Before French conquest, education played an important role in
Moroccan society as a means of cultural reproduction and as a form
of cultural capital that defined a person’s social position.
Primarily religious and legal in character, the Moroccan
educational system did not pursue European educational ideals.
Following the French conquest of Morocco, however, the French
established a network of colonial schools for Moroccan Muslims
designed to further the agendas of the conquerors. The Moroccan
Soul examines the history of the French education system in
colonial Morocco, the development of French conceptions about the
“Moroccan Soul,” and the effect of these ideas on pedagogy, policy
making, and politics. Fueled in large part by French conceptions of
“Moroccanness” as a static, natural, and neatly bounded identity,
colonial schooling was designed to minimize conflict by promoting
the consent of the colonized. This same colonial school system,
however, was also a site of interaction between colonial
authorities and Moroccan Muslims, and became a locus of changing
strategies of Moroccan resistance and contestation, which
culminated in the rise of the Moroccan nationalist movement.
Spencer D. Segalla reveals how the resistance of the colonized
shaped the ideas and policies of the school system and how French
ideas and policies shaped the strategies and discourse of