Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Ubuntu: (Re)Humanizing Education

Abstract

Drawing on the work of South African philosophers (Waghid, 2014; Eze, 2010; Ramose, 2002; Venter, 2004), this paper illuminates the ethical, relational, and pedagogical implications of an American philosophy of education reconceptualized by thinking with and through the notion of ubuntu. More specifically, counter to Western educational discourse, it conveys the role of education as not simply knowledge acquisition, but as means to deepen our humanity through encounter and recognition with the Other(s). Today’s educational milieu characterized by political control, ideological posturing, and market-driven demand dehumanizes students under its control and reduces them to cogs in an edu-political wheel. Ubuntu offers a philosophical medium to deepen our humanity, contribute towards democratic educational justice, and harmonious human relations. Further, it provokes an awareness of human interdependence, and catalyzes a culture of respect and care. Pedagogically, I contend, an ubuntu-hued educational curriculum enhances justice in educative relations by fostering responsibility, deliberation, and imagination­ . More importantly, an ubuntu centric American educational philosophy and curriculum reorients itself to center on the cultivation of virtues­—kindness, generosity, compassion, benevolence, courtesy, respect, and concern for the Other—and makes possible a new way of being in the world, a new societal becoming.

Presentation Description

Today’s educational milieu characterized by political control, ideological posturing, and market-driven demand dehumanizes students under its control and reduces them to cogs in an edu-political wheel. Ubuntu offers a philosophical medium to deepen our humanity, contribute towards democratic educational justice, and harmonious human relations and makes possible a new way of being in the world, a new societal becoming.

Keywords

Ubuntu, Philosophy, Education, Africa, Re-Thinking

Location

Talmadge

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 10th, 11:00 AM Jun 10th, 12:15 PM

Ubuntu: (Re)Humanizing Education

Talmadge

Drawing on the work of South African philosophers (Waghid, 2014; Eze, 2010; Ramose, 2002; Venter, 2004), this paper illuminates the ethical, relational, and pedagogical implications of an American philosophy of education reconceptualized by thinking with and through the notion of ubuntu. More specifically, counter to Western educational discourse, it conveys the role of education as not simply knowledge acquisition, but as means to deepen our humanity through encounter and recognition with the Other(s). Today’s educational milieu characterized by political control, ideological posturing, and market-driven demand dehumanizes students under its control and reduces them to cogs in an edu-political wheel. Ubuntu offers a philosophical medium to deepen our humanity, contribute towards democratic educational justice, and harmonious human relations. Further, it provokes an awareness of human interdependence, and catalyzes a culture of respect and care. Pedagogically, I contend, an ubuntu-hued educational curriculum enhances justice in educative relations by fostering responsibility, deliberation, and imagination­ . More importantly, an ubuntu centric American educational philosophy and curriculum reorients itself to center on the cultivation of virtues­—kindness, generosity, compassion, benevolence, courtesy, respect, and concern for the Other—and makes possible a new way of being in the world, a new societal becoming.