PiE 2012 Volume 30 Issue 4

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Lesbian, gay and bisexual citizenship: a case study as represented in a sample of South African Life Orientation textbooks
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Potgieter, Cheryl; Reygan, Finn C. G.
    Over the past two decades, sexual citizenship has emerged as a new form of citizenship coupled with increased interest in the challenges to citizenship and social justice faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and, in particular, by sexual minority youth within education systems. In South Africa, the rights of LGBTI people have been institutionalised in legislation, and research has begun to consider how educators may facilitate a more inclusive school environment for LGBTI youth. Given the focus of the Department of Education on social justice, the present study examines how selected Life Orientation (LO) textbooks for Grades 7 to 12 in South African schools represent and construct LGBTI identities. The study generally finds inconsistency in the representation of these identities. Gay male identities are represented in some instances, lesbian and bisexual identities rarely so, and transgender and intersex identities not at all. Two of the four series examined are almost entirely silent about LGBTI identities. This invisibility negates the different ‘ways of knowing’ of LGBTI learners; tends not to facilitate students in critiquing the discrimination, prejudice and social injustices faced by many LGBTI people, and lessens the importance of social justice and citizenship education in this field in South Africa.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teaching social justice: reframing some common pedagogical assumptions
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Davis, Danya; Steyn, Melissa
    Drawing on scholarship in Critical Pedagogy, this article speaks to the debate about pedagogical approaches within social justice education (SJE). The article addresses itself to privileged positionality within the context of university-based SJE, with a specific focus on race and whiteness. As a conceptual piece, it addresses some key considerations when working with liberatory pedagogies towards conscientising people from dominant positionalities, challenging some pedagogical assumptions that have achieved virtual common sense status. It indicates that we should reframe student resistance, cautions about uncritical use of dialogue and student experience in methodologies, and problematizes the advocacy of safety as a prerequisite for SJE. We end by outlining the reasons why firmly challenging students, though uncomfortable and controversial, may be necessary.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Critical emancipatory research for social justice and democratic citizenship
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Nkoane, Molebatsi Milton
    This article proposes a research paradigm located within the respectful relationship between participants and researcher(s) towards construction of positive holding, interactions and invitational environments which privilege social justice. I outline power as expressed at the heart of any form of human society through communication. For analysing power relations, issues of social justice and democratic citizenship become central. This article also demonstrates that social justice in research depends on interactions between the participants and researcher(s). I further argue for the need to engage with the methodological expectations of critical emancipatory research (CER), using the power of language and communication. I interrogate and trouble the power of text in the form of spoken or written words or any other means of communication. In addition, the article conceptualises communication as a medium of expression between the researcher(s) and participants; the researcher should not be regarded as aloof from the conditions of the participants. Therefore, the argument developed for social justice and democratic citizenship is that researcher(s) should be sensitive to the plight of all participants, recognising their voices or experiences. The article concludes by acknowledging the fact that human language is a product of human communication and that communication is important for knowledge production.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The curriculum and citizenship education in the context of inequality: seeking a praxis of hope
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Spreen, Carol Anne; Vally, Salim
    In South Africa, more than most countries, the meaning of citizenship and related rights has faced severe contestation centred on categories such as race, class and nation. Close to two decades after the first democratic elections, notions of citizenship in South Africa represent a complex dynamic involving a combination of one or another of these social constructs, as they relate at different times to changing social, political and economic imperatives. In this article we explain that analyses of citizenship education in South Africa have traversed different phases over the last two decades and discuss some of the research on how ideas and values around citizenship are translated into classroom practice. We then examine notions about citizenship and social justice in the shadow of the xenophobic or Afrophobic attacks of 2008/2009 and in the light of the present rise in racial tensions within and across communities in South Africa. Our conclusion highlights the paradox that, despite the normative framework of the Constitution, policies and the curriculum, structural inequalities in society will continue to thwart attempts at social cohesion.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The spatial practices of school administrative clerks: making space for contributive justice
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Bayat, Abdullah
    This article discusses the work practices of the much neglected phenomenon of the work of school administrative clerks in schools. Popular accounts of school administrative clerks portray them as subjectified – assigned roles with limited power and discretion – as subordinate and expected to be compliant, passive and deferent to the principal and senior teachers. Despite the vital role they play in schools, their neglect is characterised by their invisible, largely taken-for-granted roles in a school’s everyday functioning. This main aim of this article is to make their everyday practices and contributions visible, to elevate them as indispensable, albeit discounted, role players in their schools, whose particular expressions of agency contribute qualitatively to a school’s practices. Using the theoretical lens of ‘space’, and based on in-depth semi-structured interviews in the qualitative research tradition, the article discusses how selected school administrative clerks’ production of space exceeds their assigned spatial limitations, i.e. they move beyond the expectations that their work contexts narrowly assign to them. They resist the contributive injustice visited upon them and through their agency they engage in spatial practices that counters this injustice. They carve out a productive niche for themselves at their schools through their daily practice. This niche, I will argue, embodies practices of ‘care’, ‘sway’ and ‘surrogacy,’ understood through a vigorous ‘production of space’. Through these unique spatial practices they reflect their agency and their appropriation of existing spatial practices at their schools. Thus, they produce personalized meanings for their existing practice as well as generate novel lived spatial practices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The potential of critical feminist citizenship frameworks for citizenship and social justice in higher education
