Accepted Paper:

Learning experiences in a Fulbe Guinean society  
Ester Botta Sompare (Université Kofi Annan de Guinée)

Paper short abstract:

Based on research on the learning experiences of three generations of Guinean Fulbe, this paper presents elements about transmission of knowledge in family, religious and pastoral education and primary school and explores local perceptions of learning processes and leaner’s mind.

Paper long abstract:

During a research on education in a pastoral Fulbe society of Guinea, I collected information on learning and teaching in situations such as domestic life, Koranic schools, primary schools and young shepherds' professional socialization. Conversations with the elderly about their learning experiences and field observations, describe long-lasting processes of acquisition of knowledge through the guidance and example of an adult, sharing with the learner daily activities, like domestic work for girls, or cattle-breeding for boys. Besides, interlocutors recall learning situations of extreme emotional intensity,suggesting that an important role is given to feelings and senses in the process of learning, often conceived and remembered as a total experience involving sensations, emotions and intellectual processes. I also collected information on factors motivating young people to learn and on the relationship between teacher and learner, dominated by the quest of teacher's blessings (Baraka). Finally, I will present some adults' representations on children's minds, like the conviction of their extreme permeability, or the idea that external influences of relatives and namesakes may be absorbed and coexist within the child, influencing his personality, inclinations, aptitudes for learning in specific fields. Theoretical references are the works on the notion of person in Africa (Bastide, Dieterlein, 1971), anthropological theories of mind (Luhrmann 2011)and sociology of school experience (Dubet, Martucelli 1996)

Panel P119
Pedagogy: ethnographic and cognitive engagements