Reimagining the South African social work curriculum: Aligning African and western cosmologies




social work, curriculum, South Africa, decolonisation, indigenisation


Widespread student uprisings associated with the Fees-Must-Fall movement have starkly focused universities on the need to revisit the impact of colonialism, and the need to decolonise curricula and adapt them to the South African context. While acknowledging the oppressive effects of colonisation and the homogenising and universalising effects of globalisation, the main thrust of this paper is that we need to recognise that social work as a worldwide profession is part of the global village and that we need to keep current with international developments, while remembering our history, celebrating our unique multicultural context, beliefs and practices, and remaining anchored in Africa. This article discusses examples of indigenous world views that could infuse and inform the Western-based knowledge, skills and values components of the curriculum, and which are needed for effective provision of social work services.


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Ross, Eleanor. 2018. ‚ÄúReimagining the South African Social Work Curriculum: Aligning African and Western Cosmologies‚ÄĚ. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 30 (1):16 pages.
Received 2017-03-03
Accepted 2017-09-07
Published 2018-06-19