Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Integration of indigenous knowledge and cultural practices in early childhood care and education programs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: An exploratory case study
by Negussie, Hawani, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 230; 3647117
Abstract (Summary)

Early Childhood Care and Education in Ethiopia was revitalized after the initiatives of Education for All campaign were introduced with the intention of expanding access and improving educational opportunities to children living in disadvantaged communities. In the process of expanding access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programs in Ethiopia, a greater need to grasp the meaning of early education in the context of children's historical, social, and cultural experiences emerged.

The purpose of this research study was to explore the integration of indigenous knowledge and cultural practices in ECCE programs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory in combination with Yosso's community cultural wealth theory served as the conceptual as well as the methodological framework advising the components of this research. This qualitative case study invited perspectives from local parents, teachers, directors, a university faculty member, and administrative personnel from Ministry of Education in Ethiopia.

Major findings uncovered that participants in this study associated language, fidel (the Ethiopian alphabet), traditional practices, and religion as core elements of Ethiopia's indigenous knowledge. However, when assessing the value of using indigenous knowledge, it was revealed parents' want for English and the personification English-speaking carries resulted in devaluation of Amharic and cultural practices in ECCE programs. Success with integrating indigenous knowledge by using native languages and culturally relevant materials was evident in schools serving low income families; but it was a challenge for these students when they advanced to all-English secondary schools. Other challenges to integrating indigenous knowledge were attributed to disproportionate numbers of private versus public schools, divergent education philosophy between rich and poor programs, lack of local resources, and absence of a stringent monitoring agency to enforce the national mandate of Amharic or mother's tongue as the medium of instruction.

The study bears important implications for ECCE programs, policy makers, educational researchers, and for Ethiopia. Recommendations include Ethiopia's adopting a three language system in primary grades beginning in ECCE programs. Further recommendations call for international and national support for developing indigenous resources, delayed introduction of English as a subject in elementary grades, and a comprehensive university-level ECCE teacher training program.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slater, Charles, Pattnaik, Jyotsna
Commitee:
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Early childhood education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Cultural practices, Ethiopia, Indigenous knowledge
Publication Number: 3647117
ISBN: 9781321369342
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