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African Widom and Democratic Classrooms: Kenya and South Africa

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Education in democratic societies can foster students’ democratic awareness and social action. Efforts aimed at internationalisation of the curriculum in democracies of sub-Saharan Africa, however, have often resulted in curricular homogenisation and foreign domination, with lessons largely devoid of cultural relevance and African wisdom. This article argues that a culturally relevant, globally cognizant, and transformative curriculum can only be created through democratic pedagogy. Democratic Concept Development (DCD), developed by Kubow and Fischer (2004a), is pedagogy for engaging people in an international postcolonial conversation about democracy and education. DCD provides the opportunity for educators from different nations to assert their democratic wisdom in the collaborative development of democratic school curriculum. The South African and Kenyan participants’ constructions of democracy signify a commitment to socially just spaces, and their classroom lessons illuminate the cultural politics to be addressed if democracy is to be more fully realised in both African countries.

Keywords: Africa; comparative education; curriculum; democracy; pedagogy; schooling

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Bowling Green State University

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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