African Philosophies of Education and Their Relevance to School Leadership in Africa: A Guide for Educational Systems and School Leaders


Over the past few decades, significant research efforts have been devoted to establishing a relationship between African Philosophies of Education (APE) and School Leadership (SL). Such efforts have revealed how important African Union Philosophies of Education (AUPE) have been, or could be, in shaping School Leadership (SL) policies and practices. To achieve the above, this paper reviews contemporary literature on African Indigenous Education (AIE) and school leadership (SL) research. A descriptive and analytical interpretive approach is used to understand the methodological approaches used by existing research to redress an underdeveloped engagement with theory and practical claims from other studies. In so doing, we identify the salient values of these African philosophies of Education, bringing out their qualities as well as their limitations, and discussing ways in which they could be incorporated into the contemporary field of School Leadership (SL). This study proposes an epistemic theoretical framework to guide the delivery of African Philosophies of Education (APE) in School Leadership (SL) practice. Such a framework would be developed as part of the de-colonisation epistemic movement within the global south, noting that this movement has yet to be significantly felt in the field of educational leadership.

Share and Cite:

Ashu, F. , Lavngwa, M. and Tchoumbou Ngantchop, M. (2023) African Philosophies of Education and Their Relevance to School Leadership in Africa: A Guide for Educational Systems and School Leaders. Open Journal of Philosophy, 13, 32-47. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2023.131003.

1. Introduction

The education systems in many African countries are the result of policies, programmes, people and politics that failed to honour the knowledge, values, skills and competence of indigenous Africans (Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Horsthemke, 2017). Thus, African educational systems are in dire need of radical reforms to decolonise them and make them relevant to the socio-cultural values of the local populations (Lavngwa, 2019). This paper seeks to understand if there is a body of thought that can be termed an “African Philosophy of Education” (APE) and its relevance to School Leadership (SL) in Africa. The paper interrogates two research questions: 1) what is the relationship between African Philosophies of Education and School Leadership; 2) how do African Philosophies of Education “fit” in today’s school leadership?

In this introduction, the study is firstly placed in context, providing a brief justification for the research. The research questions are then presented to develop an understanding of APE and their relevance in SL. The chapter then reviews relevant contemporary literature which has contributed to our knowledge and understanding of APE and SL in Africa. This is achieved by means of a systematic literature search in the library and on the Internet, including policy reports, and academic papers on each of the four areas relevant to the research questions. The main underlying influences and perceptions held by the literature on APE and SL are analysed qualitatively in order to inform how APE could improve the SL challenges of African local communities.

2. Conceptual Clarifications

2.1. African Indigenous Education

The word indigenous refers to specific groups of people defined by ancestral territories, collective cultural configuration, and historical locations (Njoki et al., 2015; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b). As Njoki et al. go on to point out, “indigenous denotes that the knowledge is typical and belongs to peoples from specific places with common culture and societies” (p. 134) and such knowledge, beliefs, practices, customs, etc., are passed down from the past to the present, especially by word of mouth or by practice (Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020a, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b). Since African epistemological and moral assumptions are rooted on certain metaphysical notions, indigenous education must arise from socio-cultural phenomena and must also recognize the human person as an authentic being (Lavngwa, 2019). In this context, MacOjong (2008) and Mushi (2009) define African Indigenous Education (AIE) as a process by which inherited knowledge, skills, cultural traditions, norms, values and attitudes of the tribe, were passed from elders to children, by means of oral instructions and practical activities. In this regard, indigenous education is a form of education that specifically focuses on and encourages teaching indigenous leadership knowledge, beliefs, practices, customs, models, methods and content within both formal and non-formal educational systems (Horsthemke, 2017; Owuor, 2007; Wilkinson & Purdie, 2008; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Waghid, 2016a; Khalifa et al., 2018).

2.2. Characteristics of African Indigenous Education

MacOjong (2008), Njoki et al. (2015) and Ebot Ashu (2016) identified seven cardinal goals of African Indigenous Education (AIE). These goals are developed in Ebot Ashu (2020b, 2021a, 2021b): to inculcate respect for elders and those in positions of authority; to develop intellectual, physical and social skills; to understand, appreciate and promote the cultural heritage of the community at large; to develop character and moral training; to develop a sense of belonging and encourage active participation in family and community affairs; to acquire specific vocational training (e.g. training a child to know how to farm, hunt, carve, weave); to develop a healthy attitude towards honest labour.

