- A-Z Publications
- Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production
- Issue Home
Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production - latest Issue
Volume 21, Issue 2, 2015
Using agency-space and aspiration-scape to interpret grassroots perspectives on secondary education in South AfricaAuthor David BalwanzSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 9 –28 (2015)More Less
In South Africa, debate about secondary education is largely framed by three topics: National Senior Certificate pass rates and standards, university access and, for non-university-bound youth, skills development. This article draws on an agency-focused capabilities approach to offer an alternative perspective to dominant constructions of secondary education. It argues that in many poor and working-class communities in South Africa formal secondary schooling offers insufficient space for youth to craft their own learning agenda, express agency and develop their capability to aspire. This article draws on recent scholarship and empirical research grounded in a capabilities approach to identify features of the current education system that suppress or enhance agency and aspiration, and, based on interviews with youth and teachers, recognises alternative perspectives on how secondary education could contribute to human well-being. Using Appadurai's concepts of 'scapes', an interpretation of the capabilities approach that recognises how global cultural flows influence youth agency and aspiration is argued for.
Source: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 29 –52 (2015)More Less
This article is concerned with the link between school organisation and performance, and attempts to produce a relational understanding of school organisation and management. The research on which it is based focused on a sample of schools in poor communities that were achieving 'against the odds'. Looking at organisation and management, the analysis shows the development of a novel framework for the analysis of the school as an institution, as well as the empirical insights gained into the relationship between school organisation and performance. The central argument of the article is that, if specialised knowledge is to be transmitted, certain organisational configurations optimise better outcomes. We identify three school 'types' in the research, the 'epistemic', the 'bureaucratic' and the 'communitarian' school, and discuss some of the implications of these types.
Towards a 'self-schooled' habitus : high school students' educational navigations in an impoverished rural West Coast townshipAuthor Jerome JoorstSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 53 –68 (2015)More Less
This article focuses on how poor, rural working-class youth experience their education as they move through the spaces of their home, community and school. It entails an analysis of high-school students against the background of fast-changing social-reproductive contexts of rural families, communities and schools in South Africa in the post-apartheid era. By making use of multi-site ethnographic study methods, an analysis is offered of what rural youth do to mediate between the structural reproductive influences of their learning environments and their educational aspirations. The article uses Bourdieu's theoretical lens of field, (self-schooled) habitus and capital to argue that many working-class students are not merely passive receivers of global influences and changing social structures, but are active creators of their local realities. The purpose of the article is to shed light on the way in which rural working-class students, positioned in disintegrating socialisation structures, create a future for themselves amid poverty.
Making place: High school girls' place-making practices and identifications in the light of the 'expressive culture' of their independent school in peri-urban Cape TownAuthor Elzahn RinquestSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 69 –90 (2015)More Less
This article focuses on the place-making practices and identifications that school students assemble at a high school on the outskirts of Cape Town. Their school is the site at which I explore the place-making of five selected girls in their informal out-of-classroom high-school spaces. The article is based on an ethnographic research approach. I utilised participant observation, unstructured and semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions to gather in-depth qualitative data with the purpose of illustrating the complexity of their place-making. I employ Nespor's (1997) spatial lenses of 'emplacement', 'displacement' and 'mobility' to analyse the five girls' personal socialisation, place-making practices and consequent place identifications. The article suggests that there is a formative and symbiotic relationship between the 'expressive culture' of their school and the manner in which the girls are able to develop their individual place-making and project-specific place identities. The manner in which the girls inhabit and 'make place' in the school's out-of-classroom spaces is determined by the particular networks, movements and practices that they mobilise in these spaces, which in turn have an influence on their identifications in the school.
Chasing curricular justice : how complex ethical vexations of redistributing cultural capital bring dialectics to the door of aporiaAuthor Lew ZipinSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 91 –109 (2015)More Less
This article argues that approaching social justice through school curriculum is a daunting prospect that compels 'us' (educators who care for justice) to pursue contradictory imperatives. To 'do justice' with learners from power-marginalised communities, we are compelled to recognise and make use of knowledge that has cultural familiarity and meaning (use-value) in their lives. At the same time, following Bourdieu, we cannot ignore that, in a capitalist society, curriculum is bound up in high-stakes competition for life-chances, coded to select for those who inherit powerful cultural capital (exchange-value). This requires us to give serious curricular effort to redistributing the codes of 'winning' cultural capital to those who, by accident of birth, do not inherit it in their families. The article therefore argues for a both/and approach to curricular justice: both work with use-valued cultural knowledge, and redistribute exchange-valued knowledge (cultural capital). However, the article analyses acute ethical vexations associated with formidable powers of the logic of capital to co-opt efforts to distribute it, in which 'dialectical' impulses of a both/and approach encounter the 'aporia' of their impossibility. Following Derrida, the article invokes an ethical attitude of 'madness', or courage of conviction, to pursue the possibility of the impossible.
