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Davis Researchers Seminar

Date: 
Mon, 18/12/2017 - 12:30 to 14:00

Location: 
Room 3602 social science
Evaluating Education in Africa between Theory and Practice: A Case Study of Uganda
NOTE: This research is still in its initial stages of gathering data, and consequently this is not an article but a preliminary outline of research. Input on its theoretical framework(s) is particularly welcome!
This research proposes to use Uganda as a case study to critically consider the discursive practices through which formal education is evaluated, and consequently, try to identify both patterns and discrepancies in the various avenues that aim to provide an overview of the country’s schooling system. The point of departure in this research is that while there is ample academic literature, as well as statistical reports, detailing myriad variables that give insight into how the educational system in Uganda is operating and changing, there has not yet been any research tying these variables together through an overarching theoretical framework. Moreover, the discourse on education in Uganda is closely linked to the discourse on education in Africa in general, which operates under the weight of historical conditions and the resultant discourses of typicality (which are often based on dichotomous distinctions such as progress/stagnation, literacy/illiteracy, or formal/informal) that underlie the policies of aid organizations and governments. It is the aim of this research to highlight where such discourses of typicality overshadow, or do not give full access, to the lives they set out to represent. My aim is thus not only to highlight the infinite complexity of such a vast entity as the educational system in Uganda, but also give specific examples of how a reframing of theoretical questions can illuminate how such complexities have materiality, and consequently, in essence, tie theory to practice. 
Lecturer: 
Dr. Ruthie Wenske Stern