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- Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
South African Journal of Higher Education - Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 18, Issue 3, 2004
Author K. WireduSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 17 –26 (2004)More Less
This article examines the qualities that mark an educated person with special reference to the Akan conception of an educated person. This list of qualities for defining the notion of being educated originates from a traditional African conception of what the training of the youth for the living of life entails. In discussing such a definition of an educated person, it is hoped that the present attempt to elicit an African conception of education from a conceptual analysis based on attention to an African vernacular will encourage other Africans to look within in a similar way in their thinking about education and other fundamental issu
'English only'? Creating linguistic space for African indigenous knowledge systems in higher education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor G.v W. BrandSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 27 –39 (2004)More Less
African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKSs) are historically linked to indigenous African languages. Yet efforts to spearhead the infiltration by AIKS into the discursive domain of the South African (higher) education system are often based on the assumption that this can be achieved without challenging the dominance of colonial languages in the education sector. This assumption is indebted to an implicit conception of the nature of language and its relation to knowledge, culture and power. It presupposes that languages are neutral and interchangeable, and that form and content are strictly separable. These assumptions are challenged by drawing on academic debates in a variety of philosophical and related fields. It is argued that AIKS can only be successfully spearheaded in a predominantly Eurocentric higher education system, and be made relevant to society at large, via increased use of indigenous languages.
School principalship and the value of African indigenous knowledge (AIK) : ships passing in the night? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor S.M. HobergSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 40 –55 (2004)More Less
Principals, especially in the rural areas of South Africa, ignore African indigenous knowledge (AIK) and the two appear to be like proverbial ships passing in the night. Principals are aware of the value of AIK, yet do not use it. Principalship involves leadership; organisational, human resource and financial management; planning; evaluation; team-building; problem solving; and decision making. Today, principals need to be more than organisational executives, humanistic facilitators and instructional leaders; they are called to be 'gatekeepers' to ensure the successful functioning of the school. The quality of principalship is crucial to the long-term success of the school. Quality, trustworthy relationships that foster organisational commitment, community collaboration, and that regenerate moral values are essential elements of successful schools. Current principalship requires a creative, dynamic and collaborative approach that will enhance trust and organisational commitment to enable schools to re-form and transform, thereby sustaining positive growth and learner outcomes. This article examines the leadership of school principalship in fostering and facilitating trust and organisational commitment among the teaching staff, the learners and the parent community. The study indicates that there is an urgent and growing need for research on education leadership from our own African cultural heritage and perspective. Some recommendations are made while it is reiterated that principals need ongoing in-service training and know-how to improve practice.
African philosophy of education : implications for teaching and learning : perspectives on higher educationAuthor Y. WaghidSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 56 –64 (2004)More Less
This article argues that one can speak of an African philosophy of education in the same way in which one refers to an Indian, Western, Chinese or Islamic philosophy of education. An African philosophy of education is a scientific enterprise which has three constitutive aspects: firstly, to be reasonable in one's articulations; secondly, to demonstrate moral maturity; and thirdly, to be attuned to deliberation. In this essay I argue that the efficacy of teaching and learning could be enhanced if framed according to these three aspects of an African philosophy of education.
'Indigenous knowledge', truth and reconciliation in South African higher education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor K. HorsthemkeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 65 –81 (2004)More Less
This article explores some of the key elements or focal areas in the discourse(s) of transformation in South African higher education, most significantly the Africanisation project and indigenous knowledge systems. The debate around <I>indigenous knowledge</I>, which is located within postcolonialist and antidiscrimination discourse, is unfortunately riddled with serious errors, logical and epistemological. While the present article is sympathetic to the basic concerns expressed in this debate, it offers both a critical, philosophical (re)evaluation of the pertinent issues as well as conceptual clarification. Indigenous knowledge is argued to be a misnomer that raises more problems than it can conceivably solve. What its advocates aim for is arguably better achieved by a different approach. Taking into account a recent call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for education in South Africa, this paper proposes an approach that locates the principle of reconciliation within a basic framework of human rights.
Western science and indigenous knowledge : competing perspectives or complementary frameworks? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor L. Le GrangeSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 82 –91 (2004)More Less
Indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) have gained prominence in recent years as a consequence of varied critiques of the dominance of Western ways of knowing. But are Western1 epistemologies and indigenous knowledge(s) competing perspectives or complementary frameworks? In this article I respond to this question and discuss some implications of this debate for knowledge production in South African higher education. Offering a response to this question is essential for two reasons: Western epistemologies are spreading rapidly through more subtle forms (to the use of military power during colonialism) such as globalisation processes; counternarratives to Western dominance are being constructed as a consequence of the internationalisation of indigenous peoples in a contemporary era. I point out that (South) Africa's future development may depend on embracing some aspects of Western sciences and technologies as well as finding inspiration from more traditional ways of knowing.