Such an indigenous education does not derive its origins from the individual but from the collective epistemological understanding and rationalization of the community; it is about what local people know and do and what local communities have known and done for generations and their ability to use community knowledge produced from local history, from important literacy skills critical to survival in an African context (Semali, 1999; Lavngwa, 2019). This type of education can also be said to have nine key characteristics (MacOjong, 2008; Njoki et al., 2015; Ebot Ashu, 2016); developed in Ebot Ashu (2020b, 2021a, 2021b) and approved by African Union (2016a, 2016b, 2018):

It is a lifelong process whereby a person progressed through predetermined stages of life of graduation from cradle to grave. According to Moumouni (1968: p. 30), these practices begin from the “womb to the tomb” and are interwoven in theory and practice. They epitomize the African’s existence, actions, practices, and beliefs (Lavngwa, 2019).

It is community oriented and geared to solving the problems of the community. The instructional activities were therefore directed towards the social life of the community, so as to prepare the learners to fit into their community. This encourages every person in the community, whether young or old, to put their competence and skills into the community.

It is not dependent on literacy in that thelearning experiences are delivered orally and the knowledge is stored in the heads of elders. MacOjong (2008) says that, instructors are carefully selected from the family or clan to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes to the young, informally at the didactic and practical levels.

It places emphasis on practical learning whereby the young adult learned by watching, participating and executing what they learnt. Skills like carving, masonry, clay working, cloth making, canoe making, cooking, and home management are insisted upon among the children in the community. These are skills open to all, since, traditionally; they were the basic skills, knowledge and attitudes that enabled children could acquire these traditional skills by participating in socio-cultural activities (Lavngwa, 2019; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

The question of “learning by doing” is very important. The best way to learn sewing is to sew; the best way to learn farming is to farm; the best way to learn cooking is to cook and the best way to learn how to teach is to teach. These pragmatic pedagogic methods according to what ancient Greek learned from traditional African education include observation, memorisation, oral imitation, and storytelling (Plato, 1988; Plato, 1968; Nyamnjoh, 2004). By this pragmatic approach of “learning by doing”, children can develop life-long skills (Dewey, 1991; Lavngwa, 2019).

It is functional in the sense that the knowledge skills and values that are imparted are relevant to the socio-economic, political and cultural activities of an individual and the local community. Learners learn skills that are useful for immediate and long-term activities like guards, leaders or teachers, and received training around the chief’s residence.Homes are used to prepare brides for marriage (Lavngwa, 2019). Enculturation, socialization and education take place in the family (Nsamenang, 2016).

There were basically no formal exams at the end of a specific level of training, but a learner was considered a graduate when he/she was able to practise what he or she had learnt throughout the period of training. A ceremony was held to mark the completion of training and thus the assumption of more community responsibilities. This was common, especially during what the Africans refer to as “coming of age” ceremonies and “rites of passage”. While western education stresses competitive individualism and eliminates students through the failure of tests, indigenous education emphasises cooperative communalism evaluated by life experiences (Lavngwa, 2019; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

The Holistic Nature of African indigenous education simply means that everyone is bound to learn about all the activities of society, like farming, craftsmanship, hunting and fishing, without specialisation. This holistic approach to indigenous education ensures that children grow as jacks of all trades and masters of all. It sets out to transmit moral, spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical lessons which fit different developmental stages that culture recognizes (Tala, 2012; Lavngwa, 2019). Yet at the basis of this holistic African education are found moral values that are invaluable to membership in the community (Lavngwa & Ngalim, 2015; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

It is a way to protect, preserve and develop the traditional indigenous skills and cultures of Africa. The acknowledgement of traditional owners’ language protection, and the preservation and celebration of their heritage is important to enable the people to gain employment, develop professional skills and participate in the nations and international development. However, we must note that such a cultural revival or preservation of indigenous values does not mean an uncritical swallowing of all pre-colonial practices (Levy-Bruhl, 1995; Lavngwa, 2019; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

2.3. African Philosophies of Education (APE)

The indigenous education above did not develop in a vacuum; it had its own philosophical bases on which it was built. The problem of what constitutes valid indigenous knowledge for philosophy of education brings us to the debate on the consensus of what aspects of culture can be considered. This evokes Marcien Towa’s problematic of whether African philosophy is a myth or reality (Towa, 1998). The question of what counts as philosophy is itself a philosophical problem. The hallmark of philosophy is to take a position and justify it rationally. There is hardly any consensus (Lavngwa, 2019; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022). These African Philosophies of Education (APE) are reviewed in turn below.

