Rural Cultural Wealth in African Education

A Nigerian Example

  • Crystal R. Chambers East Carolina University, United States
  • Victor Chimaihe Ihuka East Carolina University, United States
  • Loni Crumb East Carolina University, United States
Keywords: Rural cultural wealth, rural resourcefulness, rural ingenuity, familism, community unity, Nigeria


Globally, rural educational systems and communities are facing varied issues that impact the holistic well-being of residents ranging from the need to increase access to health and educational resources to addressing food and housing insecurities. In this manuscript, we expound upon the rural cultural wealth conceptual framework to demonstrate the application of this conceptual framework globally. Using the Nigerian context, we illustrate how the resourcefulness, ingenuity, familism, and unity found within rural communities can be harnessed to improve rural education.


Adeoluwa, B. M., & Adedayo, A. M. (2023). Mass media, press freedom and democratic consolidation in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic (1999-2019). British Journal of Multidisciplinary and Advanced Studies, 4(2), 77-91.
Agger, C., Meece, J., & Byun, S. Y. (2018). The influences of family and place on rural adolescents’ educational aspirations and post-secondary enrolment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(12), 2554-2568.
Ajayi, O., Soyinka-Airewele, P., & Edewor, P. A. (2019). Understanding the social dynamics of settlement pattern in Makoko area of Lagos State, Nigeria. In Proceedings, INTCESS 2019-6th International Conference on Education and Social Sciences. Retrieved from
Ajilore, O., & Willingham, Z. (2019), Redefining rural America. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from
Akanbi, G. O., & Jekayinfa, A. A. (2019). Education and emancipation, educational policies and «de-emancipation»: A history of the Nigerian education system from 1914 to 2014. Espacio, Tiempo y Educación, 6(2), 177-196.
Akgun, S., & Ciarrochi, J. (2003). Learned resourcefulness moderates the relationship between academic stress and academic performance. Educational Psychology, 23(3), 287-294.
Akinola, S. R. (2007). Coping with infrastructural deprivation through collective action among rural people in Nigeria. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 16(1), 30-46.
Alabi, O. T., & Oni, I. O. (2017). Teenage pregnancy in Nigeria: Causes, effect and control. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(2), 17-32.
Alcott, B., Banerji, M., Bhattacharjea, S., Nanda, M., & Ramanujan, P. (2020). One step forward, two steps back: Transitions between home, pre-primary and primary education in rural India. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 50(4), 482-499.
Andersen, R., & Newman, J. F. (2005). Societal and individual determinants of medical care utilization in the United States. Milbank Quarterly, 83(4), 1-28.
Anlimachie, M. A., & Avoada, C. (2020). Socio-economic impact of closing the rural-urban gap in pre-tertiary education in Ghana: context and strategies. International Journal of Educational Development, 77,
Annan, J. K. (2020). Preparing globally competent teachers: a paradigm shift for teacher education in Ghana. Education Research International, 2020, 1-9.
Aslam, M., Malik, R., Rawal, S., Rose, P., & Vignoles, A. (2019). Do government schools improve learning for poor students? Evidence from rural Pakistan. Oxford Review of Education, 45(6), 802-824.
Asika, E. I., & Nwangwu, E. (2021). Insecurity and Poor Governance in Nigeria: The Dilemma of the Poet in the Quest for National Unity and Development. Ansu Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 1(5), 203-215.
Augustine, O. E., & Blessing, O. O. (2020). Farmers-herdsmen conflict in Africa: The case of Nigeria. Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Международные отношения, 20(4), 698-706.
Atanda, O., & Olaifa, S. A. (2022). Comparative study of quality assurance practices in unity schools and private secondary schools in Kwara and Oyo States, Nigeria. Daengku: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Innovation, 2(1), 19-27.
