Philosophical Reflections on Ubuntu in the Context of Cooperative Learning

Chingombe Shamiso Iline, Higgs Phillip


Learning institutions ought to be receptive to the desires of humanity by moulding students who are all-inclusive and inspired with a vibrant consideration and obligation of who they are in relation to their immediate and external environment. The study focused on philosophical reflections on ubuntu in the context of cooperative learning in higher education. A qualitative methodology was adopted. Interpretivism and the grounded theory were the paradigms used in this study. A grounded theory has the potential to generate new theories based on the data collected from participants. The sample comprised of two lecturers who were purposively selected for their expertise in teaching philosophy. Findings clarified that ubuntu creates a teamwork culture which inspires students to work collectively in order to achieve a common goal. Ubuntu collection of themes indicated that ubuntu is a philosophy. From the African point of view ubuntu is a set of beliefs that refers to the way people relate at individual and personal level, but at the core of ubuntu there is an element of humanity. Ubuntu can act as a weapon to cover the weaknesses of colleagues. As the weaknesses of family members or other learners is protected or shielded it helps to build confidence and trust among the learners. Findings also revealed that ubuntu brings coordination and direction with due respect of individual abilities and differences. It was also noted that ubuntu is the cement or the glue that unifies, interrelates or interconnects individuals in cooperative learning. On a negative note it was revealed that without ubuntu there is irrationality, chaos, disorder, selfishness and separation, where everything is scattered. As the grounded theory emphasised the generation of a new theory, a communalist enhanced theory was adopted. The communalist enhanced learning anchored on social interdependence which promotes task, behavioural and goal interdependence.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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