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Coloured in - investigating the challenges of an 'othered' identity within spaces of learning

Biscombe, Monique Isabel (2014-04)

Thesis (MA(VA))--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The challenges that have occurred within the South African education context could be ascribed to the country’s political history. This is a history that includes more than three hundred and fifty years of colonialism, which has had a direct influence on the more recent Apartheid regime. Colonial and apartheid history have remained deeply ingrained in the mind-sets of South African citizens, where a sense of strict binary and hierarchal thinking is present. Feeding on the ideologies of the past, it manifests and perpetuates itself specifically within spaces of learning. The purpose of this study is to investigate how 'Othered' identity is described and experienced within spaces of learning at the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University. The study is approached from a qualitative perspective, utilizing an interpretative process of collecting and analyzing data. A case study was conducted and the process involved interviews with four lecturers and eight students at the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University. The investigation of ‘Othering’ within spaces of learning at the Visual Arts Department highlighted themes of ‘Othering’ and social and economic circumstances; ‘Othering’ and feelings of discomfort and pretence; ‘Othering’ and language; and ‘Othering’ and culture. Strategies regarding ‘Othering’ also emerged from the data highlighting two themes, bridging courses and diversity within spaces of learning. My findings include that ‘Othering’ is still prevalent within spaces of learning at the Visual Arts Department. Most lecturers and students seemed to be in agreement that ‘Othering’ should be addressed. It is suggested that promoting and combining processes of critical citizenship and reflective thinking within spaces of learning may encourage a necessary dialogue between lecturers and students. By improving the dialogue between lecturers and students, it may facilitate a relationship founded on mutual trust necessary for personal growth and growth within spaces of learning. It is further suggested that creating spaces of learning that are more diverse could contribute to this and provide enriching learning experiences for both lecturers and students.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die uitdagings binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks kan toegeskryf word aan die land se politieke geskiedenis. Dit is ‘n geskiedenis wat bestaan uit meer as driehonderd en vyftig jaar van kolonialisme, wat ‘n direkte invloed op die meer onlangse Apartheid regering gehad het. Koloniale en apartheids geskiedenis is diep gewortel binne die denkwyses van Suid-Afrikaners, waar streng binêre denkwyses en hierargie heers. Na aanleiding van die verskeie ideologieë van die verlede, word hierdie denkwyse spesifiek manifisteer en herhaal binne leerruimtes. Die doel van hierdie studie was om te ondersoek hoe ‘Othered’ identiteit beskryf en ervaar word binne leerruimtes by die Visuele Kunste Departement van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Die studie is vanaf ‘n kwalitatiewe hoek benader en maak gebruik van ‘n interpretatiewe proses deur data versameling en analise. ‘n Gevallestudie was as navorsingsmetode gebruik en die proses het bestaan uit onderhoude met vier dosente en ag studente by die Visuele Kunste Departement van die Universiteit van Stellenbosch. Die ondersoek van ‘Othering’ binne leerruimtes by die Visuele Kunste Departement het temas van ‘Othering’ en sosiale en ekonomiese omstandighede, ‘Othering’ en gevoelens van ongemak en voorgee; ‘Othering’ en taal; en ‘Othering’ en kultuur identifiseer. Strategieë ten opsigte van ‘Othering’ is ook vanaf die data identifiseer, waarvan twee temas spruit, naamlik oorbruggings kursusse en diversiteit binne leerruimtes. My bevindings sluit in dat ‘Othering’ nogsteeds binne die leerruimtes van die Visuele Kunste Departement ondervind word. ‘n Groot aantal dosente en studente stem ooreen dat dit baie voordelig sou wees om ‘n kombinasie van kritiese en refleksiewe denk prosesse binne leerruimtes in te sluit, soos ‘n nodige dialoog tussen dosente en studente. Deur die dialoë tussen dosente en studente te verbeter, kan dit ‘n verhouding fasiliteer wat gevestig is op gemeenskaplike vertroue, nodig vir persoonlike groei en groei binne leerruimtes. Dit word verder aangeraai dat leerruimtes wat meer divers is, ‘n bydrae kan maak tot verrykende leer ervarings vir beide dosente en studente.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86598
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