Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-22T22:51:12.943Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

“Money, Materials, and Manpower”: Ghanaian In-Service Teacher Education and the Political Economy of Failure, 1961–1971

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Jonathan Zimmerman*
Affiliation:
New York University

Extract

In October 1961 Basil H. G. Chaplin sent an excited letter to A. J. Dowuona-Hammond, Ghana's Minister of Education. Just four years earlier, the nation had won its independence from England. Now, Chaplin wrote, it stood on the cusp of a second great upheaval: “a complete revolution in Science teaching.” As chair of Ghana's Science Education Research Unit, Chaplin had conducted a study of 2,000 Ghanaian children and forty-two teachers over three years. Ghanaians learned best via activities and observation rather than from rote memorization, Chaplin reported, just like students in the West did. “Ghanaian children differ in no way from their British or American counterparts in their initial ability to understand how things work when using their hands and their eyes,” Chaplin told Dowuona-Hammond. “Different cultural backgrounds do not affect ability to interpret their own simple experience.” Too often, Chaplin admitted, Ghanaian teachers snuffed out students' natural curiosity with a rigid diet of lectures and textbook exercises. But the Ministry could change all of that, he insisted, by reforming the curriculum and re-educating the teachers. “It is wholly practical” Chaplin underlined, enclosing his proposed scheme. “Teachers need only a short course of training.”

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by the History of Education Society 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Chaplin, Basil H. G. to Dowuona-Hammond, A. J., 30 October 1961, folder 467, Record Group (hereafter “RG”) 3/1; Chaplin, Basil H. G., “Specific New Approaches to Education Programming in Primary, Technical, and Secondary Schools,” (ms, n.d. [1961]), folder, 120, RG 3/2, both in Public Records and Archives Administration Department (hereafter “PRAAD”), Accra, Ghana.Google Scholar

2 Chaplin, Basil H. G., “A Revision of Memorandum Previously Submitted to the Council for Curriculum Planning,” (ms, 26 June 1964); Asante, P. O., “Visit Report” (ms, 9 March 1966), p. 3, enclosed with J. Manukure to District Education Officer, 4 May 1966, both in folder 469; Moss, G. L., “Science Centres: Policy on Development,” (ms, 14 January 1966), p. 1, folder 501, all in RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

3 “Address Given by Mills, Mr. J. W. L. at the Close of the District Education Officers’ Conference held at Winneba on 12th August, 1966,” (ms), p. 4, folder 506, RG 3/5, PRAAD; Ghana Association of Science Teachers, Project for Science Integration (Accra: Accra Catholic Press, n.d. [1970]), 36.Google Scholar

4 For historical definitions and discussions of progressive pedagogy, see John L. Rury, Education and Social Change: Themes in the History of American Schooling (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002), 142–48; David F. Labaree, The Trouble with Ed Schools (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), 144–45.Google Scholar

5 Zimmerman, Jonathan, Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), 4050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

6 Reese, William J., “The Origins of Progressive Education,” History of Education Quarterly 41 (Spring 2001): 124; Wollons, Roberta, ed., Kindergartens and Cultures: The Global Diffusion of an Idea (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000).Google Scholar

7 Teachers for Compulsory Education a Problem,” Ghanaian Times, 8 March 1961, folder 459, RG 3/1, PRAAD; Betty Stein George, Education in Ghana (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1976), 4748, 51; Amissah, S. H., “The Future of Teacher Education in Ghana,” West African Journal of Education 7 (June 1963): 85–86.Google Scholar

8 Secondary Schools Showing Enrollment and Staff,” (ms, 1963), folder 1013, Bureau of African Affairs Papers (hereafter “BAA Papers”), George Padmore Library, Accra; “Seven-Year Development Plan: Teacher Training Implementation Programs,” (ms, 3 June 1964), folder 87, RG 3/3, PRAAD; George, Education in Ghana, 49; Mortagbe, A. D., “The State of Mathematics Teaching in Primary Schools,” (ms, 20 October 1966), p. 3, enclosed with “Supplementary Report—Winneba Course on the Teaching of Mathematics in Primary Schools,” (ms, n.d.), folder 514, RG 3/1; Brown, D. A. to Impraim, T. K., 11 March 1966, folder 1642, RG 3/5; N. H. Pettersen to Michael Asiedu, 29 February 1964, folder 1928, RG 3/5, all in PRAAD.Google Scholar

