Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)]]> vol. num. 72 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Epistemic justice through ontological reclamation in pedagogy: Detailing mutual (in)fallibility using inseparable categories</b>]]> Impulsive uses of collective memory to rally support for decolonised education, establishing clear divisions through binary oppositional thinking, have been characteristic of the student movement. Analysing the binaries that constitute the decolonial turn, I highlight misconceptions of decoloniality that facilitate the erasure of oppositional voices in decolonisation. Misconceptions of decoloniality manifest as the dismissal of all so-called non-African knowledge as colonial. I subsequently caution against the perverted inversions of power in knowledge production in Higher Education in South Africa and interrogate positions that I perceive to be recreating fundamentalisms in the quest for decolonised education. Using a decolonial critique that frames education as emancipatory, I argue for the impossibility of separable categories. I conclude by raising two questions, both of which require further investigation: What is the role of Higher Education in South Africa today? Does decolonial thinking in praxis displace assumptions that continue to perpetuate and maintain coloniality in the South African academy? <![CDATA[<b>Dialects matter: The influence of dialects and code-switching on the literacy and numeracy achievements of isiXhosa Grade 1 learners in the Western Cape</b>]]> Historically, African languages have been in a disadvantaged position and issues related to dialect are not fully understood and acknowledged. In this study, we examined the influence of dialects and code-switching on the literacy and numeracy achievements of isiXhosa Grade 1 learners with Multilevel Modeling (MLM), when controlling for other factors, such as between-school variance, socio-economic status, and sex. The project used stratified random sampling to select Afrikaans, English, and isiXhosa schools in three districts in the Western Cape. A total of 2 497 learners were assessed, of whom 768 were in isiXhosa schools. Dialects and code-switching had a significantly negative influence on both literacy and numeracy scores of isiXhosa learners. The findings highlight the importance of investigating dialectic issues in isiXhosa and the implications that dialects have for decolonisation. African language decolonisation requires the development of classroom resources for these languages, increased African educational research, and finding ways to address the complexities of dialects in pedagogical frameworks. <![CDATA[<b>Voices of Grade Four teachers in response to Mazibuye Izilimi Zomdabu! (Bring Back African Languages!): A decolonising approach</b>]]> The language of learning and teaching (LoLT) poses a threat to the quality of teaching and learning of most learners who speak African languages in Africa and particularly in South Africa. In this study, I explore language attitudes and the lived experiences of 400 Grade Four teachers in Pinetown and UMgungundlovu districts teaching African learners using English as LoLT. The study challenges Anglonormative language ideologies (Mckinney, Carrim, Layton, & Marshall, 2015) and the coloniality of dominant discourses about LoLT in South Africa. Calling on the voices of the teachers, I argue for the use of African languages to teach African learners as a powerful measure to regain African identity and to delink education from Eurocentric knowledge and cultures. I compared results from quantitative and qualitative data to arrive at the overall finding that most Grade Four teacher participants prefer the use of African languages to teach African learners and that these teachers are experiencing difficulty in using English as LoLT to teach most of them. Drawing from teachers' responses, I conclude that the use of African languages in education connects learners' worldviews and ways of knowing to the curriculum and provides access to knowledge. <![CDATA[<b>The value of drama-in-education as a decolonising pedagogy through embodied drama strategies in a higher education classroom</b>]]> In this paper I provide a detailed account of how drama-in-education was used to engage third-year university students in an education module entitled Issues and challenges in education. The aim of the research was to introduce aspects of decolonisation in South Africa through the module and to implement drama-in-education strategies, such as the use of tableaux, improvisation, and role plays to enhance the understanding of these issues. The data collection method I implemented was based on students' written reflections on their experiences of drama-in-education as pedagogy in this module. The findings indicated that although students were initially resistant to engaging with the drama-in-education process, through their embodied participation they became more involved in their learning. They felt that, since the strategies provided a context for learning, the issues that led to enhanced learning, engagement, and reflection could be interrogated more critically. I argue that as a decolonising pedagogy in the university lecture room, drama-in-education contributes significantly to an enhanced understanding of teaching and learning and the development of students' critical and creative skills. <![CDATA[<b>An exploratory study of Heads of Departments' responses to student calls for decolonised higher education</b>]]> Central to the tumultuous student protests of 2015 and 2016 was an urgent call for the decolonisation of South African universities. Existing curricula, including teaching and assessment practices, as well as institutional cultures and structures were challenged. Against this backdrop, in this article we focus on the academic leadership role of Heads of Departments (HoDs) at Rhodes University. In this small-scale project we interrogate how HoDs conceptualised their roles in this uncertain and complex context. From the data analysis a number of tensions emerged in the ways in which they articulated and enacted their roles. The findings indicate that the protests have contributed to the increasing complexity of the role of an HoD. Issues raised during the protests catalysed HoDs at Rhodes University, some for the first time, into considering the implications of the decolonising call from students and into exercising stronger transformative leadership roles. <![CDATA[<b>A critical arts-based narrative of five educators working in higher education during an era of transformation in South Africa</b>]]> In this paper I explore creative ways to engage critically with educator identity and experience during an era of transformation and decolonisation. I have written it as an illustrated arts-based narrative that revolves around the experiences of five educators working at the University of the Free State between 2014 and 2016. The narrative was created as part of a collaborative research project in which participants shared their experiential knowledge of anti-oppressive practice. In working with these portraits of five South African educators, I explore the connections between educator identity and social justice in the broader South African higher educational landscape as the call for transformation and decolonisation intensifies. The narrative is intended to trouble the identities and experiences of educators as they make their way through this messy terrain in an attempt to learn from uncertainty and crisis.