A Postcolonial Perspective of Secondary Physical Education Teachers' Value Orientations in Sub-Sahara Africa: The Case of Ghana

Article excerpt

Teachers' educational value orientations influence their educational decisions (Eisner, 1992; Ennis, 1994; Pajares, 1992). Ennis and her colleagues have done extensive work on teachers' value orientations in the United States. Their original work used the Value Orientation Inventory (VOI; Ennis & Hooper, 1988) consisting of: disciplinary mastery, (DM), learning process (LP), ecological integration (EI), self-actualization (SA), and social reconstruction (SRC) subscales. The "social reconstruction" value orientation was later changed to "social responsibility" (SR) on the revised versions, VOI-2 (Ennis & Chen, 1993) and VOI-Short Form (Chen, Ennis, & Loftus, 1997). To date, the VOI has predominantly been used in countries that are former colonizing nations and/or predominantly Eurocentric. Little is known about the value orientations of teachers in formerly colonized countries such as Ghana in sub-Sahara Africa. The purpose of this study was to use postcolonial theory (Young, 2001) to examine the value orientations of 57 (42 men and 15 women) secondary physical education teachers (SPET) from Ghana, a former British colony. To address the limitations of the forced-choice format of the VOI, this study used a qualitative approach. Document analysis, open-ended questionnaire, and formal semistructured interviews (Schensul, Schensul & LeCompte, 1999) served as primary sources of data. All 57 SPETs completed the questionnaire while 23 participants (18 men and 5 women) were interviewed twice each. …