Contested spaces – shared places : a South African perspective

13 May 2021

This article presents an account of how contested spaces: shared places have played out in the South African education context by tracing how the historical, political, social and educational contexts of South Africa created and determined shared places. The article draws on findings from a range of research projects that I conducted over the past 15 years and that utilised the meta-theoretical framework of social constructivism and the methodological framework of qualitative case studies, narrative inquiry and portraiture. Findings from this collection of research studies reveal that the creation and evolution of shared spaces though activated by political, social and educational policy intent that was good and at times exceptional, ‘knowledge in the blood’ coupled with a passion for power witnessed policy in action transform these shared spaces into largely contested spaces. Intriguingly, within these spaces sparks of ‘goodness’ emerged that hold promise for a brighter future.