What a new university in Africa is doing to decolonise social sciences
This article summarizes the seven goals Jess Auerbach of the African Leadership University has proposed for a new African History course. The course is innovative in its methods to teach African history in a decolonized way through experiential learning, non-English text and open source materials.
|article||10 minutes||JESS AUERBACH||05-13-2017||https://theconversation.com/|
|jess auerbach||2018-07-17 00:00:00 UTC|
SummaryThis article summarizes the steps that the African Leadership University in Mauritius is taking to decolonize its social sciences curriculum. Auerbach recognizes the long history of South Africa and has designed the following goals to achieve this:
- By 2019, everything we assign our students will be open source
By avoiding the use of exclusive of private academic materials, Auerbach seeks to discourage piracy and encourage inclusion.
- Language beyond English
By assigning one text not in English per week, Auerbach aims to broaden discussion and humble students to the immense knowledge that lies outside the English language.
- 1:1 Student exchange ratio
Auerbach intends to send one student abroad for each student they accept at their institution to limit the continuation of imperial era academic tourism.
- Text is not enough
Experiential learning will support curriculum on African history, because much was not recorded in writing or was written by outsiders. To account for this Auerbach aims to study "artefacts, music, advertising, architecture, food," etc. in addition to texts.
- We cannot work alone
Auerbach will supplement her staff’s teaching with lectures and lessons from diverse sources, allowing wide range of people to offer their experience to the course.
- Producers, not only consumers
Auerbach will encourage students to produce content and express their thoughts on subjects, through a variety of media.
- Ethics above all
Ethics will be paramount, taking precedent in all forms of discussion, making sure to respect all parties.
The goal of this program is to find a more sustainable alternative to the historically biased and one-sided subject of African history, which is often taught from the viewpoint of English text and European viewpoints.