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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the development of method in the practice of history, both oral and literate, and how this has influenced the study of education. The momentum of the European Enlightenment and, since the 1920s, the professionalization of historians in universities has propelled an increasingly global written method. This ubiquity is the product of national education programs but remains contested by those speaking for cultures where the intimidating power of the Enlightenment is resisted through oral method. Nevertheless most historians who write have pressed on unperturbed. The result is a corpus of history about education which, since the 1960s, has grown not only in volume but in the breadth of its concerns, the range of questions historians of education broach, the kinds of sources they use, and the ways these are deployed. However, this breadth of outlook has not resolved the fundamental tension between method in written and oral history.

Keywords: historiography, histories, education, traditional, oral, writing, literate, method, sources, procedures

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