Honeyman Receives CIES Award

posted Apr 5, 2015, 11:58 PM by Catherine A. Honeyman
Ishya Consulting's Director, Catherine Honeyman, received an International Travel Award "for Distinguished Service in Educational Reform" to attend the 2015 Comparative and International Education Society Conference in Washington, DC. There, Honeyman presented a paper co-authored with Florien Rutiyomba of the Rwanda Education Board CPMD unit. The paper, titled "Why teach ubuntu? They should learn to make money, not give it away": Incorporating Social Responsibility into Rwanda's Entrepreneurship Curriculum was linked to the theme of the conference, "Ubuntu! Imagining a Humanist Education Globally".

Paper Abstract:

In late 2007, Rwanda instituted a policy of teaching entrepreneurship in secondary schools, in what eventually became a required six-year course for all students. In the initial curriculum development process, social responsibility—particularly the aspects of investing in the well-being of others and the environment—was only present in minimal form. However, in two subsequent rounds of curriculum development and revision, social responsibility became a more prominent feature. Part of this transformation hinged around a discussion of the concept of “ubuntu”, which means “kindness” or “generosity” in Kinyarwanda. This article employs a model of policy-making as negotiated social learning (Honeyman, 2012, forthcoming) to understand the processes by which an orientation of social responsibility was at first overlooked, then resisted, and eventually incorporated into the Rwandan entrepreneurship curriculum. Drawing on ethnographic data from three years of participant observation in this entrepreneurship curriculum development process, this article explores the paradox of how educational policy-making is both constrained by existing social structures, and yet can also become a vanguard of social change. A concluding section discusses how the theoretical model introduced here can help inform efforts to shape educational policy-making in a more humanist and ethically-conscious direction.