Critical agency in the post-apartheid education system
This paper looks at critical agency in the South African education system. There has been a
consistent linking of critical thinking with critical agency under apartheid, and that this was
constructed by a ‘critical struggle’ (Touraine, 1985) against apartheid domination.
However, this changed significantly in the post-apartheid moment, where compliance with
the newly elected government is emphasised, and could be viewed in terms of ‘positive
struggles’ (Touraine, 1986). These, however, limit critical agency in the post-apartheid
formation. There is, nonetheless, evidence of critical agency being enacted in the
post-apartheid education system. The importance of highlighting those forms of critical
agency is crucial in order to enhance social justice in the post-apartheid educational system
and society. This paper also links critical agency in the post-apartheid situation with the
postcolonial and postmodern conditions because such conditions affect the possibilities of
critical agency not only in South Africa but more generally.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first non-exclusive publication rights granted to Journal of Education. Authors agree that any subsequent publication of the article will credit the Journal as the site of first publication and provide a link to the Journal website. Authors contributing to Journal of Education agree to publish their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, allowing third parties users to copy, distribute and transmit an article as long as the author is attributed, the article is not used for commercial purposes, and the work is not modified or adapted in any way, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this license are made clear. Note: Authors who may need to comply with the particular open access requirements of their funding bodies can apply to JoE for a more liberal licence, such as Creative Commons CC BY.