Developing Children’s Critical Thinking Abilities Through Critical Pedagogy: Is the Ghanaian Culture a Threat?


Most African countries have focused on transforming education from teacher-centred methods to learner-dominated forms of education. Since the major goal of the recent transformations in African education is to foster the development of learners’ critical thinking/problem-solving skills, it makes sense if teachers across the continent adopt instructional approaches that align with critical pedagogy. We, however, suspect that the tenets of critical pedagogy and critical thinking development appear to be extremely at variance with the culturally accepted norms of bringing up children in the socio-cultural context of Ghana. Based on a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of some selected Ghanaian proverbs, the current study aimed to analyse how children are culturally constructed and how that potentially poses a threat to the implementation of critical pedagogy and the development of critical thinking in the Ghanaian child. The findings confirm the idea that the socio-cultural norms of most African societies tend to inhibit the growth of students' critical thinking abilities. We argue that the way proverbs shape children's identities within the sociocultural context of Ghana tends to have a detrimental effect on how well children learn as well as the development of their critical thinking skills. Our analysis therefore concludes that a Ghanaian child may be born a critical thinker, but the socio-cultural expectations and the cultured upbringing thwart the realisation of this innate potential.

Author Information
Ernest Nyamekye, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Jerome Nketsiah, Fosu College of Education, Ghana
John Zengulaaru, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana

Paper Information
Conference: KAMC2023
Stream: Education / Pedagogy

This paper is part of the KAMC2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Nyamekye E., Nketsiah J., & Zengulaaru J. (2023) Developing Children’s Critical Thinking Abilities Through Critical Pedagogy: Is the Ghanaian Culture a Threat? ISSN: 2436-0503 – The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon