Bridging Culture, Research, and Practice in Early Childhood Development: The Madrasa Resource Centers in East Africa

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early childhood development, early childhood education, Madrasa preschools, applied developmental research, university–community partnerships, East Africa

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The Madrasa Resource Centers in East Africa have adapted features of Euro-American theory and practice into a service delivery system responding to local cultural and socioeconomic realities. After 25 years of implementation in predominantly Muslim communities with high poverty and low literacy rates, the program could serve as a model for other parts of the continent with similar population profiles. This article examines some of the program’s key features and discusses the prospects that the program’s integration of research into service delivery holds for developmental research in the region. It proposes that university partnerships with such programs could yield productive inquiry with benefits to local universities, community-based programs, and developmental science.

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Child Development Perspectives, v. 5, issue 2, 134-139