Cognitive justice and the higher education curriculum

  • Brenda Leibowitz Faculty of Education University of Johannesburg
Keywords: Curriculum, cognitive justice


This article is set against the backdrop of calls for the decolonisation of the curriculum in higher education institutions in South Africa. It is an attempt to contribute towards the debate on decolonising the curriculum, with a focus on the tasks of academics and academic developers. The first half of the article outlines several key aspects of current theorising about academic development or teaching and learning in higher education, informed by more general debates about education. These aspects limit the potential to imagine a more inclusive or socially just, decolonised curriculum. The second half of the article proposes cognitive justice as a useful concept to lead thinking about how to change the curriculum. It discusses what cognitive justice is and how this intersects with writing on decolonisation. It outlines some of the gaps in this conceptualisation, which would need more attention if this concept were to be useful to take the process of transforming teaching and learning forward.
Research Articles