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Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’

Speaking Differently


George J. Sefa Dei and Paul Banahene Adjei

Emerging Perspectives on ‘African Development’: Speaking Differently discusses numerous areas of interest and issues about Africa, including contemporary challenges and possibilities of development. The book critically engages the many ways of presenting ‘development,’ highlighting the interplay of tradition and modernity as well as contestations over knowledge production in ‘post-colonial’ Africa. It offers cautionary words to field practitioners, researchers, and social theorists who work in development using language that is easily accessible to laypersons. This book is also for undergraduate and graduate courses on development, global education, rural development, and Africa studies. For readers looking for something new about Africa beyond the old stories of catastrophes and human misery, this book will be indispensable. It demonstrates that even in the face of many failures, tragedies, and suffering, Africa’s stories can be told with hope and a sense of possibility.
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Chapter 4. Transforming Canada’s Hegemonic Global Education Paradigm through an Anticolonial Framework



“We need a new understanding of what it means when we talk of world development, global transformation and social justice for all humanity. We must begin to learn, to rethink, to reconceptualize and to deconstruct the hegemonic ideas of development and the development process.”

–GEORGE DEI (1993, P. 18)

How does the Western hegemonic international ‘development’ image of Africa get (re)produced in the Canadian classroom? How has the shift to participatory language and commodification of Indigenous knowledge shaped children and youth’s understanding of Africa and Africans as peoples? Is it possible to move away from the global education curriculum that has constructed a static image of Africa as a continent in need of saving, and move toward a critical examination of the development discourse, and an anticolonial teaching of global education? If so, what would this look like in practice? This chapter will use critical development theory and an anticolonial framework (1) to interrogate the 21st century Western development discourse perpetuated in the Canadian classroom which positions Africa as an inferior place in order to (re)construct the identity of the Canadian benevolent citizen; and (2) to consider the theoretical and applied possibilities of ← 83 | 84 → troubling the conceptual and dominant meanings of Global Education and transforming it to introduce true, non-tokenistic, anticolonial discussions in the classroom that create a space to challenge current educational practice and to discuss realities of local contexts and power constructs that exist on...

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