Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Education]]> vol. 38 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>'Decolonising' Education Transformation</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Decolonial possibilities in South African higher education: Reconfiguring humanising pedagogies as/with decolonising pedagogies</b>]]> This article is an attempt to bring theoretical concepts offered by decolonial theories into conversation with 'humanising pedagogy.' The question that drives this analysis is: What are the links between humanisation and the decolonisation of higher education, and what does this imply for pedagogical praxis? This intervention offers valuable insights that reconfigure humanising pedagogy in relation to the decolonial project of social transformation, yet one that does not disavow the challenges-namely, the complexities, tensions and paradoxes-residing therein. The article discusses three approaches to the decolonisation of higher education that have been proposed and suggests that if the desired reform is radical, educators within the sector in South Africa will need to interrogate the pedagogical practices emerging from Eurocentric knowledge approaches by drawing on and twisting these very practices. These efforts can provide spaces to enact decolonial pedagogies that reclaim colonised practices. The article concludes with some reflections on what this idea might imply for South African higher education. <![CDATA[<b>Decolonising higher education in Africa: Arriving at a glocal solution</b>]]> The recent student unrest in South African public higher education institutions highlighted the call for the decolonisation of education across post-colonial countries. This research explored the construct of the "decolonisation of education" through the lens of students of different nationalities across Africa, their perspectives on approaches to the actualisation of a decolonised curriculum, and the applicability of technology in education. Qualitative research methods and the Transformative Learning Theory were employed. Findings show that decolonising education for students means addressing past injustices and marginalisation by valuing and leveraging indigenous languages and culture, while incorporating relevant and cost-effective technology. The authors recommend that decolonisation ought to involve glocal initiatives from the perspectives of young people, where education is foregrounded in indigenous knowledge and integrated international worldviews. <![CDATA[<b>Articulating a space for critical learning with a social justice orientation in an adult education programme</b>]]> This article reflects on work as a radical-feminist adult educator and as part of a group of academics from 10 universities who have developed new national qualifications in the Adult Education Community and Training Sector (ACET) for Higher Education in South Africa. The qualification will respond to the training needs of Adult Education Community lecturers and practitioners, and thereby indirectly contribute to the education and training needs of the communities, unemployed adults and youth who require skills to find employment. In the design of this qualification we sought to ensure the inclusion in the qualification of the new policy requirements, critical transformative educational practices, and perspectives from community educators, as well as recent demands from students for a decolonised curriculum. Sometimes these frameworks are in contradiction to one another, particularly in a neo-liberal context in which education has a strong focus on the workplace. I provide evidence from a qualitative study on student motivations to study further that shows that whilst there is a concern with education for skills development to grow the economy, there are still present strong political motivations to learn on the part of students and therefore it is imperative to teach from all these standpoints. <![CDATA[<b>Towards decolonising teacher education: Reimagining the relationship between theory and praxis</b>]]> We live in a dynamic world, characterised by major economic, technological and social change. Decolonising teacher education is embedded in a critical approach that aims to create counterhegemonic intellectual spaces in which new worldviews can unfold, in ways that can lead us toward change of praxis. The idea for this article was born out of discussions that took place during the various workshops of our recent curriculum renewal process and provides an explication of the subsequent outcome of the process; the newly developed, integrated Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) curriculum of the Nelson Mandela University's Faculty of Education. This curriculum is underpinned by a critical, conceptual framework of teacher development, progressing from 'bridging,' through 'becoming' and 'being' towards 'belonging' as a teacher in the teaching profession. Drawing upon key themes which emerged during our curriculum renewal process, we explore possible strategies to intervene and disrupt various forms of oppression that are manifest in the current composition of a colonised higher education in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Curriculum decision-makers on decolonising the teacher education curriculum</b>]]> Over 21 years into democracy and the commitment for radical transformation in education, South Africa continues to