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IRECONSTRUCTING THE RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGECURRICULUM IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF INCLUSIVEEDUCATION AND PEDAGOGICAL REFORMbyRev. Fr. Augustine Uzoma IhedinmaA thesis submitted in part-fulfilment for the Degree ofDoctor in Educationof the University of London2004

2AcknowledgementsI wish to express my sincere thanks to Jo Cairns who painstakingly,guided me through the first part of this study before she took herretirement from the Institute of Education. Jo's friendly dispositiontowards my occasional lack of courage and insight was of great help tothis work. I am most indebted to Sr. Maria Chioma Emeagi, withoutwhom, I would not have dared to pursue any course of studies in theUnited Kingdom. Sr. Maria's unrelenting support throughout my studieswill be a living memory. Thanks to Mrs. Cordelia Njoku and Mrs. AgnesEzeogu and other members of my family for their help in time of need. Iam also grateful to Professor M.A. Mkpa of Abia State University,Nigeria, for his advice and help during my field work in Nigeria. Manythanks to Professor B. Amaeshi and Dr. Val Klenowski. I am immenselygrateful to Professor David Halpin, who guided me through the final butmajor part of this thesis. His suggestions greatly enhanced this thesisand even more, he gave his personal time to its supervision. There aremany to whom I am very indebted for their contributions to this thesisand my course of study at the Institute and Dr. Roy Gardner comes tomind each time. To him and others, I say: thank you and may Godreward you abundantly. Finally, I thank the Most Rev. Dr. A.J.V. Obinna,the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri for his initial support to this project.

3AbstractThis thesis examines the religious knowledge curriculum for junior secondaryschools in order to contribute to and reinforce the implementation of thenational curriculum as recommended by the national policy on educationwhich favours a more inclusive curriculum. Literature review on the nationalpolicy on education, the national curriculum and a brief empirical study on theviews of some stakeholders in Nigerian education point to the need forappropriate implementation of Nigeria's educational policies into a curriculumthat will help pupils discover that religion can and does contribute to theirnational life, school life and individual life.The introductory chapter gives an overview of the religious knowledgecurriculum within the Nigerian context. Chapter two reviews relevant literatureon the religious knowledge curriculum and the national policy on education. Itwas revealed that the exclusive and confessional approach of the presentcurriculum has not been consistent with the goals of the national policy. Ithighlights traditional religion as significant to Nigeria's religious culture. Itrecommends the "learning from and about" approach in studying Nigeria'smain religions as significant to the process of mutual respect, coexistence andunderstanding among the various groups. Chapter three examines theprinciples for curriculum development. It adopts the CESAC process model ofcurriculum development as the most recommended model by the Governmentof Nigeria. It attempts to construct a religious knowledge curriculum based onthe relevant criteria discovered during the course of the research. Chapterfour explores the significance of stakeholders in Nigerian education.Specifically, it reports on an empirical study which investigates the views ofstakeholders regarding the adoption of the new religious knowledgecurriculum. Chapter five examines the viability of the new curriculum within thenational policy guidelines. It argues that the teaching of the new religiousknowledge curriculum is consistent with the human development pedagogicalapproach for teaching an inclusive religious knowledge curriculum.

4TABLE OF CONTENTSAcknowledgements2Abstract3CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION101.1 The statement of the problem.111.2 The rationale for the study .131.3 The scope of the thesis .161.4 A discussion of 'curriculum' in the Nigerian context .181.5 Establishing curriculum development as a problem solving tool inNigeria's educational process .221.5.1 The religious knowledge curriculum in the junior secondaryschool system in Nigeria (6-3-3-4 system). 231.6 Possible conceptual understandings of a religious knowledgecurriculum251.6.1 A religious knowledge curriculum261.6.2 A religious studies curriculum271.6.3 A religious education curriculum271.7 Religious knowledge and the national curriculum291.8 Religious knowledge and the humanities311.9 Conclusion35CHAPTER TWO:REVIEW OF THE RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE CURRICULUM INNIGERIA362.1 The development of the religious knowledge curriculum in362.1.1 The religious knowledge curriculum in the era of theChristian missionaries.362.1.2 The aims and objectives of the Christian missionaries'curriculum for religious knowledge40