Source: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 110 –119 (2015)More Less
This article is an overview and critical interrogation of the main arguments of a key text on Muslim education that was recently published by Ebrahim Moosa, renowned reformist Islamic scholar. I start by providing an overview of his text, What is a Madrasa? This is followed by a consideration of two issues that I have identified as germane to the author's intellectual task. First, I develop the view that the text represents a harbinger for very difficult but necessary intercultural conversation between the epistemological traditions of the West and non-West. The book opens space for speaking across the vast epistemic chasm that exists, especially in the West, about the knowledge traditions of the non-West, in this case the knowledge and performative transfer modalities of a key Muslim educational institution. The second is a consideration of the texts, knowledge and functional arrangement of this type of institution. I argue that Moosa makes a persuasive case for suggesting that madrasa knowledge is performed on the body of its students, which in effect suggests a thoroughly ontologised account of its knowledge traditions and transfer modalities. I conclude with the suggestion that Moosa's attempt at establishing the intellectual terms for an intercultural dialogue as well as a reformist approach to internal madrasa reorganisation represents an aporia, a madness which yet has to be pursued if madrasas are able to be harnessed for complex modern living.
Can Foucault liberate madrasa knowledge from commodification practices? : a critical engagement with Ebrahim Moosa's concept of madrasa knowledgeAuthor M. Noor DavidsSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 120 –130 (2015)More Less
Ebrahim Moosa's notion of madrasa knowledge is expounded in his book What is a Madrasa? (2015). Madrasa knowledge is understood to be performed on the Muslim mind and body for purposes of salvation. Moosa argues that madrasa knowledge needs reforming to include knowledge of everyday living and intercultural dialogue. Contiguous to Moosa's notion of 'salvation practices', I argue, are 'consumption practices', i.e. commodification, another dimension of salvation. The growth of disciplinary power and creation of docile bodies are vital requirements for capitalism (Dreyfus and Rabinow 1983). Madrasa knowledge plays a disciplinary role when transforming the body as object into a Muslim subject. The main purpose of discipline is to increase individuals' mastery over their bodies. As madrasa knowledge is performed on the body, it expresses itself as disciplinary power when bio-power exerts agency in everyday life, as when the body becomes a consumer to fulfil its salvation and economic needs. Given an extended enunciation of salvation practices as inclusive of consumption practices, I pose the question: Can madrasa knowledge be liberated from commodification through critical pedagogy? Although Moosa's book is not dedicated to pedagogy per se, he offers pedagogical solutions to address reform and the unequal epistemological relationship between Western and madrasa knowledge. Foucault's (1995) notion of bio-power and Habermas' (1972) notion of critical theory are employed to assess how critical pedagogy can liberate madrasa knowledge from rampant commodification.
Author Hasina Banu EbrahimSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 131 –139 (2015)More Less
The book What is a Madrasa? offers multi-dimensional insights into the madrasa world and beyond. Moosa uses lived experiences and insider perspectives to foreground madrasas as institutions of religious learning and also as sites in need of reform to address the challenges in the contemporary world. He also raises the point that madrasas are sites targeted for correction by those who uncritically benchmark from Muslims with radical intent. Additionally, narrow Western interpretive frames of reference are used to make sense of the work of madrasas. This review is framed by the metaphoric unveiling of the narratives at the margins. Such a response was necessary in order to illuminate dominant ideas/practices as well as those that are at the fringes. The themes of positional stances underpinned by reflexivity, madrasas as public good and tensions and hope are used as organisers to facilitate a critical discussion on the key issues raised by Moosa. In order to move the madrasa into a third space, Moosa offers the solution of dialogue and its related practices to bring disparate worlds into a communicative space for mutual enrichment. This review shows that such a response is complex and mostly tied to a web of intentions and actions.
University Access and Success. Capabilities, Diversity and Social Justice, Merridy Wilson-Strydom : book reviewAuthor Alejandra BoniSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 140 –142 (2015)More Less
University Access and Success represents an extremely valuable contribution to the higher education literature related to access to universities. But, contrary to the mainstream approaches to access, which rely on school performance and admissions tests, Wilson-Strydom poses at the centre of the analysis the issue of social justice.
Author Jyothi ChabilallSource: Southern African Review of Education with Education with Production 21, pp 143 –144 (2015)More Less
Fataar's use of the concept 'pedagogy of hope' demonstrates South African school-based subjectivity post-1994. In making the argument for active social engagement Fataar seeks to encourage social and academic communication and knowledge-sharing that would ultimately inform school- and classroom-based activities. This cogent exposition brings to the fore exclusion criteria that invariably impact upon deficient educational techniques that fail to respond especially to complex suburban youth. He is mindful of persistent suggestions that South Africa is experiencing an 'endemic education crisis' (p. 9), recognising that ill-fated schools consistently underperform as a result of communal poverty, social disruptions, violence and the lack of cultural capital.