Preparedness/preparationism: This is a preparatory philosophy. Children were prepared to assume adult cultural, social, economic and political roles and functions in the family, the tribe or the clan. Children are prepared to play the role of husband and wife, bread provider and councillor in the village. Children learn farming to become farmers; hunting to become hunters; fishing to become fishermen and fisher women (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b).

Utilitarianism/Functionalism: The utilitarian or functionalist philosophy of indigenous education required the child to work while learning or learn while working. Children learnt moral and spiritual ways of living, social and economic activities, as well as communal participation in order to be useful in the social, economic and political life of the society in which they are growing. A child, who learned how to cook, cooked; a child who learnt how to farm farmed; a child who learnt how to build built or participated in effective building (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

Communalism (Etek): In African traditional society, learners learned/acquired a common spirit to work and live a healthy life and that the means of production were owned communally. The education was also an integral part of culture and history. For example, children’s upbringing was the task of the whole community. This African communalism is manifested in Julius Nyerere’s Ujama’a socialism that set out to create an egalitarian society in which everyone worked towards nation building through the elimination of poverty (Lavngwa, 2019).

Holisticism/multiple learning: In this philosophical base, learners were required to acquire multiple skills. They were either not allowed to specialise in specific occupations, or very little room for specialisation existed. When a learner learnt about a certain skill, say farming, she/he was obliged to learn all other skills related to farming such as, how to prepare farms, hoeing, food preservation, how to fight diseases attacking crops and so on.

Perennialism was a philosophical approach that required children to learn in order to perpetuate culture. It was founded on the belief that cultural knowledge should not be left to decay and disappear. This philosophical base ensures that the traditional communities in Africa use education as a tool for preserving the status quo of the tribe.

Ethnophilosophy was first used by Kwame Nkrumah and was coined by many other Africa philosophers like Leopold Sedar Senghor’s philosophy of négritude, who viewed it as a combination of ethnography and philosophy. Ethnophilosophy is based on the works of ethnographers, sociologists and anthropologists who interpret collective world views of African peoples, their myths and folklores as a constitutive part of African philosophy (Hountondji, 1996; Karp & Masolo, 1998). Ethnophilosophy is associated with the cultural artefacts, narratives, folklore and music of Africa’s people accessible to all peoples and cultures in the world (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Hountondji, 1996; Karp & Masolo, 1998; Horsthemke, 2017; Lavngwa, 2019; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

Ubuntu (Ochemabissi Ka Ore Ezuume), is a concept in which one’s sense of self is shaped by one’s relationships with others. It is often translated as “I am because we are”, or “humanity towards others”, but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”, as documented by McLean et al. (2016) and Ebot Ashu (2020b, 2021a, 2021b). Thus, the African concept of “ubuntu” reflects a kind of partnership which focuses on the humanity of every person as characterized by generosity, love, hospitality, and politeness despite their socio-cultural differences (Lavngwa, 2019). “We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human” (Tutu, 2004: p. 25).

Community (Etek) Philosophy in ancient Africasteadfastly focuses on process, not outcomes. Community Philosophy process is caring, collaborative, critical and creative. Together, people work out what really matters, what’s possible, and what they can do; it is a rich, deeply rewarding experience (Waghid, 2016a; Horsthemke, 2017). Graeme (2010) and Evans (2012), agreed that Community Philosophy empowers people in any context to be active citizens and to generate ideas at a grassroots level (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b).This is about thinking together in a non-confrontational and truly democratic way.

Reasonableness (Atah Ntii-Aloh) is the quality of being plausible or acceptable to a reasonable person. The concept of reasonableness is well documented by Boettcher (2014) and Waghid (2016b) in the context of John Rawls’s political liberalism, and especially its main ideas of public reason and liberal legitimacy (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b). Waghid (2016a) and Horsthemke (2017) summarised that the reasonableness of African knowledge(s) is guided by an appreciation of African cultures. As a rule, all cultural relationships are recognized from the unity of common and individual values of people (Lavngwa, 2016). These general managing principles symbolize the common will of society or the General Will (Rousseau, 1988).