9 George, Education in Ghana, 49–50; Margaret Peil, “Many People Want to Teach,” Legon Observer 3, no. 9 (26 April–9 May 1966): 1819; “Minutes of the Meeting of the National Teacher Training Council Professional Committee Held on Monday 6th December in the Conference Hall of the Erstwhile Education Trust,” (ms, 1966), p. 2, folder 100, RG3/3; PRAAD, “Education in Ghana,” Legon Observer 3, no. 21 (11–24 October 1968): 2; Jeremy Greenland, “Introduction and Overview,” in The In-Service Training of Primary School Teachers in Africa, ed. Jeremy Greenland (London: Macmillan, 1983): 1–16; Kitchen, Helen, ed., The Educated African: A Country-by-Country Survey of Educational Development in Africa (New York: Praeger, Frederick A., 1962): 332.Google Scholar

10 Trevaskis, G. A., In-Service Teacher Training in English-Speaking Africa: A Report Prepared for the Afro-Anglo-American Programme in Teacher Education (New York: Afro-Anglo-American Programme in Teacher Education, 1969); Ghana Ministry of Education, Education Report, 1960–62 (Accra: Government Printing Department, n.d. [1962]), 6; “Teaching Notes. no. 25. Centres of Interest,” (ms, n.d. [1960]), folder 51, RG 3/1, PRAAD; George, Education in Ghana, 116–17; Nathan Minta Afari, “Education for Freedom and Authority in Ghana, Including an Investigation of the Attitudes of her Teachers,” (PhD dissertation, Clark University, 1964), 28; Aviyor, V. F. K., “Suggestions for a Science Curriculum Suitable for Middle Schools,” (ms, n.d. [1965]), p. 3, folder 469, RG 3/1. PRAAD.Google Scholar

11 See, e.g., “Practical Teaching,” (ms, 1962), enclosed with Agyeman, G. J. to Principal Secretary, 16 July 1962; Dzansi, T. Y., “District Education Officer, Keta. Teachers’ Practical Training,” (ms, 31 October 1961); Edward Oduro to Ministry of Education, 16 April 1963, all in folder 2225, RG 3/5, PRAAD.Google Scholar

12 Afari, “Education for Freedom and Authority in Ghana,” 125, 77, 28.Google Scholar

13 Datsa, E. S. to Principal Secretary, 14 June 1963, folder 120, RG 3/2; PRAAD; “Speech Delivered by Osagyefo the President at the Laying of the Foundation Stone of Ghana's Atomic Reactor at Kwabenya on 25th November, 1964,” Ghana Journal of Science 5, no. 1 (April 1965): 5; Kwaku Boateng, “Second Brief Course in the Teaching of Science in Elementary Schools,” (ms, 25 August 1964), p. 4, folder 469, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

14 Heyneman, S.P., “The History and Problems in the Making of Education Policy at the World Bank, 1960–2000,” International Journal of Educational Development 23 (May 2003): 317–18; Heyneman, “Development Aid in Education: A Personal View,” International Journal of Educational Development 19 (1999): 185–90; Chaplin, “Specific New Approaches to Education Programming,” 17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

15 Although Western donor agencies largely ignored primary and secondary education in Ghana and the rest of Africa during the 1960s, Western volunteer agencies were deeply involved in this sector. The most important example was the Peace Corps, which sent the first group of volunteers in its history—all of them teachers—to Ghana in 1961. See Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, All You Need Is Love: The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 148–82.Google Scholar

16 Chaplin, B. H. G. to Principal Secretary, folder 467, RG 3/1, PRAAD; Chaplin, “Specific New Approaches to Education Programming,” 14; Boateng, “Second Brief Course,” 6.Google Scholar

17 Moss, G. L. to Edward Stafford, 6 May 1964; Stafford to Moss, 8 July 1964, both in folder 501; “Science in the Primary and Middle Schools. Introduction,” (ms, n.d. [1965]). folder 469, all in RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

18 Pearson, C., “What Does GAFT Do?” Bulletin of the Ghana Association of French Teachers, no. 9 (October 1969): 3; Barrett, W. F., “Teaching–Training with Special Reference to the Training of Teachers of French at the University College of Cape Coast,” Bulletin of the Ghana Association of French Teachers, no. 13 (June 1970): 32–33; Pratt, S. A. M., “Some Problems Involved in Writing a ‘Practical French Course,’” Bulletin of the Ghana Association of French Teachers, no. 10 (December 1969): 17; Hiamey, N. K., “Report on the Dormaa Ahenkro In-Service Training Course January 18th–24th 1970,” Bulletin of the Ghana Association of French Teachers, no. 12 (April 1970): 18–20, all in folder 177, RG3/2, PRAAD.Google Scholar

