Accessing Powerful Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Two First Year Sociology Courses in a South African University

  • Kgaugelo Sebidi University of Oxford
  • Shannon Morreira University of Cape Town

Abstract

This paper presents a case study of two first year sociology courses run at an elite South African university in order to speak to student perspectives on the sociology curriculum. The paper provides a comparative analysis of the academic experiences of extended degree (ED) students registered on two first year courses, one of which drew on literature and sociological theory which was mainly Euro-American in origin, and the other of which attempted to situate sociological theory within local contexts. In so doing, it contributes to debates on the role of identity in teaching sociology. We highlight the tension that occurs between the need to make content accessible and relevant for students – particularly for first generation students – and the need to also give students access to the powerful knowledge (Young, 2009) that comes with familiarity with the theory-dense sociological canon.

Author Biographies

Kgaugelo Sebidi, University of Oxford

Kgaugelo Sebidi is MPhil Candidate in Development Studies at the University of Oxford

Shannon Morreira, University of Cape Town
Shannon Morreira is Senior Lecturer in the Humanities Education Development Unit at the University of Cape Town.
Published
2017-12-15
How to Cite
SEBIDI, Kgaugelo; MORREIRA, Shannon. Accessing Powerful Knowledge: A Comparative Study of Two First Year Sociology Courses in a South African University. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL), [S.l.], v. 5, n. 2, p. 33-50, dec. 2017. ISSN 2310-7103. Available at: <http://cristal.epubs.ac.za/index.php/cristal/article/view/87>. Date accessed: 22 may 2018.
Section
Articles

Keywords

Curriculum; decolonization; sociology; first year; extended degree