Browsing by Author "Isaacs, Tracey"
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- ItemCritical human agency in Africa as a knowledge culture : towards critical student agency(Addleton Academic Publishers, 2016) Isaacs, TraceyIn the post-colonial era it is not an anomaly for serious scholars to consider the weighty question of whether there is a defensible African philosophy. In the space of arrested development due to colonial expansion and conquest, some scholars argue that the African subject has not yet rescued an account of a plausible philosophy. This is in part due to the fact that the African subject is schizoid – that is, trapped between the nascent colonial identity and the arrested pre-colonial African identity. As such, any attempt at resuscitating an African identity inevitably bears trace of the colonial ideology superimposed on the emerging African subject. On the basis of African gnosis (or deep, secret knowledge) and a call for indigenous knowledge systems to be held up by Africans for scrutiny – as the foundational focus – the core of this article focuses on critical agency and, more specifically, on how critical student agency might be imagined within the conceptual frame of critical pedagogy. By using the methodological approach of discourse analysis I aim to investigate not only how the physical, human and spiritual aspects of critical agency are revealed in African discourse and agency but, more appreciably, how they work and how this might inform education for the post-colonial subject in the local and universal space.
- ItemCritical student agency in educational practice: a South African perspective(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-12) Isaacs, Tracey; Waghid, Yusef; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Education Policy StudiesENGLISH ABSTRACT : Violating students’ inalienable and unassailable rights to human dignity could be considered a concrete manifestation of how inequality is perpetuated within a society. By infringing upon human dignity, the potential to tolerate poverty and unemployment is unleashed, creating possibilities to transgress language and religious rights, and accommodate inequality. In this potentially under-served and undermining context, it becomes apparent to ask the question: How could students utilise critical agency to mitigate the effects of capitalist hegemony and ideology in order to bring about a measure of equality in a South Africa classroom, community and society? This research question highlights the status of a sampled group of disadvantaged and marginal students in the schooling system, as they could be regarded as the most vulnerable and threatened participants in the schooling experience, whose human rights are brought into question every time they encounter the schooling situation. Since ruling class hegemony is so pervasive and intrusive in the lives of economically, culturally and linguistically marginal students, they are usually measured against the markers of values, beliefs, norms and standards that are alien to their lived realities and experiences. Often poverty sets the poor apart from their more affluent peers in society, as the poor do not display the level of success envisioned by curriculum planners and administrators. The omnipresence of capitalist or ruling class hegemony makes it almost insurmountable to overcome poverty and inequality. Or does it? The deliberate choice of a philosophical research methodology in this study is designed to gradually clarify meanings, and make values manifest, even while it seeks to identify ethics. As such the study report was mapped out through an interpretivist research approach. Operationally, the data was sourced from written material and verbally expressed ideas that highlight education policy, teacher education and concrete classroom experience. This study focussed firstly, on an investigation of the indicators of critical agency in students from under-resourced school environments within the dominant research literature and secondly, on discovering whether the activation of critical agency can expose students towards becoming individuals and critical thinkers who strive for personal freedom and equality as they are confronted with the stark reality of their lived experiences (specifically the causes and effects of their lives under capital and the possibilities for change).