A critique of the postcolonial English curriculum in former British colonies - Kenyan and Indigenous Australian contexts

Year: 2005

Author: Lang'at, Kiprono

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The growing body of literature on postcolonial and critical pedagogy studies reveals that the most powerful tool that seems to have taken homogeneous and universal mandates of 'ruling the world' is the discourse of the internationalisation of the English language. This project aims to explore the emerging reading positions (perspectives & reflections) and discursive practices of teachers, curriculum officers, and key community members in response to the prescribed senior high school English texts. In particular, the research seeks to identify the perceptions that embody their selection and usage (acceptance) or otherwise. Further, the research considers the teacher's perceptions and reading positions around Indigenous texts, as alternatives or adjuncts to English curriculum in the Kenyan and among Indigenous Australian contexts.

Many teaching practices in the two education contexts appear to be limited to teaching for the passing of examinations. There is less emphasis on the students extending the knowledge gained from prescribed texts to exploring the complex ways in which texts depict multiple reading positions and interpretations of the world around them. Further, these texts seemingly have helped to empower the English language therefore, subjugate and marginalize indigenous languages and literature. It is envisaged that this study will create (language) awareness among the education stakeholders of alternative positions around senior high school English texts.