19 Martin, William Ted to Former Participants in the African Mathematics Program, 12 June 1975, “African Mathematics Program,” folder, box 1; “Proposals Will Be Studied,” Ghanaian Times, 22 December 1961, untitled folder, box 3, both in William Ted Martin Papers, Manuscript Collection 425, Institute Archives and Special Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; O. Ukeje, “The Entebbe Mathematics,” West African Journal of Education 9, no. 1 (February 1965): 1718; “Report on the 1968 Entebbe Mathematics Seminar for Primary School Teachers and Headteachers,” (ms, 1968), pp. 5–6, folder 509, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

20 Unpublished manuscript (n.d. [1971?]), p. 5, Book-Afr. Math. Progr. folder, box 3, Martin Papers; T. A. Osae to Chief Education Officer, 2 May 1970, folder 179, RG 3/2, PRAAD.Google Scholar

21 Asante, P. O., “Elementary School Experimental Science Scheme,” (ms, 25–26 February 1965); Asante to Adu Ampomah, et al., 5 February 1966, both in folder 469, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

22 Addy, Lucy, “Visit Report,” (ms, 1 January 1965); Addy, “Visit Report,” (ms, 3 December 1965), both in folder 507; “Report on the 1969 Easter Vacation Mathematics Seminar for Primary and Middle School Head-Teachers and Teachers,” (ms, 1969), p. 3, folder 509, all in RG 3/1, PRAAD; Mortagbe, “The State of Mathematics Teaching in Primary Schools,” 2–3.Google Scholar

23 Comments on Lessons Observed by Professor Clarence Hardgrove From U.S.A.,” (20 June 1966), folder 507; “Course on the Teaching of Mathematics in Primary Schools. Winneba, January 1968,” (ms, 1968), p. 9, enclosed with M. R. Snodin to D. A. Brown, 7 February 1968, folder 514; Lucy Addy, “Visit Report,” (ms, 1 January 1965), folder 507; Addy, “Visit Report,” (ms, 2 January 1965), folder 507; Addy, “Entebbe Mathematics Experiment. Adabraka Roman Catholic Primary School,” (ms, 3 November 1965), folder 507, all in RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

24 Williams, Grace Alele, “Report: The Entebbe Mathematics Project,” International Review of Education 17, no. 2 (1971): 211–14; Pratt, “Some Problems Involved in Writing a ‘Practical French Course,’” 20; “Editorial,” Ghana Teachers’ Journal 54 (April 1967): iv; Lucy Addy, “Visit Report,” (ms, 2 January 1965), folder 507, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

25 Takyi, Martin K. to William T. Martin, 29 January 1974, “E.D.C.” folder, box 1, Martin Papers; Headteacher, La-Bonne Presbyterian Primary School, “Entebbe Mathematics Experiment. Progress Report on Above Experiment in This School,” (ms, 16 December 1965), folder 475, RG 3/1; Kojo Botsio to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, ? February 1963, folder 120; “Extract from the Minutes of a Meeting of the Cabinet Held on the 29th October 1963,” (ms, 1963), folder 137; Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Subject: Science Equipment for Secondary Schools,” (ms, n.d. [1963]), folder 120, all in RG 3/2; D. A Brown, “Memorandum for Consideration by the National Liberation Council,” (ms, 26 April 1966), p. 2, folder 1642, RG 3/5; E. S. Data to Principal Secretary, 14 June 1963, folder 120, RG 3/2, all in PRAAD.Google Scholar

26 Science Centres: Policy on Future Sitings,” (ms, 18 February 1964); Laryea, M. G. A., “Science Centres—Report of Final Visit for 1966–67 School Year,” (ms, 28 September 1967); “Reports,” (ms, n.d. [1968]); Moss, G. L. to Education Ministry, 17 August 1965; Moss to Education Ministry, 30 July 1965; Moss, “Science Centres. Report Number Five,” (ms, 1966), all in folder 501, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

27 Addy, Lucy L., “Visit Report,” (ms, 21 March 1966), folder 507, RG 3/1; Headteacher, Accra New Town Primary School to Chief Education Officer, 15 December 1965, folder 475, both in RG 3/1, PRAAD; Laryea, M. G. A., “Science Centres—Report of Final Visit for 1966–67,”; Moss, G. L. to Science Centre Teachers, 26 January 1966; Mills, J. W. L. to Regional Education Officers, 15 October 1965, both in folder 501, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar

