Post-apartheid teacher education reform in Namibia : the struggle between common sense and good sense

Abstract: This thesis is about teacher education reform. It is a narrative of attempted change in the area of teacher education in post-apartheid Namibia. The inquiry is based on critical and participatory perspectives. The analytical tools include concepts like hegemony and counter-hegemony, common sense and good sense.The historical and contextual analyses attend to the broad global layers of influence on a newly born African nation state, the prevailing common sense of financial and technical assistance agencies, and the modern school as it has landed in Namibia and elsewhere in Africa. It gives an overview of the historical deposits into the common sense about schooling and education in Namibia, including visions and practices of the liberation movement before independence. The teacher education reform is also placed within the international context of preferential views on teacher education.The struggle over the preferential right of interpretation is described and analysed on three major levels: the policy level of an imperative reform framework, the level of the contested programme imprints, and on institutional level where attempts were made to create reform agency.The teacher education reform was part of the post-apartheid policy that signalled an egalitarian society for all. The analyses give at hand that the reform was neither a defeat nor a victory. The combined effects of historical and parallel engravings affected the reform process and created a transposed reform out of the intellectual war of position over the preferential right of interpretation. The transposed reform had traits of both the hegemonic imprints and the counter-hegemonic reform policy and operated within a constraining and ahistorical political context. A future revival of the reform policy includes a critical literacy of pedagogy and a pedagogy of hope.