Cultivating Care: Towards a Philosophy of Higher Education in Africa
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Considering a chapter on a philosophy of higher education in Africa should be understood in the context of a concern expressed by Aaron Stoller and Eli Kramer (2018: 1) ‘that no moderate debate or meaningful scholarship developed around the idea of curriculum in higher education … [can do without] talk of curriculum [that] is framed exclusively within the context of teaching methods for content delivery’. What I have attempted to do in this book, is to develop a concept of care in the context of rhythm that could influence pedagogical encounters positively. And, in a way, a particular philosophy of higher education has been implicitly argued for without engaging the criticism that pedagogical encounters within higher education in Africa ‘do not offer robust, critical imaginaries capable of constructing institutions of higher learning’ (Stoller & Kramer, 2018: 3). Unlike some philosophers who are accused of producing works in higher education detached from ‘the material and political conditions of institutions’ (Stoller & Kramer, 2018: 4), I have framed this book in the interest of a sensitivity towards the epistemic, organisational, social and political cultures of higher education. In this way, hopefully, I can prepare students to become inclusive, attentive, democratic, empathic and just within and through pedagogical encounters in higher education. Like Stoller and Kramer (2018: 15), I attempt to reconstruct a philosophy of higher education. However, my attempt in reconstructing such a philosophy is linked to thinking caringly and rhythmically in and about pedagogical encounters. As corroborated by Stoller and Kramer (2018: 15), a reconstructive philosophy of higher education ‘must consider … the project of teaching and learning … as well as the relationship between pedagogy and disciplinary research’. This chapter is an attempt to move towards a reconstructive notion of higher education in Africa in relation to teaching and learning within higher education.
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