28 Pioneer Out to Play a Great Role—Baako,” Ghanaian Times, 18 November 1963, folder 1120; “The Party is above Every Individual,” Evening News, 2 December 1963, folder 1003, both in BAA Papers; “2-Year Teacher Training Plan to Stop,” Daily Graphic, 5 December 1961, 1.Google Scholar

29 Bame, Kwabena N., Teacher Motivation and Retention in Ghana. The Professional Teacher in Africa (Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 1991), 3; Cati Coe, Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 68.Google Scholar

30 See, e.g., “Pioneers Must Go to Every School—Hammond,” Daily Graphic, 19 February 1962, 1; “Let's Turn Out Men Imbued with Loyalty,” Ghanaian Times, 22 November 1963, folder 1003, BAA Papers; “1963 Annual Report. Delegate Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers at Mensah Sarbah Hall. University of Ghana, Legon. January 2–5, 1964,” (n.p., 1964), 13; Alex Quaison-Sackey to Kwame Nkrumah, 11 June 1964, folder 149, Bureau of African Affairs Collection (hereafter “BAA Collection”), PRAAD; Tinkorano, A. K. A. to Regional Education Officers, 28 September 1964, folder 502, RG 3/1, PRAAD. For an historical account of attacks on teachers, see Moses K. Antwi, Education, Society, and Development in Ghana (Accra: Unimax, 1992), 123.Google Scholar

31 Kitchen, , ed., The Educated African, 346; Kwame Nkrumah to Conor Cruise O'Brien, 14 March 1964, folder 37; “The Activities of the Headmaster of Achimota College, Chapman, Mr. D. A.,” (ms, 9 February 1960), enclosed with Nkrumah to Daniel A. Chapman, 3 September 1960, folder 109, both in BAA Collection; “Educating the Youth in New Ghana,” Daily Graphic, 4 October 1963, 7.Google Scholar

32 Ghana Ministry of Education, Education Report, 1960–62, 42; Harber, Clive, Politics in African Education (London: Macmillan, , 1989), 155–56; “Pioneers to have 4 Grades,” Daily Graphic, 28 April 1962, 1; “Pioneers’ Dress to be School Uniform,” Daily Graphic, 26 June 1963, 16; Coe, Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools, 69; “Train Them to be Useful,” Daily Graphic, 25 October 1963, 6.Google Scholar

33 Adu Boahen, A., Mfantsipim and the Making of Ghana (Accra: Sankofa Educational Publishers, 1996), 452; Jeffrey Ahlman, “Youth, Discipline, and the Making of the Pan-African Citizen,” (unpublished essay, in author's possession), 94; Harber, Politics in African Education, 156; “Help Pioneers Teachers Told,” Daily Graphic, 5 November 1962, 4; “Learn More of Nkrumaism by Reading Speeches of Osagyefo,” Evening News, 12 February 1964; “Pioneer Activities now on School Syllabus,” Ghanaian Times, 18 October 1963, both in folder 1120, BAA Papers; “Teach Ideals of Pioneers in Schools,” Daily Graphic, 3 November 1964, 9; Mills, J. W. L. to Kweku Akwei, 17 June 1964; Owiredu, D. V. to Regional Education Officer, 23 December 1964; Ankrah, J. Addo to Principal Secretary, 12 January 1965; Principal, Krobo Training College to Principal Secretary, 5 November 1964; Annan, G. O. to Principal Secretary, 10 December 1964, all in folder 502, RG 3/1, PRAAD. Special thanks to Jeffrey Ahlman for sharing his new research on the Young Pioneers and nation-building in Ghana.Google Scholar

34 Nkrumah, Kwame Institute Winneba, “Curriculum,” (ms, 14 September 1961), folder 423, BAA Papers; Kwame Nkrumah Institute of Economics and Political Science, Prospectus (Accra: Government Printing Department, n.d. [1962]), 8, folder 357, RG 11/1, PRAAD; Kwadzo Abgemenya to Director, 27 May 1964; untitled memorandum, 3 June 1964, both in folder 1539, RG 3/5, PRAAD.Google Scholar

35 Agyeman, D. K., Ideological Education and Nationalism in Ghana under Nkrumah and Busia (Accra: Ghana Universities Press, 1988), 9; Barden, A. K. to Adu, A. L., 1 February 1962; Adu to Barden, 3 February 1962, both in folder 423, BAA Papers.Google Scholar

