|Girls and Basic Education - A Cultural Enquiry - Education Research Paper No. 23 (DFID, 1998, 160 p.)|
|2. Theoretical issues: Culture in education and development|
We are coming to the end of the United Nations World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-97). The decade has four aims: to enrich cultural identities; to broaden participation in cultural life; to promote international cultural cooperation; and to acknowledge the dimension of development.
This fourth dimension - the relationship, between culture and, in this case, educational development - provides a fundamental underpinning of this study.
The observance of this decade is evidence of a growing awareness of the vital importance of the cultural dimension in any human, societal or development effort (UNESCO, 1991). Culture, if important to this effort, is especially so in the area of education where great opportunities exist to,
"unlock the potentials of individuals for a fuller
life, not just economically but also culturally and socially"
The education of girls is a particularly cultural matter, especially so in a country like Ghana. So also is the researching of the problem and the searching for solutions.
Culture, Education and Development are complex and problematic concepts shaped by historical and ideological forces. They also depend for meaning on context and the various purposes and interpretations provided by the writer in the development of a conceptual framework.
Broadly, we are engaged in an enterprise in which issues of gender and schooling will be interpreted from a cultural perspective. The substance or 'content' of the investigation will be viewed within a framework determined by the interplay of our three concepts. How we carry out our investigation, it is argued, is also equally part of our cultural enterprise and will be explained in section three which deals with methodological issues.