Surveying Multicultural Literacy Levels in Kenya: Comparison of Primary, Secondary and University
Njoroge, Martin C.
Mwangi, Phyllis W.
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Kenyans belong to diverse cultures but how literate are they in understanding one another’s cultures? What is the role of teaching in the acquisition of multicultural literacy? To what extent are the primary, secondary and university students literate in, for example, Turkana, Maasai and Nubian cultural issues? What is the correlation between gender, education level and multicultural literacy? Using a quantitative research design, and using a pretest-posttest paradigm, data were collected from sampled primary, secondary and university students to determine levels of multicultural literacies. A pretest comprising 30 items was given to all the 25 sampled students at each education level. The test was marked and score recorded. The students were then taught about the Maasai, Turkana and Nubian cultures. A posttest having the same questions as in the pretest was later given, marked and scores recorded. Data were then analyzed using computer based SPSS. To test the correlation, Levene’s test for equality of variances was used to establish whether the observed differences among gender and education variables were purely random or whether there were real differences between the means. The findings show that exposing students to information on the three cultures influenced performance in the posttest. Learners became more literate in multicultural issues after the teaching. We argue that incorporating multicultural content in the curriculum will expand students’ multicultural awareness and decrease negative stereotyping of individuals from other Kenyan cultures. Ultimately, the achievement of Kenya’s national goals of education will be enhanced.