"In my perfect life, I wish my parents would stop keeping me cooped up like a bird in a cage - they think I am still a baby "
Vivian N. A. Acquay of the University of Education, Winneba (Ghana) has received her doctorate at EUF, marking the university's first time ever to award the doctoral title to a Ghanaian candidate. Dr. Acquay successfully defended her dissertation, "Toward the Construction of Ghanaian Childhood(s): An Exploration of Ghanaian Children’s Perception of Ideal Childhood," on June 13, 2022. In her doctoral thesis, which uses a qualitative reconstructive approach to address the conception that Ghanaian adolescents have of an ideal childhood, Ms. Acquaye collected and analyzed essays written by children aged 10-13 from Ghana's Winneba community in Ghana about their fantasies of an ideal childhood.
"The data show that children have their own understanding of the world. Their view of childhood, based on their own experiences, show their amazing agency in terms of their own negotiation processes and navigating a world pre-structured by adults. With my work, I want to give them a voice in the issues that affect them," explains. Vician N.A. Acquaye, quoting from the essay of a ten-year-old girl, "… Although I know its culture for elders but I ask do those elders ask themselves whether their culture is perfect life for the next generation and the generation now."
Dr. Acquay is a lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. In addition to the doctorate, she holds a master's degree and M.Phil. degree - both in English Education. Her teaching includes courses on literature, children's literature, and English in primary education. Her research interests include childhood education and childhood studies.
Dr. Acquay’s doctoral dissertation was supervised at EUF by Prof. Dr. Andrea Kleeberg-Niepage, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Educational Psychology at EUF, whose research interests include developmental processes of children and adolescents in cultural comparison. She is pleased with the doctoral award: "Vivian Acquaye's dissertation was an intercultural project on several levels," she noted. "On the one hand, she explored Ghanaian children's views of their lives and childhood for her dissertation, adding a valuable perspective to childhood research. On the other hand, an intercultural doctorate challenges all participants to fruitfully question, revise, or further develop their own fixed conceptions and presuppositions." Prof. Dr. Oddbjørg Skjær Ulvik of Oslo Metropolitan University (Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy) served as Ms. Acquaye's second doctoral advisor.
The University of Education of Winneba is a partner university of the Europa-Universität Flensburg. Vivian N. A. Acquaye is the first scholar from Ghana to be successfully awarded a doctorate at EUF. Congratulations!