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Promoting Indigenous Epistemologies in Early Childhood Development Policy and Practice in Pastoralist Communities in Kenya

  • John Teria Ng’asike
  • Beth Blue Swadener
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies on Children and Development book series (PSCD)

Abstract

This chapter challenges African early childhood educators to rethink the very nature of early years education offered to children, particularly in pastoralist or other more ‘traditional’ cultures. We emphasize some of the cultural nuances and power of indigenous ways of knowing and learning based on traditional childrearing, particularly in Turkana and other pastoralist cultures in Kenya. We also argue that the complexity of the preschool structure or ways in which preschools may meet ‘universal quality standards’ matter far less than the relationship between the cultural context of the children and the learning environment. The degree to which the learning environment reflects the lifestyles of the children is more critical than the expensive infrastructure of the classrooms and other non-sustainable models that decades of foreign ‘development’ aid has left in communities. We link to larger themes of this volume, including rethinking what development means in Global South early childhood contexts and exploring ways to decolonize early childhood initiatives in ways that foreground African values and cultures.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Teria Ng’asike
    • 1
  • Beth Blue Swadener
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Early Childhood Studies and Teacher Professional DevelopmentKenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social TransformationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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