Values education in Kenya : Christianity and African tradition : a study of contrasts and continuities in education
This thesis addresses the perceived need for a justifiable and coherent values education paradigm in Kenya's Education. It focuses on contrasts in education policy with implications for values education. The first two post colonial education reports: the Ominde Commission (OC) 1964/65 and the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies (NCEOP) 1976 agree that education should promote socioeconomic and political development. However, they disagree over the role of religion, particularly, Christianity and African Socialism in underpinning values within this development. This thesis attempts to present an argument that in contemporary Kenya's secondary educational context, there is a need for a holistic values education paradigm. If a Christian curriculum is to be viable, in order to be relevant both to the lives of young people and to the developing context of Kenya, Christian related values education must connect with the whole human environment to make Christianity meaningful, relevant, implicit and applicable to life. The OC recommends Judeo-Christianity to underpin the values, but later contradicts this stance. It consigns ethics to the 'Hidden Curriculum', doubting whether values education can be part of a formal school curriculum. The NCEOP radically reverses the order, rejecting religion particularly Christianity. It paradoxically recommends African traditional values, which are of course, themselves, implicitly religious. These contrasting views concerning the theory of knowledge in this educational context are problematic. Through documentary, discourse, and theoretical analysis of and commentary on relevant documents and literature together with a supportive descriptive questionnaire, this thesis argues for the possibility of applying contextualisation, a theological construct which involves a number of concepts, to education; a philosophical framework which relates religion to the context of the learner and could provide a coherent values education paradigm. Part one of the thesis establishes the contrasting views and elaborates key points of tension. Part two analyses the philosophical issues involved. Part three presents and analyses research findings. Part four investigates the contextualisation continuum to draw some conclusions at the level of general principles and make some tentative proposals at the level of Curriculum. Part five summarises the study with recommendations and conclusions. My vision is that a Judeo- Christian based values education paradigm within the contextualisation continuum will coherently underpin the holistic development of Kenyans for their own good and that of the society.