• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Educational Theories and Practices from the Majority World draws attention to ethnocentrism in educational research and practice. Whether it is educational theory, research or educational practices, most of the discourse is strongly marked by one single model, Western, so-called “modern” schooling. Scientific knowledge about education is typically seen as Western, and non-Western contexts are made subject to Western paradigms of inquiry.

This book counters this Western ethnocentrism and suggests some means to fight it. The Western perspective stems from a minority and it does not represent the majority of the world population that is situated outside of Europe and North-America. For millennia, various forms of educational theory and practices have been developed all over the world, and these are still in existence even though they may be ignored and despised by mainstream educational science. What does this wealth of educational forms have to offer in terms of innovative ideas? Could some of these be used to improve the quality and the appropriateness of modern schooling everywhere in the world?

The book contains contributions by authors from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. Several of them usually write in French or in Spanish, which will permit access to theories and research not always covered in English.

Participatory Appropriation and the Cultivation of Nurturance: A Case Study of African Primary Health Science Curriculum Development1
Participatory appropriation and the cultivation of nurturance: A case study of African primary health science curriculum development
RobertSerpell

This chapter advances a cultural perspective on applied developmental psychology that conceptualizes education as facilitating the appropriation of new ideas by learners through participating in socially organized activities. The benefits of literacy, mathematics, and health science to a community cannot be gauged by simple aggregation of individual competencies, since the cultural structure of technology involves socially distributed cognition. The technological characteristics of cultural resources, such as, a system of writing, are both constraining and empowering. The cognitive possibilities that they afford are mediated by co-constructive processes among participants in various socially organized ...

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