ERIC Number: EJ1106181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Rethinking "Ukama" in the Context of "Philosophy for Children" in Africa
Ndofirepi, Amasa Philip; Shanyanana, Rachel N.
Research Papers in Education, v31 n4 p428-441 2016
This paper is a critical conceptual exploration of the contribution of the "ukama" ethic in the context of "Philosophy for Children" (The "Philosophy for Children" movement is also variously known as "philosophy in schools," "philosophy with children" and "philosophical inquiry in the classroom." In the context of this discussion, we refer to Philosophy for Children as a programme or course designed for doing philosophy with children in schools.) as it could be applied in Africa. The introduction and development of the idea of doing philosophy with children in a group setting relates to the notion of "community of inquiry," which can be an effective pedagogical strategy. In African socio-ethical thought, the sense of self is developed in communitarian social constructions. The concept of community in Africa is understood to be a series of interactions and interconnections within the cosmos, rather than an existence that is distinct and individuated. The question is one of relation: How does the "self" relate to the "other," to reality and to the universe? To what extent does relationality contribute to the development of critique and reason, especially in children? We address the question: What unique contribution can the "ukama" (relationality) ethic make to the community of inquiry as a pedagogical framework for doing philosophy with children in the twenty-first century? We investigate the relationship between "ukama," a uniquely African ethic, and a Philosophy for Children programme.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Foreign Countries, Program Descriptions, Teaching Methods, Communities of Practice, African Culture, Self Concept, Collectivism, Criticism, Guidelines, Philosophy, Empathy, Cooperation, Children, Groups
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa