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Educational Research for Social Change

On-line version ISSN 2221-4070


CHERRINGTON, Avivit. Positioning a practice of hope in South African teacher education programmes. Educ. res. soc. change [online]. 2017, vol.6, n.1, pp.72-86. ISSN 2221-4070.

Schools are described as ideal settings for nurturing and fostering children's hopes, and the teaching profession as rooted in hopefulness. However, there is a paucity of research linking hope theory and teacher education in the South African context. Using evidence from my own transformative, visual participatory research with rural South African children on hope and well-being, I argue in this position paper that hope theory, in particular an African perspective of hope, should be positioned alongside discussions on practising an engaged pedagogy to enable teaching practices that are more congruent with an Afrocentric worldview. This article argues a need to infuse relational hope in teacher education practices by encouraging collaborative, participatory learning engagements that create safe and creative spaces for critical dialogue, allowing for multiple voices and experiences to be heard. Such practices could in turn foster a sense of collective hope-characterised by the values of connectedness, caring, and collective agency-thereby equipping student teachers with the tools to build communities of hope in their classrooms and schools. The article concludes with implications of mobilising such a practice of hope through an engaged pedagogy in student teacher education in the South African context.

Keywords : Afrocentric perspective; engaged pedagogy; hope; teacher education.

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