Culture and education in Kenya: a philosophical study
Misia, M. Manuguti
MetadataShow full item record
The concern of the Thesis entitled Culture and Education in Kenya a philosophical study, is to analyse one of Kenya's educational objectives which states that Education must respect, foster and develop our rich and varied cultures. The main concern of the study is to analyse in a philosophical manner two concepts namely culture and education. The appropriate questions to be considered are (i) what are meant by culture? (ii) What is meant by education? As the Objective understudy indicates, there seems to be a relationship or a link between culture and education. The question which is analysed is (iii) what is the conceptual relationship between culture and education? The thesis examines the meaning of culture from two dimensions namely the objective dimension which tends to view culture in terms of man's material products for instance buildings, clothing and tools. This view equates culture to some static commodity, a preserve of the past generation, and a product which should be preserved. Here is also where culture is seen as determining peoples' behaviour because man is born into a culture. In other words his culture is pre-determined in such a way that even if he wants to protest against his culture, he uses the language of that culture to express his protest. This amounts to saying that once cultural patterns have been established and institutionalized, they are fixed in a course of time and objectified. In this sense culture has connotations of being static. The subjective dimension views culture in terms of creativity; culture becomes the creation of man who creates and recreates his culture because as his economy changes, his values also change thus making culture dynamic. This means that every ethnic group, nation or class creates, borrows, transforms and develops culture in the specific historical conditions in accordance with its particular conscious interests. The subjective dimension points to the fact that culture is a process rather than a product. The thesis examines the criteria an activity must fulfil before it is termed an educational activity. Here the analysis of Peters R.S. the prominent philosopher and educationist has been adapted. Namely that any education worth its salt must concern itself with the promotion of worthwhile activities (normative dimension) must involve knowledge and understanding, (Cognitive criterion) must help bring out students with creative minds who are critically aware of their undertakings (Creative criteria) and must also involve dialogue. A difference between education and training is also examined for analytical purposes. Training suggests the acquisition of appropriate appraisals and habits of response in limited conventional situations. It lacks wider cognitive implications. Education consists essentially in the initiation of others into a public world picked out by the language and concepts of a people. This means that education is a purposeful activity because it has a duty to perform, namely, that it is the purpose of education to transmit culture. This points out to the fact that there is a relationship between culture and education. Education and culture are seen as means and ends education. Education and culture are seen as means and ends respectively or in terms of instrumentality and finality. The thesis is not concerned with empirical questions that are whether schools in fact promote or can promote culture. The school being an agent of socialization, it is assumed that it fulfills this function. It is also assumed that there is a link between education and culture but whether this link is empirically true or not is an investigation which is left to social scientists to undertake. In the thesis, the concern is to analyse the conceptual relationship between culture and education. The study attempts therefore a philosophical analysis of the concepts, culture and education. In the final analysis the thesis has come up with suggestion that more research is needed to deal with the creative and dialogical criteria and both culture and education and to put more emphasis on the subjective dimension of culture. It is hoped that the philosophical analysis, attempted in this thesis has tried to define in conceptual terms the educational objective, education must respect, foster and develop Kenya's cultures which is the main theme of the thesis.