Indigenous knowledge and early childhood care and education in Ethiopia


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 33 , ISSUE 2 (December 2018) > List of articles

Indigenous knowledge and early childhood care and education in Ethiopia

Hawani Negussie / Charles Slater

Keywords : Early Childhood Care and Education; indigenous education; multilingual education; Ethiopia; community cultural wealth

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 4-16, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 02-April-2019



The purpose of this research study was to explore the integration of indigenous knowledge and cultural practices in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programmes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Vygotsky's (1986) sociocultural theory in combination with Yosso's (2005) community cultural wealth theory served as the conceptual as well as the methodological framework advising the components of this research. This qualitative case study invited perspectives from local parents, teachers, directors, a university faculty member, and administrative personnel from the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia. Major findings uncovered that language, the Ethiopian alphabet (fidel), traditions and cultural practices passed down from generation to generation, were seen as part of Ethiopia’s larger indigenous knowledge system. The value of using indigenous knowledge, including the extent of integration of cultural practices as measured through use of native language, curriculum and educational philosophy, revealed distinct language preferences (Amharic or English) based on school, personal wants and population demographics.

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