Educational Theories and Practices from the Majority World


Edited by: Pierre R. Dasen & Abdeljalil Akkari

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  • About the Editors and Contributors


    Abdeljalil Akkari is Professor of International Dimensions of Education at the Faculty of Psychology and Education of the University of Geneva and formerly Dean for research at the Higher Pedagogical Institute HEP-BEJUNE (Bienne, Switzerland). He received his PhD at the University of Geneva in 1992. He worked as professor of education at the universities of Geneva, Fribourg, and Baltimore. His major publications include studies on educational planning, multicultural education, teacher training, and educational inequalities. His main research interests focus now on teacher education and the reforms of educational systems in a comparative perspective. He is also consultant for the International Bureau of Education (UNESCO) and other international organizations. He is an expert on different educational projects in various countries: Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Tunisia, Algeria, Irak, and Madagascar. He is fluent in Arabic, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. His e-mail addresses are and

    Pierre R. Dasen is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology of Education and Cross-cultural Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology and Education of the University of Geneva.

    He studied developmental psychology in Geneva, was an assistant to J. Piaget, and received a PhD from the Australian National University. He studied the cognitive development of Aboriginal children in Australia, Inuit in Canada, Baoulé in Côte d'Ivoire, and Kikuyu in Kenya; he has also contributed to research in cognitive anthropology among the Yupno of Papua-New-Guinea, and in Bali. His research topics have included visual perception, the development of sensori-motor intelligence, the causes and effects of malnutrition, the development of concrete operations as a function of eco-cultural variables and daily activities, definitions of intelligence, number systems, and spatial orientation. He has also been concerned with intercultural education, and in particular with the access of illegal migrant adolescents to professional training. His main interests are in everyday cognition, informal education, and parental ethnotheories, and his current research in India, Nepal, and Indonesia is on spatial language and cognitive development.

    Pierre Dasen is the co-author and co-editor of several volumes and textbooks on cross-cultural psychology and intercultural education. His e-mail address is


    Eunice W. Adzemye holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the Bamenda University of Science and Technology. Her research interest is in the socio-economic impact of peri-urban agriculture on poor families with special focus on children and youth. She is a Research Assistant on the Cameroon sample of a longitudinal cross-cultural research project on mother-infant interaction in collaboration with Dr Marc Bornstein at the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). She is on the Board of Directors of the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda.

    Marie Battiste is a Mi'kmaw Professor in the College of Education and Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Saskatchewan, and Co-Director of the Canadian Council on Learning's Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre. Her historical research of Mi'kmaw literacy and education as a graduate student at Harvard University and later at Stanford University where she received her doctorate degree in curriculum and teacher education provided the foundation for her later writings in cognitive imperialism, linguistic, and cultural integrity, and decolonization of Aboriginal education. She has co-authored Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge with J. Youngblood Henderson (Saskatoon: Purich Press, 2000) which received a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2000; edited Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2000); co-edited as guest editor the Australian Journal of Indigenous Education (May 2005), and was senior editor with Jean Barman for First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds (1995, UBC Press, Vancouver). She has published widely, has an international presence, and is an active researcher and contributor to many indigenous community projects. She received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the University of Saskatchewan in 2004, and the Saskatchewan Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan 2006 for significant work with the people of Saskatchewan, and Eagle feathers from Mi'kmaw Grand Council, Eskasoni First Nations community, and Stanford University Native American community. Her e-mail address is

    Marie Anne Broyon is a professor at the Teacher Training College of Valais, in Switzerland, and has been a research and teaching assistant in educational planning at the Department of Education, University of Geneva. Her PhD research is on ‘Metacognition and the Development of Spatial Orientation’ in Benares (India), as part of a larger project coordinated by Prof. P. Dasen, University of Geneva, and Prof. R.C. Mishra (Banaras Hindu University) on spatial language and cognition. Her current research interests are cultural differences in metacognition and reflexivity, traditional schooling, integration of migrant children into school education, intercultural pedagogy, language policy in multilingual Switzerland, and educational policies. Her e-mail address is

    Giovanna Carrarini is an Italian anthropologist, working on a doctorate in educational sciences at the University of Geneva. The theme of her thesis is adult literacy and the construction of civil society in Bolivia from a historical perspective. She currently works for the Training Program in Intercultural and Bilingual Education for the Andean Countries at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her primary scientific interests involve the following aspects: ethnography of speaking; interculturality and bilingualism in education; oral tradition and written processes within the Andean context; promotion of cultural diversity within language and power; right to education for indigenous peoples; public policy and non-governmental actions in education (North–South, South–South). Her e-mail address is

