African Ways of Knowing and Pedagogy Revisited

Constantine Ngara

Abstract


Whereas African ways of knowing have previously been ‘misunderstood, misinterpreted, ridiculed and ignored’ in colonial discourses, this paper situates debate on their relevance in defining the African personhood and pedagogy of liberation and progress in Africa. The paper is designed to inform educators of African students on the nature of the African paradigm of knowing to understand the African psyche. Although modern people (especially the African elite) tend to invest little faith in developing indigenous knowledges, this paper amply demonstrates that traditional ways of knowing (spirituality centered wisdom) continue to be relevant in modern life even beyond the African boundaries. The insights informing the paper were gleaned from several studies conducted by this researcher (and others) exploring the African paradigm from Shona and Ndebele cultures’ conceptions of giftedness. The paper recommends revisiting African traditional ways of knowing to harmonize the past with the present and establish the true basis for pedagogy of liberation and progress in Africa.

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