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Proposals for Alternative Approaches to Education

Cite as:

Okune, Angela. 2018. "Proposals for Alternative Approaches to Education." In PhD Orals Document: Decolonizing the African University. University of California, Irvine. October.

Introduction

Andah (1995) has complained that while there is the problem of adequate funding, much more important is the establishment of the “right (truly African) cultural perspective as the basis for training all students—Africans and non-Africans who genuinely want to understand Africa as against wanting to impose their own cultural purview on African peoples and materials” (157). This highlights a long-standing question regarding what a “truly African” perspective entails. Debates about decentering Western pedagogy have included proposals for ways to "decolonize the university" including a more "Afro-centric" education (also known by the name: "culturally relevant pedagogy") and land education. This section outlines some of the contributions to the question of what alternatives to a white, colonial settler model of education might look like.

This essay is part of a broader orals document on Decolonizing the African University. Additional sub-essays within the document can be found through the following links: 

Ethics and Responsibility | Colonial Policies and Practices of Education in Africa | Bretton Woods and Investments in Education for Development | Politics and Practices of the Neoliberal University | Proposals for Alternative Approaches to Education | Tech Philanthropy | Openness and Academic Infrastructures

Angela Okune's Orals Documents in Brief

This essay is part of three orals documents submitted by University of California, Irvine Anthropology doctoral student Angela Okune i n partial fulfillment of her requirements for advancement to candidacy. Within UCI Anthropology, the orals documents typically take the form of three documents...Read more
Mamdani, Mahmood. 2018. “The African University.” London Review of Books, July 19, 2018.

AO: In this recent piece from the London Review of Books, Mamdani explains two different approaches and orientations towards the African university that emerged at decolonization. He sees these differences as embodied between Ali Mazrui and Walter Rodney: Mazrui believed in the classical model...Read more

Mbembe, Achille. 2015. “Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive.” Africa is a Country.

AO: This "e-book" published online by "Africa is a Country" was deliberately written as a spoken text by Achille Mbembe. It forms the basis of a series of public lectures given at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), at...Read more

Freire, Paulo. 1968. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Abstract: "First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency...Read more

Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʾo. 1986. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London : Portsmouth, N.H: J. Currey ; Heinemann.

Abstract: " Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book, which advocates for linguistic decolonization, is one of Ngũgĩ’s best-known and most-cited non-fiction publications, helping to cement him as a...Read more

Dei, George J. Sefa. 1999. Anti-Racism Education: Theory and Practice. Halifac: Fernwood.

Abstract: " Dei argues that analyzing the intersections of race, class, gender and sexual oppression is essential if we are to fully address educational equity, social justice and change. He examines how we can value our differences while equitably sharing power, and discusses ways to counter the...Read more
Dei, George J. Sefa. 2000. “Rethinking the Role of Indigenous Knowledges in the Academy.” International Journal of Inclusive Education 4 (2): 111–32.

Angela Okune: This 2000 article by George Sefa Dei invites discussion about the definition and operationalization of "indigenous knowledge" and how it is used/taken up in the Western academy.Read more

Dei, George J. Sefa, and Alireza Asgharzadeh. 2001. “The Power of Social Theory: The Anti-Colonial Discursive Framework.” The Journal of Educational Thought (JET) / Revue de La Pensée Éducative 35 (3): 297–323.

Angela Okune: This 2001 article by George Sefa Dei and Alireza Asgharzadeh introduces an "anti-colonial discourse" as a guiding framework for partnerships among anti-oppression activists in the academy and beyond it.Read more

Wane, Njoki Nathani. 2008. “Mapping the Field of Indigenous Knowledges in Anti‐colonial Discourse: A Transformative Journey in Education.” Race Ethnicity and Education 11 (2): 183–97.

Angela Okune: In this 2008 paper, Njoki Nathani Wane examines anti-colonial discourses as articulated by scholars in the 1960s and (re)taken up in the 21st century.Read more

Nyamnjoh, Francis B. 2012. “‘Potted Plants in Greenhouses’: A Critical Reflection on the Resilience of Colonial Education in Africa.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 47 (2): 129–54.

