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Unit information: Education Viewed from the Global South in 2018/19

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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 Open




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


This unit will introduce the work of scholars from the global South highlighting their contribution to established social theory and the key issues that indigenous and diasporic theorists raise. Through analysis of specific case studies, students will apply their insights to a range of issues including the legacy of Empire on formal education in the global South and North, marginalisation, responses to climate change and gender in education.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  1. develop knowledge and critical understanding of economic, cultural and political inequalities within and between low, middle and high income countries;
  2. appraise indigenous and non-hegemonic perspectives on education, and recognise how they disrupt dominant discourses on education in the global south;
  3. review the work of key scholars from the global South, who have contributed to established educational theory;
  4. critically engage with current issues for education in the global South by reviewing a small scale intervention that addresses a contemporary issue in this light.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • recognise the contribution that scholars from the global South have made to established educational theory;
  • reflect on indigenous knowledge perspectives and their implications for the design of interventions in education;
  • analyse key contemporary issues for education as they are experienced in the global South;
  • compare and contrast research and theory relating to education in the 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 2&3 : 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&4 : 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.