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Development, Education and Learning in Sri Lanka

An international research journey

Angela W. Little

£45.00

ISBN: 9781800081574

Publication: June 13, 2024

Sri Lanka’s early achievements in education and literacy became well known among the international development community in the middle of the last century and were often used to benchmark progress elsewhere. Development, Education and Learning in Sri Lanka presents an illuminating narrative of changing education fortunes and inequalities, based on half a century of research. This research journey was undertaken in collaboration with Sri Lankan researchers island-wide in myriad communities, schools, classrooms and education offices, through conversations with countless parents, teachers, students, community members, trade union officers, politicians and members of local, national and international development agencies, as well as through extensive documentary analysis.

The book delineates the distinctive and changing features of the Sri Lankan education system through comparisons with systems elsewhere, through an understanding of national political, economic and social conditions, crises and upheavals, through changes in education policy and through shifting patterns of opportunity among diverse social groups. These analyses are framed by themes in the international development discourse ranging from modernisation to basic needs to globalisation and sustainable development, some of which themes have been influenced by the Sri Lankan story. The book’s overriding messages are the need to understand education and development in a country’s own terms, and to place learning at the heart of education policy, situating it within broader conceptions of the purpose, values and means of development.

Praise for Development, Education and Learning in Sri Lanka

'Through rigorous and comprehensive research and a blend of local and global perspectives, this book offers invaluable insights for academics and policymakers alike.'
Tara de Mel, Director, Bandaranaike Academy for Leadership and Public Policy and former Secretary, Sri Lanka Ministry of Education

'Reflecting on a career-long engagement with education and development, Angela Little brilliantly co-locates the personal, political and the theoretical. A privilege to read.'
Simon McGrath, University of Glasgow

'This passionate engagement with education reform and development offers very instructive lessons for academics and policymakers in Sri Lanka, and beyond.'
Siri T. Hettige, University of Colombo

'Fifty years of personal experience in Sri Lanka from many vantage points. A focus on education and society, rather than education alone. And a concern to understand rather than prescribe. This book has no competitors.'
Mick Moore, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex

'An invaluable resource for researchers and students and a source of inspiration for lifelong researchers.'

Manjula Vithanapathirana, University of Colombo

Angela W. Little is Professor Emerita at UCL Institute of Education and former Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University.

List of figures, tables and boxes
List of abbreviations and acronyms
Acknowledgements

Part I: Mapping the journey
Preface to Part I
1 Sri Lanka past and present
2 Development and education: the international discourse
3 Learning from developing countries

Part II: Modernisation, human capital and dependency
Preface to Part II
4 School examination reforms in the 1970s: modernisation or dependent underdevelopment?
5 Human capital, education and development
6 The diploma disease

Part III: Basic needs and education for all
Preface to Part III
7 Education for all, welfare and basic needs: 1931-91
8 The 1997 education reforms: origins, political will and implementation
9 Behind the scenes: the technical work of planning for ‘education for all’

Part IV: Globalisation, education and social disparities
Preface to Part IV
10 The export-led plantation economy and educational opportunity: 1840-2020
11 Late twentieth-century globalisation, education and social disparities
12 Globalisation, education and skills: comparing Sri Lanka with elsewhere

Part V: Sustainable development and learning
Preface to Part V
13 The teaching of English in the early twenty-first century
14 Multi-level teaching in Sri Lanka and elsewhere
15 Assessment for sustainable learning and development
16 Lessons and reflections

References
Index

'An invaluable resource for researchers and students and a source of inspiration for lifelong researchers.'

Manjula Vithanapathirana, University of Colombo


 

'Fifty years of personal experience in Sri Lanka from many vantage points. A focus on education and society, rather than education alone. And a concern to understand rather than prescribe. This book has no competitors.'

Mick Moore, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex


 

'This passionate engagement with education reform and development offers very instructive lessons for academics and policymakers in Sri Lanka, and beyond.'

Siri T. Hettige, University of Colombo


 

'Reflecting on a career-long engagement with education and development, Angela Little brilliantly co-locates the personal, political and the theoretical. A privilege to read.'

Simon McGrath, University of Glasgow


 

'Through rigorous and comprehensive research and a blend of local and global perspectives, this book offers invaluable insights for academics and policymakers alike.'

Tara de Mel, Former Secretary, Ministry of Education Sri Lanka, current Director, Bandaranaike Academy for Leadership & Public Policy


 

Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

408 Pages

3 B&W line drawings and 5 B&W tables

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800081574

Publication: June 13, 2024

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