ERIC Number: ED245978
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The "Language Question" in the History of South African Education.
This examination of South Africa's policy toward educating its black majority outlines major problems in South Africa's educational historiography and suggests possible explanations for the problems. Following a brief discussion of the nature of South Africa's language policy, the paper briefly analyzes the literature and concludes that (1) much of the work done on South Africa's language policy focuses on analyzing the relationship between English and Afrikaans, (2) little attention has been given to contemporary problems entailed in the choice of language(s) of instruction for blacks, (3) there has been an overemphasis on political history and corresponding disregard for social, economic, and cultural factors, (4) there has been an exclusion of blacks in historical works on South African education, and (5) there is a trend towards both mother-tongue instruction and bilingualism as official educational objectives. In response to critics who claim that South Africa's language policies have been designed as a way of perpetuating tribal divisions and cutting students off from the language required for employment and communication with the wider world, the author posits that we can gain a better understanding of the issue by relating the Afrikaaner's struggle for language rights to contemporary government education policies. Because language maintenance played such a pivotal role in the survival of the Afrikaaner community, perhaps South Africa's language policies have more to do with paternalistic benevolence than with racial separation. (LH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: South Africa
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association Division F, History and Historiography (New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).