n South African Journal of Higher Education - Re-imagining higher education in South Africa : on critical democratic education : initiating debate




At the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA, 30 April to 4 May), the theme of re-imagining public education arose once again with the most compelling presentation from leading scholars in the field concerned with counter-hegemonic politics and democratic change. The session entitled 'Re-imaging public education: Critical politics and democracy' reminded me of the important contribution made by South Africans working in higher education in consolidating and enhancing the country's 16-year old democracy. Their efforts must especially be seen in the light of serious challenges posed by some political groups and their leaders to the democratic agenda of South Africa, which many people have worked very hard to maintain. This essay highlights some of the most salient thoughts that constitute critical and democratic education and what university academics need to focus on to help build our evolving democracy.


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