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ERIC Number: EJ816410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
The Pencil and the Shepherd's Crook. Ethnography of Maasai Education
Bonini, Nathalie
Ethnography and Education, v1 n3 p379-392 Sep 2006
This paper aims to study the various forms of education to be found amongst the Kisongo Maasai, a pastoral population in Tanzania, both in their own right and in terms of what their encounter with one another implies. The late and rather limited development of schooling in that remote area and educational policies, as well as the pastoral way of life of this population, combine to produce a low rate of schooling: around 33% of children enrolled in primary schools versus a national rate that was twice as high in the 1990s. Few of these pupils go on to secondary schooling. The paper attempts to show the impact of primary schooling on educational practices and, more generally, on the Maasai way of life. Although they coexist side by side to a large extent, formal schooling and "traditional" education--offering conflicting forms of knowledge that are conveyed in widely different fashions--usually tend to be in competition with each other, especially when it comes to pastoral education. Whereas in school all pupils are given the same instruction in a single classroom, in their communities young Maasai receive distinct kinds of education from different persons and in different places, depending on gender and age. Education for girls, non-circumcised boys and warriors is therefore orientated towards domestic labour, pastoral activities and practices associated with warriorhood. After highlighting the dynamics of interaction amongst the various forms of education, the paper focuses on Maasai perceptions of school and on the various educational strategies such perceptions generate. (Contains 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tanzania