The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy

Freirian and Postcolonial perspectives on E-learning Development: A Case Study of Staff Development in An African University

Abdullahi Hussein


E-learning is seen as a great opportunity for higher education institutions and considerable efforts and resources have been invested worldwide to promote this. However, consideration of specific issues within African higher education reveals that there are problems associated with bringing technology into local practices. Specifically, technology is often purchased and then, afterward, the staff is retrained to make the best use of it. This process hides the fact that the technology is not ‘neutral’ but the product of particular ideologies and part of global economic patterns. The retraining of staff can, thus, be interpreted as the creation of consumers who conform to patterns of education developed in European or American contexts. This reinterpretation suggests that postcolonialism and Freirian critical concepts are useful in analysing such settings. These concepts have been illustrated by applying them to empirical data collected in an African university.


Freire; Postcolonial; Staff development; Africa; Higher Education.

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