Document Type



Institute for Human Development


Institutionalization of an African child development field is a necessary aspect of strategies for strengthening the continent’s contributions to a global knowledge base. A disciplinary structure advances inquiry as it facilitates professionalization and provides space to formulate the canons and conventions that will guide knowledge production and the preparation and socialization of future researchers. Using the term disciplinary development to denote the process of bringing such a field about, this article outlines a pathway to disciplinary development, emphasizing important lessons that must be learned from (a) internal challenges to knowledge production in African universities, (b) Euro-American psychology’s disciplinary development history, and (c) the movement to institutionalize psychology in non-Western countries. The issues addressed have relevance to other non-Western societies.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Child Development Perspectives