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Teachers' appropriation of bilingual educational reform policy in sub-Saharan Africa a socio-cultural study of two Hausa-French schools in Niger

Chekaraou, Ibro.
Teachers' appropriation of bilingual educational reform policy in sub-Saharan Africa [electronic resource] : a socio-cultural study of two Hausa-French schools in Niger / Ibro Chekaraou.
Online Resource
[Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University, 2004.
401 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Indiana University, 2004.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other contributors
Indiana University, Bloomington.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-01, Section: A, page: 0062.
Chair: Martha Nyikos.
Title from dissertation home page (viewed Oct. 11, 2006).
This study applies ethnographic methods using the Epistemic Triangle as a lens for investigating teachers' appropriation of a bilingual educational reform policy (i.e., making it their own) in first and second grade Hausa-French classrooms in Niger. The Epistemic Triangle highlights: (a) Systemic thinking which situates events in and around systems (e.g., schools); (b) Constructivist thinking which supports that reality depends on multiple perspectives and contexts; and (c) Dialectical thinking which addresses emerging contradictions among and mutual shaping of events and people in a system.
In that this study emphasizes teachers' interactions with policy and its stakeholders, it emerges as a socio-cultural perspective on educational policy as practice. Data collection included documents analysis, interviews and classroom observations during two one-month trips in 2001 and one three and a half-month trip in 2002.
Content and pedagogical knowledge emerged as candidates for teachers' appropriation, whereas training workshops surfaced as the main avenues for input to teachers. Interview data suggested that teachers demonstrated such graduated responses as adoption, mastery and appropriation of pedagogical knowledge while unanimously appropriating content knowledge. Corroboration with observation data revealed that they all appropriated while tending towards adaptation or application of both pedagogical and content knowledge.
Teachers' strategic application of the two types of knowledge led to (a) a skillful combination of the two into pedagogical content knowledge, (b) active instruction and teacher-student interactions, utilizing scaffolding even in providing feedback, with a democratic atmosphere in the classrooms. Moreover, despite all educational stakeholders' claims that all learning emphasizes children's immediate environment, use of Hausa, the native language as the medium of instruction in the elementary grades did not lead to exclusive use of endogenous knowledge in content instruction although it did increase classroom interactions and served as a mediating tool even in teaching French.
Also, teachers experienced tensions, for example, between the curriculum goal of teaching children to be individually responsible for their learning and cultural values of shared understandings. Conflicts between high-ranking officials in the Ministry, within foreign projects and across entities also arose. Recommendations regarding professional development for teachers and overall policy implementation are made.
Subject headings
Education, Elementary.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Education, Curriculum and Instruction.
Host item
Dissertation Abstracts International 66-01A.


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