Between Worlds

German Missionaries and the Transition from Mission to Bantu Education in South Africa
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Dimensions and Pages: 216 x 140mm; Available in paperback and ebook; 304pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-174-6
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-178-4
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-175-3
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 380.00

In Between Worlds Linda Chisholm meticulously and with great sensitivity dissects how one mission society, the German Hermannsburg Mission Society, parleyed its decision to remain within the state system in the shift from mission to Bantu Education, in creative and important ways. The book is a detailed portrait of the Hermannsburg Mission’s education work, but also a critical and insightful commentary on a set of broader questions, reflecting off the current political moment in South Africa.
— Professor Natasha Erlank, Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg

Linda Chisholm’s account of German Lutheran missionaries’ school and teacher education work in South Africa disrupts conventional understandings of the role of missionaries in the development of South Africa’s education system. Drawing on extensive archival research in South Africa and Germany, the history of the largely ignored Hermannsburg Mission reveals the ambiguities and contradictions which marked their complex relationships with local communities and the colonial and apartheid state.
— Volker Wedekind, University of Nottingham

The transition from apartheid to the post-apartheid era has highlighted questions about the past and the persistence of its influence in present-day South Africa. This is particularly so in education, where the past continues to play a decisive role in relation to inequality. Between Worlds: German Missionaries and the Transition from Mission to Bantu Education in South Africa scrutinises the experience of a hitherto unexplored German mission society, probing the complexities and paradoxes of social change in education. It raises challenging questions about the nature of mission education legacies.

Linda Chisholm shows that the transition from mission to Bantu Education was far from seamless. Instead, past and present interpenetrated one another, with resistance and compliance cohabiting in a complex new social order. At the same time as missionaries complied with the new Bantu Education dictates, they sought to secure a role for themselves in the face of demands of local communities for secular statecontrolled education. When the latter was implemented in a perverted form from the mid-1950s, one of its tools was textbooks in local languages developed by mission societies as part of a transnational project, with African participation. Introduced under the guise of expunging European control, Bantu Education merely served to reinforce such control.

The response of local communities was an attempt to domesticate – and master – the ‘foreign’ body of the mission so as to create access to a larger world. This book focuses on the ensuing struggle, fought on many fronts, including medium of instruction and textbook content, with concomitant sub-texts relating to gender roles and sexuality.

South Africa’s educational history is to this day informed by networks of people and ideas crossing geographic and racial boundaries. The colonial legacy has inevitably involved cultural mixing and hybridisation – with, paradoxically, parallel pleas for purity. Chisholm explores how these ideas found expression in colliding and coalescing worlds, one African, the other European, caught between mission and apartheid education.

Acknowledgements
Maps, Photographs and Tables
List of Abbreviations

INTRODUCTION
Missionaries in education
Transition from mission to Bantu Education
Transnationalism, colonialism and education
The Hermannsburg Mission Society and education
Conclusion

CHAPTER ONE
Transnational Cooperation, the Hermannsburgers and Bantu Education
Who were the Hermannsburgers?
Transnational cooperation
Hermannsburgers, politics and education
Europe and Africa as imagined by the Hermannsburgers
Images of Europe and Africa: Heinz Dehnke and Micah Kgasi
Conclusion

CHAPTER TWO
Burning Bethel in 1953: Changing Educational Practices and Control
Bethel Training Institute 1920–1953
Rising tensions, conflagration and immediate reactions: April–May 1953
The investigation
Official discourses
Rights of students
The trial
Consequences
Students
Withdrawal of registration and transfer
Conclusion

CHAPTER THREE
Chiefs, Missionaries, Communities and the Department of
Bantu Education
Bethanie 1938–1946
Ramakokstad 1946–1952
Saron, Phokeng 1952–1954
Conclusion

CHAPTER FOUR
Negotiating the Transfer to Bantu Education in Natal
Making the decision: 1954
Negotiated dispossession by contract: 1955–1968
Bantu community schools
Farm schools
Private schools
Continuities
Missions, school principals and the Department of Bantu Education
Conclusion

CHAPTER FIVE
Curriculum, Language, Textbooks and Teachers
Indigenous languages as languages of instruction
Textbook development as a transnational, colonial activity
Curriculum policy and African responses: 1955
1955 Bantu Education textbook and syllabus policy
Content of readers
Principles of reading instruction
Conclusion

CHAPTER SIX
Umpumulo: From Teacher Training College to Theological Seminary
Changes in the teacher training curriculum: 1945–1955
Gendered social institutional practices
From cautious uncertainty to misgiving
Disillusion and departure
Conclusion

CHAPTER SEVEN
Transnationalism and Black Consciousness at Umpumulo Seminary
Finance, governance and staffing
Changing identities
Students, the curriculum and relations with the state
The formal curriculum
Limitations on access
The informal curriculum
The Missiological Institute
Student resistance
Asserting moral authority and regulating sexuality
Conclusion

CHAPTER EIGHT
Bophutatswana’s Educational History and the Hermannsburgers
Bantu Education and Bantustan education
The Primary Education Upgrade Programme (PEUP): educational
progressivism, ethnic nationalism and transnationalism
The PEUP in practice
Academic assessments, programme evaluations and teacher responses
Conclusion

CHAPTER NINE
Inkatha and the Hermannsburgers
Inkatha’s Ubuntu-botho syllabus and the Hermannsburgers
Black Consciousness, independent churches and marginalisation
Conclusion

CHAPTER TEN
Transitions through the Mission
Paulina Dlamini
Naboth Mokgatle
Conclusion

CONCLUSION
NOTE ON SOURCES
NOTES
REFERENCES

Linda Chisholm is a Professor in the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. She has authored more than 15 books on education including Changing Class: Education and Social Change in Post-apartheid South Africa (2004).

In Between Worlds Linda Chisholm meticulously and with great sensitivity dissects how one mission society, the German Hermannsburg Mission Society, parleyed its decision to remain within the state system in the shift from mission to Bantu Education, in creative and important ways. The book is a detailed portrait of the Hermannsburg Mission’s education work, but also a critical and insightful commentary on a set of broader questions, reflecting off the current political moment in South Africa.
— Professor Natasha Erlank, Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg

Linda Chisholm’s account of German Lutheran missionaries’ school and teacher education work in South Africa disrupts conventional understandings of the role of missionaries in the development of South Africa’s education system. Drawing on extensive archival research in South Africa and Germany, the history of the largely ignored Hermannsburg Mission reveals the ambiguities and contradictions which marked their complex relationships with local communities and the colonial and apartheid state.
— Volker Wedekind, University of Nottingham

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