Decolonising Schools in South Africa: The Impossible Dream?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Decolonising Schools in South Africa

The Impossible Dream?, 1st Edition

By Pam Christie


248 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367425753
pub: 2020-06-26
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This book explores the challenge of dismantling colonial schooling and how entangled power relations of the past have lingered in post-apartheid South Africa.

It examines ‘on the ground’ history of colonialism from the vantage point of a small town in the Karoo region, showing how patterns of possession and dispossession have played out in the municipality and schools. Using the strong political and ontological critique of decoloniality theories, the book demonstrates the ways in which government interventions over many years have allowed colonial relations and the construction of racialised differences to linger in new forms, including unequal access to schooling. Written in an accessible style, the book considers how the dream of decolonial schooling might be realised, from the vantage point of research on the margins. This Karoo region also offers an interesting case study as the site where the world’s largest radio telescope has recently been located and highlights the contrasting logics of international ‘big science’ and local development needs.

This book will be of interest to academics and scholars in the education field, as well as to social geographers, sociologists, human geographers, historians and policy makers.

Table of Contents

1. The long reach of coloniality: setting the scene from a marginal place; 2. Schooling and inequality: rhythms of sameness and difference; 3. Colonialism, possession and dispossession: the Karoo and its people; 4. Schooling in place and time: the Cape Colony in the 1800s; 5. Apartheid’s local forms: municipality, school and church in Carnarvon; 6. Ending apartheid: in the crucible of the old, the new is formed; 7. Preserving privilege in schooling: from the vantage point of Carnarvon; 8. Changing the hegemony of race in schooling: the task of decolonising; 9. The SKA comes to town: ‘big science’ and development; 10. Towards decolonising schooling: realising the impossible dream?; Index

About the Author

Pam Christie is Professor Emeritus in Education, University of Cape Town, and Honorary Professor, University of Queensland. She has worked extensively with schools, government departments and NGOs in South Africa and Australia on topics such as educational change, leadership and school development.

About the Series

Routledge Research on Decoloniality and New Postcolonialisms

Routledge Research on Decoloniality and New Postcolonialisms is a forum for original, critical research into the histories, legacies, and life-worlds of modern colonialism, postcolonialism, and contemporary coloniality. It analyses efforts to decolonise dominant and damaging forms of thinking and practice, and identifies, from around the world, diverse perspectives that encourage living and flourishing differently. Once the purview of a postcolonial studies informed by the cultural turn’s important focus on identity, language, text and representation, today’s resurgent critiques of coloniality are also increasingly informed, across the humanities and social sciences, by a host of new influences and continuing insights for different futures: indigeneity, critical race theory, relational ecologies, critical semiotics, posthumanisms, ontology, affect, feminist standpoints, creative methodologies, post-development, critical pedagogies, intercultural activisms, place-based knowledges, and much else. The series welcomes a range of contributions from socially engaged intellectuals, theoretical scholars, empirical analysts, and critical practitioners whose work attends, and commits, to newly rigorous analyses of alternative proposals for understanding life and living well on our increasingly damaged earth.

This series is aimed at upper-level undergraduates, research students and academics, appealing to scholars from a range of academic fields including human geography, sociology, politics and broader interdisciplinary fields of social sciences, arts and humanities.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography