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Pitzer College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts

Abstract

For my Independent Study project, I decided to examine the dichotomy between colonial heritage and national identity in the Senegalese education system. Among many other topics, I was interested in looking at language use in the classroom, material covered, grading systems, and recent reforms in education. I went about my research by conducting an ethnographic study in two middle/high schools (public and private) in Dakar. In order to narrow my research within the schools, I decided to focus on observing history and civic education classes to better understand the dichotomy. I interviewed students, teachers, administrators, and observed the school setting as well as the history and civic education class

For my Independent Study project, I decided to examine the dichotomy between colonial heritage and national identity in the Senegalese education system. Among many other topics, I was interested in looking at language use in the classroom, material covered, grading systems, and recent reforms in education. I went about my research by conducting an ethnographic study in two middle/high schools (public and private) in Dakar. In order to narrow my research within the schools, I decided to focus on observing history and civic education classes to better understand the dichotomy. I interviewed students, teachers, administrators, and observed the school setting as well as the history and civic education classes. In addition to my research within the school, I also interviewed a few members of educational reform and government organizations. Through my research, I found that a colonial heritage is ever present in the educational system, however it is also constantly changing to adapt to Senegalese preferences and a Senegalese reality. I believe that such a study will contribute to the knowledge of post independence educational systems in West Africa and specifically Senegal.

es. In addition to my research within the school, I also interviewed a few members of educational reform and government organizations. Through my research, I found that a colonial heritage is ever present in the educational system, however it is also constantly changing to adapt to Senegalese preferences and a Senegalese reality. I believe that such a study will contribute to the knowledge of post independence educational systems in West Africa and specifically Senegal.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

 

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