Saturday, July 18, 2009

Student Success: A Published Paper

UNESCO is a world leader both in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) and in recognition of local knowledge systems and their value. I want to point to a newly published paper by an American author which describes a UNESCO program that promotes the incorporation of local knowledge in early childhood education in Africa. I am especially pleased to do so because the author is a former student in our UNESCO seminar, and the paper was written as a project for that seminar.

Alicia Ranck Soudée
Current Issues in Comparative Education

Abstract: "Early Childhood Development (ECD) has emerged as a theme in international and African dialogue on education in recent years. UNESCO’s Division of Basic Education Early Childhood promotes an integrated approach to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) policy development and review. The study examines how this is implemented in three West African countries, with similar cultural groups in their diverse populations: The Gambia, Mali and Senegal. In The Gambia there is thus far a proposal on how indigenous knowledge should be included in early childhood programs. The clos d’enfants [children’s groups], in Mali demonstrates similar ideas through an international partnership with a local initiative program, developed in Bamako using mothers, local materials and toys made by the participants. Senegal’s program combining local traditions and European pedagogical philosophies, the case des tout-petits [children’s huts], came from the President. Analysis of these three cases suggests that these programs and proposals may be a springboard for UNESCO and partners to further develop ECCE with indigenous knowledge and practice in Africa."

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