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Development and Education in the Vernacular for Infants and Children (DEVI): Learning Cultures in a Rural Villages in West Africa

Funding: The British Academy

Start date: 2020


Research team:  Prof. Karen Wells (Birkbeck, University of London), Dr. Peace Mamle Yoko Tetteh (University of Ghana), Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber


This project aims to strengthen early years community-based education in West Africa.

Development and Education in the Vernacular for Infants and Children (DEVI), the Ewe word for child, is a research project in West Africa that aims to identify the local epistemologies and pedagogies that families in poor communities deploy to support their children’s education in the early years. It seeks to ensure that early childhood development and education interventions made possible by policy and funding initiatives responding to Sustainable Development Goal 4.2 can supplement and strengthen rather than displace this support. The project aims to identify local theories about how children’s cognitive development is accomplished and embedded in daily practice and interaction, and how this is inflected by a range of social inequalities and shaped by political economy. The research team is looking to design a model to engage communities in strategies for strengthening early years community-based education that scaffolds children’s vernacular education between home and school.

Link to The British Academy

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