n South African Journal of Higher Education - Being educated in the twenty-first century : an exploration

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The question `When am I educated?' had a fairly simple answer in the modern era. The <I>minimum</I> requirement was a degree from one of the `recognised' universities of the world, and the degree initiated the individual into the different `official' canons of knowledge. The majority of those canons were Western in origin and represented Education (with a capital `E'). Knowledge production and legitimisation were the sole mandate of universities and institutions of higher learning. In the postmodern era being considered `educated' has changed dramatically. Universities are no longer the only producers or legitimisers of knowledge; the canons of knowledge themselves are contested. Industry demands `just-in-time' learning and certification, while lifelong learning as transitional learning celebrates `unofficial' and informal knowledge production. Lifelong learning furthermore includes valuing interdependency and learning-in-communities within the broader project of individuation. Should the question be `Who owns or will produce what type of knowledge?' or `Who will sanction the knowledge produced or owned and determine the relevance thereof?'

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