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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Education, Punishment and the Contradictions of Penal Reform: Alan Paton and Diepkloof Reformatory, 1934-1948
Author:Chisholm, LindaISNI
Year:1991
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:17
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:23-42
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:juvenile delinquency
prisons
educational reform
Education and Oral Traditions
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637285
Abstract:In 1934 Alan Paton was charged with the task of turning Diepkloof Reformatory, the largest and only African reformatory in South Africa, into a school. He was a liberal and a Christian, and his approach, like that of many other educational reformers in the 1920s and 1930s, was inspired by the goals and methods of the prevailing progressive child-centred pedagogy, which stressed a new relationship between pupil and teacher. This paper addresses itself to three main questions: the difference between the system in operation at Diepkloof before Paton's arrival and the system he introduced, the reasons for the failure of his experiment to be generalized to the wider system, and the social and political significance of the reforms he introduced. Paton's aim was to apply to blacks the diversified system of juvenile justice and welfare in existence for whites. He attempted to introduce under one roof the principles of industrial school, hostel and aftercare 'treatment'. A unique feature of his approach was the introduction of 'educational' as opposed to 'penal' discipline. These changes, however, had to take place in a society that sought the repression and expulsion rather than the stabilization of a black working class. Paton was ultimately defeated as much by political opponents with a different vision of what ought to be done about black delinquents as by the contradictions between his aims and the social and political realities in which he attempted to realize them. Notes, ref.
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