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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tsika, Hunhu and the Moral Education of Primary School Children
Author:Pearce, Carole
Periodical:Zambezia (ISSN 0379-0622)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Tonga (Zambia, Zimbabwe)
community education
primary education
traditional education
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
Traditional culture
Shona (African people)
External link:https://journals.co.za/doi/abs/10.10520/AJA03790622_186
Abstract:The Shona term 'tsika' refers to knowing or possessing and being able to use the rules, customs and traditions of society. 'Tsika' is what a child is expected to learn both at home and school. The term covers more than what contemporary Westerners would call 'good manners' and less than what the Kantian would call strictly moral behaviour. This article examines the concept 'tsika' from an analytical and empirical point of view. First, it elucidates the meaning of the term and its philosophical relationship to the concept 'hunhu' (personhood) and explores its relevance to a Kantian understanding of morality. Then it describes ways in which 'tsika' is conceptualized by teachers and parents and the importance attributed to the teaching of 'tsika'. The case of the education of Tonga children is then outlined and this leads to the conclusion that in many instances learning 'tsika' may be an alienating experience for children. Finally, it is suggested that the formal qualities of 'tsika' may run counter to the aim of fostering moral autonomy in children. The concept of 'tsika' is best understood within the framework of a utilitarian system. The study was carried out among teachers and parents of primary school children in different Shona-speaking areas in Zimbabwe, including two primary schools in the Tonga-speaking area of northern Matabeleland staffed by Shona-speaking teachers. Bibliogr., gloss.