Promote endogenous curriculum to transform education and prepare future generations

For 21st century societies increasingly facing new global challenges, education is paramount in imparting the knowledge, values, skills, ethics and attitudes needed to create global citizen for facing the future. Within the education system, it is the curriculum that expresses a vision of holistic development, that provides the structure and delivery of quality learning, and that expresses the skills needed to create global citizen and, in its tower, socially inclusive. But the means of acquiring such skills are not universal, and often the learning pathways are made externally and imposed on other cultural realities, creating troublesome disconnects between what needs to be learned and of people to learn.

An endogenous approach to teaching understands that curriculum responses are not universal, but must be contextualized and based on different local realities. Such approaches recognize that there are specific responses to educational challenges that are unique to each education system. Often endogenous agendas recognize that Western ways of knowing are not inherently superior and reject the imposition of global forms of knowledge on local realities. However, these programs seek to democratize educational practices, shifting from hierarchical to horizontal forms of learning characterized by inclusive and critical dialogues between individuals and communities. In addition, endogenously developed curricula are based on the realities of the classrooms in which they are implemented and are aligned with the teacher’s skills.

In recent years, critics of developmental education have increasingly noted that educational strategies aimed at reducing poverty in developing countries often mimic maladaptive education policies by importing exogenously crafted educational content, whose superiority is expressed.

The curriculum is inspired by the local context and seeks to reject the imposition of hegemonic ways of knowing. They are centered on local understandings and goals, and accommodate a wide range of knowledge. Khoo and Walsh (2016) describe endogenous education as something that “restores, revaluates and transforms local knowledge in the hope that more truly universal alternatives may emerge”.

This is particularly evident in the rejection of educational structures inherited from the early African continent, where the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025 seeks to shed the maladaptive colonial legacies that perpetuate the systems. to education in Africa and to “reorient Africa’s education and training systems to address the knowledge, skills, abilities, innovation and creativity needed to nurture Africa’s core values ​​and promote sustainable development in national, sub-regional and continental.

Endogenous education moves away from hegemonic ways of knowledge and opens the door to dialogue between knowledge bases in different communities. He acknowledged that there are many ways of understanding the world, which can be considered equally valued by the more traditional ways of knowing Europe. It applies to the basics of knowledge in all disciplines, including science, history, mathematics, and literature. The endogenous program is consistent with the local reality of implementation. It considers the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills of teachers to interpret, implement and evaluate it. It provides for teacher training and capacity building. It also considers the sources of teaching materials available to teachers. It even allows teachers to bridge potential gaps between planned and implemented curriculum by empowering them to be designers of classroom experiences based on local realities.

Endogenous education celebrates local values ​​and culture. It is developed in partnership with local communities, allowing children to develop an understanding of their own land, history and environment, cultural traditions and value systems. By copying local values, it can contribute to positive community development and better student outcomes. The endogenous curriculum recognizes the vital importance of the student’s native language and demonstrates respect for regional and national languages. Much has been written about the importance of using native language in the classroom and how it translates into better student outcomes. These benefits include the development of critical thinking skills; developing reading and writing skills; and a better overall understanding of the curriculum. It also promotes the development of personal, social and cultural identity, which contributes to a sense of connectedness and respect for diversity.

Endogenization of programs allows local communities to express their vision for their future and make it a reality through the education of the youngest members of the community. It contributes to the maintenance or revitalization of local communities. In fact, through the curriculum, education systems develop learners ’cognitive and socio-emotional skills and abilities to respond to today’s global and local realities, thus creating a better future for to all.

The curriculum is critical to ensuring that education systems equip the talents of tomorrow – today’s students – with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and ethics needed to become global citizens. For this, the importance of locally produced and relevant curricula cannot be overstated. The endogenous program contributes to building a society where children are proud of who they are, where they come from, their families and their backgrounds. These children have confidence in their identity, in their values ​​and in their culture. From this area of ​​empowerment, they also see the value of other people and cultures. It is endogenous education that helps to facilitate respect for diversity and a sense of global community and connectedness.

*Program Specialist, UNESCO-IBE.