Teaching Africa: Towards a Transgressive Pedagogy (Explorations of Educational Purpose)

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9781402057700: Teaching Africa: Towards a Transgressive Pedagogy (Explorations of Educational Purpose)
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One is always struck by the brilliant work of George Sefa Dei but nothing so far has demonstrated his pedagogical leadership as much as the current project. With a sense of purpose so pure and so thoroughly intellectual, Dei shows why he must be credited with continuing the motivation and action for justice in education. He has produced in this powerful volume, Teaching Africa, the same type of close reasoning that has given him credibility in the anti-racist struggle in education. Sustaining the case for the democratization of education and the revising of the pedagogical method to include Indigenous knowledge are the twin pillars of his style. A key component of this new science of pedagogy is the crusade against any form of hegemonic education where one group of people assumes that they are the masters of everyone else. Whether this happens in South Africa, Canada, United States, India, Iraq, Brazil, or China, Dei’s insights suggest that this hegemony of education in pluralistic and multi-ethnic societies is a false construction. We live pre-eminently in a world of co-cultures, not cultures and sub-cultures, and once we understand this difference, we will have a better approach to education and equity in the human condition.

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Written from the perspective of a knowledge base and educational practice that are both African-centred, this volume uses a discursive pedagogy that is anti-colonial in origin. It theorizes colonial – and re-colonial – relations and the implications of imperial structures on knowledge production and use; the understanding of indigenousness; and the pursuit of agency, resistance and subjective politics.

Using a refined definition of colonial, less as ‘foreign’ or ‘alien’ but more ‘imposed and dominating’, the author shows us how colonialism is domesticated and how those who have been oppressed by dominant/hegemonic discourses may find it difficult to step out of them, let alone challenge or resist them. The book is a call for a critical interrogation of dominant knowledge about Africa in order to help the contemporary learner come to grips with the challenges and possibilities of knowing about the African world and the African human condition.

The author’s anti-colonial discursive platform addresses distorted Eurocentric views of Africa, raises ontological and epistemological questions about teaching methods and methodologies relating to Africa, and highlights knowledge indigenous to Africa. At the same time, it shows what the rest of the world can learn from this knowledge.

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