A story of hegemony: The globalization of western education

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The Wiley Handbook of Educational Foundations


Recently, Tumeko, a bright, young, beginning South African teacher was chosen to present at a “youth movement” conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As she lamented the re‐emerging xenophobic violence and misunderstanding in Alexandra, her home township outside of Johannesburg, she called upon young people everywhere to re‐direct their energies and voices for peace, understanding, and tolerance. She urged her generation to lead their nations into a future of economic prosperity, political stability, and social justice through participatory governance and development. In post apartheid South Africa, this is no easy task. Tumeko’s generation, like others around the world, remains marginalized, still struggling for adequate basic public education and equality. Tumeko, targeted to attend the LEAP Math and Science School, is one of the high potential students to be selected. Publicly funded, and privately managed, every LEAP performance‐ based contract school is partnered with a more privileged school and one other township school. As is often the case, schools like LEAP are also supported by grants from charitable foundations whose mission is to help transform the lives of poor children through a variety of global health and educational initiatives. LEAP, and many programs like it, draws support from a variety of sources in South Africa. It partners with Teach for Africa, Bridge International Academies, and the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition (SAESC) among others. The SAESC was first formed in 2010 and initially funded by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, one of the organizations that is investing billions of dollars to help transform the lives of children living in poverty. Tumeko is one of the fortunate who have been granted this opportunity (LEAP, 2015).

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