Cultivating a notion of cosmopolitan education of relevance to Africa: Reflecting on a MOOC on teaching for change

14 May 2019

Cosmopolitanism in academic literature seems to be romanticised on the premise of the recognition of diversity and difference, and respecting and connecting with the other in its otherness. More recently, however, some philosophers of education have begun to look at a view of cosmopolitan education aimed at counteracting human and non-human injustices. The two views on cosmopolitan education are not necessarily in contradiction. We are attracted to a complementary view of cosmopolitan education that invokes both human engagements based on democratic iterations and autonomous and responsible actions, constituted by an allegiance to justice, and the cultivation of humanity. We proceed in the following ways by arguing that cosmopolitan education is a necessary and defensible form of education relevant to Africa. Firstly, we offer a defense of African philosophy of education. Secondly, we elucidate cosmopolitan education with an emphasis on a renewed understanding of the concept. And thirdly, we show the commensurability between cosmopolitan education and African philosophy of education and its relevance to Africa instigated by a complementary view of cosmopolitan education in relation to African thought and practice.