    Nilima Changkakoti studied psychology at the University of Geneva, where she also received her PhD in educational sciences. She has worked on literacy acquisition in adults and children, vocational training, and intercultural teacher training. Her current research interests are the blending of traditional andmodern schooling, migration narratives, the relationship between school and immigrant families, community interpreting, ethnopsychiatry, and trauma and migration. Her e-mail address is

    Pascaline J. Fai holds a post-graduate Teacher Training Diploma from Yaounde University's Advanced School of Education in the English language. Her research interest is, in general, the learning of English as a second language and, in particular, the impact of ethnic languages on English language acquisition. She has received many capacity building trainings in English language teaching and life skills education and prevention of HIV/AIDS amongst adolescents. Pascaline has been an examiner for the English Language Ordinary Level of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education since 1997 and received an award as the best Form Five English Language Teacher in 2001. She is a trainer in the in-school component of the Adolescent Development and Participation Program in Cameroon and a member of the Board of Directors of the Human Development Resource Centre (HDRC), Bamenda. Her e-mail address is

    Fedelis W. Forsuh is affiliated with the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda. He obtained his Master of Education from the Bamenda University of Science and Technology in Guidance and Counselling. His research interests are on mathematics edu-cation and understanding the challenges inherent in running a community-based counselling centre. He serves as the secretary of the Board of Directors of the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda.

    Anahy Gajardo was born in Chile. She has studied anthropology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and educational sciences at the University of Geneva. She is preparing a doctorate in social anthropology at the University of Fribourg on the ethnic revival of an indigenous population in Chile. She is a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Education at the University of Geneva. She has published a book on the role of ethnographic museums in the teaching of cultural diversity (Entre école et musée: les visites scolaires. Apprendre la diversité culturelle au musée? Université de Genève: Cahiers des sciences de l'éducation no. 108, 2005). Her e-mail address is

    John D. Herzog is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Education at Northeastern University in Boston, and is currently an independent researcher studying ‘compagnonnage’ apprenticeship in France and has delivered more than a dozen conference papers on that subject. He received his PhD in anthropology and education from Harvard University. He has had teaching and administrative assignments at Harvard, University College Nairobi, and Northeastern University. He has done fieldwork in Barbados, Kenya, the Boston area, and France. He was the president of the Council on Anthropology and Education of the American Anthropological Association, and has published in the Harvard Educational Review (1962), Ethos (1973) and Human Organization (1974). His e-mail address is

    Adjignon Débora Gladys Hounkpe has an Arts degree of the National University of Bénin and has taught French at a Catholic College and the Higher Management Institute in Cotonou. She then studied human rights in a Summer school in Geneva, and received two higher degrees from the University of Geneva, one in social sciences (gender studies) and one in educational sciences. She is interested in human rights and gender issues, particularly the right of education for all. Her current commitment is to provide literacy training for women in Bénin, particularly in poor suburbs of Cotonou. Her e-mail address is

    Glory N. Lum obtained a diploma in Community Development from the National School of Community Development, Kumba (Cameroon). She is interested in community participatory learning processes. Glory is a trainer in life skills education at the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda, and a resource person for Cameroon's out-of-school component of the Adolescent Development and Participation Program. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda.

    José Marín is an anthropologist who was born and educated in Perou. He holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris, and diplomas from the Higher Institute of Latin American Studies in Paris, and the University Institute of Development Studies and the International Environment Academy in Geneva. He has been teaching at the University of Geneva, in several higher education institutions in Fribourg, Lausanne, and Geneva (Switzerland), and throughout South America, particularly Brazil.

    His main interests are in the large scale social and historical trends leading from the colonization of South America to the current imperialist globalization, and its impact on human rights and cultural diversity. He is particularly interested in indigenous populations in the Amazon basin, their cosmologies and knowledge about nature and medicine, and in the links between biological and cultural diversity. His e-mail address is

    Peri Mesquida is a professor and researcher at the Catholic University of Paraná, in Brazil. He has received his PhD in education from the University of Geneva, and has been an invited professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is interested in the history of education in South America, particularly Brazil, and has published books on the North-American hegemony and protestant education in Brazil (Hegemonia Norte Americana e educação protestante no Brasil. Juiz de Fora e São Paulo: EDITEO/EDUFJF, 1994), and on Piaget and Vygotski (Piaget e Vygotski: uma diálogo inacabado. Curitiba, Pr: Editora Cmahpagnat, 2001). His e-mail address is