Moral Maturity (Ayaamba) is a requirement in the person who is to apply a body of knowledge or a skill to the solution of a problem, or to the understanding of a situation, if the knowledge is not to remain abstract and the skill potentially unrealised. Moral maturity consists of seven elements: moral agency, harnessing cognitive ability, harnessing emotional resources, using social skill, using principles, respecting others, and developing a sense of meaning (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b).For Waghid (2016a), moral maturity in this regard is that one understands that one’s behaviour now is going to serve as role model for the upcoming generation.

Maat or Ma’at (Moninkim) refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, peace love, unity, law, morality, and justice. Our ancestors believed that Maat could be represented by a goddess who personified these concepts, and who regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. The most well-known image of Maat is with a feather on her head (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b).Her ideological opposite was Isfet (Egyptian jzft), meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil (Graness, 2016; Horsthemke, 2017).

The Teachings of the Vizier Ptahhotep (Atah Obasinjom) is regarded as the oldest completely preserved doctrine of wisdom. As explained by Graness (2016), the core of the teachings is concerned with morality, social propriety (duties toward superiors, duties towards equals, and duties towards inferiors), and respect for Maat as the unity of cosmos and society, order and justice. The central concern of the teachings is how to lead a truly ethical life. Here, a wise teacher, head teacher, principal, father or king as David speaks to his son Solomon, presenting his experiences in a didactic and reflective way (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (Ntt-Aloh Nkpak) according to the analysis of Graness (2016), categorise the tale of the eloquent peasant as a classic piece of political philosophy. The text sees three roles of political authority in the speeches of the peasant: the role of the leader, the role of the protector, and the role of the creator of good as described by Graness. These role models are based on the concept, values and norms of Ma’at as the fundamental idea of the order of the world that must be applicable to school leadership (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b).

The Dialogue of a Man with his Soul is, on the one hand, a form of criticism of the traditional cult of the dead; on the other hand, it is a very life-affirming text which expresses an appreciation of this mortal world despite all its social problems. Graness (2016) writes that ancient Egyptians believed the soul was made of different parts, namely Ka, Akh and Ba (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

Imhotep (Atah Ntuifar) (27th century BCE), or “he who cometh in peace”, was born in Ankhtowe, a suburb of Memphis, Egypt. Imhotep was an intellectual, scientist, theologian, moralist, architect, high priest and physician, inventor of the pyramid, author of ancient wisdom, astronomer and writer, and his many talents and vast acquired knowledge had such an effect on the Egyptian people that he became one of only a handful of individuals of non-royal birth to be deified, or promoted to the status of a demi-god (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b). Asante (2000) draws from a number of primary sources to reveal that Imhotep, Ahmenhotep, Akhenaton, and many other African intellectuals were great philosophers long before the arrival of the Greeks (Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

The Kemetic Philosophy, or authentic Kemetism, from the native name of Ancient Egypt, refers to submission to the authority of the laws of the creation and to the order of the universe (Daugherty, 2014). A Kemetic is a follower of Maat and one who organises his existence in accordance with these laws to preserve life (Asante, 2000; Graness, 2016). In ancient Kemet, there were also seven cardinal principles/virtues of the Goddess Maat to achieve human perfectibility. These principles are Truth, Justice, Balance, Order, Compassion, Harmony and Reciprocity (Asante, 2000; Graness, 2016).

As Above So Below (Ossow Yah Enssi) explains that, throughout authentic Africa, human societies (below) have been organised according to the (above) world universal order. The phrase derives from a passage in the Emerald Tablet, explains that which is below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing (Ebot Ashu, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b). As humans we must learn to find that philosopher’s stone that is within each one of us (Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022). The Message intended as a version of the New Testament translation of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:10. (The prayer’s phrase is traditionally rendered “on earth, as it is in heaven”).

