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Title: Square peg in a round hole: towards a culturally appropriate literacy programme for the Mbuko of Cameroon
Author: Gravina, Susan Melanie
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
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Prior to the start ofthe research, the Mbuko literacy programme was clearly failing. Issues of concern included poor working relationships; the lack of opportunity for female participation, other than as students; unsustainable methods of finance and unhealthy dependency on outside involvement. The limited resources, both material and human, also restricted the interventions that could be applied. Concentrating on the .t', training course, this thesis describes attempts to make the literacy programme more relevant to the needs ofthe Mbuko. It argues for a culturally appropriate literacy model and explores the possibilities that this affords. The context ofthe research is provided by: a description ofthe Mbuko, from their origins as a cohesive group to the present day; an examination ofissues such as adult . literacy in the developing world and vernacular education; and a description of Mbuko literacy prior to th~ start of the research project. A rationale is offered for the use ofthe two main methodologies: cultural anthropology, in order to detect recurrent patterns in teaching and learning situations, and critical action research, in order to monitor the changes that were made to the training course, based on these patterns. The main fmdings that emerged from this study related to three areas: features of Mbuko teaching and learning that were relevant in designing training for the literacy programme, such as the non-verbal teaching style and situated learning approach; aspects of management that needed to be addressed, such as the patron-client relationship; and aspects of curriculum and pedagogy, such as the application of an apprenticeship model. The thesis ends with a discussion of the implications of the research and suggestions for further areas of study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available