n Education as Change - Against transmission : a defence of deliberative inquiry in South African universities

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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Contemporary philosophy of education strongly emphasises rational inquiry, as is evident in the ideas of MacIntyre (1990, 1999), Bohman (1996) and Benhabib (1996). University learners who are not critical are often criticised for not being agents of rational inquiry, which to my mind is a justifiable criticism. This article explores what educators and university learners ought to do in order to be considered as deliberative inquirers. My contention is that deliberative inquiry should become a feature of all university pedagogical practices for the reason that the "transmission mode" of teaching, which stultifies inquiry, remains prevalent in many South African university classrooms. I show that deliberative inquiry, as "reasoning together with others", is a form of joint educational activity among university students and teachers. It has the potential to enhance critical engagement amongst them whereby they act together and try to persuade one another (through deliberation) to coordinate their university classroom and pedagogical activities in particular ways.

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