As the turn of the century, European settlers, officials, and missionaries in Southern Rhodesia were apathetic about promoting African girls' schooling. By the late 1920s, however, all sectors of the European community-settlers, officials, and missionaries- were debating whether, and for what reasons, girls should attend mission schools.1 Europeans discussed girls' and women's schooling as a strategy for coping with problems in the social and economic development of the region. Some Native Commissioners hope that disciplined moral education would encourage women to remain in rural areas and take responsibility for their families, supporting the system of migrant labor. Many missionaries hoped that domestic education could train women to build peasant households in rural areas and Christian havens for education African men. Some settlers called for servant-training programs as way of enlisting African Women's support of European society. These educational strategies for coping with tensions caused by social change proved highly contradictory, however. Ultimately, the rhetoric of social engineering was more prominent than the results in the education of girls and women in Southern Rhodesia.

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Copyright © 1996 History of Education Society. This article first appeared in History of Education Quarterly 36:4 (1996), 449-471.

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