Avent Harris, J., Dietz, S., & Crumb, L. (2019). Relational cultural theory: A guiding framework for study abroad experiences. Teaching and Supervision in Counseling, 1(2), 113-126. Retrieved from
Azano, A. P., & Biddle, C. (2019). Disrupting dichotomous traps and rethinking problem formation for rural education. The Rural Educator, 40(2), 4-11.
Azano, A. P., Brenner, D., Downey, J., Eppley, K., & Schulte, A. K. (2021), Teaching in rural places: Thriving in classrooms, schools, and communities. Routledge.
Belay, D. G. (2020). COVID-19, Distance learning and educational Inequality in rural Ethiopia. Pedagogical Research, 5(4), em0082.
Biddle, C., Sutherland, D. H., & McHenry-Sorber, E. (2019). On resisting ‘awayness’ and being a good insider: early career scholars revisit Coladarci’s swan song a decade later. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 35(7), 1-16.
Bosoanca, B. (2021). The causes of school drop-out among scholars in rural areas. Review of Socio-Economic Perspectives, 6(202182), 59-65.
Brenner, D., Presley, B., Conradi, J., Rodolfich, W., & Hansford, T. (2021). Get connected now: a conversation with school leaders and policy makers about expanding rural broadband access. The Rural Educator, 41(3), 57-62.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. In International Encyclopedia of Education, Vol. 3, 2nd. Ed. Oxford: Elsevier. Reprinted in M. Gauvain & M. Cole (Eds.). Readings on the development of children (pp. 37-43). Freeman.
Brown, A. S., & Akpan, U. (2020). Familism and crime in Nigeria: Exploring family conduct and implication on expanding new spaces of crime in Akwa Ibom State. African Journal of Criminology & Justice Studies, 13(1), 57-72.
Campos, B., Ullman, J. B., Aguilera, A., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2014). Familism and psychological health: the intervening role of closeness and social support. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(2,), 191-201.
Dorward, D. (1987). The impact of colonialism on a Nigerian hill-farming society: A case study of innovation among the Eggon. The International Journal of African Historical Studies, 20(2), 201-224.
Egbefo, D. O. (2012). Corruption in the Nigerian educational system: It’s implication in manpower and national development in the age of globalization. Journal of Arts and Education, 6(2), 149-266.
Fafunwa, A. B. (2018). History of education in Nigeria. Routledge.
Flora, C. B., Flora, J. L., & Gasteyer, S. P. (2018). Rural communities: Legacy and change. Routledge.
Godwyll, F. E., Ojkiambo, P. C., & Beddu-Addo, P. K. (2014). Perspectives on empowering education. Nova Science.
Gutiérrez, K. D., Cortes, K., Cortez, A., DiGiacomo, D., Higgs, J., Johnson, P., Ramon Lizarraga, J., Mendoza, E., Tien, J. and Vakil, S. (2017). Replacing representation with imagination: Finding ingenuity in everyday practices. Review of Research in Education, 41(1), 30-60.
Henry, E. O., & Lloyd, M. D. (2019). Reinventing the ‘Nwaboi' apprenticeship system: A platform for entrepreneurship promotion in Nigeria. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 8(9), 98-130.
Hewitt, K. K. and Reitzug, U. (2015). Portrait of a turnaround leader in a high needs district. Education Leadership Review, 16(2), 19-35.
Hott, B. L., Jones, B. A., Randolph, K.M., Kuntz, E., McKenna, J. W., & Brigham, F. J. (2021). Lessons learned from a descriptive review of rural individualized education programs. The Journal of Special Education, 5(3), 163-173,
Howley, A., Howley, M., Hendrickson, K., Belcher, J., & Howley, C. (2012). Stretching to survive: District autonomy in an age of dwindling resources. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 27(3), 1-18.
Imam, H. (2012). Educational policy in Nigeria from the colonial era to the post-independence period. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 4(1), 181-204.
Johnson, J., Thompson, A., & Naugle, K. (2009). Place-conscious capacity-building: A systemic model for the revitalization and renewal of rural schools and communities through university-based regional stewardship. Rural Society, 19(3), 178-88.
