In Defence of Education That Embodies Decolonisation

  • Lester Brian ShawaEmail author


Lester Shawa argues in this chapter that meaningful decolonisation is one that goes beyond merely making over pedagogic styles and curricula content, as it is grounded in a robust re-conceptualisation of the notion of education whose enactment inevitably achieves decolonisation. Drawing on Aristotelian notions of practical reason (ethical conception of an end and appropriate deliberation in achieving the end and potentiality of people to become what they can or cannot) and the liberating power of education as espoused in the Platonic allegory of the cave, this chapter proposes a form of education that connects with decoloniality. An education grounded in these ideals develops the right attitudes in understanding oneself and the other, considering recognition and respect of others and their cultures. Ultimately, such education liberates beings from acquired and entrenched distortions about otherness, thus effectively achieving decolonisation. This chapter contends that, given the entrenchments of neo-liberalism that are perpetuating inequalities in access to higher education in many countries, the decolonisation project should be much more than effecting changes in curricula content or pedagogical styles, leaving intact the neo-liberal world view that is generating inequalities across the globe. Ultimately, Shawa argues that practical reasoning, potentiality and liberating education ought to play a central role in choosing content for a curriculum, in the establishment of styles of pedagogy and in the governance of higher education by ensuring compatibility and relevance of the university with the social dimension in a critical manner that respects otherness and promotes self-assessment and the liberative mission of higher education to the society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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