The concept of intelligence among the Lozi people of Zambia's Western Province: In relation to measures of intelligence in the grade seven composite examination

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Simatende, Barnabas
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The intelligence of an African child has, with the emergence of Western civilization, been measured through Western lenses as civilization was equated to urban life-style, education to schooling and intelligence to aptitude for school subjects. On the contrary, recent research suggests that intelligence as conceived among the indigenous communities of Sub-Sahara Africa is unrelated to the activities of schooling and what school measures as intelligence.This historical influence of the Western world on the Third world regarding the concept of intelligence and its measure continues to influence our school systems in Zambia in the measure of the intelligence of a child. This research sought to explore the Lozi concept of intelligence and whether what school tests measure as intelligence is what the Lozi conceive as intelligence of a child. This research aimed at providing another insight into the concept of intelligence and how it is measured by the Lozi people of Zambia. This would help to review the appropriateness of current school measures of child intelligence.The general objective of this research was to explore the concept of intelligence among the Lozi people of Zambia and to review its measurement. On the other hand, the specific objectives were to explore the Lozi peoples’ concept of intelligence, and to review the use of the Special Paper One&Two in the Grade VII examination as a criterion of selection for admission to secondary schooling. In order to realize the objectives set for the research, a hermeneutical phenomenology type of qualitative research method was used which sought to interpret the lived experiences (phenomenology) of participants. Using this method, samples of Lozi people (Indunas, women and youth), were interviewed on their concept of intelligence and school teachers and purposefully selected staff at Examinations Council of Zambia on what is measured through school tests of intelligence.Results of the research highlight that the Lozi informants consulted conceived that intelligence falls into two categories: nganatanu (innate intelligence) and nganatakuwanina (acquired intelligence). Furthermore, the Lozi concepts of intelligence are broader, deeper and more oriented towards social responsibility than what is measured by school tests. Based on these findings, the researcher proposes a re-look at the measuring tools of child intelligence to include local characteristics and measures of child intelligence relevant to the given context.
Intelligence , Intelligence perception