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This book is an ethnographic study of 10―12 year-old learners in Grade 5―6 learning sociocultural values.
It investigates children's perspective on values, beliefs, goals and motives and how these inform their moral values.
It is assumed that this leads to their moral and cognitive development.
The focus is on a school as an embedded activity system.
Activities in a school are embedded because they share a common object and envision a common outcome such as specific sociocultural values.
Children learn these values through what they do: mental and practical derived from their home ethos, school ethos and broader community ethos.
However, in the learning process, there is no such thing as a vacuum since children will invariably ‘sponge’ other values.
Hence the imperative of instructing them into value systems.
Cultural-historical activity theory provides a framework that maintains that children’s behavior need to be shaped.
It is only necessary that they are properly inducted into moral living by the culturally masterful mentors.
Patrick Odwora Jaki is a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Education where he teaches psychology of education
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