Volume 21, No. 2, 2024

Decolonisation: Why Decolonising Teacher Education Is Far From Realities In South Africa

Oluwatoyin Ayodele Ajani


South Africa's transition from apartheid to a democratic republic in 1994 came with lots of expectations. Massive and national student movement protests that rocked the universities in South Africa from 2015 to 2016 highlighted the expected transformation in the education system after the collapse of apartheid. This study explored the challenges of decolonising teacher education curricula despite the student movement protests that demanded the decolonisation of higher education in South Africa. Many South African universities have yet to significantly transform, especially in the knowledge production rooted in Western and Eurocentric disciplinary knowledge. This article adopted a systematic literature review method to explore the decolonisation of teacher education curriculum, a long overdue task for higher education institutions in South Africa. The contexts of South Africa require decolonised teacher education due to the dynamic realities that exist across diverse social groups in the Republic. Many African scholars have critiqued existing teacher education and described it as an epistemic and hegemonic knowledge-building system in most South African universities, as well as the need to recognise indigenous education systems. This discursive article examines the concepts of decolonisation and the hiccups of experiencing a decolonised teacher education curriculum in South African higher education institutions. The article adds to the voices on the need to make Africa the centre of the curriculum. Challenges against decolonising teacher education from Westernised and Eurocentric knowledge will be highlighted. The study recommends reviewing and assessing teacher education curricula by various higher education institutions to integrate realities in students' communities into their learning content to prepare them as effective social change agents.

Pages: 119-141

Keywords: teacher education, curriculum, decolonisation, Eurocentric, epistemic, knowledge building

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