Exploring Possibilities of an Undergirding Umunthu Philosophy in Malawi’s Social Studies Curriculum
The article explores possibilities of integrating Umunthu values into the social studies in Malawi with the purpose of reforming the curriculum into one that is relatable and relevant to the local needs of the society. To achieve this, it examines the relationship that exists between various aspects of education and the society, requiring the need for reliance on local knowledge production through Umunthu as an undergirding philosophy. Data for the study was collected through semi-structured interviews with Social Studies teachers, students, parents and university lecturers. It also involved analysis of other available secondary sources on Umunthu, Social Studies and education. The findings of the study were analysed within the framework of two main theories: the Reconstructionist Theory and the Southern Theory. In relation to the findings, the paper concludes that a successful deployment of Umunthu as a guiding philosophy for Social Studies would require incorporation of its core principles into the curriculum, tailoring it to focus on forging a national identity and to necessitate education for Malawians. The paper then argues that implementation of a reformed curriculum reflecting the discussed propositions requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders in curriculum development and implementation.
Keywords: Curriculum, Education, Malawi, Social Studies, Umunthu
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