Towards an integrative Philosophy of Education: The contemplative case of Economic Education

  • Suriamurthee Moonsamy Maistry UKZN
Keywords: knowledge


Acquiring a basic a knowledge of philosophy is usually a matter of deprioritized choice for students in undergraduate programmes across the world. Seldom is even a basic philosophy course mandatory in the hard sciences. It may however be an option in social sciences degrees. While many undergraduate teacher education programmes do have standalone courses in the philosophy of education or some variant thereof in general educational studies courses, of note is that philosophical inspiration is largely drawn from continental philosophy, often critiqued for its efficacy at understanding the Southern Other. The problematic then is twofold. Firstly, there is uncertainty as to the extent to which preservice teachers are able to see philosophy of education’s wider relevance and application to disciplinary fields (school subjects) they choose to teach.  Secondly, contemporary philosophy of education courses especially in the (South) African context, may still be paying homage to western, Eurocentric philosophical canons despite recent calls by the broader student collective in South Africa for (African) contextual relevance.  In this paper, I present an account of a curriculum initiative in a teacher education course that attempts a disruption of traditional western canons that underpin economics and economic education. I argue that the disciplines (such as economics) are fertile spaces for engaging teacher trainees in a philosophical exposé with the view to contesting the universality of the philosophies of (economic) sciences to explain contemporary societal crises.  The paper concludes with insights for how philosophy (of education) might be conceptualised as an ‘across the curriculum’ competence as opposed to an insular packaging as standalone offering.