Kebede, M., Maselli, A., Taylor, K., & Frankenberg, E. (2021). Ethnoracial diversity and segregation in US rural school districts. Rural Sociology, 86(3), 494-522.
Kilpatrick, S., Katersky Barnes, R., Heath, J., Lovat, A., Kong, W. C., Flittner, N., & Avitaia, S. (2019). Disruptions and bridges in rural Australia: Higher education aspiration to expectation of participation. Higher Education Research & Development, 38(3), 550-564.
Klein, D. L. (2020). Allow peace to reign: Musical genres of Fújì and Islamic Allegorise Nigerian unity in the era of Boko Haram. Yearbook for Traditional Music, 52, 1-22.
Korieh, C. J. (2010). The land has changed: History, society, and gender in colonial eastern Nigeria. University of Calgary Press.
Landa, N., Zhou, S., & Marongwe, N. (2021). Education in emergencies: Lessons from COVID-19 in South Africa. International Review of Education, 67(1-2), 167-183.
MacKinnon, D., & Derickson, K. D. (2012). From resilience to resourcefulness: A critique of resilience policy and activism. Progress in Human Geography, 37(2), 253-270.
McCulloh, E. (2020). An exploration of parental support in the retention of rural first- generation
college students. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 24(1), 1-25.
McShane, M. Q., & Smarick, A. (Eds.), No longer forgotten: The triumphs and struggles of rural education in America. Rowman & Littlefield.
Miller, P. M., Scanlan, M. K., & Phillippo, K. (2017). Rural cross-sector collaboration: a social frontier analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 54 (1_suppl), 193S-215S.
Mkpa, M. A. (2022). Gender, education and cultural values. International Journal of Arts, Humanities and social studies, 4(3), 164-170.
Mudra, H. (2018). Pre-service EFL teachers' experiences in teaching practicum in rural schools in Indonesia. The Qualitative Report, 23(2), 319-344.
Myende, P. E., & Hlalele, D. (2018). Framing sustainable rural learning ecologies: A case for strength-based approaches. Africa Education Review, 15(3), 21-37. https://doi.10.1080/18146627.2016.1224598
Ndem, M. A., Angioha, P. U., & Dike, E. (2020). Improving the socio-economic wellbeing of rural people: analysis of the impact of the community and social development project (CSDP) tn Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Applied Sciences, 8(02), 88-94.
Noack, A., & Federwisch, T. (2020). Social innovation in rural regions: older adults and creative community development. Rural Sociology, 85(4), 1021-1044.
Ntoimo, L. F. C., Okonofua, F. E., Igboin, B., Ekwo, C., Imongan, W., & Yaya, S. (2019). Why rural women do not use primary health centres for pregnancy care: Evidence from a qualitative study in Nigeria. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19, 1-13.
Oloko, B. A. (1993). Children's street work in urban Nigeria as adaptation and maladaptation to changing socioeconomic circumstances. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 16(3), 465-482.
Oloko, B. A. (2014). Children's street work in urban Nigeria: Dilemma of modernizing tradition. In Cross-cultural roots of minority child development (pp. 198-224). Psychology Press.
Osei, M. G. (2016). The educational change process in Ghana and Nigeria: An evaluation of the Junior Secondary School innovation. Research and Reviews: Journal of Educational Studies, 2(1), 32-43.
Otonko, J. (2012). University education in Nigeria: History, successes, failures and the way forward. International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education, 1(2), 44-48.
Padilla Rodriguez, B. C., Armellini, A., & Traxler, J. (2021). The forgotten ones: How rural teachers in Mexico are facing the Covid-19 pandemic. Online Learning, 25(1), 253-268.
Panos, A., & Seelig, J. (2019). Discourses of the rural rust belt: schooling, poverty, and rurality. Theory and Practice in Rural Education, 9(1), 23-43.
Pini, B. & Bhopal, K. (2017). Racialising rural education. Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(2), 192-196.
