Teaching Ibibio Indigenous Knowledge to Children through Drama in Akwa Ibom State.

Author

Inyang, I.


Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to advance the possibility of using educational drama to renew the interest of children in their Indigenous knowledge resources. Using a practice-led experiment with a group of approximately 50 Ibibio children aged 9-12, in selected primary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, the available indigenous knowledge resources, namely proverbs, folktales, storytelling, myths, folksongs, and games were applied and examined in an educational context. Based on this background, this paper proposes the application of constructionism, participatory learning and play-crafting as a learning method for schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper concludes that through various levels of investigation and field experiment, it is established that the application of indigenous resource could transform the learning experience for children with optimal benefit to the child and society.


Keywords

Indigenous Knowledge, Play, Child Drama, Folktales, Play-crafting.


Introduction

Indigenous knowledge is the original knowledge that informs how people live and conduct their lives in a particular society. Indigenous knowledge is a field of study and a concept that has been widely researched by linguists, sociologists, historians, cultural researchers, literary scholars, anthropologists among others. Most of the researchers have focused on threats to the indigenous knowledge systems in different societies. However, the focus of this study, is on how young learners in these contemporary times could be encouraged to embrace and identify with their indigenous resources as a tool of education and knowledge building using creative processes. Acore component of indigenous knowledge is language. Language is the fulcrum of a people's identity; it provides the background to who we are as a people located in different parts of the world. Without language there cannot be communication or any development. Language is one cultural aspect that is linked to both education and indigenous knowledge transfer, because language carries culture, and culture also carries language; hence one may ask how else indigenous languages could be promoted and preserved if not via language (Mapara & Mutasa, 2011).


Content

The indigenous knowledge resources including myths, folktales, songs, dances and proverbs of the Ibibio people are gradually losing their position as instruments of societal health building and knowledge transfer from generation to generation. This paper aims at applying the folk cultural lessons of the Ibibio in a process of play-crafting and drama with children. The purpose is to investigate whether it is possible to use drama to get the renewed interest of children in indigenous knowledge resources to aid or teach the moral lessons, thereby enhancing the societal well-being of the Ibibio people and that of southern Nigerians. In doing this, the paper also aims at establishing a basis for the application of the outcomes of this research by future teachers and educators in the Akwa Ibom State.


Conclusion

This paper examined a dramatic basis for teaching and learning premised on the exploration of indigenous resources. Using an experiment with pupils ages 9-12 in selected schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, the paper analysed the context, constraints and outcomes of creative education focused on moral development and cultural awareness. Through this analysis, a contextual basis for the application of indigenous knowledge in education has been established in sub–Saharan Africa and provides the template for further experiments in other contexts. Based on this background, this paper is able to conclude that the development of children's cognitive abilities and overall intellectual development can tap from available indigenous resources thereby reducing the complete dependence on foreign cultural and educational norms and materials.


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