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Bozalek, Vivienne; Carolissen, Ronelle
    There is a paucity of South African literature that uses feminist critical approaches as a conceptual tool to examine intersections of social justice and citizenship. This article aims to address this gap by examining the potential of critical feminist approaches to transform conceptions of citizenship in higher education. It outlines how traditional normative frameworks of citizenship can be contested by drawing on feminist approaches. More specifically, the article focuses on feminist contributions regarding ontological constructions of human beings as citizens, the public-private binary, the politics of needs interpretation, participatory parity and belonging, illuminating these concepts with illustrative examples from the higher education context. The article concludes by suggesting recommendations based on the identified feminist conceptions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Understanding and action: thinking with Arendt about democratic education
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Lange, Lis
    Taking as its point of departure Ahier’s location of the problem of citizenship in the context of the changes that globalisation and neo-liberalism have brought about in higher education, this article focuses on the conceptual preconditions that need to underpin the idea of ‘teaching’ citizenship through the university curriculum. The article takes the republican notion of citizenship and Hannah Arendt’s contribution to thinking politics, citizenship and education to propose a political pedagogy that can help foster a citizenship identity that counters the individualist identities provided by the insidious influence of the market in higher education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A humanising pedagogy: getting beneath the rhetoric
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Zinn, Denise; Rodgers, Carol
    In this article, the authors situate and make an argument for a humanising pedagogy in response to the legacy of a dehumanising past in South Africa. They describe the inquiry into a humanising pedagogy by means of mining stories of living and learning in South Africa. The authors explain how the meanings and praxis of a humanising pedagogy unfold as the story of the work unfolds. One result of the work has been a working collection of “Statements of awareness” that are authentic and significant, though still evolving, which frame a humanising pedagogy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pedagogical justice and student engagement in South African schooling: working with the cultural capital of disadvantaged students
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Fataar, Aslam
    This article is a conceptual consideration of what could be regarded as pedagogical justice for disadvantaged students in South African schools. Combining Bourdieu’s social reproduction account of education with elements of Bernstein’s consideration of the internal dynamics that constitute the pedagogic relay, the article considers the pedagogical terms upon which these students can meaningfully be engaged in their school going. Such engagement, I argue, has to contend with the cultural resistance displayed by disadvantaged students towards their schooling which they view as being against their classcultural interests. The article suggests that teachers’ pedagogical practices at the site of the school present one key space to leverage the socially just pedagogies necessary for productive school engagement. I consider the conceptual bases upon which such a pedagogical approach can proceed. I advance the argument that student engagement ought to proceed on the basis of a combination of a ‘social relations of pedagogies’ orientation, on the one hand, and what I refer to as an ‘explicit pedagogies’ approach to recontextualisation of work, on the other. It is the main argument of this article that pedagogical justice for disadvantaged students lies in providing a pedagogical scaffold between their life world knowledge’s and accessing the school knowledge codes. Such an approach supports induction into the vertical logic of the school code as central to students’ school success, but it argues for pedagogical incorporation of horizontal knowledge’s central to securing active engagement with their schooling.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Re-imagining democratic citizenship education: towards a culture of compassionate responsibility
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012-12) Davids, Nuraan; Waghid, Yusef
    Benhabib (2002:134) maintains that, in order for individuals to become democratic citizens they need to be exposed to at least three inter-related elements: collective identity, privileges of membership, and social rights and benefits. Through exposure to these three inter-related items it is hoped that, by means of the teaching and learning of cultural, linguistic and religious commonalities and differences, a participatory climate of deliberation will emerge in which, ultimately, the rights of all people are recognised and respected (Waghid, 2010:198-199). After a decade of implementing liberal conceptions of democratic citizenship education in public schools in South Africa, questions need to be asked about its credibility and success. We commence this article by analysing the Department of Basic Education’s (DoBE, 2011) recently produced Building a culture of responsibility and humanity in our schools: A guide for teachers – a practical guide for teachers that can hopefully engender democratic citizenship education in public schools. Thereafter, in reference to a post-graduate teacher training programme at a South African university, we argue for a renewed and enhanced version of democratic citizenship education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Editorial: rethinking citizenship and social justice in education
    (Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, 2012) Keet, Andre; Carolissen, Ronelle
    Abstract not available