Commentary
Remembering the forgetting in schooling
in History, historians and development policy

This chapter begins with three different strands of intellectual history. First, there is a large 'business management' literature, the stuff about business one can buy in airports and read on airplanes. Second, the approach of economics is pithily expressed in the fact that the branch of game theory that deals with the possibility of allowing people to communicate during negotiations is called 'cheap talk'. The third element is a bit less intellectual history but a bit more pragmatic. Perhaps nowhere are these three points better illustrated than in the government ownership and control of schooling. Government-produced schooling is arguably the most wildly successful movement of the twentieth century. The shift towards government schooling is not that societies previously did not educate their young and now they do, but rather a contestation about what constitutes an education.

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