Decolonising Teacher Education Curriculum in South African Higher Education

Oluwatoyin A. Ajani, Bongani T. Gamede


Calls for the decolonisation of higher education in South Africa gained prominence after the #Rhodesmustfall, #Feesmustfall and series of 2015-2016 students’ protests in South African higher institutions. Visible in the demands of the students during these protests was the need for the decolonisation of higher education curriculum to ensure reflection of diverse realities in South Africa. This led to various conferences in different parts of the Republic. However, while some scholars are clamouring for the need for decolonisation, others consider the desire for decoloniality and glocalization. Thus, the subject of decolonisation remains a debate in South African society. Meanwhile, decolonisation is still very much crucial. Seemingly, in the words of Steve Biko, decolonization should begin from the mind. Hence, this discursive study explores how pre-service teachers’ minds can be decolonised for realities in transforming South African higher education. The study adopts Critical Race Theory as a lens for this phenomenon. South African higher education curriculum has predominantly been Eurocentric and epistemic, reflecting Western dominance in post-apartheid South Africa. The study argues why and how South African higher education institutions can place teacher education at the centre of learning experiences, for students to adapt and maximize the realities in their contexts, and for responsive lived experiences. Thus, adding voices to a curriculum that promotes total rethink, reflections and reconstruction of students' minds in integrating the existing Eurocentrism and epistemic knowledge with African philosophy in higher education institutions.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Oluwatoyin A. Ajani, Bongani T. Gamede

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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