This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book starts from the understanding that education is strongly enshrined in the language and practice of human rights. It considers the historical backdrop for contemporary debates, showing that many of them have long-term antecedents. The book examines arguments about the role of education as an investment in economic development and, in particular, the extent to which the human capital orthodoxy from economics is satisfactory as an explanation of the education-economic development relationship. It addresses the rising perspective in the education and development space regarding education for human development, inspired especially by the work of Amartya Sen. The book acknowledges that while education is claimed widely as a force for good, it is also blamed as a site and cause of physical violence; and of other violences to cultural, gender, class and other identities.