Advertisement

African Philosophy (of Education) and Decolonisation in Post-apartheid South African Higher Education

  • Thokozani MathebulaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, Thokozani Mathebula argues that decolonisation is primarily a knowledge project grounded in African philosophy, which is generally tied to indigeneity, which in principle is the idea that knowledge construction and pursuit must be relevant to the context of the people. Decolonisation as a knowledge project must necessarily seek clarification and critical evaluation of the very concept of decolonisation incessantly. As such, Mathebula holds that decolonisation must be understood in a strict theoretical sense instead of a popular ideological sense. This entails that decolonisation must recognise and transcend the inadequacy of indigeneity alone and should not be restricted to the binary of Eurocentrism and Afrocentrism. Decolonisation ought to be a demand for a democratisation of knowledge globally. In this vein, the author posits that decolonisation should entail a public debate with free discussion about the nature and substance of education where the education is relevant to the struggles of the people, going as far as challenging the typical neo-liberal models of modern education. Ultimately, for Mathebula, decolonising of an African university must provide the space for its stakeholders to be able to raise and find answers to questions about the socio-cultural contexts of people as well as to meet the intellectual and material needs of African society. As such, the decolonisation project is about a critical appropriation and reappropriation of African indigeneity, knowledge production and capitalisation.

References

  1. Akinpelu, J. A. (1987). An introduction to philosophy of education. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Arnstein, R. (1969). Ladder of citizen participation. Journal of American Institute of Town Planners, 35(4), 216–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker, A., & Du Preez, P. (2016). Ideological illusions, human rights and the right to education: The in(ex)clusion of the poor in post-apartheid education. Journal of Education, 64, 55–78.Google Scholar
  4. Benhabib, S. (1996). Democracy and difference: Contesting the boundaries of the political (pp. 67–94). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Boyte, H. (2005, March 4). Free spaces and service learning. Adapted from a speech to the CSU Service Learning Conference, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  6. Christie, P. (2010). The complexity of human rights in global times: The case of the right to education in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 30(1), 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dembour, M. B. (2010). What are human rights? Four schools of thought. Human Rights Quarterly, 32(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dupré, B. (2007). 50 philosophy ideas you really need to know. London: Quercus.Google Scholar
  9. Enslin, P., & Horsthemke, K. (2016). Philosophy of education: Becoming less Western, more African? Journal of Philosophy of Education, 50, 77–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. FAK (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurverenigings). (1948). Christelike-nasionale onderwysbeleid. Johannesburg: Instituut vir Christelike-Nasionale Onderwys.Google Scholar
  11. Gordon, L. R. (2016). Race and justice in higher education: Some global challenges, with attention to the South African context. In P. Tabensky & S. Matthews (Eds.), Being at home: Race, institutional culture and transformation at South African higher education institutions (pp. 157–183). Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gutmann, A. (1987). Democratic education. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hall, B. L., & Tandon, R. (2017). Decolonization of knowledge, epistemicide, participatory research and higher education. Research for All, 1(1), 6–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hamm, C. M. (1989). Philosophical issues in education: An introduction. New York, NY: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  15. Harris, A. (1997). The deprofessionalisation and deskilling of teachers. In K. Watson, K. Mogdil, & S. Mogdil (Eds.), Education dilemmas: Debate and diversity—Teachers, teacher education and training (pp. 57–65). London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Horsthemke, K. (2015). Animals and African ethics. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Horsthemke, K., & Enslin, P. (2005). Is there a distinctly and uniquely African philosophy of education? In Y. Waghid, B. van Wyk, F. Adams, & I. November (Eds.), African(a) philosophy of education: Reconstructions and deconstructions (pp. 54–75). Stellenbosch: Department of Education Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  19. Horsthemke, K., & Enslin, P. (2008). African philosophy of education: The price of unchallengeability. Studies in Philosophy of Education, 28, 209–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hountondji, P. J. (1990). Scientific dependence in Africa today. Research in African Literatures, 21(3), 5–15.Google Scholar
  21. Hountondji, P. J. (1996). African philosophy: Myth and reality (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hountondji, P. J. (1997). Endogenous knowledge. Research trails. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  23. Hountondji, P. J. (2009). Knowledge of Africa, knowledge by Africans: Two perspectives on African studies. RCCS Annual Review, 1, 1–11.Google Scholar
