Engaging the curriculum in visual communication design : a critical citizenship education perspective

Costandius, Elmarie (2012-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The importance of global and local change and transformation is emphasised through initiatives such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (2012) and the Earth Charter Initiatives (2011) for constructing a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. In South Africa, the need for transformation has been underlined by the South African Department of Education in the Education White Paper of 1997 (DOE 1997). At Stellenbosch University, the Pedagogy of Hope (US) project aims to find concrete ways to reflect on historical influences and current SA society. Tremendous progress has been made in transformation regarding legislative policies, but personal transformation within people is proving to be slow. As a response to these realities, a module called Critical Citizenship was introduced for first-­‐ to third-­‐year Visual Communication Design students at the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University. The aim of this research project was to explore the perceptions and attitudes of students, learners and lecturers regarding personal transformation through teaching and learning in the Critical Citizenship module. As a framework for the study, I emphasised the importance of giving consideration to the emotional dimensions of learning (Illeris 2007), meaning considering the learning being (Barnett 2009) as a thinking, feeling and acting person (Jarvis 2006). The objectives of the study were to identify such emotional reactions to the Critical Citizenship module and to establish what the emotional reactions revealed about the immediate and broader context of the teaching and learning context in which students, learners and lecturers learn and teach. I followed an interpretative approach and a case study research design that aimed at exploring and providing an in-­‐depth investigation of the Critical Citizenship module was used. The themes that surfaced from reflections written by students and learners and from group interviews, comprised feeling unprepared for this type of project; feelings of guilt and shame; resistance to this type of project; asymmetry and assimilation, but also feelings of hope. Other responses, suggesting feelings of empathy, privilege, humility, re-­‐ evaluation of priorities and values, sameness and difference, feeling out of a comfort zone and reflecting on blackness and whiteness were also interweaved with the main themes. The results of the research included that taking into consideration the emotional aspects in critical citizenship education is important because we are thinking, feeling and acting beings, but moving beyond emotional reactions toward rational actions is crucial. Critical citizenship cannot be taught in isolation because the context in which it exists plays a vital role and an inclusive critical citizenship curriculum within community interactions for the wider society is suggested.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die belangrikheid van globale en plaaslike verandering en transformasie word beklemtoon deur inisiatiewe soos die Verenigde Nasies se Millennium-­‐ ontwikkelingsdoelwitte (2012) en die Aardemanifes Inisiatiewe (2011) vir die daarstelling van ‘n regverdige, onderhoubare en vreedsame globale gemeenskap. In Suid-­‐Afrika is die behoefte aan transformasie deur die Suid-­‐Afrikaanse Departement van Onderwys deur die Onderwys Witskrif van 1997 (DvO 1997) onderstreep. By die Stellenbosch Universiteit beoog die Pedagogie van Hoop (US) projek om konkrete maniere te verkry om historiese invloede en die huidige SA gemeenskap te oordink. Geweldige vooruitgang in transformasie is reeds ten opsigte van wetgewende beleid bewerkstellig, maar dit blyk dat persoonlike transformasie binne-­‐in mense traag gebeur. ‘n Module genaamd Kritiese Burgerskap is as reaksie tot hierdie realiteit by die Visuele Kunste Departement te Stellenbosch Universiteit ingestel vir eerste-­‐ tot derdejaarstudente in Visuele Kommunikasie Ontwerp. Die doel van die huidige navorsingsprojek was om die persepsies en houdings van studente, leerders en dosente ten opsigte van persoonlike transformasie deur die onderrig en leer van die Kritiese Burgerskap module te ondersoek. As ‘n raamwerk vir die studie het ek beklemtoon dat dit belangrik is om die emotiewe dimensies van leer (Illeris 2007) in ag te neem, wat inagname van die lerende wese (Barnett 2009) as ‘n denkende, voelende en handelende persoon (Jarvis 2006) behels. Die doelwitte van die studie was om emotiewe reaksies op die Kritiese Burgerskap module te identifiseer en vas te stel wat deur sulke emotiewe reaksies ontbloot word ten opsigte van die onmiddellike en breër konteks van die onderrig en leer konteks waarbinne die studente, leerders en dosente leer en onderrig gee. Ek het met ‘n interpretatiewe benadering en lens te werk gegaan en ’n gevallestudie navorsingsontwerp is gebruik. Temas wat na vore gekom het uit refleksies wat deur studente en leerders geskryf is en uit groep onderhoude het die volgende behels: ‘n gevoel van onvoorbereidheid vir dié soort projek; gevoelens van skuld en skaamte; weerstand teen hierdie soort projek; asimmetrie en assimilasie, maar ook gevoelens van hoop. Ander reaksies wat ook met die hooftemas deurvleg was, was verteenwoordigend van gevoelens van empatie, bevoorregting, nederigheid, herevaluering van prioriteite en waardes, eendersheid en verskil, die gevoel van buite die gemaksone te wees en nadenke oor swartheid en witheid. Die resultate van die navorsing het behels dat dit belangrik is om die emotiewe aspekte by die onderrig van kritiese burgerskap in ag te neem omdat ons denkende, voelende en handelende wesens is, maar dat dit van kritieke belang is om verby emosionele reaksies na rasionele handeling te beweeg. Kritiese burgerskap kan nie geïsoleerd onderrig word nie omdat die konteks waarbinne dit bestaan ‘n deurslaggewende rol speel; ‘n inklusiewe kritiese burgerskap kurrikulum binne gemeenskapsinteraksies word vir die breër gemeenskap voorgestel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71660
This item appears in the following collections: