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Towards a pedagogy of possibility: Teaching and learning from a ‘social justice’ perspective

Leibowitz, Brenda (2009)

CITATION: Leibowitz, B. 2009. Towards a Pedagogy of Possibility: Teaching and Learning From a 'Social Justice' Perspective, in E. Bitzer (ed.). Higher Education in South Africa: A Scholarly Look behind the Scenes. Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA. 85-101. doi:10.18820/9781920338183/05.

The original publication is available from AFRICAN SUNMeDIA -

Chapters in Books

This chapter takes the argument of Waghid (this volume) on higher education as a public good as its starting point and sketches the challenges presented in relation to this, by the educational biographies of learners and educators from varied social backgrounds. It considers what education as a public good would be like, especially if higher education were to ensure participatory parity for all learners. With reference to a study on educational biographies of 100 students and 64 lecturers at one South African university, it discusses the three dimensions of social justice posited by Fraser (2009), namely distribution, participation and recognition. It further considers the interrelationship of structure, agency and responsibility, and how this interrelationship impacts on the task of higher education to facilitate the potential for the successful learning of all students. The chapter concludes with a model, depicting the responsibilities of the key role-players for realising higher education as a social good. The model also contains references to research and findings on innovations by researchers and educators, whose work serves as examples of what can be done to realise this pedagogy of possibility.

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