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Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’

Speaking Differently


Edited By George J. Sefa Dei and Paul Banahene Adjei

Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’: Speaking Differently discusses numerous areas of interest and issues about Africa, including contemporary challenges and possibilities of development. The book critically engages the many ways of presenting ‘development,’ highlighting the interplay of tradition and modernity as well as contestations over knowledge production in ‘post-colonial’ Africa. It offers cautionary words to field practitioners, researchers, and social theorists who work in development using language that is easily accessible to laypersons. This book is also for undergraduate and graduate courses on development, global education, rural development, and Africa studies. For readers looking for something new about Africa beyond the old stories of catastrophes and human misery, this book will be indispensable. It demonstrates that even in the face of many failures, tragedies, and suffering, Africa’s stories can be told with hope and a sense of possibility.
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Chapter 10. Environmental Stewardship and Indigenous Education in Africa: Looking Beyond Eurocentric Dominated Curricula



Recent upsurges in violent earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, floods, ecosystem degradation, ozone depletion, and biodiversity loss and increased threats to the safety of the natural environment and its resources around the globe have put even the most ardent environmental skeptics on alert, fearful that unless something is done about environmental sustainability, perhaps there will not be much of a future left even for the current generation (Battiste, 2008; Battiste & Henderson, 2000; Dei, 1993). But even more central to this discussion is the question of what kinds of education will change humans’ propensity to exploit, degrade, and destroy wherever they find themselves. According to Mosha (1999), any attempt to introduce alternative epistemologies such as Indigenous knowledge to any discussion about Western-centered, environmentally sustainable education has been fiercely challenged and rejected by some Western educators. There is an urgent need to rethink environmentally sustainable education beyond Eurocentric-dominated rhetoric. This chapter calls for Indigenous knowledge to be used as an alternative focal point for these discourses and epistemologies. While education is vital to the solution of creating a global and systematic change that will sustain societies, the effectiveness of environmental education, and the discussion of environmental sustainability are obscurely tied to national and international education development issues, which unfortunately are ← 179 | 180 → besieged by Western intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals—a situation that cannot be allowed to exist (Bekalo & Bangay, 2002). It is also apparent that the present educational curricula, as with the entire educational system, move further and...

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