O'Brien, Dan

Dr. Dan O'Brien is Associate Professor of Education at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and teaches courses on Language and Literacy and on Education Systems in the Developing World. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of London. He has worked for seven years in Zambia, taught in Zambian schools and specialized in the Tonga language on which he did his Ph.D. Dr. O'Brien has published on oral history in Zambia, the politics of Zambian education and the grammar of Tonga.

Struggle for Control of Education in Zambia
2006 0-7734-5834-4
This book investigates the crucial role that education played in the construction and subsequent life of the Republic of Zambia, formerly Northern Rhodesia. The social structure is examined from the perspective of subaltern theory and the educational structure from the theoretical perspective of Foucault’s Discourse and Discipline. The importance of combining these two theoretical aspects arises from the particular situation of the territory between 1924, when the Colonial Office took over from the British South Africa Company and 1964 when Zambian Independence was declared. By 1924 there were already four clearly defined groups within the territory, the Colonial Officials, the Miners, traders and farmers, the Missionaries and the Africans. Each of these categories of people had their own view of how the territory should be developed. Each believed that education was the instrument they could use to achieve their aims and the book shows in details the efforts they made to do so. A detailed study of the education provided at both Discourse (Policy) and Discipline (schools and curriculum) levels shows however that none of the participants took into account the inherent logic of an educational system. The efforts made to manipulate the system has led to results that none of the parties envisaged and has left the Zambian people with major problems at social, political and educational levels.