The Role of Missionaries in the Development of the Zambian religous education Curriculum

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Chita, Joseph
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This study investigated the role of missionaries in the curriculum development of Religious Education (RE) in Zambia. The main interest of the study was to explore the missionaries' [incredible] investment in terms of personnel and material resources in the development of the RE curriculum. The objectives of the study included retracing the role played by the missionaries in developing RE curriculum and exploring the factors which influenced the Zambian RE curriculum development process. In order to trace missionaries' involvement in RE curriculum development, a historical case study approach was found useful, as the study was qualitative. This method was complemented by document analysis with intent to ascertain factors that influenced RE curriculum development. However, plans to use in - depth interviews with missionaries and other educationists who I thought were knowledgeable on the topic proved* a challenge. Therefore, the available respondents were subjected to lengthy interviews (narrative). Data was analysed by categorising and extracting emerging themes from the raw data. It was supplemented by content analysis. The study established that missionaries assumed strategic and influential positions in the management and administration of education in the country thus making them advance their interests during the curriculum development of the subject. In addition, missionaries' financial capacity to further their missionary work in the territory was significant in shaping the educational enterprise as a whole and the nature of RE in particular. An understanding of the theological background to missionary endeavour in education is a factor in interpreting missionaries' 'biased' contribution to curriculum innovations that only affected RE. It is for this reason that current educationists and interested stakeholders should learn from early missionary contribution in the development of RE as a curriculum subject in order to develop an appropriate RE curriculum for Zambia today.
Missions--Educational work--Zambia , Church and education--Zambia , Education--Curricula(missionaries)--Zambia