Teaching Philosophy

Volume 43, Issue 2, June 2020

Benjamin T. H. Smart
Pages 179-199

Practicing Afrocentric Ethical Teaching
Towards a Decolonized Pedagogy

Slowly, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the persisting psychological trauma experienced by students at colonial universities, and beginning to recognize that the Eurocentric curricula and pedagogies must change if students such as the “born-frees” in post-Apartheid South Africa are to flourish. In this article, I present a sub-Saharan African concept of “the ethical teacher,” and use this to ground a “ubiquitous action-reaction” teaching model. I use these concepts to develop a decolonized pedagogy – a teaching methodology that avoids a number of harmful colonial teaching practices in philosophy. I suggest a number of novel ways of accommodating a “decolonized education” with a view to inspiring teachers of philosophy in colonial countries globally. I propose a new, malleable pedagogical model that is particularly useful in the colonial context, since its uniqueness lies in the African ethical framework that grounds it. However, I contend that philosophy educators globally will benefit from taking the principles proposed in this article seriously.