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Problematizing Democratic Citizenship in South African Secondary Schools

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This article engages postcolonial debate on citizenship education’s power-knowledge nexus by interrogating the concerns of 37 secondary schoolteachers in a Western Cape Xhosa township, the first created during the apartheid era. Unmasking power-knowledge divides in the localisation of global norms, the data reveal state dismissal of indigenous knowledge in curriculum, problems associated with the status accorded English in a multilingual society, and the need for a culturally relevant African curriculum. Examined through ‘politics of expression’ (recognition, positioning, and equality), the analysis considers alternative theories of power that the African ethic of Ubuntu (humanness) might offer to guide democratic citizenship education.
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Keywords: South Africa; Ubuntu; citizenship education; democracy; indigenous; power-knowledge; secondary schoolteachers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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