3. African Philosophy of Education and Its Relevance to School Leadership

This section explores the relevance of an African Philosophy of Education (APE) for a School Leadership (SL) that enhances peace, harmony and democracy in the African continent (Ekanem & Ekefre, 2014; Alshurman, 2015; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Khalifa et al., 2018; Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 1993, 2014). It is important for educational practitioners to understand how APE might be able to change undesirable situations and conditions of school leadership (SL) (Ebot Ashu, 2014). APE enhances mutual understanding amongst the African people irrespective of tribe, class, sex or religion. It promotes the dignity of the African people and allows SL students, teachers, institutions and educational systems to search for meanings that relate to their chosen field (Ekanem & Ekefre, 2014; Alshurman, 2015; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Khalifa et al., 2018).

The application of APE to SL studies offers a discourse to address the continent’s many problems (Graness, 2016; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Abdi, 2011). These include selfishness, tribalism, bribery and corruption, famine, hunger, poverty, abuse, violence and exclusion of the other. It encourages every African country to develop and implement Ubuntu, Maat or UJAMA’A philosophies that encourage their citizens to live in peace, love, unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, democratic and sovereign nation founded on the principle of freedom, equality and justice, while promoting inter-African solidarity and world peace through dialogue and mutual understanding (Ekanem & Ekefre, 2014; Graness, 2016; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b, Alshurman, 2015). It follows from this that these values need to shape every aspect and dimension of leadership theory, policy and practice, as has been explained by Ekanem and Ekefre (2014), Ebot Ashu (2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b) and Khalifa et al. (2018). Ebot Ashu (2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b) and Ekanem and Ekefre (2014), in particular, have strongly argued that philosophy constitutes a potent mode of inquiry and epistemic activity that enriches the capacity for reflection and rational thinking and which is vital for democratic development.

4. How African Union Philosophies of Education “Fit” into Today’s School Leadership

This paper has highlighted key issues regarding how African Philosophies of Education (APE) might help to address contemporary challenges of School Leadership (SL). APE can be such a powerful tool for the continent’s post-colonial educational systems as they work to become producers of knowledge that has a public and international relevance (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 1993, 2014). Yusef Waghid, a distinguished professor of the Philosophy of Education at Stellenbosch University, writes that adopting an APE can be a powerful tool to help the continent’s school system at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels by creating real social change and justice (Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 1993, 2014).

The continent’s citizens have to be initiated into ways of being and living that emphasise human cooperation, openness to debate and discussion, and responsibility towards one another (Ekanem & Ekefre, 2014; Alshurman, 2015; Waghid, 2016a; Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, 1993, 2014). Such an openness to debate is an affront against the racist ideas which hold that the “primitive mind” is pre-logical and only regulated by the forces of myth and superstition (Levy-Bruhl, 1995; Lavngwa, 2019). Yet, the so-called “primitive mind” of Bantu people is sophisticated because it has a comprehensive philosophy of life which provides codes of conduct and social organization. This knowledge of reality may differ from the West, but it does not necessarily imply that it is less rational (Lavngwa, 2019). Such negative insinuations from the West rather than discouraging the Africans have rather stimulated the revitalization of indigenous values through postcolonial humanist philosophies as Ujama’a socialism, negritude, consciences, and Pan-Africanism (Okolo, 1993; Lavngwa, 2019).

Such approaches to African philosophy serve as normative-moral instruments for our liberation from the colonial “cave”. But we must be cautious that if African philosophies are to fit in today’s school leadership, we must not uncritically assimilate all cultural practices and philosophies as if they were flawless (Lavngwa, 2019). It is worth noting here that the points raised by Ptahhotep, Maat, Ubuntu, Imhotep, Ujama’a philosophies support school leadership capacity building of indigenous school leaders in remote project education settings to practice, as transactional, transformational and distributional leadership. These philosophies explain above that successful school leaders are underpinned by the core values and beliefs of the members of the school community, and this feeds directly into the development of APE in SL school vision, which shapes the teaching and learning, student and social capital outcomes of schooling (Ebot Ashu, 2016, 2020b, 2021a, 2021b; Ebot Ashu & Lavngwa, 2022).

4.1. Framework on the Relevance of African Philosophies of Education to School Leadership

The framework below provides opportunities for aspiring indigenous educational leaders in learning institutions and educational systems to enhance their expertise in aspects of leadership, governance, management and administration of schools in Africa through enriched practical, research-based and theoretical perspectives relevant to contexts in which indigenous educational leadership takes place as shown in Table 1.

