By Wally Morrow
Spanning pivotal years within the old democratization of South Africa, this research presents a trenchant mirrored image of upper schooling in transition. Penned through one in all South Africa’s optimum philosophers of schooling, the critique grapples with very actual issues in better schooling policymaking and perform, together with stakeholder politics, institutional cultures, and curriculum transformation and interrogation of the functionality of upper schooling associations in sleek societies. Exposing the tensions among egalitarian ideas and the character of upper wisdom, the essays bring up inquiries to which there are no simple solutions. With attribute rigor, the research appears into the assumptions underlying a lot of the puzzling over those questions and concludes failure to sharpen pondering round greater education is a failure to acknowledge the epistemic worth of educational perform in a constructing democracy.
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Extra info for Bounds of Democracy: Epistemological Access in Higher Education
Academic freedom might have been available in the cemetery, but there are now economic and political reasons why we can no longer afford it. The political reasons revolve around the ways in which the so-called ‘academic freedom’ of the past simply reinforced and perpetuated the systems of oppression of colonialism and its virulent offspring – Apartheid. Academics need to understand that whatever their intentions and self-images, they were the ideological props of oppression, the reproductive organs of nondemocratic regimes.
Unlike simply changing one’s clothes, these are far from easy kinds of change to accomplish, and the more so if the reasons offered for change seem to be irrelevant to what they understand to be the purpose of academic work and the defining mission in their professional lives. As Thomas Khun once remarked, a paradigm shift sometimes has to await the death of the old professors. But not all curriculum change is as traumatic as this implies. As in the case of any changes, there are many degrees and speeds of change.
This task involves using the opportunity provided by this workshop collectively to sort the various significant aspects of the Report into those that further embed the traditional culture of Higher Education and those that can be understood as paving the way for a new culture. The distinction between these two is not clear-cut (and we might during the workshop, by trying to sort various aspects of the Report, be involved in trying to clarify what the dimensions of this distinction are), but this essay will try to set the ball rolling by offering an initial characterisation of this central distinction, and a few pointers to how the Report can be read through these spectacles.