Democratic citizenship education and its implications for Kenyan higher education

Chiroma, Jane Adhiambo (2015-12)

Thesis (DEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Violence in Kenya undermines the role of Kenyan higher education in the transition to democratic practices. This dissertation analyses democratic citizenship education (DCE) and its implications for Kenyan higher education. Higher education as used in this dissertation is centred on the university. The dissertation addresses the main research question, namely: How does a defensible deliberative conception of democracy help us to think differently about higher education in Kenya? This main research question is investigated using the following sub-questions: What space might there be for democratic citizenship education to help Kenyan higher education institutions address ethnic divisions in the country? How can democratic citizenship education in Kenyan higher education reshape ethnic identities and overcome ethnic tensions? Philosophy of education, as the approach used in this dissertation, enabled this research to reach its goal, which was to establish how DCE can help university education in Kenya resolve ethnic violence. In doing so, this dissertation argues that an extended view of liberal DCE – DCE in becoming – fits in with deconstruction as a reflexive paradox that retains the critical potential of DCE. Deconstruction potentially creates space for reimagining the possibilities of the university as a critical and democratic institution. Deconstruction as a method enabled this research potentially to claim openness in thinking about university education in Kenya to unforeseeable in becoming – being other than it currently is, so that it can contend with issues of ethnic violence in whatever singularity. This dissertation found that Kenyan higher education is already conceptualised in liberal DCE in a predetermined sense of belonging, although in a limited form, and that it is actualised, which means that it cannot resist violence. Therefore, a reconceptualised view of DCE in becoming is engendered in the potentialities of speech and thought and withholding rash judgment – as a way of curbing violence. Further, the findings demonstrate that DCE in becoming potentially can enable students and teachers to learn to think autonomously and to respect others with whom they co-belong. DCE in becoming potentially can contribute to the discourses and pedagogical encounters needed to cultivate responsible, relational, emancipative individual agency in becoming humans who respect and co-belong to the coming community.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geweld in Kenia ondermyn die rol van Keniaanse hoër onderwys in die oorgang na demokratiese praktyke. Hierdie proefskrif analiseer demokratiese burgerskapopvoeding (democratic citizenship education (DCE)) en die implikasies daarvan vir hoër onderwys in Kenia. Hoër onderwys soos in hierdie proefskrif gebruik, verwys na die universiteit. Die proefskrif spreek die hoof- navorsingsvraag aan, naamlik: Hoe help ’n verdedigbare beraadslagende begrip van demokrasie ons om anders oor hoër onderwys in Kenia te dink? Hierdie hoof- navorsingsvraag is ondersoek deur gebruik te maak van die volgende subvrae: Watter ruimte kan daar wees vir demokratiese burgerskapopvoeding om hoëronderwysinstellings in Kenia te help om die etniese verdeeldheid in die land aan te spreek? Hoe kan demokratiese burgerskapopvoeding in hoër onderwys in Kenia bydra tot ’n hervorming van etniese identiteite en etniese spanning oorkom? Die filosofie van die onderwys, as die benadering wat in hierdie proefskrif gebruik is, het dit vir die navorsing moontlik gemaak op sy doel te bereik, naamlik om te bepaal hoe DCE universiteitsopvoeding in Kenia kan help om etniese geweld op te los. Sodoende hou hierdie proefskrif voor dat ’n uitgebreide siening van liberale DCE – DCE in wording – inpas by dekonstruksie as ’n refleksiewe paradoks wat die kritiese potensiaal van DCE behou. Dekonstruksie skep potensieel ruimte om die moontlikhede om die universiteit as ’n kritiese en demokratiese instansie te herverbeel (re-imagine). Dekonstruksie as ’n metode het hierdie navorsing potensieel in staat gestel om aanspraak te maak op oopheid in denke oor universiteitsopvoeding in Kenia as onvoorsienbaar in wording – om anders te wees as wat dit tans is, sodat dit kan worstel met kwessies van etniese geweld in wat ook al singulariteit. Hierdie proefskrif het bevind dat hoër onderwys in Kenia reeds in liberale DCE gekonseptualiseer is as ’n voorafbepaalde sin van behoort, hoewel in ’n beperkte mate, en dat dit geaktualiseer is, wat beteken dat die nie geweld kan teëstaan nie. ’n Herkonseptualiseerde siening van DCE in wording word dus voortgebring in die potensialiteite van spraak en denke en die weerhouding van oorhaastige oordeel – as ’n manier om geweld te beteuel. Verder demonstreer die bevindinge dat DCE in wording potensieel studente en onderwysers kan help om outonoom te dink en om ander met wie hulle saam behoort, te respekteer. DCE in wording kan potensieel bydra tot die diskoerse en pedagogiese ontmoetings wat benodig word om verantwoordelike, relasionele, emansiperende individuele agentskap te kultiveer in wordende mense wat die komende gemeenskap respekteer en gesamentlik daaraan behoort.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97843
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