Listening to Black African Psychologists’ Experiences of Social and Academic Inclusion: Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the Curriculum

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Ethel Chitindingu
Nhlanhla Mkhize

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to explore Black African registered and intern psychologists’ experiences of academic and social inclusion during their professional training. In particular, the study examined how and if indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) were part of the curriculum. The participants’ experiences of social and cultural inclusion during professional training were also explored. Fourteen registered and intern psychologists participated in the study: 10 females and four males. Purposive and snowball sampling were used. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and were analysed using thematic analysis. The majority of the participants expressed a deep sense of academic and social exclusion during their training. They indicated that there was little coverage of indigenous knowledge systems in their training, with limited or no exposure to psychological perspectives that derive from Africentric or African-centred theoretical, epistemological or axiological frameworks. They detailed the challenges they experienced due to the complex group/racial dynamics between the black and white students, where the majority of the training staff are white. Another challenge was the use of English as the language of instruction, both in terms of their understanding of psychological concepts and their ability to translate these concepts into practice. This resulted in young psychologists experiencing difficulties with their professional identity during and after training. The paper discusses these findings and makes recommendations for the meaningful incorporation of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), into professional training.

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How to Cite
Chitindingu, E., & Mkhize, N. (2016). Listening to Black African Psychologists’ Experiences of Social and Academic Inclusion: Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge Systems into the Curriculum. Alternation Journal, (18), 72-98. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/soa/article/view/1355
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Articles
Author Biographies

Ethel Chitindingu, University of KwaZulu-Natal

echitindingu@gmail.com

Nhlanhla Mkhize, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Mkhize@ukzn.ac.za