Can indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) come to the rescue of distance adult learning facilitation? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor C. Le RouxSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 92 –105 (2004)More Less
The aim of this article is to investigate the integration of indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) into adult learning facilitation at a distance. Pertinent issues in a majority of indigenous knowledge systems, such as information access and communication mechanisms, may be built into the process of adult learning facilitation to ensure a successful learning experience. Issues such as mnemonics, metaphorical speech, storytelling, demonstration and observation, group learning, visualisation and repetition may serve as learning-enhancing techniques. In this way, IKSs may come to the rescue of adult learning facilitators who teach at a distance in their endeavour to mediate a successful learning event.
Men's initiation schools as a form of higher education within the Basotho indigenous knowledge systems : perspectives on higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 106 –114 (2004)More Less
Indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) are examined by stakeholders for their potential value in economic and social development. This paper provides instances of how the Basotho people used initiation schools <I>(lebollo)</I> to facilitate transition to adulthood and to raise men and women able to effectively utilise indigenous wisdom to solve diverse societal problems. The significance of this investigation lies in the comparison between initiation schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) because traditionally, young people would attend initiation schools at the stage of development equivalent to the age of their university-going cohorts.
The national plan for higher education in South Africa and African indigenous knowledge systems : a case of conflicting value systems? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor M.P. Van NiekerkSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 115 –126 (2004)More Less
In this article I would like to indicate that there is an inherent conflict between the underlying values portrayed by the policy document entitled 'National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa' and the values embodied in the discourse about the African Renaissance and the promotion of African indigenous knowledge systems (IKSs) in South Africa. This article will attempt to analyse the dominant values of the National Plan for Higher Education in South Africa as well as the underlying values portrayed by the programme for African IKS in South Africa. Thereafter the paper will demonstrate that the cultural climate emanating from the discourse in policy documents such as the 'National Plan for Higher Education' (NPHE) is relatively hostile to the value system necessary for an IKS programme to take root in South African soil. I thus want to argue that a case of conflicting values between the NPHE and the IKS programme arises from an existing split between official values and non-official values apparent in the policies governing the direction of higher education (HE) in South Africa. The paper will offer some ideas why this situation has come about and pose some critical questions for discussion.
Rethinking higher education transformation in terms of an African(a) philosophy of education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor E. NakuseraSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 127 –137 (2004)More Less
The central question that this article hopes to unpack is whether higher education transformation can occur without taking into consideration an African(a) philosophy of education in South Africa. I hold that higher education policy initiatives as promulgated in the policy documents such as the National Plan for Higher Education (2001) and the White paper 3 (1997) on equity and redress may not be realised if policy is not embedded in the practices of the majority of the people of South Africa. I explore the negative impact that marketisation of higher education may have on equitable redress in South Africa. It is my concerted view that higher education transformation can have a positive effect on change in the country if implemented or framed according to an African(a) philosophy of education. With this article I therefore demonstrate how elements of African(a) philosophy in relation to culture, storytelling and indigenous languages can be tapped as foundational resources for deep transformation in higher education in South Africa.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 138 –160 (2004)More Less
The Higgs-Parker debate on the meaning and place of African philosophy in the construction of a new South African philosophy of education raises more questions than answers. In an attempt to answer some of the questions raised the present author also raises fresh questions. One of the arguments advanced by the present author is that both Higgs and Parker appear to take the meaning of key terms such as <I>Africa, philosophy, African Renaissance</I> for granted. An analysis of the meaning of the key terms brings to the fore fundamental questions of justice. These must be answered adequately and satisfactorily. The thesis defended in this article is that it is only through an in-depth and critical historico-philosophical analysis of the current constitution of South Africa that the question whether or not a truly South African philosophy of education may be constructed can be answered. An adequate answer must show that veritable curriculum change at all levels of education, especially higher education, has been effected.
