At a glance
At a glance
Professor, University of Geneva; Co-director, ERHISE (Research Team on Social History of Education)
Based on the rich archives of the IBE, ERHISE (Research Team on Social History of Education) is carrying out large-scale collective research, subsidized by the SNSF, on how educational internationalism was operationalized from the IBE. Our research analyzes the configurations of educational internationalism at the time of its first institutionalization on a global scale. We examine the “causes” invested by its actors and map the networks that contributed to the construction of the IBE. We argue that the genesis of the institutionalization of international education unfolded during the interwar period. The IBE, filling a gap in the League of Nations’ competencies, constitutes an emblematic example of this evolution. Founded in 1925 on the initiative of the Rousseau Institute (Geneva) to promote peace through science and education, and also to federate all other international agencies involved in the process, the IBE became, in 1929, the first permanent intergovernmental organization in education. After 1946, BIE and UNESCO cooperated. Since 1969, IBE became an integral part of UNESCO. Based on the conceptual and methodological tools of the transnational turn, using diverse scales of observation in time and space, articulating different levels of analysis (local-global), our research analyze, from a Geneva institution dedicated to an international vocation, some key aspects of the configurations of educational internationalism. We try to enrich knowledge on phenomena such as the process of globalization, the actors involved in this process, the causes they invest and the procedures they resort to, considering them from the specific field of education policies and their configurations.
Professor of History of Education, University of Winchester
My research in the IBE archives concerns the contribution to comparative education by women employed at the IBE during the interwar period and their links with women educators internationally and with international women’s organizations pursuing equality and peace. I have used the IBE’s personnel files, together with the IBE correspondence files, to build up a picture of the women’s background, their activities and the international educational, peace and women’s networks in which they engaged on behalf of the IBE and in a more personal capacity. Reports in the IBE Bulletin have enabled me to trace the origins and organizational trajectories of publications in which women were involved, and to piece together the women’s involvement as the IBE negotiated its position on the terrain of education alongside other international organizations in Geneva and beyond as the latter became increasingly interested in education.
SNSF Postdoctoral Researcher, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
I am investigating the IBE’s humanitarian activities during the Second World War as an example of how an international organization can quickly adapt to a changing international environment. Although not in its initial mandate, in 1939, IBE created an intellectual aid service for prisoners of war, who wanted to pursue studies, training or receive other forms of education through the receipt of handbooks, long-distance courses or “camp universities”. My research also explores the IBE’s collaboration with other humanitarian actors such as national aid agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The IBE’s archives hold five boxes containing correspondence, statistics and background information on its activities during the war and shed light on an early example of how education matters in humanitarian settings.
Docent, University of Education Zurich; Adjunct Lecturer, Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau
The IBE was an important source for my research on the biography of Jean Piaget (Jean Piaget, London: Continuum, 2008; Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), as well as for my dissertation (Piaget und die Pädagogik, Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt, 2009). As the director of the IBE from 1929 to 1968, Piaget left countless reports, letters, articles, course materials and drafts. These provide an insight into the goals, strategies, and working methods that Piaget pursued with his commitment for educational improvements. They also illustrate the cooperation and networks that Piaget built up in order to influence the ministries of education in line with the “new education”. The evaluations and research work that Piaget initiated or commissioned at the IBE also served this purpose. Since not all sources were accessible at the time of my research, the archives of the IBE should still contain a lot of exciting material waiting to be discovered.
PhD in International History, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
I consulted the IBE archives while researching my doctoral thesis on the contributions of American women – “double outsiders” – to interwar international Geneva, that is, the League of Nations universe. One of my case studies focused on educational issues in and around the League, and the IBE archives proved invaluable to this end for its holdings on Fannie Fern Philips Andrews (1867-1950). Andrews was a fervent advocate for promoting peace through education. Correspondence retained in the IBE archives demonstrated that she possessed invaluable contacts with US government officials and philanthropic entities that officials at the IBE believed they could leverage to mutual benefit. The IBE archives also provided rich materials about how Andrews’ endeavors related to other international educational efforts of the era.