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 1: Informal Education and Learning Processes1
Informal Education and Learning Processes1
The term ‘education’ often refers only to schooling, both in common parlance and in the documents of international organizations and NGOs, as well as in the academic world of educational sciences. In this chapter, however, we will deal with education in a much wider acceptation, namely all aspects of cultural transmission. Schooling is of course part of that, but education also includes informal learning, resulting from enculturation and socialization, that is, it proceeds informally in everyday situations, either through observation and imitation or active inculcation. As Bruner (1996: ix) remarks: ‘… schooling is only one small part of how a culture inducts the young into its canonical ways. Indeed, schooling may even be at odds ...