ERIC Number: EJ983468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Oct
Reference Count: 36
The Principles and Content of African Traditional Education
Adeyemi, Michael B.; Adeyinka, Augustus A.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v35 n4 p425-440 Oct 2003
The type of education prevalent in Africa before the coming of Western civilisation was generally known as African traditional education or indigenous education of the various communities. Most recent works on new perspectives in African education, vis-a-vis the role and impact of Christian missions from the West include those of Coetzee and Roux (eds) (1991) and Makgoba (1999). With the penetration of the Christian missions from the fifteenth century, Western culture--notably British and French--had begun to penetrate into various parts of the continent. The Christian missions brought with them Western culture, culminating in the introduction of formal education, with its emphasis on literary and purely academic work. African parents readily accepted this new education and they began to send their children to the schools fashioned after the European curriculum to learn, gradually setting aside the kind of education, the wholistic, lifelong and utilitarian type, which they themselves had received. The utilitarian nature of African traditional education has been realised to the extent that, today, the call in most African societies is for a return to the indigenous education system, albeit in a modified form. The argument is that an education that has the input of all members of the community, and which prepares each individual for a particular profession or occupational activity, should be the norm in many African societies today. The objectives of this paper are to briefly: (1) discuss the concept and general purpose of education; (2) examine the principles and content of African traditional education; (3) contrast the African traditional education with some Western ideas; (4) highlight the weaknesses and strengths of African traditional education with some ideas on education on the basis of the contrast; and (6) suggest some possible areas for further studies.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Educational Principles, African Culture, Christianity, Educational History, Foreign Policy, Academic Education, Indigenous Knowledge, Western Civilization, Educational Philosophy, Lifelong Learning, Cultural Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa