Really should We And Can We Develop An African Philosophy Of Education?: Pedagogy Of Sagacity

Really should We And Can We Develop An African Philosophy Of Education?: Pedagogy Of Sagacity

MICHAEL KARIUKI – 0721 666 098,

Really should we and can we produce an African philosophy of schooling?: Pedagogy of Sagacity

In 1986, Njoroge and Bennaars, published Philosophy and schooling in Africa an introductory textual content for learners of schooling. Since the publication of this textbook there has been an mental aridity in this spot of instructional philosophizing in Kenya. This is in spite of the stated textbook getting merely introductory or prolegomenon. Much more importantly is the product proposed and formulated in this textbook meant as a conceptual framework for creating an African philosophy of schooling (1986 92). This product has remained un-tried. 

My paper will argue in the affirmative even though distinguishing need to as a non-ethical normative vital and can as a problem of capability. Though without a doubt we need to produce African philosophy of schooling this vital stays unachievable right up until we have industry experts with requisite scholarly qualities.

Challenge of scarcity of instructional philosophers

Authorities in philosophy of schooling are termed instructional philosophers. They need to be properly trained in technological philosophy and instructional sciences. The two disciplines should fulfill in 1. To ‘meet in 1,’ signifies that an instructional thinker need to integrate each technological philosophy and instructional sciences as an integral spot of educational specialization. Educational thinker is the center expression between technological philosophy and instructional sciences. In other terms 1 need to have educational qualification as a technological thinker and as a properly trained expert instructor.

Lack of this ‘meeting in one’ of the two places is to blame for absence of sources in this spot. It signifies persons who are lesser than the excellent are teaching this self-control. There are two forms of categories of lecturers of philosophy of schooling in Africa who are lesser than the excellent.

The generalists and the professionals, the previous are expert educators with out philosophical footing. The latter are educational philosophers with out instructional instruction. Both equally as Plato would say should be debarred and be manufactured to give way for instructional thinker.

Generalists make philosophy of schooling be about basic rules, aims and aims of schooling. The technological thinker helps make philosophy of schooling too summary and unrelated to everyday worries of expert instructor in schooling. The latter stand accused of arm chair speculation, the latter stands accused of generality.


The product of African philosophy of schooling: Pedagogy of sagacity


Pedagogy of Sagacity stands on two ft – 1 foot is planted in Sage philosophy and the other in Pedagogy of Oppressed – each ft are rooted in the conceptual product for creating African philosophy of schooling as articulated by Njoroge and Bennaars (1986, 88-89).




Pedagogy of Sagacity or Sagacious Pedagogy is developed as an endeavor to transcend the original impetus of the job of Sage philosophy of Nairobi Faculty. As Gail Presbey states,

I recommend that the original impetus for beginning the sage philosophy job – the defense versus Euro-American skeptics who assumed Africans incapable of philosophizing – has been outgrown. The present want for scientific tests of African sages is to benefit from their wisdom, each in Africa and all over the world. I also recommend that the title ‘sage’ has to be problematized. Though there ended up superior factors to concentrate previously on rural elders as overlooked intelligent philosophers, the emphasis now need to be on admiring philosophical assumed wherever it may perhaps be identified-in women of all ages, youth, and city Africans as very well. In this kind of a way, philosophy will be further more appropriate to people’s lives, and further more mild will be drop and shared concerning the lived experience in Africa.

Gail concludes by pointing out that

Regardless of whether, and in what way, sage philosophy carries on and grows will be identified in part by the strategies of those people who have the will to go on it their operates will enable define the conditions “sage” and “sage philosophy” in the long term.

Pedagogy of Sagacity is contemplated right here as a doable contribution to the advancement of Sage philosophy in conditions of African philosophy of schooling. Njoroge and Bennaars (1986, 98) have formulated

…a basic framework within just which philosophical thinking about African schooling should be found. Inside of this product we discovered 4 unique places of issue each individual reflecting a precise purpose of Technical Philosophy, a precise technique in instructional Philosophy and a precise pattern in African Philosophy. These places of issue are: the Ethnophilosophy of Education, the Phenomenology of African Education, the Critique of African Education and the Philosophical assessment of African Education.

The authors (1986, 88) intend this to be a normative ‘framework within just which to find instructional philosophy in Africa.’ Hence they condition that (1986, 89),

…we can now establish what ought to be the main functions or worries of an African Philosophy of Education thus we may perhaps arrive at a Product that brings out the precise functions of a truly African Philosophy of Education.

For this product to be realized two conditions or situations should be fulfilled, specifically technological and African. As regards the previous criterion ‘an African Philosophy of Education, to be regarded as truly technological, (it) should display equivalent features and methods as the Technical Philosophy of Education’ (1986, 89). There are 4 features of technological philosophy specifically, significant, rational, phenomenological and speculative (1986, 23-24). Corresponding to these 4 features respectively are 4 methods to philosophy of schooling specifically, implicational, existential, significant and analytical methods (1986, 89).

With regard to the 2nd criterion or issue African philosophy should be African that is ‘it should replicate the traits attribute of philosophical thinking in Africa’ (1986, 89). Njoroge and Bennaars (1986, 83-89) have delineated 4 traits in African philosophy specifically, ethno-philosophy, cultural philosophy, political philosophy and official philosophy. Each individual of these traits is paired with a corresponding purpose from the 4 technological features of philosophy. The ensuing mixtures are 4 unique methods to African philosophy of schooling these are ethno-philosophy paired with speculative purpose final results in implications technique in African philosophy of schooling cultural philosophy paired with phenomenological purpose final results in existential technique political philosophy paired with significant purpose final results in significant technique and and finally official philosophy paired with analytical purpose final results in analytical technique (1986, 89).

We can consequently determine ‘four main places of issue, which may perhaps be termed the basis … of a truly African Philosophy of Education.’ These are ethno-philosophy of schooling phenomenology of African schooling critique of African schooling and philosophical assessment of African schooling.[1] In Aristotelian causality technological features of philosophy are the official results in even though traits in African philosophy are the substance results in. Formal and substance results in are co-constitutive rules of significant getting, the substance of African philosophy of schooling is doable within just the framework of Njoroge and Bennaars. As Wittgenstein states (19812.14) ‘what constitutes a picture is that its aspects are connected to 1 an additional in a determinate way,’ this is ‘the pictorial form’ of reality (two.fifteen). In a pictorial form of reality ‘a picture … attached … to reality … reaches ideal out to it’ so that the picture is the measure of what reality need to be. (two.1521). The framework of Njoroge and Bennars is the measure of what is to be regarded as African philosophy of schooling.

Platonic center expression

The product proposed by Njoroge and Bennaars has not nevertheless been worked out in apply. This could be due to absence of industry experts who are ‘extremely rare’ (198678) with the ideal mixtures specifically, instruction in technological philosophy and instruction as expert educators (B.Ed). Further more continue to advancement of African instructional philosophy demands industry experts with understanding and skill in African philosophy. The prerequisite that African philosophers of educators be doubled edged industry experts in technological philosophy and expert educators (1986 seventy seven-eighty) is akin to Plato’s (Republic E-book, V. 473d) observation that

Cities will have no respite from evil … until philosophers rule as kings in the towns, or those people whom we now simply call kings and rulers genuinely and sufficiently research philosophy, right up until, that is, political power and philosophy coalesce, and the various natures of those people who now go after the 1 to the exclusion of the other are forcibly debarred from carrying out so. If not the city we have been describing will by no means grow into a possibility or see the mild of day.


To paraphrase Plato in the framework of Njoroge – Bennaars we can condition that: Kenya will have no African philosophy of schooling until philosophers teach and investigation in instructional foundations, or those people who teach philosophy of schooling genuinely and sufficiently research philosophy right up until, that is, technological philosophy and instructional sciences coalesce in African instructional philosophers and the various students who now go after 1 to the exclusion of the other are forcibly debarred from meddling in this spot. If not the proposed product of African philosophy of schooling will by no means produce into a possibility or see the mild of day. Plato in the cited location delivers a center expression which logically back links technological philosophy and instructional sciences in philosophy of schooling in Africa. The center expression is a technological African thinker who is also a expert thinker i.e. a scholar who integrates each technological philosophy and instructional occupation. It is from this kind of a 1 that hope lies for possibility of creating an African philosophy of schooling. With this kind of unusual industry experts we can produce African philosophy of schooling.

Pedagogy of Sagacity: Assumed Experiment on African Philosophy of schooling

Of the 4 traits in African philosophy discovered by Njoroge and Bennars Sage Philosophy is not incorporated, nevertheless Odera Oruka (199016-seventeen) features it as a unique pattern in African philosophy. There are 4 traits in African philosophy discovered by Oruka (1990, thirteen – 20) specifically, ethno-philosophy, philosophic sagacity, nationalist-ideological philosophy and expert philosophy. For Oruka (1991,43) ‘sage philosophy arrives as a 3rd alternative’ it lies between folk philosophy or (ethno-philosophy) and ‘the written significant discourse’ or  (expert pattern) sage philosophy ‘demonstrates the point that standard Africa had each folk wisdom and significant personalised philosophical discourse.’ Sage philosophy is right here subjected to phenomenological assessment within just the product of Njoroge – Bennaars in endeavor to produce African philosophy of schooling. As the product of Njoroge – Bennaars demands African philosophy of schooling need to be worked out on two-fold points, for starters, technological system of philosophy and next a pattern in African philosophy. To produce pedagogy of sagacity, phenomenology is the opted technological purpose of philosophy even though philosophic sagacity or sage philosophy is the pattern in African philosophy from these two a new spot in African instructional philosophy occurs specifically, pedagogy of sagacity.

Banking vs . trouble-posing schooling

Pedagogy of sagacity is motivated by pedagogy of the oppressed. Paulo Freire, a Brazilian educationist developed a pattern in philosophy of schooling termed pedagogy of the oppressed (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed ‘is an instrument for … significant discovery … of dehumanization’. ‘The central problem’ of pedagogy of the oppressed ‘is this: How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, take part in creating the pedagogy of their liberation?’ ‘This pedagogy helps make oppression and its results in objects of reflection by the oppressed, and from that reflection will occur their important engagement in the battle for their liberation. And in the battle this pedagogy will be manufactured and remade’ (1972, 25). Pedagogy of the oppressed is a critique of standard pedagogy that is instructor-centered the instructor assumes the dominant job even though the learners are passive. In standard pedagogy Freire discovered two dialectically opposed poles, the oppressors – who materialize to be lecturers, and the oppressed – who materialize to be learners. The instructor is in a dialectical opposition to the learner in which case the instructor has-understanding but the learner has-not understanding, he is assumed to be tabula rasa. Freire employs analogy of the banking business to expose 10 contradictory pedagogical ‘attitudes and practices, which mirror oppressive culture as a whole’ (1972, 46-forty seven). The instructor acts as the ‘bank-clerk’ by use of ‘banking methods of domination’. Freire institutes a pedagogical paradigm change exactly where he replaces ‘the instructional aim of deposit-generating …with the posing of issues of adult men in their relations with the world’ (1972,52). This is also termed liberating schooling which ‘consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information’ (1972,53). The ‘practice of trouble-posing schooling initial of all demands a resolution of the instructor-student contradiction. Dialogical relations – indispensable to the capability of cognitive actors to cooperate in perceiving the same cognizable item – are normally impossible’ (1972, 53). Iconoclasm of banking schooling lets liberty for ‘the significant reflection of each instructor and students’ this prospects to ‘emergence of consciousness and significant intervention in reality.’ (1972, 53-54).To distinction ‘banking schooling … and … trouble-posing education’ Freire (197256-57states

… the two instructional ideas and practices less than assessment occur into conflict. Banking schooling tries, by mythicizing reality, to conceal particular facts which explain the way adult men exist in the world trouble-posing schooling sets by itself the activity of de-mythologizing. Banking schooling resists dialogue trouble-posing schooling regards dialogue as indispensable to the acts of cognition which unveils reality. Banking schooling treats learners as objects of assistance trouble-posing schooling helps make them significant thinkers. Banking schooling inhibits creativity and domesticates the intentionality of consciousness by isolating consciousness from the world, thereby denying adult men their ontological and historical vocation of starting to be more thoroughly human.

Freire is in overall rejection of banking schooling the signifies for emancipation from ‘authoritarianism and an alienating intellectualism’ is to start out with persons ‘in the ‘here and now’, which constitutes the problem in which they are submerged, from which they arise…. To do this authentically they should perceive their condition not as fated and unalterable, but merely as restricting – and consequently challenging.’ (197257-fifty eight)

Pedagogy of sagacity is an endeavor to produce African philosophy of schooling.  It is a significant reflection on possibility of African pedagogy, as Freire notes ‘critical reflection is also action’ in the sense that ‘action and reflection manifest simultaneously’ (1972, ninety nine).

