectator, vol. 59, n° 112, p. 4.

—, April 1950, Al‑Kulliyah, vol. 25, n° 4, American University of Beirut Alumni Association, Beirut.

—, 1995, Khams Wa‑Sabʿūn Sana ʿAlā Taʾsīs Al‑Kulliyya Al‑ʿArabiyya Fī l‑Quds, Al‑Bank al‑ʿArabī, Amman, 127 p.

Abidi Mahmud, 1997, “The Arab College, Jerusalem” in Taher Mohamed (ed.), Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture. Vol. 3, Educational Developments in Muslim World, Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, pp. 211‑219.

American University of Beirut Association, Alumni, 1953, Directory of Alumni, 1870‑1952, American University of Beirut, Beirut, 515 p.

Bashkin Orit, 2009, The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 376 p.

Bashkin Orit, 2012, “Advice from the Past: ʿAli Al‑Wardi on Literature and Society” in Tejel Gorgas Jordi & Bocco Riccardo, Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges, World Scientific, Singapore /London, pp.51‑75.

Berkes Niyazi, 1998, The Development of Secularism in Turkey, Routledge, New York, 537 p.

Binghamton University, s. d., “Interdisciplinary Departments, Programs and Cross‑Disciplinary Concentrations, Middle East and North African Studies”, Binghamton University, Binghamton, http://www.binghamton.edu/bulletin/1997-98/bulletin.html (Accessed on 4 June 2015).

Blake Corinne, 1991, “Training Arab‑Ottoman Bureaucrats: Syrian Graduates of the Mülkiye Mektebi, 1890‑1920”, Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University, Princeton, 315 p.

Bowman Humphrey Ernest, 1942, Middle‑East Window, Longmans Green and co., London/New York, 346 p.

Brown C. & Usher Debbie, 2004 [1998], “Humphrey Bowman Collection Gb165‑0034 Handlist”, The Middle East Centre Archive, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, 6 p.

Cleveland William L., 1972, The Making of an Arab Nationalist; Ottomanism and Arabism in the Life and Thought of Sati Al‑Husri, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 228 p.

Davies Gwilym, 1943, Intellectual Co‑Operation between the Two Wars, Council for Education in World Citizenship, London, 15 p.

Davis Rochelle, 2003, “Commemorating Education : Recollections of the Arab College in Jerusalem, 1918‑1948” in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 23, n° 1‑2, pp. 190‑204.

Dawisha Adeed, 2013, Iraq: A Political History from Independence to Occupation, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 377 p.

Donald James, 1992, Sentimental Education: Schooling, Popular Culture, and the Regulation of Liberty, Verso, London/New York, 203 p.

Droux Joëlle, 2015, “Children and Youth: A Central Cause in the Circulatory Mechanisms of the League of Nations (1919‑1939)” in Prospects: Quarterly Review of Comparative Education, vol. 45, n° 1, pp. 63‑76.

El‑Eini Roza I. M., 1999, “British Agricultural‑Educational Institutions in Mandate Palestine and Their Impress on the Rural Landscape” in Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 35, n° 1, pp. 98‑114.

Falb Hilary, 2013, “Pedagogical paradox: Education and Internationalization in the Mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia (Iraq)” in Kufa Review, International Academic Journal Sponsored by the University of Kufa, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 53‑72.

Fuchs Eckhardt, 2007, “The Creation of New International Networks in Education: The League of Nations and Educational Organizations in the 1920s” in Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, vol. 43, no 2, pp. 199‑209.

Guttsman William L., 1969, The English Ruling Class: Edited and Introduced by W.L. Guttsman, Weidenfeld and Nicolson (coll. “Readings in Politics and Society”), London, 310 p.

Hodgkin Alan L., 1993, Chance and Design: Reminiscences of Science in Peace and War, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 412 p.

Honey John Raymond de Symons, 1977, Tom Brown’s Universe: The Development of the English Public School in the Nineteenth Century, Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co., New York, 416 p.