  24. Jansen, J. (2017). As by fire: The end of the South African university. Cape Town: Tafelberg.Google Scholar
  25. Kanu, I. A. (2014). The meaning and nature of African philosophy in a globalizing world. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences and Education, 1, 86–94.Google Scholar
  26. Kotzee, B., & Martin, C. (2013). Who should go to university? Justice in university admissions. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 47(4), 623–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lacey, A. R. (1976). A dictionary of philosophy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Le Grange, L. (2007). Integrating western and indigenous knowledge systems: The basics for effective science education in South Africa? International Review of Education, 53, 577–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Le Grange, L. (2016). Decolonising the university curriculum. South African Journal of Higher Education, 30, 1–12.Google Scholar
  30. Lebakeng, T., Manthiba, P., & Dalindjebo, N. (2006). Epistemicide, institutional cultures and the imperatives for Africanisation of universities. Alteration, 13, 70–78.Google Scholar
  31. Lipman, A. (1998). The contributions of philosophy to deliberative democracy. In D. Evans & I. Kucaradi (Eds.), Teaching philosophy at the eve of the 21st century (pp. 6–29). Ankara: International Federation of Philosophical Societies.Google Scholar
  32. Lumumba-Kasongo, T. (2000). Rethinking educational paradigms in Africa: Imperatives for social progress in the new millennium. In P. Higgs, N. C. G. Vakalisa, T. V. Mda, & N. T. Assie-Lumumba (Eds.), African voices in education (pp. 139–157). Kenwyn: Juta.Google Scholar
  33. Luthuli, P. C. (1982). An introduction to black-oriented education in South Africa. Durban: Butterworths.Google Scholar
  34. Mbembe, A. J. (2016). Decolonizing the university: New directions. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, 15(1), 29–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McKaiser, E. (2015). Run racist run: Journey into the heart of racism. Johannesburg: Bookstorm.Google Scholar
  36. Moll, I. (2002). African psychology: Myth and reality. South African Journal of Psychology, 32, 9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (2013). Perhaps decoloniality is the answer? Critical reflections on development from a decolonial epistemic perspective. Africanus, 43(2), 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. O’Meara, D. J. (1989). Pythagoras revived: Mathematics and philosophy in late antiquity. Oxford: Claredon Press.Google Scholar
  39. Ochieng, O. (2010). The African intellectual: Hountondji and after. Radical Philosophy, 164, 25–37.Google Scholar
  40. Plato. (1991). Protagoras (C. C. W. Taylor, Trans.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  41. Plato. (1994). The republic (R. Waterfield, Trans.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Ramose, M. B. (1998). Foreword. In S. Seepe (Ed.), Black perspectives on tertiary institutional transformation (pp. iv–vii). Johannesburg: Vivlia.Google Scholar
  43. Raphael, D. D. (1990). Problems of political philosophy (2nd ed.). London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1959). The extension of University Education Act 45 of 1959. Cape Town: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  45. RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1996). The constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Pretoria: Government Printer.Google Scholar
  46. Runes, D. D. (1960). Dictionary of philosophy: Ancient medieval-modern. Ames: Littlefield, Adams & Co.Google Scholar
  47. Scruton, R. (2007). Dictionary of political thought. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  48. Seepe, S. (2000). Black perspective(s) on tertiary institutional transformation. In P. Higgs, N. C. G. Vakalisa, T. V. Mda, & N. T. Assie-Lumumba (Eds.), African voices in education (pp. 118–138). Kenwyn: Juta.Google Scholar
  49. Sharp, A. M. (1994). The community of inquiry: Education for democracy. Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children, 9(13), 6–16.Google Scholar
  50. Spreen, C. A., & Vally, S. (2006). Education rights, education policies and inequality in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development, 26(4), 353–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Standish, P. (2014). What is the philosophy of education? In R. Bailey (Ed.), The philosophy of education (3rd ed., pp. 4–20). London: Bloomsbury Academy.Google Scholar
  52. Stangroom, J., & Garvey, J. (2012). The great philosophers: From Socrates to Foucault. London: Arcturus.Google Scholar
  53. Steger, M., & Roy, R. K. (2010). Neoliberalism: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Strawson, P. F. (1973). Different conceptions of analytical philosophy. Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 35, 800–834.Google Scholar
  55. Suttner, R. (2015). Recovering democracy in South Africa. Johannesburg: Jacana.Google Scholar
  56. Torres, C. A. (2009). Education and neoliberal globalisation. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  57. Waghid, Y. (2016). African philosophy of education. In K. Horsthemke, P. Siyakwazi, E. Walton, & C. Wolhuter (Eds.), Education studies: History, sociology, philosophy (2nd ed., pp. 439–456). Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.Google Scholar
  58. Woodward, K. (1997). Identity and difference. London: Sage in association with the Open University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Witwatersrand, JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations