The Politics of National Culture and Urban Education Reforms in Post-Independent Zimbabwe

  • Douglas Mpondi
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 19)

This chapter discusses urban education reforms in post-independent Zimbabwe in the context of the government’s project of national cultural policy and national identityformation. Zimbabwe is an emerging post-independent society in Africa in that it gained its independence at a later stage than many African countries. It thus provides a raw field of study on issues of identity, educational reform and cultural struggles. The study of urban educational reforms provides an important lens through which to understand the politics of transition in post-independent Zimbabwe.

In underscoring how the Zimbabwean cultural struggles over educational meanings and representations are deeply entangled with the government’s definition of culture, the study furthers the theoretical reflection on the political dimensions of culture. Cultural contestations are constitutive of the efforts of the Zimbabwe people to redefine the meaning and limits of the political system itself. This paper paves the way for understanding on a broad theoretical and practical basis, the trajectories of education, culture, politics, and identity-formation in post-colonial transformations like Zimbabwe. An analysis of the Zimbabwean educational system and national culture allows one to scrutinize the contradictions within official discourse on education and culture and to assess the gap that exists between the real urgency of preserving, valorizing, and reinvigorating collective spiritual heritage and identity. The moribund and critical state of the contemporary Zimbabwean nation calls for a more subtle and nuanced historical analysis of the relationship among national politics, culture, and education.


National Identity National Culture Educational Reform Colonial Period Educational Innovation 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas Mpondi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Michigan-FlintMichiganU.S.A.

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