Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Complementary education programs have emerged as a useful tool for addressing the educational needs of marginalized communities in the developing world. The literature attributes the success of these complementary education programs to innovative school organization, curriculum development, and community participation. This article is based on a recent ethnographic study that explored the curriculum development process of School for Life (SFL), a complementary education program operating in northern Ghana. The objective of the study was to understand the elements of the SFL curriculum, to explore the different stages of the curriculum development process, and to investigate the stakeholders and their roles in the process. The scope of the article includes the background, the analytical framework, the context of education in northern Ghana, the SFL program, the SFL curriculum development process, and conclusion. Initially, the study revealed that the program utilized elements of both technical and critical approaches to curriculum development. The curriculum process was influenced by the context within which it occurred; the process was highly political, empowering, and emancipating for the community members who served as the major curriculum actors and decision makers. © 2009 The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

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