Towards an Understanding of African Philosophy of Education

  • Yusef Waghid
  • Faiq Waghid
  • Zayd Waghid


On having been introduced to massive open online courses (MOOCs), we contrived to devise, develop and implement an online course that would be both relevant and responsive to our pedagogy, more specifically, teaching and learning encounters. As it happened, African philosophy of education became the central focus in relation to which we could situate our educational research interests. We chose the idea of an African philosophy of education premised on the following three considerations. First, we envisaged focusing on a MOOC that would attract students to other ways of knowing, doing and being. Put differently, we considered a MOOC on African philosophy of education because we endeavoured to bring to masses of students a pedagogic discourse which could foreground the African condition. Second, having been initiated into dominant Western discourses of thinking and acting, we thought it apposite to introduce a platform of learning (and teaching for that matter) that foregrounds less dominant discourses, which often have to endure caricature on the part of those who hold a view of education prejudiced towards Western studies. Third, our interest in African philosophy of education has been stimulated by a notion of ubuntu (human interconnectedness and co-existence) through which justice for all might be possible. It is, therefore, not surprising that we selected the figure of the late President Nelson Mandela of the first democratic South Africa as our backdrop to the publicity of the MOOC. As has been argued elsewhere, Mandela’s educational contribution is constituted by at least three aspects: an education for non-violence guided by deliberative engagement and compassionate and reconciliatory actions, exercising responsibility towards others and cultivating a reasoned community of thinking (Waghid 2014a: 4).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yusef Waghid
    • 1
  • Faiq Waghid
    • 2
  • Zayd Waghid
    • 3
  1. 1.Education Policy StudiesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Innovative Learning TechnologyCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationCape Peninsula University of TechnologyCape TownSouth Africa

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