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A Pragmatic Tradition: The Past in Ghanaian Education
Africa Today (2012)
  • David Peterson del Mar, Portland State University
This paper assesses how recently published Ghanaian social
studies textbooks portray Ghana’s history and traditions.
Unlike many histories written for adults, which urge Ghanaians
to overcome the legacy of colonialism by cultivating
ancient traditions, the textbooks often criticize indigenous
practices and praise colonialism’s consequences. They judge
tradition or culture to be useful, inasmuch as they contribute
to unity and development, but although this pragmatic
approach to education and historical interpretation seems
dismissive of Ghanaian tradition, it is in fact deeply rooted
in Ghana’s past.
  • Postcolonialism -- Ghana -- Historiography,
  • Ghana -- Politics and government -- 20th century,
  • Decolonization -- Ghana,
  • Ghana -- Intellectual life
Publication Date
Winter 2012
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2012 Indiana University Press
Citation Information
Peterson del Mar, David. "A pragmatic tradition: the past in Ghanaian education." Africa Today 59, no. 2 (2012): 22-38.