NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ747847
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0020-8566
The British and Curriculum Development in West Africa: A Historical Discourse
Ofori-Attah, Kwabena Dei
International Review of Education, v52 n5 p409-423 Sep 2006
Only recently have African nations begun to make their way towards establishing genuinely autonomous education systems incorporating elements of indigenous culture. The present study examines the historical development of curriculum in British West Africa in its links with the educational activities of the early Christian missionaries and the imposition of British colonial rule. For over 300 years, the curriculum content was essentially European in nature. African interests and cultural practices were largely excluded, as "bookwork" was favored over "handwork". The colonial curriculum also helped introduce a new social order to West Africa, leading to the rise of new local elites reading, writing, and speaking foreign European languages. This study explores how the idea of a "civilized" person, promoted through the colonial school curriculum, developed new local elites with different sets of values and expectations that often made them strangers in their own societies. It also describes the connection between this curriculum and the repeated failure of education-reform efforts.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; United Kingdom (Great Britain)