Poro-sande Graduates' Attitudes Towards Poro-sande Education's Usurpation in Liberia: A Grounded Study

Poro-sande Graduates' Attitudes Towards Poro-sande Education's Usurpation in Liberia: A Grounded Study

Author: 
Gbayanminin Dolo Diaminah
Program of study: 
Ed.D.
Abstract: 
This qualitative grounded study, conducted within a constructionist perspective, explained how Liberians forfeited opportunities for integrating the best elements of Liberia’s multicultural values into a robust public education curriculum. One-on-one, face-to-face, and telephone interviews served as the primary methods of data collection. Recorded and subsequently transcribed data were coded using Nvivo 9, a type of qualitative data analysis software. Although analysis of the participants’ responses revealed Americo-Liberians usurped the indigenous Poro-Sande education system with a Eurocentric type education, the quality of life improvements the usurpation brought outweighed the corresponding disadvantages. The indigenous Liberians who completed the curricular requirements of the Eurocentric and Poro-Sande education systems experienced a higher quality of life than those who completed only the Poro-Sande curriculum. The following concepts emerged from the data analysis: institutional mutism, paradigmatic complacency, provincialism, hierarchy of respect, tribalism (ethnic tension), lack of core language, pervasive illiteracy, theory-practice integration, universal applicability, technology-based instructions, cultural imperialism, identity confusion, class conflicts, misguidance, mistreatment, and myths. The study culminated in the discovery of the dominant paradigm theory. The theory stated that when two social paradigms for dominance exist in a society, the paradigm that facilitates a higher quality of life becomes the social dominant paradigm.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to the Zoes (indigenously trained doctors of various specialties and diviners) of the Poro-Sande education system of the Republics of Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. This dissertation is also dedicated to the people of Zowienta, Bong County, my hometown, spiritual parents, the late Thomas Davis and his widow, Catherine Davis of Dothan, Alabama, and to the fondest memories of my grandfather, Gbayanminin Diaminah, Sr., grandmother, Wahlee-loohn, mother, Zenneh Gallhn-loehn, and foster-mother, Teresa Dillon Reeves.
Acknowledgements: 
Along the meandering pathways of my life-long quest for educational empowerment several people helped to make possible a safe and successful completion of my journey. Thanks to the United States Army for providing tuition assistance for the two associate degrees I earned while on active duty. Even more, I am grateful to the United States Army for awarding me the G.I. Bill for honorably serving 6 1/2 years in that branch of military. The G.I. Bill proved vital to my educational attainment. I would be remiss not to thank special and faithful friends in my life. I thank Narda F. McClendon for facilitating my emigration from Liberia to the United States of America (USA), and the late Doreen Turner for mentoring me during the critical years of my cultural adjustment to the USA. I thank the Davis family (two of the individuals to whom this dissertation was dedicated) who welcomed me into their home for a year as I grappled with unemployment and divorce litigations. Their spiritual and financial support helped me to weather the storms of the unemployment and divorce litigations. I also thank my buddy, Stan Coleman of Montgomery, and his father the late Rayfield Coleman of Elba, Alabama for their faithful friendship and financial support during my lean years of 1994 and 1996. I thank my significant other, LouElla Foxx, and her family for accepting me into the Foxx clan for the past 14 years. I am grateful for her emotional and financial support during my studies at Auburn University in Alabama, Emory University in Georgia, and the University of Phoenix in Arizona. I am most grateful for the editing and critiquing services she freely rendered to me during my master and doctoral studies. I am indebted to the late Mr. Benjamin Hay-lay-ta-keh, the retired teacher whom my grandfather hired to teach me the ABCs and 123s. He opened my eyes to the magic and power of literacy. He motivated me to seek higher education when he asserted, “These little black marks [the alphabets and numerals] hold the secrets to power…If you can make them talk, and they will reveal the secrets of the White man’s power.” I thank my fifth grade math teacher who taught me to learn from my failure: “Red X’s on your graded test papers signify your weak areas in a given subject; attend to turn such weaknesses into strengths.” I thank Dr. Deborah D. Pettway of Troy State University at Dothan for her timely assistance and wise advisement in the winter of 1994 when I was on the verge of quitting my educational pursuit. She gave me hope that rekindled my desire and endurance. That rekindled desire and endurance took me from the low valley of hopelessness and despair and brought me to the mountaintop of my educational journey. I thank my mentor Dr. Kirk Quitstorff (“Doc Q”), committee members Dr. William E. Allen, associate professor of history at Kennesaw State University, and Dr. Michael Rawdan, a University of Phoenix faculty, for their insightful feedback, comments, and ever-present support that made this dissertation a success. To “Doc Q,” I extend my sincere gratitude for his superb mentoring skills and knowledge. He was patient, punctual, and thorough in his feedback. He read unfailingly, the many drafts of my dissertation proposal. Punctually he returned those drafts to me with analytical, nonprescriptive feedback. He encouraged me when I became discouraged; he was a mentor and a friend. I am indebted to “Doc Q” for the substantial contributions he made to the development of my scholarly acuity. Dr. Allen deserves a special level of gratitude. The wise guidance and rigorous critiques he offered me from his nuanced knowledge of African history—particularly Liberian history, helped me to consistently maintain the accuracy of historical facts I cited in my dissertation. By professionally applying his analytical skills and editorial experiences to my dissertation, Dr. Allen contributed significantly to the development of my analytical skills. He warned me not to “justify” the positions of writers I read, but to “deconstruct” those positions and identify the strengths and weaknesses of their claims, positions, or arguments. Hearty thanks go to Dr. Terry Howard and Dr. Monique Bassett for becoming my angels in my time of trouble. Dr. Howard, a faculty member of the University of Phoenix filled a vacancy on my dissertation committee and provided me a priceless assessment of my manuscript when Dr. Rawdan unexpectedly resigned from the committee. Likewise, Dr. Bassett, an alumnus of the University of Phoenix and my long-term friend, provided me impeccable APA editorial service, gratis, at a time when I was financially unable to pay her the fees she rightfully deserved. To Dr. Safary Wa-Mbaleka, my 11th hour dissertation chair, who courageously became my dissertation committee chair, when I desparately needed a replacement for former chair, who left because of personal reasons. Though the restructuring of my dissertation at that late stage of my dissertation process, I am very grateful that Dr. WaMbaleka joined my team. His expertise in grounded study and experience, as a prolific scholar and writer, benefitted me immeasurably. To God be the glory—for turning my stumbling blocks to stepping stones to success.