Title: Over the rainbow: the role of academics in a 'post-hope' South Africa

Authors: Nicole Dodd; Justin Van Der Merwe

Addresses: Faculty of Military Science, Centre for Military Studies, Stellenbosch University, Frans Erasmus Drive, Saldanha, 7395, South Africa ' Faculty of Military Science, Centre for Military Studies, Stellenbosch University, Frans Erasmus Drive, Saldanha, 7395, South Africa

Abstract: The proponents of decolonisation in South Africa's higher education system have tended to overlook the usefulness of critical pragmatism as a guiding paradigm. This article explores the merits of critical pragmatism as a suitable research orientation to resolve the current impasse in South Africa's higher education system. While the arguments for decolonising curricula and academic spaces are valid and credible, promoting decolonisation in a blindly ideological manner, without a sound basis, could be impractical. This article argues that the adoption of critical pragmatism would allow for the achievement of a home-grown, credible research paradigm which encourages researchers to apply a context-specific orientation within developing environments. The article tentatively proposes that blending critical theory with pragmatism would support transformation and development while still maintaining scientific rigour.

Keywords: critical pragmatism; critical theory; decolonisation; higher education; paradigms; pragmatism; South Africa.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2017.086504

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2017 Vol.8 No.2/3, pp.133 - 143

Received: 20 Oct 2016
Accepted: 04 Apr 2017

Published online: 24 Aug 2017 *

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