Pius, G. (2022, Sept. 13). The problems with Nigerian education system. Gopius. Retrieved from
Psacharopoulos, G. (2015). Nigeria education resource packet [PDF]. Copenhagen Consensus. Retrieved from
Rapaport, C., Hornik-Lurie, T., Cohen, O., Lahad, M., Leykin, D., & Aharonson-Daniel, L. (2018). The relationship between community type and community resilience. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31, 470-477.
Reardon, M., & Leonard, J. (2018). Making a positive impact in rural places: Change agency in the context of school-university-community collaboration in education. Information Age Publishing.
RedCorn, A., Johnson, J., Bergeron, L., & Hayman, J. (2022). Critical indigenous perspectives in rural education (pp. 235-246). In The Bloomsbury Handbook of Rural Education in the USA. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Rozelle, S., & Hell, N. (2020). Invisible China. In Invisible China. University of Chicago Press.
Rural (nd) Oxford languages dictionary. Retrieved from
Sakamoto, A., Amaral, E. F. L., Wang, S. X., & Nelson, C. (2021). The socioeconomic attainments of second-generation Nigerian and other Black Americans: Evidence from the Current Population Survey, 2009 to 2019. Socius, 7.
Sasu, D. D. (2022, Sept. 13). Education in Nigeria – Statistics and facts.
Seelig, J. L. (2021). Place anonymization as rural erasure? A methodological inquiry for rural qualitative scholars. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 34(9), 857-870.
Schafft, K. A. (2016). Rural education as rural development: understanding the rural school–community well-being linkage in a 21st-century policy context. Peabody Journal of Education, 91(2), 137-154.
Shuls, J. V. (2018). School finance in rural America (pp. 99-116). In No Longer Forgotten: The Triumphs and Struggles of Rural Education in America. Rowman and Littlefield.
Sher, J. P. (2019). Rural education in urbanized nations: Issues and innovations. Routledge.
Sherman, J. (2006). Coping with rural poverty: Economic survival and moral capital in rural America. Social Forces, 85(2), 891-913.
Sherman, J. (2018). “Not allowed to inherit my kingdom”: Amenity development and social inequality in the rural west. Rural Sociology, 83(1), 174-207.
Sweeney, K. (2013). Inclusive excellence and underrepresentation of students of color in study abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 23, 1-21.
Themane, M., & Thobejane, H. R. (2019). Teachers as change agents in making teaching inclusive in some selected rural schools of Limpopo Province, South Africa: Implications for teacher education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 23(4), 369-383.
Macrotrends (n.d.). Nigeria fertility rate 1950-2023. Macrotrends. Retrieved from,a%201.31%25%20decline%20from%202020
Ufuophu-Biri, E. (2020). Television and family unity in South–South Nigeria. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 11(2), 125-134.
Ukwueze, N. C. J. (2021). The Igbo Apprenticeship model: A panacea for start-up failures in Nigeria. IDOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 6(1), 17-23.
Ulug, C., & Horlings, L. G. (2019). Connecting resourcefulness and social innovation: Exploring conditions and processes in community gardens in The Netherlands. Local Environment, 24(3,) pp. 147-166.
UNICEF (n.d.). Education [Education]. UNICEF.
UNICEF (2022). Situation of women and children in Nigeria. UNICEF. Retrieved from's%2040%20million%20women%20of,global%20deaths%20for%20pregnant%20mothers.
UNICEF. (2023). UNICEF Nigeria highlights 2018-2022: Key results for children [PDF]. Retrieved from
Williams, S. M., & Grooms, A. A. (Eds.) (2015). Educational opportunity in rural contexts: The politics of place. Information Age Publishing.
Xuelong, H., & Yongjiu, K. (2019). The actively present and dutiful individual: An empirical study of the familial cultural capital of rural students. Chinese Education & Society, 52(5-6), 347-362.
Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.
Rural Cultural Wealth