Angela Okune: This 2012 paper by Francis Nyamnjoh argues that education in Africa is based on a resilient colonial and colonizing epistemology, which takes the form of science as ideology and hegemony. This type of education is justified as necessary to keep Africans internationally...Read more

Mukoma wa Ngugi. 2018. “What Decolonizing the Mind Means Today.” Literary Hub, March 2018.

Angela Okune: This 2018 blog post by Ngugi wa Thiong'o's son, Mukoma articulates the continued relevance of the book. Borrowing literary critic Adam Beach's notion of an "English metaphysical empire," Mukoma highlights how English continues to be a marker of intelligence and class in Kenya (and...Read more

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. 2018. Toward What Justice? Describing Diverse Dreams of Justice in Education. Milton: Taylor and Francis.

Abstract: " Toward What Justice? brings together compelling ideas from a wide range of intellectual traditions in education to discuss corresponding and sometimes competing definitions of justice. Leading scholars articulate new ideas and challenge entrenched views of what justice means when...Read more

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, Eve Tuck, and K. Wayne Yang, eds. 2018. Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View. New York: Routledge.

Abstract: " Indigenous and decolonizing perspectives on education have long persisted alongside colonial models of education, yet too often have been subsumed within the fields of multiculturalism, critical race theory, and progressive education. Timely and compelling, Indigenous and Decolonizing...Read more

Bibliography

Dei, George J. Sefa. 1999. Anti-Racism Education: Theory and Practice. 2. print. Halifac: Fernwood.

———. 2000. “Rethinking the Role of Indigenous Knowledges in the Academy.” International Journal of Inclusive Education 4 (2): 111–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/136031100284849.

Dei, George J. Sefa, and Alireza Asgharzadeh. 2001. “The Power of Social Theory: The Anti-Colonial Discursive Framework.” The Journal of Educational Thought (JET) / Revue de La Pensée Éducative 35 (3): 297–323.

Dei, George J. Sefa, Budd L. Hall, and Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg, eds. 2000. Indigenous Knowledges in Global Contexts: Multiple Readings of Our World. Toronto ; Buffalo: Published in association with University of Toronto Press.

Freire, Paulo. 1968. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Mamdani, Mahmood. 2018. “The African University.” London Review of Books, July 19, 2018.

Mbembe, Achille. 2015. “Decolonizing Knowledge and the Question of the Archive.” Africa is a Country. https://africaisacountry.atavist.com/decolonizing-knowledge-and-the-question-of-the-archive.

Mukoma wa Ngugi. 2018. “What Decolonizing the Mind Means Today.” Literary  Hub, March 2018. https://lithub.com/mukoma-wa-ngugi-what-decolonizing-the-mind-means-today/.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and East African Educational Publishers. 2011. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Nairobi: East African Education Publisher.

Nyamnjoh, Francis B. 2012. “‘Potted Plants in Greenhouses’: A Critical Reflection on the Resilience of Colonial Education in Africa.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 47 (2): 129–54. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021909611417240.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai, Eve Tuck, and K. Wayne Yang, eds. 2018. Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education: Mapping the Long View. New York: Routledge.

Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne Yang. 2018. Toward What Justice? Describing Diverse Dreams of Justice in Education. Milton: Taylor and Francis. http://public.eblib.com/choice/PublicFullRecord.aspx?p=5257621.

Wane, Njoki Nathani. 2008. “Mapping the Field of Indigenous Knowledges in Anti‐colonial Discourse: A Transformative Journey in Education.” Race Ethnicity and Education 11 (2): 183–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/13613320600807667.

FOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Essay Feedback

Orals Commitee members are requested to use the form (link below) to submit any feedback response in your evaluation of the essays and candidate. The authors and advisor have drafted elaborative review questions to help guide your interaction with the PECE essay format. https://goo.gl/forms/...Read more