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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Translating and Shifting Western Education to Address Educational Needs of Local sub-Saharan Environment : Providing Space for Student Reflections

Pendo Mwaitelek.

Curtin University of Technology, similar to other well established Western universities draw a number of students from East and Southern African region. For learners involved, it is one thing to attend Western education, and another to actively engage in critically making sense of the knowledge and processes associated with the dominant Western education to suit the local context. Sub-Sahara Africa is differently situated in terms of social, economic, political and cultural conditions. For the learning to be relevant, it must take account of these factors.

This paper draws from experiences of postgraduate and undergraduate African students studying at Curtin University in a wide range of courses. The paper should also be of potential interest to educators and learners wanting to shift concrete surface learning to deeper level of understandings, and offer opportunity to effectively engage with the local context.


Pendo Mwaitelek  (Australia)
Lecturer in social work & social policy
Curtin University of Technology

Pendo Mwaiteleke is a lecturer in the School of Social Work & Social Policy at Curtin University of Technology. Her research experience includes exploring the impact of SAPs in sub-Sahara Africa. Currently, she is also undertaking her doctoral studies at Murdoch University, exploring the impact of Australia’s National Competition Policy on family support and labour market programs. She has extensive field experience in cross-cultural work and a broad range of women’s policy and community development work.

  • Education
  • African environment.
  • Knowledge systems.

(30 min Conference Paper, English)