Indigenizing Knowledge for Development: Epistemological and Pedagogical Approaches
Keywords:Africanization, endogenous knowledge, epistemology, development, pedagogy
Possessing endogenous knowledge can help Africans formulate practical solutions to our problems that best fit our circumstances to improve our livelihood. Endogenous knowledge can be considered as knowledge about the people, by the people and for the people. This suggests that economic progress is most likely to occur in societies that succeed in linking their knowledge base to innovation systems. But can Africans create such indigenous knowledge? This paper outlines an approach that suggests modification in the current epistemology and pedagogy applied in teaching, learning and research. It is being proposed here that the African scholar should adopt a problem-oriented approach in conducting research as opposed to the current method-oriented approach that prevents the African from examining pertinent African problems. Pedagogy should also change from single-loop learning in which assumptions underlying western theories and concepts are not examined to double-loop learning. In addition, there is the need to revise the training of the next generation of African scholars and modes of knowledge dissemination. The African scholar must be educated on how to apply critical theory to screen imported knowledge. African universities should also rely less on publications in the so-called international journals as the criterion for staff promotion and rather rely more on publications in domestic journals, staff contribution to solving African problems and the number of postgraduates successfully supervised. The journey to creating indigenous knowledge will be long. As such, a 'front' should be nurtured to clear the path.
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