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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100


MUTHUKRISHNA, Nithi  and  ENGELBRECHT, Petra. Decolonising inclusive education in lower income, Southern African educational contexts. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.4, pp.1-11. ISSN 2076-3433.

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.

Keywords : African contexts; critical diversity literacy; decolonisation; inclusive education; practice architectures; social justice education.

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