Legal aspects of African indigenous knowledge systems : curriculum design in higher education : perspectives on higher educationAuthor C. RoodtSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 161 –173 (2004)More Less
African indigenous knowledge has considerable value in a modern global economy once commercial benefits arise from the utilisation of indigenous knowledge, but its value also extends beyond economic considerations. As it is linked to the ways of life of various peoples, it supports and maintains identity formation. An important way in which to incorporate indigenous knowledge into mainstream society is to integrate indigenous knowledge into the formal education system at all levels. The main function of institutions of higher education remains knowledge production, accreditation, legitimation and dissemination. Like any other curriculum, a law curriculum must produce new knowledge and smart skills. Law graduates may be expected not only to translate the main policy thrusts of items such as intellectual property and African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKSs) into law in the cultural sector; they may also be called upon to develop, implement or enforce policy. Therefore, whether and how law curricula regard AIKSs is of great importance to undergraduate and postgraduate learners alike.
African indegenous knowledge systems (AIKSs) : another challenge for curriculum development in higher education? : perspectives on higher educationAuthor N. TisaniSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 174 –184 (2004)More Less
Curriculum development is one of the central features in the process of transforming higher education in South Africa. With the colonial and neo-colonial traditions still being the pervading influences in university/technikon corridors, it is time the issue of African indigenous knowledge systems (AIKSs) was brought to the fore and its relevance to the education system explored. There are certain approaches that curriculum developers in South African institutions of higher learning can adopt as they acknowledge and engage with AIKS in their curricula. This article is based on an analysis of some of such educational approaches and is also a discussion on the possibilities of engaging with AIKS in the process of recurriculation in higher education in South Africa. Theories and paradigms on teaching and learning like phenomenography, postmodernism, Mode 2 knowledge production, present ideal opportunities for researchers to explore teaching and learning through methodologies beyond the positivistic approach as well as the traditional Western knowledge systems.
Author L.J. Van NiekerkSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 185 –195 (2004)More Less
This article will demonstrate how the move from correspondence education to open and distance learning has been as a result of changing epistemology. It will be argued that the concept of <I>community</I> in an African context provides a useful theoretical framework for establishing communities of learning, and that the practice of open and distance learning could serve the needs of such communities. Knowledge as social responsibility serves this ideal, which can only work when the university forms part of a community; this requires that higher education be deinstitutionalised. The university will manifest its many identities through the people who make up any distance education institution and who collaborate in creating meaningful learning opportunities for learners. Learning is redefined as the evolving narrative of the self in relation to others and the curriculum as the collected stories we are told.
Source: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 196 –210 (2004)More Less
Philosophical inquiry aims to explain, clarify and rationally justify higher education discourse. In this article we shall explore what an African philosophy of higher education could mean. We begin by offering a conceptual account of constitutive meanings of higher education discourse in South Africa with the aim to identify gaps. Thereafter we attempt to reconstruct a notion of African higher education, in particular how notions of <I>ubuntu</I> and community guide practices such as teaching, learning and research within higher education. Our contention is that higher education discourse in South Africa would be impoverished if it fails to recognise African philosophical thought and practice.
Author C.S. De BeerSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 211 –225 (2004)More Less
Despite all the attention given to skills training and the development of functional literacies it seems as if these developments do not address the deeper human needs of meaning and sense-making in the world. It does not lead to a more adequate understanding of the world in its full complexity, neither does it create an awareness and understanding of the intricacies of human relations. The danger is that these literacies will rather lead, as their unavoidable consequence, to illiteracy on a grand scale. What is desperately needed for the sake of our human future is the development and cultivation of a comprehensive literacy that will enable people to perform the necessary skills but enable them at the same time to live full, meaningful human lives. Certain strategies for achieving this ideal are proposed.
Drawing on indigenous knowledge : students' learning in and from a rural community : research in higher educationSource: South African Journal of Higher Education 18, pp 226 –240 (2004)More Less
Taking a lead from various perspectives on indigenous knowledge (Maher 2000; Warren 1991), the article outlines the facilitation of a two-pronged project to promote learning at different levels in tourism education. The project aimed at enhancing economic upliftment and skilling for sustainability in tourism by utilising, <I>inter alia</I>, the indigenous knowledge of a particular community. The first sub-project involved 11 adult learners from a rural community in the Western Cape Province who participated in a learning programme to develop cultural tourism products. In the second sub-project three groups of pre-service teachers from the University of Stellenbosch were exposed to the adult learners and the community and taught in and learnt from local schools for three consecutive years. The article focuses mainly on the second sub-project as run in 2004 and establishes whether the process of project development and implementation occurred in a fashion that reflected the claims to indigenous knowledge made by such frameworks as suggested by Easton, Nikiema and Essama (2002) and Ellen and Harris (1996). In particular it establishes whether the student participants reflected increased sophistication in knowledge gain and application.