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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Knowledge claims and codes of legitimation: implications for curriculum recontextualisation in South African higher education
Author:Luckett, Kathy
Periodical:Africanus (ISSN 0304-615X)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:higher education
educational policy
Abstract:This article responds to calls for the recontextualization and Africanization of the South African higher education curriculum by drawing on the social realist tradition of the sociology of knowledge - particularly on K. Maton's (2000, 2006, 2007 and 2009) 'legitimation code theory' - in order to assess some of the implications for curriculum change. The paper first analyses the current context in South Africa in terms of the contending demands of postcolonial and globalizing imperatives. A theoretical framework for a sociology of curriculum knowledge is then set out. Examples from current South African curriculum debates are used to illustrate the different positions described by the theory. Maton's legitimation code theory enables a more nuanced approach in which different knowledge types are seen to be more or less amenable to recontextualization. Furthermore, the theory enables one to distinguish between different approaches to Africanization - showing how an exclusive Afrocentric approach is likely to limit knowledge progression (verticality), whilst an inclusive approach is more likely to realize verticality. In conclusion, the paper argues for an inclusive approach that takes the debate forward beyond the crude dichotomies established by essentialist versus relativist views on culture and identity. Instead, it is suggested that the South African higher education curriculum should offer students subject positions that transcend and subsume the old Western or African identities. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]