Accepted paper:

Reflections on the emerging humanistic pedagogy in an encyclopedic university - the case of the University of Ghana

Authors:

Kojo Opoku Aidoo (University Of Ghana)

Paper short abstract:

This paper basically describes the intellectual tradition of the University of Ghana, and discusses some specific features of a skulking transition from what is essentially an encyclopedic university rooted in western social science to an engaged university with a humanistic curriculum.

Paper long abstract:

This paper describes the intellectual traditions of Ghana's premier university, the University of Ghana, and discusses some specific features of a skulking transition from what is essentially an encyclopedic university rooted in western social science to an 'engaged university' with a humanistic curriculum. The paper is based on my field experiences as a Principal Investigator of the "Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World" Program funded by the Mellon Foundation, the primary objective of which has been to develop a critical humanistic curriculum based on co-creation of knowledge between academics and community groups. The paper will shed light on the existing pedagogical practices at the University of Ghana, seen largely as a typical 'ivory tower' where 'walls' are constructed that insulate it from the larger society. Knowledge production in such encyclopedic university is thus skewed, and that lopsidedness fails to take cognizance of the fact that knowledge production, equally legitimate, goes on in the communities as well. How, then do we create space within the academia for such legitimate knowledge generated outside it? Based on my field work in Ghana, Togo and Benin to interact with field informants to generate knowledge for the development of a new 'Mobilities of Grassroots Pan Africanism' Course in the last two years, my paper makes a persuasive case for decolonizing education via 'breaking down walls' and co-creation of knowledge between the academia and the communities. The paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge on the humanistic pedagogy.

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Stream:
Politics and International Relations
Decolonization and pedagogy - disruptions and connections in the classroom