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Thread: Specialized education in the third world.

  1. #1 Specialized education in the third world. 
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Something I've observed about villages and tribal groups is that they like to specialize. I knew a person who had done his Mormon mission as an educator in village in Peru. His job was to teach them how to use efficient farming techniques. He said it really didn't work out very well. The villagers listened to him, and then immediately went out and did their agriculture exactly how they always had done it, very inefficiently.

    I don't know why this happened, whether because the teachers were showing poor cultural sensitivity, or because the tribe's social structure required them to work in an inefficient manner.

    However, one possibility might be that the approach was all wrong. Instead of teaching everyone in the tribe how to farm, it might make more sense to just teach one guy. He becomes the "agriculture specialist" in his village. Now that he has a skill that makes him feel important, he'll want get the others to put it into practice, and he'll overcome the cultural barriers (since he is a native born member of the culture.)

    For other things, maybe that approach would work with some modification. Teach one guy machining. Teach another modern medicine practices (a full medical training might be a bit unrealistic.) Teach another one how to purify water. ...etc

    I don't know. My experience in a small town environment is that everyone wants to have something that makes them special. I'm guessing that maybe this might carry over to a tribe. And maybe there could be guilds for each profession, where one specialist from each village is a delegate to the guild to compare notes with other specialists. They could have guild competitions for the honor of their tribe. That would make the specialist feel even more important, because they have the opportunity to win fame for their tribe. Or maybe I'm getting carried away.

    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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