The Other and I : Turkish teachers in South Africa.
Samuel, Michael Anthony.
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Traditionally the analysis of school curriculum draws from the literature of ‘policy implementation analysis’. Instead, this paper focuses on a humanistic and socially responsive philosophy guiding curriculum action, especially where policies are seen to be unable to dent the educational outcomes or emancipate schooling from the stranglehold of performativity. The paper draws on the life histories of teachers teaching in a case study school inspired by the Gülen philosophy of Hizmet (serving humanity), indicating how their philosophical orientation to the subject matter, to learners, to colleagues, to parents and to the community, is yielding a qualitative impact on the school curriculum. The paper draws from interviews with the managers, teachers and student teachers employed within the school. The philosophical constructs of respect, understanding, dialogue and tolerance are the underpinning principles of this secondary school. The school draws on the philosophical dialogue between the inner sense of self (‘I’) and the outward projection towards serving humanity (‘the other’). It works consciously to erase the boundaries between ‘others’ and ‘I’. It fosters dialogue across historical divides of ‘race’, religion and class towards service of each one to the other.