South African Journal of Education

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Curriculum decision-makers on decolonising the teacher education curriculum

Pryah Mahabeer


Over 21 years into democracy and the commitment for radical transformation in education, South Africa continues to adopt and adapt international imperatives and standardisations in pursuit of first world rankings. Ironically, notions of indigenisation, decolonisation and Africanisation of the curriculum have become catch words of the day. In the wake of the #FeesMustFall movement, a rethink of the curriculum for tomorrow, and the manner in which we think and speak about the curriculum, has come to the forefront. Through Pinar’s method of currere, this paper demonstrates curriculum decision-makers’ thinking about decolonising the curriculum. While some curriculum decision-makers perpetuate Western ways of thinking about the curriculum, others make a shift in their thinking towards a ‘re-humanising’ approach to the curriculum. The present study maintains that curriculum decision-makers are catalytic agents, and are neither complacent nor at the mercy of Western knowledge and ideologies. They continue to be apprehensive on curriculum matters and disrupt entrenched taken-for-granted philosophies. This renders them agentic in their development of, and search for, alternate worthwhile home-grown knowledge, that leads towards a more ‘humanised’ curriculum approach. This paper further opens up discussions and possibilities around notions of ‘indigenisation,’ ‘Africanisation,’ ‘decolonisation,’ ‘humanisation’ on one hand, and Westernisation and Eurocentrism of the curriculum on the other, working together as co-existing realities towards transforming the curriculum in colonised countries like South Africa.

Keywords: curriculum; curriculum change; decolonisation; humanisation; indigenisation; intellectualisation
AJOL African Journals Online