Are students' world views permeable to their school views in a non- Western developing country?

Year: 1994

Author: Waldrip, Bruce G., Taylor, Peter C. S.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The purpose of this study was to examine in a developing country context the extent to which students and parents perceive the school view as being relevant to their traditional lifestyle or world view. The study builds on past cross-cultural research by examining the permeability of non-Western students' world view to the official Western school view. This ethnographic study involved interview and case study techniques with six village elders and 15 high school siblings in a South Pacific country.

The results suggest strongly that the process of schooling involves an implicit devaluation of students' traditional world views which govern their village lifestyles. This study is important in that it shows that their school views are not largely taking precedence over their world views. The process of formal education is not perceived as improving the knowledge and skills needed for the survival in the village context and is perceived to be of limited viability in relation to traditional values. The main perceived benefit of formal education for students is its improvement of their prospects of earning a monetary income that could be shared with their extended families if they obtain employment in a town.