Drivers and inhibitors of diversity and social justice in the South African higher education sector: Reflections on a decolonised curriculum
AbstractThis article analyses factors that drive or inhibit studentsâ€™ epistemic access to higher education in South Africa. The analysis is in response to a need for institutional diversity and programme differentiation in our higher education institutions. The article intends to contribute to the ongoing debates on decolonisation and the social justice agenda in South African higher education. I argue that the first point of departure should be a focus on curriculum change. To this end I raise three arguments: firstly, the agenda on the size and shape of the system is not based on the pursuit for social justice and decolonisation, but on flippant political pursuits and markets. Secondly, the principles that govern the selection, organisation and sequencing of curriculum are not based on post-structuralism, but rather on structuralism. Thirdly, historically disadvantaged students do not have epistemic access and success in higher education.
Badat, Saleem. 2010. â€œThe challenges of transformation in higher education and training institutions in South Africa.â€ Development Bank of Southern Africa 8(1): 1â€’37.
Badat, Saleem. 2014. South African higher education in the 20th year of democracy: Context, achievements and key challenges. Grahamstown: Rhodes University.
Begum, Neema and S. Rima. 2019. â€œDecolonising the curriculum.â€ Political Studies Review 17(2): 196â€’201.
Bernstein, Basil. 1971. Class codes and control Volume 3. Routledge and Kegan Paul London: UK Press.
Bhambra, Gurminder K., G. Dalia, and N. Kerem. (Eds.). 2018. â€œIntroduction: Decolonising the university.â€ In Decolonising the university, 1â€’18. Birmingham: Pluto Press.
Blackie, Margaret, Le Roux, and McKenna. 2016. â€œPossible futures for science and engineering education.â€ Higher Education (71): 755â€’766.
Chilisa, Bagele. 2017. â€œDecolonising transdisciplinary research approaches: An African perspective for enhancing knowledge integration in sustainability science.â€ Sustainability Science 12(5): 813â€’827.
Cobb, Paul. 2007. â€œPutting philosophy to work.â€ In Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning: A project of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 1(1). USA: Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Pub.
Cornbleth, Catherine. 1997. â€œOn the wings of dreams: Response to Edward A. Wynneâ€™s review of the Great Speckled Bird.â€ Curriculum Inquiry 27(1): 113â€’120.
Cross, Michael, and Vivian Atinde. 2015. â€œThe pedagogy of the marginalized: Understanding how historically disadvantaged students negotiate their epistemic access in a diverse university environment.â€ Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 37(4): 308â€’325.
Darling-Hammond, Linda, Lisa Flook, Channa Cook-Harvey, Brigid Barron, and David Osher. 2020. â€œImplications for educational practice of the science of learning and development.â€ Applied Developmental Science 24(2): 97â€’140.
Deleuze, Gilles, and FÃ©lix Guattari. 1984. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Translated by Robert Hurley, Mike Seem and Helen R. Lane. London: Athlone.
Department of Education. 1997. Education White Paper 3: A programme for the transformation of higher education. Pretoria: Government Gazette 386, no. 18207.
Department of Higher Education and Training. 2001. National Plan on Higher Education. Pretoria: DHET.
Department of Higher Education and Training. 2014. The Policy Framework on differentiation in the South African Post-School system. Pretoria: DHET.
DHET see Department of Higher Education and Training.
DoE see Department of Education.
Du Plooy, Lucinda, and Mphumzi Zilindile. 2014. â€œProblematising the concept epistemological access with regard to foundation phase education towards quality schooling.â€ South African Journal of Childhood Education 4(1): 187â€’201.
Essop, Ahmed. 2020. The changing size and shape of the higher education system in South Africa 2005â€’2017. Johannesburg: Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies.
Hoadley, Ursula, and Jonathan D. Jansen. 2009. Curriculum: Organizing knowledge for the classroom. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
Jansen, Jonathan D. 1999. â€œGlobalisation, curriculum and the Third World State: In dialogue with Michael Apple.â€ Current Issues in Comparative Education 1(2): 42â€’47.
Jansen, Jonathan D. 2017. â€œThe lost scholarship of changing curricula.â€ South African Journal of Science 113(6): 1â€’2.
Johnson, Bonnie. J. 2020. â€œCommunity engagement: Barriers and drivers in South African higher education.â€ South African Journal of Higher Education 34(6): 87â€’105.
Keet, AndrÃ©. 2014. â€œEpistemic â€˜otheringâ€™ and the decolonisation of knowledge.â€ Africa Insight 44(1): 23â€’37.
Kraak, AndrÃ©. (Ed.). 2000. Changing modes: New knowledge production and its implications for higher education in South Africa. Pretoria: HSRC Press.
Luckett, Kathy. 2009. â€œThe relationship between knowledge structure and curriculum: A case study in sociology.â€ Studies in Higher Education 34(4): 441â€’453.
Makalela, Leketi. 2015. â€œTranslanguaging practices in complex multilingual spaces: A discontinuous continuity in post-independent South Africa.â€ International Journal of the Sociology of Language (234): 115â€’132.
Mashiyi, N. F., L. Meda, and A. Swart. 2020. â€œLecturer conceptions of and approaches to decolonisation of curricula in higher education.â€ South African Journal of Higher Education 34(2): 146â€’163.
Mbembe, Joseph, A. 2016. â€œDecolonising the university: New Directions.â€ Arts and Humanities in Higher Education 15(1): 29â€’45. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022215618513.
Morrow, Wally. 2009. Bounds of democracy: Epistemological access in higher education. Pretoria: HSRC Press. https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/bounds-of-democracy.
Muller, Johan. 2006. â€œDifferentiation and progression in the curriculum.â€ In Knowledge, curriculum and qualifications for South African further education, edited by Education, Science and Skills Development Research Programme for HSRC, Pretoria, 66â€’86. Pretoria: HSRC.
Muller, Johan. 2009. â€œForms of knowledge and curriculum coherence.â€ Journal of Education and Work 22(3): 205â€’226.
Ndlovuâ€Gatsheni, Sabelo J. 2015. â€œDecoloniality as the future of Africa.â€ History Compass 13(10): 485â€’496.
Ngâ€™ethe, Njuguna, S. George and A. George. 2008. Differentiation and articulation in tertiary education systems: A study of twelve African countries. No. 145. World Bank Publications.
Osher, David, K. Pittman, J. Young, H. Smith, D. Moroney and M. Irby. 2020a. Thriving, robust equity, and transformative learning and development: A more powerful conceptualization of the contributors to youth success. Washington, DC: American Institutes for Research and Forum for Youth Investment.
Osher, David, Pamela Cantor, Juliette Berg, Lily Steyer, and Todd Rose. 2020b. â€œDrivers of human development: How relationships and context shape learning and development.â€ Applied Developmental Science 24(1): 6â€’36.
Pinar, William F. 1978. â€œThe reconceptualisation of curriculum studies.â€ Journal of Curriculum Studies 10(3): 205â€’214.
Saltmarsh, John, and M. Hartley. (Eds.). 2011. â€œTo serve a larger purpose: Engagement for democracy and the transformation of higher education.â€ Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education (2): 1â€’5.
Schwab, Joseph J. 1966. â€œThe practical: A language for curriculum.â€ The School Review 78(1): 1â€’23.
Singh, Mala. 2001. â€œReinserting the â€œpublic goodâ€ into higher education transformation.â€ Kagisano Higher Education Discussion Series 1: 8â€’18.
Singh, Mala. 2011. â€œThe place of social justice in higher education and social change discourses.â€ Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 41(4): 481â€’494.
Soudien, Crain. 2020. â€œSystemic shock: How Covid-19 exposes our learning challenges in education.â€ Southern African Review of Education 26(1): 6â€’19.
Swartz, R., M. Ivancheva, L. Czerniewicz, and N. P. Morris. 2019. â€œBetween a rock and a hard place: Dilemmas regarding the purpose of public universities in South Africa.â€ Higher Education 77: 567â€“583. doi:10.1007/s10734-018-0291-9.
Themane, Mahlapahlapana. 2011. â€œUnderstanding curriculum: A challenge to curriculum development in teacher education programmes.â€ South African Journal of Higher Education 25(8): 1639â€’1651.
Throw, Martin. 2007. â€œReflections on the transition from elite to mass to universal access: Forms and phases of higher education in modern societies since WWII.â€ In International handbook of higher education, 243â€’280. Springer, Dordrecht.
Wyse, Dominic, Louise Hayward, Kay Livingston, and Steve Higgins. 2014. â€œCreating curricula: Aims, knowledge, and control.â€ A special edition of the Curriculum Journal 2014: 2â€’6.
Young, Michael. 2014. â€œWhat is a curriculum and what can it do?â€ Curriculum Journal 25(1): 7â€’13.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authorsÂ and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors, copyright holders, may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.Â
A copy of the authorsâ€™ publishers version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal homepage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: â€œThis is an electronic version of an article published in SAJHE, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXXâ€“XXXâ€, DOI.Â Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/SAJHE) may be found.
Authors publishers version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
Articles as a whole, may not be re-published with another journal.
The following license applies:
Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0