Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Emancipatory pedagogy and the Rastafarian movement: A case study of the Jamaican Rastafarian Development Community School in Ethiopia
by Rahnema, Ladan, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2010, 202; 3397626
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the Jamaican Rastafarian Development Community (JRDC) School in a rural town in Ethiopia. This study delved into how the JRDC School integrated the influences of a Rastafarian culture and spirituality on pedagogical practices. Analysis of the perceptions of the school by members of the surrounding community and various stakeholders at the school, including students, parents, teachers, and school leaders aided in addressing the major research question.

Using a conceptual framework based on the works of Freire (1970), the process of emancipatory pedagogy and transformatory learning were highlighted. In addition, an Afrocentric paradigm combined with the theories of West (1993) served as the basis in which the research process was framed. In other words, the conceptual framework of this study drove the research process. The question guiding the research was: How does the JRDC School integrate the influences of a Rastafarian culture and spirituality on pedagogical practices? I also used the following analytical sub-questions: In what ways do the members of the JRDC perceive the JRDC School? How do various stakeholders at the JRDC School make meaning of the school and its practices?

There was evidence of the existence of themes developed by the conceptual framework such as collective consciousness, self-determination, and Afrocentric pedagogy; however, there were opposing factors also present at JRDC. Dichotomous themes to the original ones included conflict over school management, the culture of dependency in rural Ethiopia, and the post-colonial Western instructional styles still predominant in the school. Implications from this study address the identity development of students of African descent towards the goal of academic achievement in developing countries as well as among Diasporic populations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brown, Carolyn A.
Commitee: Brown, Carolyn A., Desander, Marguerita K., Findlay, Judith M., Tekleselassie, Abebayeha A., Wright, Travis S.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 71/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Sub Saharan Africa Studies, Curriculum development
Keywords: Afrocentric, Afrocentric education, Anti-colonial education, Developing countries, Emancipatory pedagogy, Ethiopia, Freire, Paulo, Jamaican Rastafarian Development Community, Rastafarian
Publication Number: 3397626
ISBN: 9781109697162