Atolls and Origins: A Genealogy of Schooling in Micronesia

  • David W. Kupferman
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 5)


By conducting a Foucaultian genealogy of formal schooling in the islands, this chapter intends to demonstrate two things: first, how the narrative of schooling as an ahistorical and acontextualized phenomenon in Micronesia has been normalized in the popular histories of education in the region; and second, that a history of the present demonstrates the urgency of the operationalization of colonizing processes currently at work in an age of the so-call postcolonial through the institution of school. While the literature continues to claim that educational reforms to contemporary schooling “problems” are to be found in the past, often through a search for the “origin” of school, this chapter employs a Deleuzean analysis of series and event, arguing that in fact the school system currently in place in the islands is in fact not a product of long-ago colonization, but rather of a radical shift in US aims and strategies at work beginning with the ostensible “Solomon Report” commissioned by the Kennedy administration in 1963 and implemented by the exportation of Johnson’s Great Society programs to the region in the latter 1960s. This shift is in turn marked by increased American control of economic and social programs in the islands while at the same time the US was purportedly readying the area for political independence and self-determination.


Formal Schooling Colonial Period Workforce Development Marshall Island Peace Corps 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Kupferman
    • 1
  1. 1.Education DepartmentCollege of the Marshall IslandsMajuroRepublic of the Marshall Islands

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