Towards an Africa Philosophy of Education for Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa


The argument in this conceptual paper is that the advent of modern type western education has resulted in the dearth of the importance of indigenous forms of knowledge in Africa. The paper unfolds by highlighting some of the areas in which the modern Eurocentric philosophy of education has alienated and affected some of Africa’s indigenous education systems. Using the modernization paradigm as the framework, the paper’s contention is that following missionary excursions in Africa and the subsequent colonisation, modern forms of schooling were introduced and expanded phenomenally and with it came notions of cultural imperialism, which tended to denigrate many if not all forms of indigenous knowledge education systems. Some indigenous knowledge systems were regarded as primitive, pagan and heathenish. Some forms of such indigenous knowledge were even de-campaigned as non-knowledge. The research question the paper seeks to address is how can indigenous knowledge education systems be used to foster an Afrocentric philosophy of Education? Pursuant to this question, the modernization theory is examined, unpacked and critiqued for equating modernisation with Westernization culminating in the promotion of cultural imperialist sentiments that had an alienating effect on some African institutions and practices.

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Mutekwe, E. (2015) Towards an Africa Philosophy of Education for Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Africa. Creative Education, 6, 1294-1305. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.612129.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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