    Ramesh C. Mishra is Professor of Psychology at Banaras Hindu University. He obtained his doctorate from Allahabad University under the supervision of Prof. D. Sinha and has spent two years of post-doctoral studies with Prof. J. Berry at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He has been an invited professor at the same university, and at the University of Geneva. He is interested in all aspects of cultural influence on human behaviour, and has contributed to numerous papers and books in India and internationally on such topics as cross-cultural research on cognition, acculturation, and education. In particular, he has contributed review chapters on cognition in the Handbook of Cross-cultural Psychology and the Handbook of Culture and Psychology. He is the author (together with J.W. Berry and D. Sinha) of Ecology, Acculturation and Psychological Adaptation: A Study of Adivasis in Bihar, and co-editor (with J.W. Berry and R.C. Tripathi) of Psychology in Human and Social Development: Lessons from Diverse Cultures. His e-mail address is

    Gladys N. Ngoran holds a Master of Education of the Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST). She is a school counsellor and a resource person and consultant for many community-based human service organizations. Her research interest is on couple relationships. She is author of Guidance for a Successful Student Life (2006). Gladys is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda.

    Mairama Y. Ngeh earned the post-graduate Teacher Training Diploma from Yaounde University's Advanced School of Education in the English language. She is an English language teacher and interested in study habits and time use amongst adolescent students. She has undertaken several capacity building trainings in English language teaching and life skills education and prevention of HIV/AIDS with adolescents. Mairama is an examiner for the English Language Ordinary Level of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education. She is a resource person in the out-of-school component of the Adolescent Development and Participation Program at the Human Development Resource Centre, Bamenda, and a member of its Board of Directors.

    A. Bame Nsamenang is Associate Professor of Psychology and Learning Sciences at Yaoundé University's School of Education, Cameroon, and Director of the Human Development Resource Centre in Bamenda. Prior to his current duties he held a research position as Senior Research Fellow at the defunct Cameroon's Institute of Human Sciences. He was Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2002–2003) and the National Institutes of Health (1987–1990) as well as Nehru Chair Visiting Professor at Baroda University, India (2001).

    His main research interests are on human development across the lifespan, particularly concerning early childhood care and education and adolescent/youth development in context. He is committed to the project of evolving an Africentric psychology. Despite his very low resource base, he has a lifetime commitment to developing and networking to evolve an appropriate and sensitive science of human psychology for Africa.

    His publication list entails five influential books in developmental psychology and education including Human Development in Cultural Context: A Third World Perspective (1992). Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA, and Cultures of Human Development and Education: Challenge to Growing Up African (2004). Nova Science Publishers, New York. His e-mail address is

    Robert Serpell is Professor of Psychology at the University of Zambia. Born and raised in England, he received his BA from Oxford (1965) and PhD from Sussex (1969). In 1978, he became a citizen of the Republic of Zambia, where he has lived and worked for most of his life at the University of Zambia, holding positions in the Human Development Research Unit, the Psychology Department, the Institute for African Studies and, most recently, as Vice-Chancellor (2003–06). Between 1989 and 2002 he was Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA. Dr Serpell's publications have centred around the influence of socio-cultural factors on children's cognitive development, and include three books: Culture's Influence on Behaviour (1976), The Significance of Schooling: Life-journeys in an African Society (1993), and Becoming Literate in the City: The Baltimore Early Childhood Project (2005). In addition to basic research on children's perception, intelligence, language, literacy and socialization, he has conducted applied projects on assessment, curriculum, instruction, and program development with special attention to developmental disabilities and mental retardation in Africa. His e-mail address is

    George Robert Teasdale taught in the School of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, for 34 years. From 1997 to the end of 2003 he was Director of the Flinders University Institute of International Education. From 2004 to 2007 he was the Director of the Pacific Regional Initiatives for the Design of Basic Education (PRIDE) Project, a major EU-funded activity supporting curriculum reform in the 14 independent nations of Oceania, at the Institute of Education at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. He is now Adjunct Professor in the David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

    Bob's teaching and research interests are in the fields of international, cross-cultural, and indigenous education, with a particular focus on the Australia-Pacific region. He also has worked extensively with UNESCO in the Asia-Pacific region during the past 15 years in the fields of education for cultural development and education for peace and international understanding. His e-mail address is

    Aparna Vajpayee holds an MA in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University and a PhD from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut, India. She has been a senior project fellow in an international research project directed by Prof. R.C. Mishra, Banaras Hindu University, and Prof. P.R. Dasen (University of Geneva) and a lecturer at Amity University, New Delhi.

    She is interested in the psychological development of children from disadvantaged segments of the population in India, and in cognitive intervention. She has also worked on the physical and mental health of tribal women, and is interested in community development and the application of psychology to human and social development. Her e-mail address is

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