oa South African Journal of Higher Education - Critical educational studies : a shift from Freirean critical consciousness to Foucauldian discourse formation in the teaching of South African literature in higher education institutions

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article explores both theoretical and methodological underpinnings for the reconstruction of the South African literature curriculum deriving from the critical educational studies of Paulo Freire and the discursive approach of Michel Foucault. A critical approach requires activities that encourage meaning construction, an understanding of the process whereby meanings are made, an analysis of the relationship between knowledge and power, and the active promotion of critical thinking skills in literary studies. A reconstructionist model will provide for genuine interrogation of textuality, for the production of new subject positions for the reader and opportunities for questioning the political and epistemological status of a text. The dialectical of critical educational studies has much relevance to the current South African educational context since it points to the connection between critical knowledge and emancipatory social change.

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