Reflecting on lecturer dispositions to decolonise teacher education


An increasingly diverse student population is becoming more and more the norm at South African (SA) universities with culturally and linguistically complex classrooms being the new reality. Lecturers are challenged not only to prepare students to participate in an increasingly diverse democracy, but also to respond to such diversity within their own sites of learning and teaching. Most of the current lecturers at Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) were schooled during the “Apartheid era” and were predominantly exposed to Western ideologies and fundamental pedagogics. This complicates curriculum transformation at HEI’s as a mind-shift is required to bring about the change required to address the needs of the new generation of students. Despite the transformation and curriculum renewal efforts at universities in SA; students still claim that they feel the effects of colonialism in lecture halls and in the rendition of the curriculum – and calls for the decolonization of the curriculum. Changing the curriculum without changing the curriculum maker is especially difficult under conditions of radical social transformation. Changing the curriculum too far ahead of the lecturers who have to implement it, is unlikely to rearrange the epistemological order of things in the classroom. This paper seeks to understand lecturer dispositions to decolonizing teacher education and reflects on three dispositions – a disposition of resistance, a disposition of inertia and a disposition of possibility.