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ERIC Number: EJ810292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1052-2891
Non-Western Perspectives on Learning and Knowing
Merriam, Sharan B.; Kim, Young Sek
New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, n119 p71-81 Fall 2008
What counts as knowledge and truth in an African context is deeply embedded in the community and is a product of age and experience, in contrast to "the western strategy of convincing with arguments. From the African point of view, arguments are a sign of weakness, of lack of power and vitality. A good, forceful truth does not need arguments. ... Truth is not argued for but felt ... as a force coming from the speaking human" (Hamminga, 2005). This is but one example of how another epistemological system or worldview differs from what people in Western society are accustomed to in their understanding of adult learning. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce readers to systems of learning and knowing different from the Western perspective. Many of these systems predate Western science by thousands of years, and even today they are held by the majority of the world's peoples. The authors first discuss the growing awareness of non-Western perspectives. This discussion is followed by three themes characterizing adult learning in non-Western systems. The authors close with a discussion of how familiarity with these perspectives can extend their understanding and practice as adult educators and learners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa