oa Journal of Education - Bakhtin and the poetics of pedagogy: a dialogic approach

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



Given the enduring educational legacies of apartheid and the continuing poor standards of secondary schooling in South Africa, the question of what constitutes appropriate academic development for educationally disadvantaged students in universities remains pertinent. This paper draws on the work of the Russian literary theorist, Mikhail Bakhtin, applying his concepts of dialogue, language types and speech genres to the context of student development. It illustrates how these concepts may be interpreted and applied pedagogically with reference to a certificate course in participatory development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It argues for a pedagogy which negotiates the boundary between formal and informal knowledge, taking into account both disciplinary foundations and students� experiences.

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