ERIC Number: ED419130
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Girls and Basic Education: A Cultural Enquiry. Education Research Paper.
A study examined the issues and experiences of 89 women teachers, head teachers, and girls in and out of school in two contrasting Ghanaian cultural contexts. Data were collected via life history interviews, analyzed, and presented around three domains: culture of the home; relationship between culture and the economy, and culture of the school. Findings indicated that the home domain was shaped by issues of kinship, descent, and the practice of fostering. Cultural values of elders, attitudes toward knowledge, women's role in society, and expectations of the economic value of schooling influenced girls' educational experiences. The economic domain operated at two levels. At the macro level, Ghana exemplified the impact of structural adjustment policies on marginalized people now facing increased educational and health service costs. At the micro level of the home and extended family, the girl was often the sole breadwinner needing to develop coping strategies to balance school with employment. In the culture of the school, many children did or learned little of value. Issues of attitude to knowledge, teaching methods, and language policy constrained reform efforts. The teacher's life was hard; many perceived their profession as having low status. Positive school experiences for the child included being well taught in literacy and numeracy skills, seeing successful women teachers as role models, and avoiding excessive corporal punishment. Policy implications were determined for home, the economy, and school. (Appendixes include three life history interviews, survey instruments, and 87 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Dropout Research, Dropouts, Elementary Education, Family Influence, Females, Foreign Countries, Literacy, Literacy Education, Numeracy, Parent Influence, Primary Education, School Culture, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Womens Education
Department for International Development, Education Division, 24 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL, England, United Kingdom.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department for International Development, London (England).