Remodeling Learning on an African Cultural Heritage of

Authored by: Rebecca Nthogo Lekoko , Oitshepile MmaB Modise

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415571302
eBook ISBN: 9780203357385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136598562

10.4324/9780203357385.ch52

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Abstract

This chapter comes at a critical moment in Africa's development, a time when some critics are debating the role of learning in the development of Africa. It is a time when Africans desire to know better what in current learning systems works and what does not work for them. Among the many criticisms of the current educational and learning systems in Africa is the one-dimensional approach to learning proposed by some proponents and supporters of modernization of education in Africa. They understand learning as preparation for formal employment. Little attention goes to understanding learning as a lifestyle and preparation for civic responsibility. Learning would be dangerous if understood only in relation to tokenism or elitism needed for formal employment. As Searle (1981) observed, in situations where learning is viewed in “ … tokenistic manner; as fringed activities divorced from daily or community life, such learning would last only for as long as school lasts” (p. 3). Learning that truly fits the African lifestyle is that which is lifelong and culturally sensitive. This chapter thus presents a model for developing culturally sensitive learning activities by drawing principles from the African cultural heritage of Ubuntu strengthened by the principles of Botho.

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