'Snapshots’ of the classroom: autobiographies and the experience of elementary education in the Madras Presidency, 1882-1947

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This article looks at the remembered experiences of children who went to school in the late colonial period and examines the extent to which these memories relate to the official literature of the time and the historiographical debates surrounding education. The precise focus is memories of formal elementary education in the Madras Presidency 1882—1947 as described in autobiographies. This includes a study of how children regarded the space of the classroom, what they did and what was important enough to be remembered. In other words this article attempts to find fragments of the experiences of children, rather than just the history of education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-401
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • autobiography
  • childhood experiance
  • education
  • India
  • school

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