adopt and adapt international imperatives and standardisations in pursuit of first world rankings. Ironically, notions of indigenisation, decolonisation and Africanisation of the curriculum have become catch words of the day. In the wake of the #FeesMustFall movement, a rethink of the curriculum for tomorrow, and the manner in which we think and speak about the curriculum, has come to the forefront. Through Pinar's method of currere, this paper demonstrates curriculum decision-makers' thinking about decolonising the curriculum. While some curriculum decision-makers perpetuate Western ways of thinking about the curriculum, others make a shift in their thinking towards a 're-humanising' approach to the curriculum. The present study maintains that curriculum decision-makers are catalytic agents, and are neither complacent nor at the mercy of Western knowledge and ideologies. They continue to be apprehensive on curriculum matters and disrupt entrenched taken-for-granted philosophies. This renders them agentic in their development of, and search for, alternate worthwhile home-grown knowledge, that leads towards a more 'humanised' curriculum approach. This paper further opens up discussions and possibilities around notions of 'indigenisation,' 'Africanisation,' 'decolonisation,' 'humanisation' on one hand, and Westernisation and Eurocentrism of the curriculum on the other, working together as co-existing realities towards transforming the curriculum in colonised countries like South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Decolonisation of the curriculum: A case study of the Durban University of Technology in South Africa</b>]]> The call for the decolonisation of universities and curricula in South Africa was at the centre of the 2015 Fallist protests. The protests, which left a trail of destruction and many universities closed for periods of time, had as one of their positive outcomes the precipitation of a renewed interest in the decolonisation of university education debate. The debate on decolonisation at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa is long overdue, given that the Western model of academic organisation on which it, like most South African universities, is based, remains largely Eurocentric. This paper adds to the debate by discussing what decolonisation might mean to the DUT's students, staff and the greater community. It explores the importance of decolonisation and how this process can be taken forward at DUT. The purpose is not to prescribe how decolonisation is to be done but to open up ways of (re)thinking university curricula and opportunities for further discussion and action. <![CDATA[<b>Student activism in a time of crisis in South Africa: The quest for 'black power'</b>]]> Higher Education in South Africa has been in crisis over recent years. University systems in many parts of South Africa have witnessed student protest, as well as ongoing violence, resulting in many campuses turning into spaces of violent confrontation between students and police. This paper examines student social activism in the higher education sector in South Africa, especially the Nelson Mandela University, as well as the patterns that exist and frame student social activism in pursuit of 'black power.' Furthermore, the paper notes the strong sense of solidarity and unity amongst students, despite these existent challenges. The paper will also present a historical analysis of student activism in South Africa with the aim of demonstrating the longstanding and persistent student politics as well as the student dissatisfaction with, the way in which the higher education has been governed in South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Research as hope-intervention: Mobilising hope in a South African higher education context</b>]]> It is written that hope is contagious: once ignited it gains momentum, and is self-sustaining. My research project sought to stimulate dialogue and critical thinking with second year education students about what hope and hopeful schools mean to them as future teachers. The aim of this critical transformative study was to explore how the research process itself, i.e. engaging the students through multiple participatory visual methods (via collages, drawings, Mmogo-method, photovoice) on the topic of hope, might mobilise a 'practice of hope,' thereby mobilising student-led hope initiatives in the Faculty of Education. The key findings of this on-going study show that bringing hope explicitly into the research dialogue mobilised the participants' hope on a personal, relational and collective level. Further, discussions took an agentic turn as the participants formed the Hopeful Vision Gang, designed a logo and slogan, and initiated a hope activity to inspire fellow students and staff before having to face the challenge of exams. This study shows that threading hope with participatory dialogic engagement holds positive transformative value in teacher education programmes, and thus has implications for the possibilities of student-led agency through 'research as hope-intervention.' <![CDATA[<b>Decolonising knowledge: Enacting the civic role of the university in a community-based project</b>]]> The need to work in partnership with communities in a meaningful and impactful way has become a core part of university planning in many countries around the world. In the Global South, the potential for the Eurocentric knowledges and power structures to dominate such partnerships is pervasive. This article reports on findings of a participatory action research project conducted with community members in a socio-economically disadvantaged community in South Africa who had identified a need to improve school-community cooperation in educating local children. Analysis of our findings, framed against broader cultural and historical contexts, suggests that when the role of university-based 'experts' is one of facilitation rather than 'delivery,' then not only is participation more effective, but, also, the process and products of knowledge democratisation can be realised more effectively. We thus provide unique insight into the way relationships between the university and the community can be reconceptualised, from a position of knowledge and epistemic hierarchy to one of epistemic democracy. We discuss the (civic) role of the university in enabling this co-construction of knowledge, and in developing the shared meanings and understandings that promote decolonisation and enable social change. <![CDATA[<b>Decolonising inclusive education in lower income, Southern African educational contexts</b>]]> The article proposes the need for the decolonising of the inclusive education movement in Southern African educational contexts. It draws on the authors' own research and reflexive engagement over the last five years on inclusive education policy formulation and implementation in selected Southern African contexts, namely, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Malawi. The article interrogates inclusive education policy enactment in the four country contexts through the lens of the theory of practice architectures, focusing mainly on the 'sayings' and 'performings.' The analysis highlights that discourses of inclusive education, which continue to be influenced by traditional special education ideologies from the global North and appropriated by the South have the power to undermine or subvert the inclusive education agenda in contexts shaped by neo-colonialism. The article argues for a critical inclusive education agenda located within social justice theory to enable the decolonising of inclusive education. The reflexive and ethical stance of a social justice framework has the power to identify, untangle and disrupt pervasive special education notions from the North, and challenge education administrators, school leaders at all levels and teachers to engage in ideological critique as they enact inclusive education policy and seek to address exclusion and oppression within the education system. <![CDATA[<b>Establishing inclusive schools: Teachers' perceptions of inclusive education teams</b>]]> The international debate on colonisation is gaining momentum, primarily in the Americas, Africa and Australasia. Recent incidents in South Africa, such as the Fallist movement and the protest over rules on black girls' hair at certain schools, have sparked renewed debates on (de-)colonisation in the education system. It has become critical that those concerned with the transformation of education in a post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa consider socio-political and historic contextual factors. This is especially the case when it comes to their endeavours to implement inclusive education, with its imperative to provide equal and quality education and support for all. Educational transformation in South Africa is based on systemically positioned support structures. However, these structures have their roots in countries that do not have the same sociopolitical history and current contextual constraints as developing countries. This research aims to understand the perceptions of teachers regarding the role Inclusive Education Teams (IETs) play in establishing an inclusive school in the Western Cape Province. For this case study, participants were purposefully selected from an inclusive school. Data were collected through semi-structured individual interviews and a focus group discussion. The findings show that, despite the in-service training provided by the IET, teachers still need continuous, contextually responsive support. <![CDATA[<b>Working the 'in-between-spaces' for transformation within the academy</b>]]> This paper considers the importance of 'in-between spaces' within the academy for challenging dominant institutional culture and hegemonic power relations towards a 'de-colonised' university. It questions 'mainstreaming' of transformational initiatives, as this can bring about regulation, rather than the turbulence that is often what is needed for substantive change to occur. I draw on a case study of the work of the Division for Lifelong Learning (DLL) at University of the Western Cape and in particular two examples of its marginal activities which were hosted regularly over a 10 year period. THESE ARE: the Vice-Chancellor's Annual Julius Nyerere Lecture on Lifelong Learning and the cross-campus Annual Women's Breakfast. I use documentary evidence and insider knowledge to reflect critically on the relevance of the spaces that were created for enacting such alternative institutional practices. I employ ' knowledge democracy' as a lens to bring the margins to the centre of the analysis. The argument is made that the work in the 'in-between-spaces' is a critical part of 'decolonising education' through disruptive, political, pedagogical, and organisational transformation