Title

THE EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AND WORK OF WELTHY HONSINGER FISHER IN CHINA AND INDIA: 1906-1980

Date of Completion

January 1983

Keywords

Biography|Education, Philosophy of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Welthy Honsinger Fisher, founder of Literacy House in Lucknow, India launched an educational movement in that nation. Her contributions in joining literacy to the field of adult education created new interest and efforts both on the part of voluntary and government programs. Departing from the campaign concept, Fisher advocated a permanent center to fill the life-long developmental educational needs of the rural populace. The methods Fisher evolved to promote functional literacy were both original and derivative in nature. Drawing from the indigenous examples of Mohandas Gandhi's work in Basic Education and Rabindranath Tagore's work at Santiniketan and Sriniketan, Fisher also called upon her educational experiences in China for the elements of her program.^ The development of Fisher's educational philosophy is observed through the medium of an intellectual biography. Fisher perceived her life as falling within three dawns: early missionary work in China, her life as the wife of Frederick Bohn Fisher, Bishop of Calcutta and Burma, and her role as founder and director of Literacy House in India. By examining the life and works of this educator, insights are generated as to developmental studies, with emphasis on the education of women, and literacy education. As she was outside the mold of missionary educators, study of Fisher's work in China contributes to the reassessment of the western missionary enterprise in Asia. In addition, this study adds to the body of research on the work of women in education. This research is of concern for those interested in the contributions of women, the education of women, adult, non-formal and literacy education as well as international studies.^