Towards a humanising pedagogy through an engagement with the social–subjective in educational theorising in South Africa
CITATION: Fataar, A. 2016. Towards a humanising pedagogy through an engagement with the social–subjective in educational theorising in South Africa, Educational Research for Social Change, 5(1):10-21.
The original publication is available at http://ersc.nmmu.ac.za
This article is an attempt to bring the social complexity of education into a conversation with what is referred to as a humanising pedagogy. In the article, I work with a definition of humanising pedagogy based on a three-dimensional conception of social justice. Drawing on Nancy Fraser (2009), I suggest that such a pedagogy should involve 1) the question of knowledge redistribution, 2) recognition of the knowledges, literacies, and identities of students, and 3) an emphasis on participation that brings process pedagogical orientations back into view to counter the rigid pedagogical orientation that informs South Africa’s curriculum approach. The article unpacks what it means to insert a conception of the social–subjective into educational theorising in South African education academic work. I argue that this dimension is largely absent in hegemonic educational academic orientations, the consequence of which is a thinned-out focus on curriculum and pedagogy, devoid of how the complex social–subjective frames the subject’s access to education. Based on my ethnographic work in urban sites, the article offers a view of the social–subjective that is aimed at disrupting South African educational theorising and provides a “pedagogical justice” view of education that may, conceptually, be able to account for the complex social–subjective in education—and thereby better enable the emergence of a humanising pedagogy in our educational discourses.