Restructuring education in Ghana : a case for reconceptualizing educational aims
Apusigah, Agnes Atia
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This thesis examines three decades of educational reform in Ghana between 1970 and the present. Government reports and secondary literature reveal that Ghanaian reformers sought to democratize and transform education but largely failed in their efforts. I argue that this failure stems from their adoption of development and implementation strategies that did not encourage democratic negotiation. Drawing upon Miller, Freire, and Dewey, I present a conceptual analysis of democratic and transformative educational aims. I argue that reforms which are imposed externally and do not encourage genuine democratic participation among all actors do not lead to meaningful change. Democratic negotiations require that environments conducive to dialogue be created for all actors, that discourse reflects the characteristics and conditions of the participants' lives, and that all system actors be full participants to the process of change. Aims talk, the alternative discourse that I advocate as the basis of future educational reform in Ghana, would facilitate democratic negotiations by requiring that educational reforms become educational projects in the Freirean sense. As educational projects, reforms would encourage critical dialogue during which participants would problematize their socio-economic and political realities. Aims talk would connect democratic means with democratic ends. Aims generated as part of such projects would be seen as tentative; they would reflect the characteristics and conditions of the participants, and they would provide the grounds and foresight for periodic review. Finally, aims talk would require that participants commit to dialogue that is moral and transformative.
- Retrospective theses