Insidious Colonialism in Post-Apartheid Education: Interplay of Black Teacher Narratives, Educational Policy and Textbook Analysis

Sharon Subreenduth


This article focuses on the larger project of identifying oppressive structures (during apartheid more specifically in this instance) and how educational policy/textbooks (post-apartheid) produce transformative knowledge for decolonization. It presents Black South African teacher perceptions and desires of what/how educational policy, history textbooks can intervene in apartheid indoctrination and what role these have in addressing the nation’s meta-narrative of equity and social justice. I take up these teacher narratives as a way to further critique textbooks currently used and examine the written and visual content against post-apartheid decolonizing intentions. Teacher narratives and textbook analysis indicate that even prescriptive post-apartheid textbooks struggle to reimagine history wrought through with colonialism. Decolonizing analysis of visual images in the textbooks show how curriculum policy/practice in South Africa is a collision of anti-apartheid desires and post-apartheid reality. By examining grassroots linkages I attempt to expand the current dialogue on educational policy and textbook studies and to contextualize the field, both historically and contemporarily.


decolonizing; social justice meta-narratives; textbook analysis; grassroots methodology; post-apartheid education policy

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