Can ubuntu provide a model for citizenship education in African democracies?

Enslin, P. and Horsthemke, K. (2004) Can ubuntu provide a model for citizenship education in African democracies? Comparative Education, 40(4), pp. 548-558. (doi:10.1080/0305006042000284538)

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Some proponents of Africanism argue that African traditional education and the principles of "ubuntu" should provide the framework for citizenship education. While conceding that understandable concerns lie behind defences of "ubuntu" as underpinning African democracy, we argue that the Africanist perspective faces various problems and makes substantial errors: political, moral, epistemic and educational. While democracy and democratic citizenship necessarily involve sensitivity to local context, their fundamental principles and tenets are universal. Failure to acknowledge this comes at a substantial price. Taking as its initial focus an analysis and critical evaluation of Malegapuru William Makgoba's critique of liberal democracy, the paper questions the purported uniqueness of "ubuntu" and its value and efficiency as a practical guide to action and policy, as well as its capacity to indicate how conflict between its associate principles and values might be resolved, insofar as these principles and values are indeed morally worthy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Special Issue: Philosophical Perspectives on Comparative Education
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Enslin, Professor Penelope
Authors: Enslin, P., and Horsthemke, K.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Comparative Education
ISSN (Online):1360-0486
Published Online:28 June 2010

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