36 Afari, , “Education for Freedom and Authority in Ghana,” 11–12; Kwame Nkrumah, Why “The Spark” (Accra: Spark Publications, 1964), 4; Haizel, E. A., “Education in Ghana, 1951–1966,” in The Life and Work of Kwame Nkrumah, ed. Kwame Arhin (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1993), 54–73; “Science—The Key to Progress,” Daily Graphic, 27 November 1963, 1.Google Scholar

37 Fischer, Fritz, Making Them Like Us: Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998), 731; Cooper, Frederick, “Modernizing Bureaucrats, Backward Africans, and the Development Concept,” in International Development and the Social Sciences: Essays on the History and Politics of Knowledge, ed. Cooper, Frederick and Packard, Randall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 64–92; Latham, Michael E., Modernization as Ideology: American Social Science and “Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000), 1–19; James Ferguson, Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 13–14; Stambach, Amy, Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro: Schooling, Community, and Gender in East Africa (New York: Routledge, 2000), 10–11.Google Scholar

38 Samoff, Joel with Bidemi Carrol, “Education for All in Africa: Still a Distant Dream,” in Comparative Education: The Dialectic of the Global and the Local, ed. Arnove, Robert F. and Torres, Carlos Alberto, 3rd ed. (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), 358–59, 383–84; Carnoy, Martin and Samoff, Joel, Education and Social Transition in the Third World (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), 222; Heyneman, “The History and Problems in the Making of Education Policy at the World Bank,” 317.Google Scholar

39 Laryea, M. G. A. to All Science Centre Staff, 26 May 1967, folder 501, RG 3/1, PRAAD. For a bracing account of “vocationalism” as the dominant educational doctrine in the postwar world, see Grubb, W. Norton and Lazerson, Marvin, The Education Gospel: The Economic Power of Schooling (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).Google Scholar

40 K-Zerbo, Joseph, “Education and African Culture,” The Spark, 15 February 1963, folder 29, BAA Papers; Moss, G. L. to Science Centres Teachers, 26 January 1966, folder 501, RG 3/1, PRAAD. For examples and critiques of recent efforts to alter pedagogy in Africa, see Gerard Guthrie, “To the Defense of Traditional Teaching in Lesser-Developed Countries,” in Teachers and Teaching in the Developing World, ed. Val D. Rust and Per Dalin (New York: Garland, 1990), 219–32; Tabulawa, Richard, “International Aid Agencies, Learner-Centered Pedagogy and Political Democratisation: A Critique,” Comparative Education 39 (February 2003): 726; Frances Vavrus, “The Cultural Politics of Constructivist Pedagogies: Teacher Education Reform in the United Republic of Tanzania,” International Journal of Educational Development 29, no. 3 (2009): 303–11.Google Scholar

41 “Address Given by Mills, Mr. J. W. L. at the Close of the District Education Officers’ Conference,” 4; Kofie, E. K. to Minister of Education, 29 May 1965, folder 9, RG 3/1; Boye-Doe, I. B., “The Duties of a District Education Officer,” (ms, 11 August 1966), p. 4, folder 506, RG 3/5, both in PRAAD.Google Scholar

42 A. de Graft Dickson to Principal Secretary, 11 May 1966, folder 9, RG 3/1; “A Resolution of Loyalty to the National Liberation Council Adopted after a Mass Demonstration of Teachers Held on Thursday, March 10th to Commemorate the Fluent Overthrown [sic] of the Corrupt C.P.P. Regime and its Leader, Kwame Nkrumah the Dictator and Tyrant,” (ms, 10 March 1966), enclosed with J. Addo Ankrah to Chairman, National Liberation Council, 12 March 1966, folder 100, RG 3/3; E. K. Acquah, et al. to National Liberation Council and Trades Union Congress, 4 March 1966, enclosed with Bentum, B. A. to Chairman, National Liberation Council, 17 March 1966, folder 1643, RG 3/5, all in PRAAD.Google Scholar

43 Rizvi, S. W. A., “Memorandum on the Future of This College,” (ms, n.d. [1970]); “Advanced Teacher Training College—Winneba. Department of History. Memorandum on the Future of the A.T.T.C.,” (ms, n.d. [1970]), both enclosed with Rizvi to Minister of Education, 24 January 1970, folder 140, RG 3/3, PRAAD.Google Scholar

44 H.Smith, J. H. to Headmasters, Secondary Schools and the Principals, Training Colleges, 7 March 1969, folder 717, RG 3/1, PRAAD; Boahen, Mfantsipim and the Making of Ghana, 455; A. F. Menka to Regional Education Officers, 7 February 1973, folder 22, RG 3/1, PRAAD.Google Scholar