Democratic citizenship education in Zimbabwe’s higher education system and its implications for teaching and learning

Monicah, Zembere (2018-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : This study sought to access the implications of democratic citizenship education for higher education in Zimbabwe between 1980 and 2015. Critical inquiry was used as the main research design and it was adopted from social reconstructivism and transformation as frameworks informing this research. The research used deconstruction as method, and this enabled the research to claim openness in thinking about university education in Zimbabwe to unforeseeable in becoming – being other than it is today, so that university education can contend with issues of inequality, corruption as well as electoral and ethnic violence in whatever singularity. The main research question addressed in the research is: Does the Zimbabwean higher education system contain a justifiable form of democratic citizenship education? This main question was supported by the following sub-questions: To what extent is higher education in Zimbabwe informed by DCE? How committed are universities in Zimbabwe to educate for DCE? How did the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe between 1980 and 2015 determine the form of DCE in higher education institutions of learning? How does a reconceptualised notion of DCE assist Zimbabwe’s higher education to address problems associated with social inequalities? In the light of the above research questions, this researcher gathered that Zimbabwe’s higher education requires an extended view of liberal DCE for it to be able to fulfil its transformational and reconstruction agenda. This is in line with deconstruction as a reflexive paradox that reinforces the potential for DCE. The researcher also found that higher education in Zimbabwe is already conceptualised in liberal DCE but in a limited form, and that it is actualised, suggesting that it cannot resist electoral and ethnic violence. More so, having literate citizens is not enough. Citizens must be literate in terms of the principles of democratic living, so that they may learn to participate democratically in the day-today activities of the communities where they live and shun violence. In the light of the above findings, the researcher recommends a DCE in becoming because this could potentially enable students and teachers to learn to think autonomously and to respect others with whom students cobelong. Furthermore, DCE in becoming could contribute to the discourses and pedagogical encounters needed to cultivate responsible and emancipative individual agency in becoming humans who respect community values and co-belong to the coming community. Finally, education in becoming has the potential to make students see things differently, which will prevent them from making rush judgements. Such an education is still in becoming in Zimbabwe; it has not yet been reached, but is still a process of becoming, which can be reached if teaching and learning enable students to enter into speech and thought without rush judgement.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Hierdie navorsing het beoog om toegang te verkry tot die implikasies van demokratiese burgerskapopvoeding vir hoër onderwys in Zimbabwe van 1980 tot 2015 Kritiese navraag is gebruik as die hoof- navorsingsontwerp en dit is van sosiale konstruktivisme en transformasie as raamwerke wat hierdie navorsing geïnspireer het, oorgeneem. Die navorsing het dekonstruksie as ‘n metode gebruik en dit het die navorsing daartoe in staat gestel om aanspraak te maak op openheid in denke oor universiteitsopleiding in Zimbabwe vir die onvoorspelbare in wording – om anders te wees as wat dit vandag is, sodat universiteitsopleiding met vraagstukke van ongelykheid, korrupsie asook verkiesings- en etniese geweld in watter hoedanigheid ook al te make kan kry. Die hoof- navorsingsvraag wat in die tesis aangeroer is, was: Beskik die hoëronderwysstelsel in Zimbabwe oor ʼn geregverdigde vorm van demokratiese burgerskapopvoeding (DBO)? Hierdie hoofvraag is in die ondersoek deur die volgende sub-vrae ondersteun: tot watter mate word hoër onderwys in Zimbabwe deur DBO geïnspireer? Hoe verbonde is universiteite in Zimbabwe tot opvoeding vir DBO? Hoe bepaal die ekonomiese en politieke situasie in Zimbabwe van 1990 tot 2015 die vorm van DBO in hoëronderwysinstellings? Hoe dra ‘n herkonseptualiseerde opvatting van DBO by tot Zimbabwe se hoër onderwys om probleme geassosieer met maatskaplike ongelykhede die hoof te bied? In die lig van bostaande navorsingsvrae het die navorser tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat hoër onderwys in Zimbabwe ‘n uitgebreide siening van liberale DBO vereis om dit moontlik te maak om sy transformasionele en ‘n rekonstrusie-agenda te kan deurvoer. Dit is in ooreenstemming met dekonstruksie as ‘n refleksiewe paradoks wat die moontlikheid vir DBO versterk. Die navorser het verder bevind dat hoër onderwys in Zimbabwe alreeds in liberale DBO gekonseptualiseer is maar in beperkte vorm en dat dit verwesenlik is, wat te kenne gee dat dit nie verkiesings- en etniese geweld kan weerstaan nie. Geletterde burgers is verder nie genoeg nie. Burgers moet geletterd wees ten opsigte van die beginsels van ʼn demokratiese bestaan, sodat hulle kan leer om op demokratiese wyse aan die daaglikse aktiwiteite van die gemeenskappe waar hulle woon, te kan deelneem. In die lig van die bostaande bevindings beveel die navorser ‘n DBO in wording aan aangesien dit studente en onderwysers in staat kan stel om te leer om outonoom te dink en ander met wie studente mede-behoort te respekteer. Daarbenewens kan DBO in wording bydra tot die diskoerse en pedagogiese ontmoetings wat nodig is om verantwoordelike en emansiperende individuele agentskap te kweek in wordende mense wat gemeenskapswaardes respekteer en aan die wordende gemeenskap mede-behoort. Laastens het opvoeding in wording die potensiaal om studente dinge verskillend te laat sien, wat hulle van oorhaastige besluite sal weerhou. Sodanige opvoeding is steeds in wording in Zimbabwe; dit is nog nie bereik nie, maar is steeds ‘n proses van wording wat bereik kan word as onderrig en leer studente in staat stel om by spraak en denke betrokke te raak sonder oorhaastige besluitneming.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103263
This item appears in the following collections: