A Child-Centred Discourse in Zambian Kindergartens?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE). 2021, 5 34-49. https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.4148
This article aims to identify and discuss the existenceand strengthening ofa child-centredteaching discoursein Zambian kindergartens. The article is based on the understanding that the teacher-directed approach to teaching is a historically based hegemonic discourse within Zambian kindergartens. This means that the teacher-directedteachingdiscourse dominates thinkingin many waysand is translated into institutional arrangements (Hajer,1995,in Svarstad,2005,p. 243). Several studies have pointed tothe challengesposed bytheteacher-directed teaching discoursein kindergartensin Sub-Saharan Africa as a hindrance of pedagogical quality in such institutions, pointing toachild-centred teaching discourse as an important path towards development(EFA, 2015, p. 208, Temba,2014, p. 110;Mwauraet al., 2008;2011). This article includesapositive discourseanalysis of the Zambian Education Curriculum Framework2and asmall-scale qualitative study, based on observations fromfourclassrooms in four kindergartensin the Copperbelt province ofZambia. Thearticle focuseson conducting a positive discourse analysis of the elements of child-centred teaching discourseobservedin one of the four classrooms. The findings point to the existence of achild-centred teaching discoursein the Zambian Education Curriculum Framework.However, only one of the four Zambian kindergartenteachersseemed to implement teaching practicesthatcould be identified as a child-centred teaching discourse. The elements of achild-centred teaching discourseidentified through thepositive discourse analysis were:the kindergartenteachers’professional decisions, good interactionwith children, use of a variety of materials,and children’s participation. The findings are discussed in light of the Zambian Education Curriculum Frameworkas wellastheoretical perspectives on child-centred teaching discourse, argumentation theory and children’s right to participation.Finally,the article includes acritical discussion of how the findings may strengthen a child-centred teaching discourse in Zambian kindergartens.