CURRICULUM AND THE MIRROR OF KNOWLEDGE
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CURRICULUM AND THE MIRROR OF KNOWLEDGE book
When in the 1980s commentators on American society began expressing their fears for the younger generation and for the nation itself, I was reminded of Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart. Chronicling the life and death of an intrepid man whose ruling passion is to become one of the lords of his fatherland, Achebe portrayed a clan and culture at the brink of destruction. ‘Does the white man understand our custom about land?’ Okonkwo asks upon his return from a seven-year exile in his motherland. A kinsman replies:
How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.