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.
Chapter 13: Education in Voodoo Convents in Benin
Education in Voodoo Convents in Benin
This chapter deals with one particular educational issue in Benin: the religious and traditional education provided in voodoo ‘convents’ as well as the modern education received at school. This analysis underscores the cultural maladjustment of school and the secret nature that socialization takes on in such convents. Though each of these two educational systems has its own weaknesses, the Beninese society promotes school, without however totally giving up the education and practices typical of voodoo convents.
In the Beninese traditional culture there are some compounds, the Hounkpamin,1 where voodoo2 followers are trained. They belong to secret societies whose members share the belief in divinities. Such boarding schools are known as voodoo ‘convents’, kinds ...