5missionaries'2.1.3 The implementation of the Christianreligious knowledge curriculum . . . 402.1.4 The Christian missionaries' teacher education policy and the42religious knowledge curriculum2.1.5 The pedagogical approach of the Christian missionaries in thereligious knowledge curriculum in Nigeria . 432.2 The colonial government and the religious knowledge curriculum in442.2.1 The colonial government's educational policy on the religiousknowledge curriculum through the 1882 Educational442.2.2 The colonial government's policy on the religious knowledgeknowledge curriculum through the 1887 Educational452.2.3 The implementation of the colonial government's religiousknowledge curriculum . . .462.3 The first national curriculum conference in Nigeria: its implicationfor the1985 religious knowledge curriculum.472.3.1 The national policy on education .482.3.2 The development of the individual into a sound and effective492.3.3 The full integration of the individual into the community. 532.3.4 The provision of equal access to educational opportunities forall citizens.2.4The national curriculum for religious knowledge . .56592.4.1 The educational aims of the 1985 national curriculum forreligious knowledge592.4.2 The educational objectives of the 1985 national curriculum forreligious knowledge . 622.4.3 Is spiritual development specified in the national curriculum forreligious knowledge?642.4.4 The content of the 1985 religious knowledge curriculum . 66 content of the Christian knowledge curriculum. 662.4.4.2 The content of the Islamic knowledge curriculum. 682.4.5 A taxonomy of educational objectives in the national curriculumfor religious knowledge . 702.5 The role of national educational research and development council(NERDC) in promoting broader curriculum content for religious712.5.1 Introducing traditional religious knowledge into the national722.5.2 The teaching of traditional religion through the national2.6 Conclusion.79CHAPTER THREE:THE PRINCIPLES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW RELIGIOUSKNOWLEDGE CURRICULUM823.1 Models of curriculum development. . . .833.2 The CESAC process model of curriculum development.863.2.1 The review of the existing 1985 national curriculum for religious903.2.1.1 The need for a broad based religious knowledge curriculum933.2.2 Identification of problems of the 1985 curriculum for religious973.2.3 The educational aims and goals of the new religious knowledge3.2.4 The principles for determining the criteria for selection ofcontents for the new religious knowledge curriculum. 1033.2.4.1 The existing religious knowledge curriculum for juniorsecondary schools.1043.2.4.2 The 2001 guidelines of Nigerian educational researchand development council (NERDC) on curriculum105 Perceived needs and values as recommended throughliterature review1053.2.4.4 A new framework for constructing the contents of theReligious knowledge curriculum from the Bishops'Conference of England and Wales. . . .1073.2.5 The content of the new religious knowledge curriculum: itsprinciples and themes. „.1121163.3CHAPTER FOUR:THE VIEWS OF THE STAKEHOLDERS ON THE PROPOSED NEWCURRICULUM1184.1 The role of teachers as stakeholders in curriculum development1194.2The role of parents as stakeholders in curriculum development1204.3The role of students as stakeholders in curriculum development1214.4 The role of religious leaders as stakeholders in curriculum1224.5The development and validation of topics through the instrumentationprovided for the study . 1234.5.1 Trial testing of instruments . . .1244.5.2 Sampling of respondents, administration of instruments and data1261284.6 Conclusion .130CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION ON THE NEW PROPOSEDCURRICULUM FOR RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE1315.1 The principles for selecting learning experiences for thenew religious knowledge curriculum. .1315.2 Significance of the new curriculum1325.3 National goals and aspirations of the new curriculum .1335.4 Utility and suitability of the curriculum .133

85.5 Scope in curriculum development .1335.5.1 Scope as breadth .1345.5.2 Scope as depth1385.6 Sequence in curriculum development .1385.7 Learnability and implementability of the curriculum.1395.8 Validity of the curriculum .1415.9 Curriculum integration .1415.10 Pedagogical models for teaching the new religious knowledgecurriculum1425.10.1 The confessional model . . .1435.10.2 The phenomenological model .1445.10.3 The experiential model .1455.10.4 The interpretive model .1465.10.5 The human development model.1475.11 Teachers' pedagogical and professional competence inimplementing the new curriculum. . .1495.12 The new curriculum and assessment . . .156CONCLUSION160REFERENCES170APPENDICES.1801.1 Subject groups of the national curriculum for junior secondary schools 1802.1 1985 syllabus for junior secondary schools' religious knowledgecurriculum for year one.1812.2 Religious adherence in Nigeria.1863.1 Items developed as contents for junior secondary school religiousknowledge curriculum.1874.1 Item-by-item presentation of topics as checklists for respondents.190

94.2 Data recording sheetIA&B. . .1954.3 Data recording sheetII A&B.1994.4A Map showing the States in Nigeria.2014.4B Map showing the Sharia States in Nigeria.201TABLES3.1 Recommended topics/themes for the new religious knowledgecurriculum.1124.1 Total sample of respondents for sent and received items . 1274.2 Percentage of response by groups of stakeholders according tovalue.1295. 1 Example of lesson topics planned through integration . . .136FIG. NO.3.1 The stages of the CESAC process model3.2 Diagrammatic details of CESAC process model of curriculumdesign4.1 Chart showing the response of stakeholders to items.8689128

10INTRODUCTIONThis thesis examines the current national curriculum on religious knowledgefor junior secondary schools in Nigeria with the view of proposing a moreinclusive religious knowledge curriculum that satisfies the goals and processof education in Nigeria. This study is urgent in the sense that it has been theintention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to use the national curriculumas tool for the realisation of its overall philosophy, part of which is to:live in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble,democratic and sovereign nation founded on the principles offreedom, equality and justice; . (Federal Republic of Nigeria,1996 p. 7).It is however, not clear that the present national curriculum on religiousknowledge, since after its publication in 1985, has met the requirements ofthis national goal. The approach to the study of the present curriculum lendsitself to some serious criticisms especially as it provides distinct curricula forChristian and Islamic religions. This makes it difficult if not impossible for apupil opting for a Christian religious knowledge curriculum, for example, tolearn from and about Islam and vice versa. It is expected that each of the tworeligious knowledge curricula would meet the criteria of the national policy oneducation through a programme of study that includes comprehensiveinstructional themes from the major religions represented in the country. Thishowever, has not been the case. Thus the present provision leaves a gap inthe religious education of pupils.It is equally observable in schools and in ordinary daily life that Nigerians,irrespective of their different religious affiliations, are in constant interactionwith one another through the various socio-religious, cultural, political and

