Exploring Language as an Impediment to or a Resource for the Indigenisation of Social Work Education

10 Jul 2020

The enduring dominant influences from Western countries have long been felt in the different spheres of political ideologies, education, and financial, technological and intellectual discourses, particularly in Africa. In spite of wide-ranging inequalities, the end of the colonial era has seen a remarkable progress of Third World academic and scientific systems and a significant degree of independence and objectivity. The aim of this article is to analyse language as an impediment to or a resource for, and the dynamics of educational processes towards, the indigenisation of social work education. The authors reviewed and analysed literature as research design. The study adopted the Afrocentricity theory, as it seeks to recreate a historiography that represents and recognises South African cultural influences on human evolution and development. In this article, literature was used to explore the ways in which people use cultural knowledge to inform social work education. The review particularly focuses on language as an impediment to or a resource for the indigenisation of social work education and the dynamics of educational processes. The literature review clarifies that, by virtue of their mainly Eurocentric training, social work educators seldom consider indigenous knowledge of Black South Africans over and above Western-oriented world views, and have neglected the significance of Black South African indigenous knowledge insofar as initiatives towards practice interventions are concerned. Future research should focus on how university policies, material development and dissemination of information can be harmonised to encompass indigenous languages in social work education and training.