Informal Method of Education: The Role of African Oral Tradition

Authors: 1Mukhtar Ibrahim Abubakar, 2Nwosu Florence Chika, 3Mudassir Hassan

1Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano

2Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin

3Department of English, Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano

Published: January 2019

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The traditional African societies are characterized by shared common socio-cultural ways of life and experiences of the pre-colonial and post-colonial factors. In the pre-colonial Africa, the methods and means of cultural transmission and educating members of the society was identical. The traditional method of education, which was made possible through the use of oral tradition; folklore, myth, legend, proverbs and stories were functional in all spheres of life. The history of the African people, their communities and that of their heroes and heroic deeds, as well as the teaching of moral values and socialisation processes were all made possible in the authentic traditional African context through the orally-based tradition of folklore, myth, legend, proverbs, superstitious statements, stories and other forms of the oral tradition, as the societies were not literate. In such traditionally-based contexts, parents, elders, traditional institutions and other members of the community served as teachers, since from them socialization and acquisition of knowledge was made possible. This study is an attempt to critically explore the various inherently associated methods used in the context of pre-colonial African period in the education and socialization processes of the individual members of the community (ies). The nature and forms of education in the context of the period is examined. Also the stages involved in the socialisation processes of the Africans, as means of socio-cultural integration is reviewed from the linguistic and sociological perspectives. The need to revitalize the traditionally induced system and integrate it as part of the present day system of education is equally included as part of the given suggestion for the preservation and continuous transmission of the African cultural heritage in the modern African setting that is dominated by current trend of the indiscriminate influx of foreign cultures.

Keywords: Tradition, Africa, education, culture, myth