Two Typologies of Sages

Odera Oruka (1991 34) identifies two forms of sages in Africa, specifically, folk sage and philosophic sage.

Findings in Kenya clearly show that there are two primary divisions of sage philosophy. 1 is that of the sage whose assumed, though very well knowledgeable and educative, fails to go further than the celebrated folk-wisdom. These a sage may perhaps not have the capability or inclination to apply his individual independent significant objection to folk beliefs. He is, consequently, a folk sage in distinction to the 2nd variety of the sage, the philosophic sage. The previous is a grasp of well-known wisdom even though the latter is an professional in didactic wisdom.

The philosophic sage may perhaps know, as the folk sage does, what the cardinal beliefs and wisdoms of his community are, but he helps make an independent, significant evaluation to what the persons take for granted. Hence, even though the sagacity of the folk sage stays at the initial order amount of philosophy, that of the philosophic sage is a 2nd-order philosophy, that is a reflection on and a rationalized analysis of what is offered in the initial order. What is offered in the initial order is a mixture of regular-cum-customary beliefs and practices.

Oruka (1991, 37) believes that ‘There are and there will be sages even among Africans with fashionable education’ for instance Nyerere. To be a sage 1 needs ‘to be intelligent and equipped to make use of that wisdom for the benefit of one’s community.’ ‘The issue in the sage investigation is not to claim that sagacity is, by definition, philosophy but to glance for philosophy within just sagacity, that is, to get to their overlap.  ‘Within this overlap, each the thinker and the intelligent guy have the same purpose: they use summary reasoning for the knowledge and option of the basic questions of human life’ (1991, forty one). Odera Oruka (1991, 34) carried out his investigation job in Kenya. ‘One main purpose is to glance for philosophy or traces of philosophy in standard Africa….by conversing to the dwelling sages…. Exposing the price of this kind of ideas is all over again 1 other vital purpose of the sage research’ (1991, forty one). Even so, most importantly the sage job was meant ‘to enable substantiate or disapprove the very well-identified claim that ‘real philosophical thought’ had no location in standard Africa.’ This claim implied that ‘existence of philosophy in fashionable Africa is due wholly to the introduction of western assumed to Africa’ (1991, 34). The invalidation of this claim could only be recognized if standard Africa was identified to host philosophic sages. The job was productive for it discovered philosophic sages (men and women with didactic wisdom) in Kenya even though distinguishing them from folk sages (men and women with well-known wisdom) (1991, 33-34).

This European prejudice is mirrored in the function of Mullin J (1965) which was meant to be an endeavor ‘to lay down manual-strains for the … Christian apostolate in fashionable Africa’ (1965, 3). Mullin (1965, 32-33)contrasts African mentality with European mentality he states:

The African’s reasoning methods are not discursive he is familiar with practically nothing of the syllogism, he thinks inductively alternatively than deductively nor is his thinking analytic: it is intuitive and artificial …. This is a mentality distinct from the European, and to be revered as this kind of …. 1 consequence of it is a circular fashion of thinking, a collecting of impressions, a sensation of the way in advance of coming to the kernel of a trouble …. A more vital consequence is the primacy in his assumed of the concrete above the summary and the human above the institutional …. European lecturers, properly trained in deductive assumed, pass on strategies in a way unachievable for the African to assimilate. They do not square with his reasoning’.

Though the philosophic sage engages in sagacious didactics, the folk sage engages in narration. Philosophic sagacity is often ‘a products and a reflective re-analysis of the society philosophy. The number of sages who have the philosophic inclination make a significant evaluation of their society and its fundamental beliefs.’ They use power of cause to produce ‘a method within just a method, and order within just an order’ (1991, forty nine). Folk sagacity is initial order society philosophy. ‘It is absolute in its strategies and reality claims and has an ideological war with anything to the opposite.’ Folk sages ‘are professionals in conveying and preserving this order…. Their explanations or assumed do not go further than the premises and conclusions offered by the prevailing culture’ (1991, forty nine). Philosophic sage is significant reflection on the initial order philosophy of society. It is ‘a significant rise up versus the initial order conformity and anachronism’. Though the initial order glorifies the communal conformity, philosophic sagacity is skeptical…it employs cause to assess it. The initial order is purely absolutist and ideological, the 2nd order is normally open-minded and rationalistic. Its truths are offered as tentative and ratiocinative, not as God-sent information (1991, forty nine). Further more distinction between the two sage features (1991, 36)