Jabra Jabra Ibrahim, 1995, The First Well: A Bethlehem Boyhood, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 186 p.

Joyce Patrick, 2003, The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the Modern City, Verso, London/New York, 276 p.

Khālidī ʻAnbara Salām, 2013, Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist: The Life and Activism of Anbara Salam Khalidi. Foreword by Marina Warner, Translated by Tarif Khalidi, Pluto Press, London, 169 p.

Mattar Philip, 2000, Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, Facts on File, New York, 684 p.

Matthews Roderic Donald, Akrawi Matta & American Council on Education, 1949, Education in Arab Countries of the near East : Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, American Council on Education, Washington, 584 p.

Meseci Giorgetti Filiz, 2014, “New School of Mustafa Sati Bey in Istanbul (1915)” in Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, vol. 50, n° 1‑2, pp. 42‑58.

Osborne Thomas, 1994, “Bureaucracy as a Vocation: Governmentality and Administration in Nineteenth‑Century Britain” in Journal of Historical Sociology, vol. 7, n° 3, pp. 289‑313.

Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, s. d., “Khalidi, Ahmad Samih (1896‑1951)”, http://www.passia.org/palestine_facts/personalities/alpha_k.html (accessed on 20 February 2015).

Pedersen Susan, 2007, “Back to the League of Nations” in The American Historical Review, vol. 112, n° 4, pp. 1091‑1117.

Pursley, Sara, 2018, Familiar Futures: Time, Selfhood, and Sovereignty in Iraq, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 304 p.

Simon Reeva S., 1986, “The Teaching of History in Iraq before the Rashid Ali Coup of 1941” in Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 22, n° 1, pp. 37‑51.

Sluglett Peter, 2007, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country, I.B. Tauris, London, 318 p.

Tibawi Abdul Latif, 1956, Arab Education in Mandatory Palestine: a Study of Three Decades of British Administration, Luzac, London, 282 p.

Tibawi Abdul Latif, 1972, Islamic Education: Its Traditions and Modernization into the Arab National Systems, Luzac, London, 256 p.

Van Ginneken Anique H. M., 2006, Historical Dictionary of the League of Nations, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, 320 p.

Weber Eugen, 1976, Peasants into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1870‑1914, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 615 p.

White Ralph, 1986, “The Anatomy of a Victorian Debate: An Essay in the History of Liberal Education” in British Journal of Educational Studies, vol. 34, n° 1, pp. 38‑65.

Wien Peter, 2010, “Who is ‘liberal’ in 1930s Iraq? Education as a contested terrain in a nascent public sphere” in Schumann Christoph (ed.), Nationalism and Liberal Thought in the Arab East : Ideology and Practice, Routledge, London, pp. 31‑47.

Wilson Mary C, 1987, King Abdullah, Britain, and the Making of Jordan, Cambridge University Press, New York/Cambridge, 311 p.

Notes

1 League of Nations, 1924, p. 22.

2 Pedersen, 2007, pp. 34‑36.

3 The League of Nations Child Welfare Committee focused on the physical well being of children rather than their education. See Droux, 2015, p. 66. The League of Nations International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation sought, among other things, to help teachers promote the League of Nations as “an instrument of peace.”, van Ginneken, 2006.

4 Davies, 1943, p. 12; Fuchs, 2007, p. 201, 206.

5 Bowman, 1942, pp. 58, 268, 270‑271; William Ormsby‑Gore, PMC: Minutes, Fourteenth Session, quoted in el‑Eini, 1999, p. 100.

6 Blake, 1991.

7 I consider the Mandate for Iraq to begin in 1920 when the League of Nations granted Great Britain Mandatory power over Iraq at the San Remo Conference.

8 In Iraq, the British administration re‑opened the Ottoman Law College and school of handicrafts during the 1919‑1920 school year. See Tibawi, 1972, p. 92. During the 1920s a School of Pharmacy and the Royal Medical College were opened. See Great Britain Colonial Office and Great Britain Foreign Office, 1931, p. 69, 193. The government of Palestine offered law classes and supported two agricultural colleges, and one Technical school. See Matthews, Akrawi & American Council on Education, p. 230. Girls could take nursing classes at area hospitals, and the Hebrew University offered a course in Medicine, although only for Hebrew speakers. Matthews, Akrawi & American Council on Education, p. 250 and 293.

