ERIC Number: ED353051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Building on People's Strengths: The Case for Contextual Child Development. Studies and Evaluation Papers 5.
It is often the case that lip service is paid to the strength of indigenous culture while the implications of indigenous peoples' strengths are disregarded in actual project design. This paper shows that indigenous peoples and societies are able to cope with an extraordinary number of permutations, and that their coping mechanisms are both infinitely resilient and enormously adaptable. The most obvious strength and resource of African children is the extended family. Other strengths and resources available to African infants and young children through their indigenous socialization processes include the structure of the siwindhle, or nursery, and the role of old women in imparting social knowledge to the children. The everyday socialization process that takes place around an African child is too significant to be ignored, and there is a need for a deeper and more intimate understanding of the invisible social fabric that holds the society together. Once the context of African socialization is understood, then the ability to use the African institutions developed expressly to facilitate child development will naturally follow. Teacher training institutes must develop respect for traditional practices so that new teachers cease to think of themselves as the ones with knowledge and become sensitive to other socializing agents in the community. (SM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).
Identifiers - Location: Africa