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South African Journal of Education

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Learners and educators as agents of social transformation in dysfunctional South African schools

Kholeka Moloi

Abstract


The problem addressed in this theoretical paper is that of learners and educators as agents of social transformation in dysfunctional schools of South Africa. While 80% of South African schools are said to be dysfunctional, learners and educators in these schools can be activated to challenge and actively struggle against any form of social oppression that dehumanises and renders them failures. Educators can work in collaboration with learners to conscientize the latter so that they are able to question different forms of inequalities and discrimination implicit in the curriculum offered at school, which excludes their cultural learning experiences. This paper argues that township and rural school educators and learners can become social agents for change if they are exposed to critical pedagogy which fosters emancipatory methods of teaching and learning. Consequently, structural factors surrounding the South African education system must be addressed if learner performance in dysfunctional schools is to improve.

Keywords: agency; conscientization; critical pedagogy; curriculum development; dysfunctional schools; educators; learners; liberation; oppression; social transformation




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