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Writing Postcolonial Histories of Intercultural Education

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Edited By Heike Niedrig and Christian Ydesen

Bringing together a group of international researchers from two educational sub-disciplines – «History of Education» and «Intercultural Education» – the contributions to this volume provide insights into the (pre-)history of intercultural issues in education across a vast range of historical, national-geographical and political contexts. The anthology takes its readers on a fascinating journey around the globe, presenting case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe and America. The coherence of the journey is found in recurring themes and questions, such as: How does the discourse on «multiculturalism» or «intercultural learning» construct the norm and the Others in these educational settings? Who has the power of definition? And what are the functions and effects of these processes of Othering?

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George J. Sefa Dei: Post-Colonial Education in West Africa: The Relevance of Local Cultural Teachings for Understanding School, Community, and Society Interface

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Post-Colonial Education in West Africa: The Relevance of Local Cultural Teachings for Understanding School, Community, and Society Interface George J. Sefa Dei, University of Toronto, Canada A contemporary challenge for African education is how schooling can respond to the needs and challenges of a diverse student body (Dei et al. 2006). How we are to deal with the systemic fragmentation that dislocates and alienates African learners from their own histories, cultures, knowledge, languages, and sense of place is an equally critical concern. ‘Coloniality’ and colonial relations of power dissociate many learners from their own local cultural and experiential knowl- edge and the authenticity of local voice. When I speak of ‘coloniality’ I am not referring to the Eurocentric theorizations of colonialisms. Rather I speak of the colonial as anything that is imposed or dominating – not simply alien or foreign (Dei 2000, Dei & Asgharzadeh 2001). It is important to see coloniality and co- lonial power relations as a process mediated through the hierarchization of the notion of social difference. The concept of difference is about knowing selves, cultures and histories, as much as about our spiritual, racial, gender, class, sex- ual identities, etc. The making of difference should also be seen as a historical signifying process tied to the idea of identity. However, there is a limitation when identity is simply understood as a signifier of difference. We must under- stand social difference as a process of thought as well as a mode of being. Dealing with social difference in schooling...

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