4.2. Framework on How African Philosophy of Education “Fits” in Today’s School Leadership World

The notion of an African Philosophy of Education (APE) in School leadership (SL) emerged with the advent of the de-colonisation of education and the call for an educational philosophy that would reflect this renewal, in other words, through a focus on Africa and its cultures, identities and values, and the new imperatives for education in a postcolonial era (Abdi, 2011). This paper concludes by proposing a framework to inform future research into the integration of APE with SL. Adopting this framework can be a powerful tool to help the continent’s schools and educational systems create real social change and justice as shown in Table 2.

Table 1. African philosophies of education and their relevance to school leadership.

An Epistemic Theoretical Framework to Guide the delivery of African Philosophy of Education (APE) in School Leadership (SL) practice.

Table 2. African union philosophy of education as it “fits” in today’s school leadership.

The frameworks above clarify the relevance of African Philosophy of Education in School Leadership knowledge production and sharing in the era of de-colonisation (Abdi, 2011). They have identified different strands of African Philosophies of Education as they “fit” in today’s School Leadership world, providing a framework that can contribute to the development and reflection of academic scholars and practitioners in other parts of the world.

5. Conclusion

This paper sought to answer why there is an absence of African Philosophies of Education (APE) influences in School Leadership (SL) in most African countries. A number of APE strands were considered.Each philosophy will be critically evaluated to understand the Epistemic Theoretical Framework to Guide the delivery of African Philosophy of Education (APE) in School Leadership (SL) practice.

This paper emphasises that African Philosophies of Education (APE) in School Leadership (SL) Policy and Practice (APESL) will increasingly become a truly global phenomenon supporting decolonising of School leadership. African philosophers of education must do their utmost to make their discipline “fit” today’s school leadership world. Research, if it is to influence practice, must be incorporated into teaching, especially for pre- and in-service teachers. Given that school leadership training remains in its infancy there is a need for greater attention to advance scholarship that is based on empirical evidence that is grounded in perspectives from different regions and societies in Africa.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


