The study of formal education has, until recently, been a relatively marginal concern within anthropology. By contrast, a more broadly-defined interest in learning, particularly as it relates to cultural transmission, has been central to the anthropological project. At various times, this broader interest has been reflected in studies of *socialization, *literacy, *cognition, knowledge, *childhood, the *body, apprenticeship and so on. The lack of emphasis on formal education, as such, may in part reflect a tradition of studying communities in which institutionalized education was either non-existent, had little obvious impact on informants, or was effectively beyond local aspirations. The learning processes which existed in such communities seemed to bear little resemblance to Western-style education. More to the point, it seemed a distortion to automatically relate these forms of learning back to Western models.