Pedagogical Imperialism

American Education of Muslim Filipinos, 1898–1935
  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan


For at least several decades now, scholars of the history of American education have documented how education was deployed in the early twentieth century to complete the destruction of Native American cultures begun by military means in the nineteenth century. Much of that literature goes on to account for the ways in which that legacy of destruction continues to shape the educational experience of Native Americans today.1 But the tide of U.S. westward expansion did not stop with the “closing” of the American frontier in the 1890s. As a result, partly, of U.S. involvement in the Spanish-American War, the tide of American expansionism swept across the Pacific, engulfing Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines and marking the U.S. arrival on the world stage as an international imperial power.2 Tension, however, between the U.S. national origins in resistance to colonialism and its sudden acquisition of its own colonial possessions caused considerable controversy at the time and led to a certain degree of ambivalence over American involvement in colonialism as well as the nature of American colonialism. That ambivalence, experienced in the context of the progressive movement in U.S. domestic society, contributed to the evolution of a colonial policy for the Philippines in which schooling would play a central role.3


Educational Policy Hide Curriculum American Education Islamic School American Colonial 
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© Jeffrey Ayala Milligan 2005

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  • Jeffrey Ayala Milligan

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