[1] Abdi, A. (2011). African Philosophies of Education: Deconstructing the Colonial and Reconstructing the Indigenous. Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education, 379, 80-91.
[2] African Union (2016a). Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. AU.
[3] African Union (2016b). Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25). AU.
[4] African Union (2018). Pan-African High Level Conference on Education, PACE 2018: Conference Report. AU.
[5] Alshurman, M. (2015). Democratic Education and Administration. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 176, 861-869.
[6] Asante, M. K. (2000). The Egyptian Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaten (1st ed.). African American Images.
[7] Boettcher, J. W. (2014). What Is Reasonableness? Philosophy and Social Criticism, 30, 597-621.
[8] Daugherty, M. (2014). Kemetism_Ancient Religions in Our Modern World. Michigan State University.
[9] Dewey, J. (1991). Education and Experience. Clarendon Press.
[10] Ebot Ashu, F. (2014). Effectiveness of School Leadership and Management Development in Cameroon: A Guide for Educational Systems, Schools and School Leaders. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
[11] Ebot Ashu, F. (2016). Indigenous Philosophies of African Education. Educational Leadership and Management Studies, 35, 68-72.
[12] Ebot Ashu, F. (2020a). Decolonising the Curriculum at Cameroonian Universities: The Case of the Department of Education Foundation and Administration. African Journal of Education and Practice (AJEP), 6, 13-39.
[13] Ebot Ashu, F. (2020b). Historical Foundation of Education in Cameroon. Pres Book Limbe.
[14] Ebot Ashu, F. (2021a). African Philosophies of Education and their Relevance in Developing an International Leadership Curriculum: A Guide for Educational Systems, Schools and School Leaders. In E. A. Samier, E. Elkaleh, & W. Hammad (Eds.), Internationalisation of Educational Administration and Leadership Curriculum (Studies in Educational Administration) (pp. 215-235). Emerald Publishing Ltd.
[15] Ebot Ashu, F. (2021b). Theories and Practices of Educational Leadership, Administration and Planning in Cameroon. Pres Book Limbe.
[16] Ebot Ashu, F., & Lavngwa, M. S. (2022). An Evaluation of Leadership Effectiveness in the implementation of Higher Education Reforms: The Case of the Faculty of Education, University of Buea, Cameroon. International Journal of Education and Social Science, 9, 9-27.
[17] Ekanem, S. A., & Ekefre, E. N. (2014). The Importance of Philosophy in Educational Administration/Management: The Democratic Model. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5, 502-507.
[18] Evans, J. (2012). Connected Communities: Philosophical Communities. Report, Arts and Humanities Research Council.
[19] Graeme, T. (2010). Community Philosophy: A Transformational Youth Work Practice? Sociétés et jeunesses en difficulté.
[20] Graness, A. (2016). Writing the History of Philosophy in Africa: Where to Begin? Journal of African Cultural Studies, 28, 132-146.
[21] Horsthemke, K. (2017). African Philosophy and Education. In A. Afolayan, & T. Falola (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy (pp. 683-701). Palgrave Macmillan.
[22] Hountondji, P. (1996). African Philosophy: Myth and Reality. Oxford University Press.
[23] Karp, I., & Masolo, D. A. (1998). Ethnophilosophy, African. In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor and Francis.
[24] Khalifa, M. A., Khalil, D., Marsh, T. E. J., & Halloran, C. (2018). Toward an Indigenous, Decolonizing School Leadership: A Literature Review. Educational Administration Quarterly, 55, 571-614.
[25] Lavngwa, M. S. (2016). Politicization of Cultural Diversity and Its Impact on Nation Building in Cameroon: A Political Philosophical Analysis. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 9, 157-175.
[26] Lavngwa, M. S. (2019). Plato and the Institution on Education: Critique of Cameroon Education. PhD Thesis, University of Dschang.
[27] Lavngwa, M. S., & Ngalim, V. B. (2015). Laying the Foundation for Holistic Education in Cameroon Schools. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 5, 43-52.
[28] Levy-Bruhl, L. (1995). Primitive Mentality. Free Press.
[29] MacOjong T. T. (2008). Philosophical and Historical Foundations of Education in Cameroon; 1844-1960. Design House.
[30] McLean, G. N., Beigi, M., & Ngunjiri, F. W. (2016). I Am Because We Are: Exploring Women’s Leadership under Ubuntu Worldview. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 18, 223-242.
[31] Moumouni, A. (1968). Education in Africa. Praeger.
[32] Mushi, P. A. K. (2009). History of Education in Tanzania. University Press.
[33] Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (1993). Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedoms. James Currey Publishers.
[34] Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (2014). Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: James Currey.
[35] Njoki, M. A, Kinyua, L. P. Ngesu, L., & Muli, N. L. (2015). The Practice of African Indigenous Education and Its Relevance to Theory and Practice of Modern Education in Africa. International Journal of Innovative Research and Studies, 14, 133-149.
[36] Nsamenang, A. B. (2016). The Developmental Psychology of Human Diversity. Graphics Printers.
[37] Nyamnjoh, F. (2004). A Relevant Education for African Development—Some Epistemological Considerations. Africa Journals, 29, Article ID: 1640184.
[38] Okolo, B. (1993). African Social and Political Philosophy: Selected Essays. Fulladu Publishing Company.
[39] Owuor, J. A. (2007). Integrating African Indigenous Knowledge in Kenya’s Formal Education System: The Potential for Sustainable Development. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 2, 21-37.
[40] Plato (1968). The Republic. Allan Bloom (Tr.), Heinemann.
[41] Plato (1988). The Laws. Jay Saunders (Tr.), Harper.
[42] Rousseau, J. J. (1988). The Social Contract. Viking Penguin.
[43] Semali, L. (1999). Community as a Classroom: Dilemmas of Valuing African Indigenous Literacy in Education. International Review of Education, 45, 305-319.
[44] Tala, I. K. (2012). Kashimism: Representing Voices. Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture, 1, 1-20.
[45] Towa, M. (1998). The Idea of a Negro-African Philosophy. Beacon Press.
[46] Tutu, D. (2004). God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time. Doubleday,
[47] Waghid, Y. (2016a). African Philosophy of Education Reconsidered: On Being Human. CRC Press, Routledge, Taylor Francis Group.
[48] Waghid, Y. (2016b). Knowledge(s), Culture and African Philosophy: An Introduction. Knowledge Cultures, 4, 11-17.
[49] Wilkinson, J., & Purdie, N. (2008). Leadership in Indigenous Education. Scoping Paper Prepared for the ACER Standing Committee on Indigenous Education, Australia Council for Educational Research.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.