The folk sage is versed in the prevalent-location society, customs and beliefs of his persons. He can recite or describe them with much competence.  Even so, he is unable to elevate any significant problem about them, nor is he equipped to observe the inherent contradictions. The philosophic sage, like the folk sage, may perhaps equally be versed in the beliefs and values of his culture. His primary activity is to make significant evaluation of them and propose, as significantly as the communal pressure lets, only those people beliefs and values that pass his rational scrutiny. The folk-sage is identifiable by his steady inability to isolate his individual viewpoint from the beliefs of the community and his prepared inclination to take refuge powering the well-known unexamined wisdom wherever he is intellectually challenged. The philosophic sage, on the other hand, is clearly equipped to isolate the offered beliefs of the community from his individual analysis, rationalization and even criticism of those people beliefs. He is also equipped to appreciate a dialectical or mental match with the interviewer.

Mullin’s characterization of African mentality is a fallacious generalization which collapses African assumed to folk sagacity. There are philosophic sages capable of syllogistic reasoning in Africa each in literate and pre-literate societies. ‘There is possibility for sagacity each in pre-literate and literate societies’ (Oruka 1991, 37). To be a sage is not necessarily to be philosophic

Pedagogy of sagacity

Pedagogy of sagacity utilizes phenomenological system of philosophy to anayze two typologies of lecturers based mostly on the paradigms of Oruka’s two sages, philosophic and folk sages. This is in endeavor to fructify Njoroge – Bennaars (1986) product or conceptual framework for creating African Philosophy of schooling.

Folkish instructor vs . philosophic instructor

By use of phenomenological assessment we can attract implications from the two sages. Philosophic-sage points to a instructor who is significant and empowers learners to consider for them selves. He utilizes student-centered pedagogy. His classroom is community of scientists his job is to midwife learners in their research for option to issues. Classroom is connected to authentic daily life issues. Folkish-sage points to folkish-lecturers who merely recycle outdated lecture notes. They do not update them selves they dictate notes to learners who are predicted to be passive recipients. These lecturers fall short to criticize instructional theories and practices. They are authoritarian and purpose at generating learners memorize notes in order to pass exams. These a instructor fears questions and fails in self-criticism. The folkish-instructor utilizes banking pedagogy, even though philosophic-instructor utilizes trouble-fixing pedagogy.

In the movie Sarafina Mrs. Masumbuka exemplifies philosophic-instructor who is gadfly that stings learners to dare to consider, that is to critically problem the been given traditions. She midwifes regeneration of learners as enlightened and emancipated active learners who demystifies the stratified sanitized syllabus. The instructor who replaces her is an example of folkish instructor. He can at best impose and popularize licensed apartheid pedagogical narrative which  is oppressive to the African learners. That instructor mechanically transmits fossilized pre-packaged strategies with out significant reflection. This is a dogmatic instructor who fails to emancipate himself from dominant oppressive pedagogy of white supremacist in apartheid South Africa.


Product by Njoroge – Bennaars is practical in creating African philosophy of schooling. Pedagogical Sagacity is a products of that product and proves that it is pragmatic and appropriate to African philosophy of schooling. There stays more places in schooling in Africa exactly where sage Philosophy needs to be explored and rational conclusions be drawn to increase teaching/studying in philosophy of schooling in Africa, Kenya in unique. Sage Philosophy furnishes a productive conceptual framework for instructional philosophizing not only in Africa but also any place else exactly where significant assessment of pedagogical concept and apply is to be carried out. This is a proposal of 1 doable route among other folks exactly where Sage Philosophy can be appropriate further than Oruka’s original issue. It points at doable contributions of Sage Philosophy (in department of Philosophy) to instructional philosophy (in department of Educational Foundations).




Freire P, (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed, translated by Myra Bergman Ramos, Middlesex: Penguin Guides.


Mullin, J. (1965) The Catholic Church in Modern Africa, a pastoral Theology, London: Geoffrey Chapman.

Njoroge – Bennaars (1986) Philosophy and schooling in Africa: An introductory textual content for learners of schooling. Nairobi: Transafrica.

Odera O, (1990) Developments in Up to date African Philosophy. Nairobi: Shirikon

________  (1991) Sage Philosophy indigenous thinkers and fashionable debate on African Philosophy. Nairobi: Functions



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