Publication 5292

Pierce B. (2018) Is the Reduction of Abstraction in the Syllabus an Appropriate Aim of Decolonisation? Constructivist Foundations 13(3): 327–329. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “Heterarchical Reflexive Conversational Teaching and Learning as a Vehicle for Ethical Engineering Curriculum Design” by Philip Baron. Upshot: The target article advocates the use of conversational heterarchical curriculum design as part of the process of decolonisation in South African universities. A stated objective is to reduce the amount of abstraction in the syllabus. I discuss whether the reduction of abstraction is an appropriate aim of decolonisation, considering some of the potential consequences and questioning whether a less abstract teaching style would be advisable in practical terms and compatible with students’ values.


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