Southeast Asian modern educators

Authored by: Shin’ichi Suzuki

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modern Asian Educators

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138933613
eBook ISBN: 9781315678429
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, a comprehensive description is given in the beginning on the broad aspects of Southeast Asian development in society. Attention is invited to multiple ethnicities, linguistic diversities, religious complex backgrounds, and indigenous struggles against colonial rules over the regions which were made by British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and American powers. Such a diversity is represented in the timelines, which are too complex to draw a general introductory note on modern Southeast Asian development. The parallel notes of respective timelines region by region may offer the readers a general perspective over Southeast Asia. One particularity is the unbalanced modernization in time; that which had been led by the Spanish Catholic Authority in the Philippines was done in the 17th century by establishing a university at Manila, while King Mongkut first invited European leaders to Thailand in just the mid-19th century. What is common to all countries in the regions is the late political independence that was achieved after 1945. These particularities and commonness have made “national education” diverse from one nation-state to another in its systems and practices. The main texts refer to 87 modernizers selected from each country. They are merchants, politicians, teachers, religious leaders, and often women. Of 87 modernizers, 26 are female. They were radical in politics and education. Another feature of modernization in these regions is student power. Not a few modernizers were once members of student unions which had fought against colonial and totalitarian suppression committed by foreign powers.

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