9 Usher & Brown, 2004.

10 Hodgkin, 1993, p. 41.

11 Government of Palestine, 1932; Sluglett, 2007, p. 200.

12 Bowman, 1942, pp. 191‑192; Tibawi, 1956; Government of Palestine, 1939; interview with Tarif al‑Khālidī, Hilary Falb, 20 January 2012.

13 “Et Cetera”, The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly, 6 March 1920, p. 24.

14 Osborne, 1994, p. 294.

15 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.

16 Donald, 1992, p. 147.

17 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.

18 White, 1986, p. 40.

19 Joyce, 2003, p. 122.

20 Osborne, 1994, p. 310.

21 Honey, 1977, p. 229.

22 Cleveland, 1972, pp. 13‑15.

23 Ibid., p. 52.

24 Meseci Giorgetti, 2014, p. 51, 55.

25 Cleveland, 1972, p. 52.

26 Weber, 1976; Bashkin, 2009, p. 323.

27 Dawisha, 2013, p. 85.

28 Al‑u, 1967, p. 66.

29 Simon, 1986, pp. 37‑51.

30 Berkes, 1998.

31 Al‑u, 1977, “Letter to E.C. Hogdkin”, A.L.F. Smith Collection, GB 165‑0266. Box 1. File 1. Middle East Centre Archive, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Hearafter MECA.

32 Jerome Farrell, “Letter to A.L.F. Smith”, 23 August 1926; A.L.F. Smith Collection, GB 165‑0266. Box 1. File 3. MECA. 7‑8.

33 Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, s.d; American University of Beirut Alumni Association, 1953, p.127.

34 Khālidī, 2013.

35 The National Archives, Kew: Colonial Office Records Hearafter NA, CO 742/18, The Palestine Gazette N° 1135, 16 October 1941.

36 Abidi, 1997, p. 211.

37 Jabra, 1995, p. 18; Khams Wa‑Sabʿūn Sana ʿAla Taʾsīs Al‑Kulliyya Al‑ʿArabiyya fī l‑Quds, 1995, p. 11.

38 Mattar, 2000, p. 25.

39 Interview with Tarif Khalidi, Hilary Falb, 20 January 2012.

40 Wilson, 1987, p. 93.

41 Davis, 2003.

42 Bashkin, 2012, pp. 14, 17‑18.

43 Yūsuf, 1956, p. 101.

44 Ibid., p. 20.

45 Tibawi, 1956, p. 227.

46 Ibid., pp. 237‑239 ; Davis, 2003, p. 203; Falb, 2013, p. 59.

47 Binghamton University, s.d.

48 Bowman, 1942, pp. 275‑278.

49 Yūsuf, 1956, p. 185.

50 Ibid., p. 186, 261.

51 Ibid., p. 158.

52 Ibid., p. 185.

53 Guttsman, 1969, p. 224.

54 Jamali, 1934, p. 10.

55 Wien, 2010, pp. 39‑42.

56 Pursley, 2018, p. 85, 96.

57 Jamali, 1942, pp. 290‑295.

58 Ādil, 1937, pp. 26‑27.

59 Raybin, 1936.

60 CO 813/12, NA, The Iraq Government Gazette no 42, October 16, 1938; CO 813/15, NA, The Iraq Government Gazette, n° 42, October 20, 1940; Al‑Kulliyah , vol. 25, n°4, April 1950, p. 34.

61 FO 624/32, NA. 3, “Dispatch from Sg. Kingham Cornwallis, British Embassy Baghdad, no 148”.

Auteur

University of Colorado Boulder, Department of History, Assistant Professor of History and Endowed Professor of Israel/Palestine Studies in the Program for Jewish Studies

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