A Stellenbosch University (SU) massive open online course (also known as MOOC), which started in September 2016, has been such a hit that it also attracted the attention of the United Nations (UN).
Entitled Teaching for Change: An African Philosophical Approach, the MOOC features on the UN's Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and is also part of an extensive list of more than 100 courses on sustainable development selected from universities around the world including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). People can access these courses to learn about the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The MOOC is listed under the fourth SGD namely Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The University of Cape Town is the only other African university whose MOOC courses have been selected to feature on the list.
Compiled by Class Central in conjunction with the UN's SDG Academy, the list also includes courses sourced from various other MOOC platforms. The SDG Academy is a free online education platform from the SDSN.
Commenting on the UN's recognition, Prof Yusef Waghid, distinguished professor in the Faculty of Education and presenter of the MOOC, said, “this is the first and only MOOC of the institution advocating a notion of African philosophy of education. The genre of Ubuntu is internationally communicated in relation to the contribution African thought and practice might engender among multiple forms of learning."
Added Waghid: “The idea of learning through problem-solving is not new. However, what is novel is the identification and explication of major philosophical problems on the continent and then examining their implications for education is novel – that is, humans are invited to come to speech and allowed to speak their minds other than just being told what to do."
He said this MOOC also enhances the notion of access and inclusion.
“This means that students have an equal chance to engage critically and deliberatively with university texts. Likewise, the transformative form of learning advocated through the MOOC, involves students and university teachers embarking on an intellectual pursuit of co-learning."
Waghid mentioned that almost 6000 students mostly from the US, UK, Europe and Africa were registered for the MOOC.
Based on the positive reviews the MOOC has received thus far, the plan is to re-run an amended version in 2020, he said.
- Click here for a link to the MOOC.
The MOOC also spawned a number of books by Waghid and several co-authors, some of which are listed below:
- 2020. Cosmopolitan Education and Inclusion: The Self and Others in Deliberation (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Chikumbutso Herbert Manthalu, Judith Terblanche, Faiq Waghid & Zayd Waghid).
- 2020. The Thinking University Expanded: On Profanation, Play and Education (London: Routledge, with Nuraan Davids).
- 2019. Democratic Education and Muslim Philosophy: Understanding the Claims of Emotion (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Nuraan Davids).
- 2019. Towards a Philosophy of Caring in Higher Education: Pedagogy and Nuances of Care (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan).
- 2019. Universities, pedagogical encounters, openness, and free speech: Reconfiguring democratic education (Lanham, MD (US): Rowman & Littlefield – Lexington Series) (with Nuraan Davids).
- 2019. Education for Decoloniality and Decolonisation in Africa (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, with Chikumbutso Herbert Manthalu).
- 2019. Teaching and Learning as a Pedagogic Pilgrimage: Cultivating Faith, Hope and Wonder (London: Routledge) (with Nuraan Davids).
- 2018. Rupturing African Philosophy of Teaching and Learning (New York & London: Palgrave-MacMillan) (with Faiq Waghid & Zayd Waghid).
- 2018. African Democratic Citizenship Education Revisited (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan) (with Nuraan Davids).