Global Citizenship Education, Postcolonial Identities, and a Moral Imagination

  • Nuraan Davids


In the past few weeks, a number of schools in post-apartheid South Africa have been plunged into disarray, as students have resorted to various forms of protest against the institutional regulation and purging of ‘black hair’ and ‘black languages’. While afro hairstyles of black girls are seemingly in discord with the traditional look of certain historically advantaged (white) schools, black languages are relegated to noisy sound bites, incompatible with the objectives of learning. As one side ferments frustration against experiences of marginalisation, humiliation, and non-acceptance, the other side appeases through assimilatory words of conformity, uniformity, and compliance. As one side attempts to (re)claim their dignity and recognition, the other side turns to the pre-existence of certain ways of being, acting, and speaking. So, which view and identity hold the greater value, and does the greater value of one identity render the identities of others deficient? Seemingly, these are the types of concerns which global citizenship education seek to address. In this regard, this chapter has two primary concerns. The first considers whether postcolonial societies, such as post-apartheid South Africa, are really in need of a global citizenship education. The second concern centres on the extent to which global citizenship education might be reconcilable with constructions of postcolonial societies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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