A. "What Happens When You Put African Philosophies at the Centre of Learning" (post) surveys "[w]hat happens when African philosophies and practices are placed at the centre of learning?"
- "How can teachers and students on the [African] continent use the concepts of ubuntu (human interdependence) and ukama (relationality) to come up with homegrown solutions for societal and educational concerns?"
- The article outlines "lessons [that] could be valuable to anyone who wants to centre African philosophies in a MOOC or similar course" based on "an example of how the philosophies of ubuntu and ukama were applied in the Teaching for Change MOOC."
B. Some Key Observations
- "Students were encouraged to share their views or claims about knowledge, education, schooling, teaching and learning in their own contexts ... views [which] were in agreement or clashed with their classmates’."
- "Practising ubuntu demanded that they then articulate their willingness to engage with one another in an atmosphere of openness without insulting or discrediting another’s point of view."
- "This encouraged people to remain dignified and respectful towards one another in any educational encounter."
- "They were asked to listen attentively to different and even contending points of view ... [and] encouraged to offer points of view that clarified existing views."
- "Then, applying the theory of ukama, students were asked to see themselves in an ongoing and relational conversation with one another without prematurely judging another’s point of view as irrelevant."
- "They considered others’ views without rushing to judgement."
- "Students ... were taught to not only share their views and stories (and stories, of course, play a large role on a continent with a rich oral history), but to offer reasons for these views."
- "Participants engaged collectively, drew on their own existing thoughts about African education and learned from others."
- "This approach to learning is not in one direction as if teachers have the sole authority to give an account of reasons."
- "Students also have a voice as they assume responsibility for their claims."
- "Students’ voices are at the fulcrum of democratic education which is necessary for assisting them in critically reflecting on their own social, cultural and economic contexts."