We are the result of our experiences and how they influence our thought processes, writes political scientist and lecturer Piet Croucamp in this week’s Vrye Weekblad.
< p>A worrying number of South African students, he writes, have minimal reading experience and are unable to sustain any meaningful academic reasoning. Instead of evaluating competing points of reference, they fuse opinions and offer them as inevitable conclusions. Even students at Model C schools lack the reading experience required for complex thought processes. You remember effectively and repeat remarkably well, but think linearly and write poorly.
If you want to feel sorry for someone, encourage your students to discuss a current political issue . White Afrikaans students from Model C schools often falter when black students confront them with arguments about “black lives matter,” “lived experience,” “white privilege,” and systemic privilege.
Their historical awareness is seldom deeper than two generations. Almost instinctively, they become defensive rather than seeing the conversation as an intellectual challenge.
We have to tell them: don’t deny the lived experience of your conversation partner. Be careful with justifications and opinions as counter-arguments. Apartheid and racism are unjustifiable.
Liberation theory has more holes than cheese, but you will see the weaknesses of the argument by asking good questions.< /p >
Black South African students have dug their political teeth in the nomenclature of liberation politics. Her narrative is the product of lived experience, and her sense of history serves as a frame of reference for the present and the future. Their loyalty to the Liberation philosophy should not be confused with their loyalty to the ANC.
Scholastic inclination in the family context has a tremendous impact on academic performance. The tragedy is that 63% of children in South Africa grow up in households where the father plays no role in their survival. In many cases, the household is headed by an older sibling or family member.
The behavioral genetics of a generation that fed on its mother’s milk of racial prejudice and political malice still plague SA. The Bible speaks of generations of hatred. But the problem is more recent. It starts with the way we think and the fact that schools don’t arouse our children’s curiosity about reading.
Required reading in this week’s Vrye Weekblad< h3 style="text-align: left;">>> Browse the full May 27 issue
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