economic engagements in their national life. Thus ignorance of each other'sreligious belief is consequent on the breach of efforts towards national socialcohesion and respect for individual beliefs.Christianity, Islam and Traditional religion exert a powerful religious influenceon Nigerians. On the one hand. Islam had been practised long before thegreat Islamic jihad of Usman Dan Fodio in the early part of the nineteenthcentury. It dominates a greater part of Northern Nigeria. The EuropeanChristian missionaries and British explorers on the other hand, who effectivelyregistered their colonial administrative and commercial interests in Nigeria inthe latter part of the nineteenth century, introduced Christianity (Crowther1968). Christian evangelism dominated a greater part of southern Nigeria(Clarke 1986) while making deeper inroads into the North. However, for a longtime there have been constant and increasing religious tensions betweenChristians and Moslems as well as the general apathy for traditional religion(ibid.). The way and manner with which these tensions interplay in the nationalscene remain issues of grave concern. This state of affairs calls for a reviewof the present religious knowledge curriculum and the need to make a casefor a more inclusive religious knowledge curriculum in Nigeria.1.1 The statement of the problemIn Nigeria, religious rivalry, engendered by religious tension and itsconsequent religious intolerance. does not seem to decrease. Some stategovernments are already taking strong lead towards the imposition ofparticular religious laws on its populace without due considerations to the

religious beliefs of their fellow Nigerians who share the same national goalsand interests. Given the religious tensions engendered by the religious bigotryin Nigeria, it has become urgent that there is need for a review of the nationalcurriculum on religious knowledge for junior secondary schools as a steptowards the construction of a curriculum model that meets pupils' needs intoday's Nigeria. In fact the age-long Christian-Moslem dialogue aimed atfostering social cohesion and religious tolerance in Nigeria (Clarke 1986)requires an effective consideration in the religious life of the nation. One of thebest ways of achieving this is through an educational provision that willencourage a more inclusive religious knowledge curriculum that will enablereligion to have a place in the national life, school life and individual life ofpupils. This requirement is important for the eventual attainment of the broadgoals of the national policy on education for secondary education, which are:the preparation of pupils for useful living within the society; andpreparation for higher education (Federal Republic of Nigeria1996, p.17).In the light of the demands of the national policy on education for a nationalcurriculum for useful living within the society. how can a more tolerantapproach to religious knowledge be constructed in order to help pupilsdiscover that religion can have a place in pupils' national life, school life andindividual life in the present day Nigeria? This question will serve as the focusfor investigation in this thesis. The research question will be addressed inthree parts:(i.)To carry out a critique of the present religious knowledge curriculum inNigeria within the guidelines of the national policy on education.

13(ii.)To design a religious knowledge curriculum for Nigerian schools that ismore inclusive and meets the requirements of the national policy oneducation.(iii) To explore the views of some major stakeholders in education in Nigeriaon the proposed new curriculum model.1.2 Rationale for the thesisThe rationale for this study stems from the fact that after fifteen years of theimplementation of the present religious knowledge curriculum in 1985, itsimpact on secondary school pupils is only minimal. Some Nigerians havepointed out that Nigeria's educational standards are on the decrease andreligious bigotry, crime and moral decadence in schools are the order of thepresent day Nigeria (Ibeagha. 1998: Daramola. 1998). Thus the presentcurriculum needs to be reviewed.My experience with some pupils and some staff in school is that some do nothave a clear understanding of the shared values that are found in the threereligions - Christianity, Islam or Traditional religion — which are for thecommon good. It is against this background that this thesis attempts topropose a new curriculum. Also, as a professional involved in pupil education,I am critical of the present government policy that does not collaborateactively with other key stake-holders, like the Christian churches andtraditional religious rulers, in pupils' religious education. The present religiousknowledge curriculum leaves a serious educational gap within its citizensbecause there are no provisions for pupils to learn from and about' the

14different religious beliefs, values, shared universal human experiences as wellas religious responses to the moral problems that plague the country. Is it nota very baffling situation that Nigerians have folded their arms and watched forseveral years, the incessant waves of religious riots and religious extremismwithout regard to the right of people's religious beliefs and practices? Theredo not seem to be any attempts to educate pupils towards a more tolerant andpractical religious

1.6.1 A religious knowledge curriculum 26 1.6.2 A religious studies curriculum 27 1.6.3 A religious education curriculum 27 1.7 Religious knowledge and the national curriculum 29 1.8 Religious knowledge and the humanities 31 1.9 Conclusion 35 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE CURRICULUM IN NIGERIA 36 2.1 The development of the religious knowledge curriculum in 36 2.1.1 The .

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