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Title: Ubuntu/Hunhu in Post-colonial Education Policies in Southern Africa: A Response to Connell's Southern Theory and the Role of Indigenous African Knowledges in the Social Sciences
Contributor(s): Sigauke, Aaron  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
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Abstract: In chapter 5 of her book Southern Theory: The global dynamics of knowledge in social science Connell (2007) demonstrates how African indigenous knowledge can be a useful component of 'Southern Theory', an alternative to Northern Theory, in understanding social life. In addition to the cases that Connell cites, a number of African states in their post-colonial era have attempted to incorporate indigenous knowledge(s) from their societies as part of educational policy reforms to counter what has been regarded as colonial pro-western ideologies. In Southern African states 'Ubuntu/hunhu' (literally meaning 'being human') became a central philosophy for education in society. This paper traces this notion of Ubuntu/hunhu as it has appeared in Zimbabwean curriculum reform from the time of political independence in 1980 when the notion was invoked to strengthen the country's new socialist ideology. In so doing, it takes a self-reflective approach to the discussion of Ubuntu/hunhu. As an indigenous person of Zimbabwe who went through the education systems both during and after the colonial period, this topic is of considerable personal significance to me. Discussing the topic based on my experience invalidates the usually scholarly discussion where the researcher aims for emotional 'detachment'. Ubuntu/hunhu is a philosophy that shaped who I was as a child in Zimbabwe and continues to underpin how I see myself in Australia, the country of my current residence. Weaving my personal narratives of village socialisation and formal western schooling throughout the discussion, I explore the following questions: How successful have post-colonial governments been in implementing aspects of Southern Theory; and can we do without Northern Theory, especially in this age of globalisation?
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Postcolonial Directions in Education, 5(1), p. 27-53
Publisher: University of Malta
Place of Publication: Msida
ISSN: 2304-5388
Field of Research (FOR): 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 9304 School/Institution
930102 Learner and Learning Processes
950501 Understanding Africa's Past
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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