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Unit information: Education Viewed from the Global South in 2020/21

Unit name Education Viewed from the Global South
Unit code EDUC20002
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Mbogo Barrett
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit introduces scholars from the global South, highlighting their contribution to theory and practice. Students will apply their insights to educational problems in the North and South. There will be a particular focus on the legacy of Empire and the role education plays in creating and reproducing inequality. The unit is mainly organised around the work of key thinkers and movements within Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  1. Review the work of key scholars from the global South.
  2. Appreciate how contemporary global inequalities have been socio-culturally and historically constructed, particularly through processes of colonialism and Empire.
  3. Explore non-hegemonic perspectives on education, and recognise how they challenge dominant discourses on education in the global South.
  4. Apply insights from Southern scholarship to contemporary educational issues in either the global South or the global North.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate that they:

  1. Engage critically with the work of a range of key scholars form the Global South.
  2. Independently source and critique literature related to education theory and practice.
  3. Apply theory from the Global South to contemporary debates in education.
  4. Recognising how histories of Empire continue to shape global educational practices and university curricula.
  5. Develop and present coherent and original arguments to different academic audiences that build on theory from Global South.

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of lectures, class discussion, investigative activities, debates and group presentations. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment a peer-reviewed analysis of a contemporary issue for education in the global South, focusing on one context.

Summative assessment

ILO 1,3,5 : A group poster presentation of an intervention designed to address a contemporary issue in education in the global South showing how it builds on the literature introduced in the unit (20%);

ILO 1-5 : A 2500 word review of the contribution of a single or connected group of Southern scholars to educational theory. (80%)

Reading and References

Appadurai, A. (1996) Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions in Globalization, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) (2009) Tales of Hope II: Innovative Grassroots Approaches to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), TOKYO: ACCU.

Connell, R.W. (2015) Southern Theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. London: Routledge.

Dei, G.J.S. (2002) Learning, Culture, Spirituality and Local Knowledge: Implications for African schooling, International Review of Education 48(5): 335-360.

Hickling-Hudson, A.R. (2006) Cultural Complexity, Post-Colonialism and Educational Change: Challenges for Comparative Educators. International Review of Education, 52(1), pp. 201-218.

Smith, L.T. (2012) Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd edition. London: Zed.

Tikly, L. (2004) Education and the New Imperialism, Comparative Education 40(2): 173-198.