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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
citizenship education botswana primary schools post colonial theory knowledge construction teachers perceptions social studies

The Paradox of Teaching Citizenship Education in Botswana Primary Schools

Mavis B. Mhlauli

The major purpose of this study was to explore the social studies teachers’ perceptions and understandings of citizenship education in primary s.


The major purpose of this study was to explore the social studies teachers’ perceptions and understandings of citizenship education in primary schools in Botswana. The study adopted a post colonial lens by using the notions of the pedagogy of imperialism and contrapuntal criticism to interrogate the teachers’ perceptions of citizenship education. The study was qualitative in nature and employed the naturalistic inquiry paradigm. Qualitative methods were used to collect data. Data were analyzed using grounded theory through the constant comparative technique. The findings of the study revealed that social studies teachers perceived teaching about Botswana as citizenship education. The paradox lies in the teachers’ view that knowledge about Botswana’s cultures, histories and politics constitutes citizenship education. Therefore, the study recommends that citizenship education be re-imagined to take into account both the local and global trends on citizenship education. Furthermore, teachers have to be cognizant of the politics of mainstream academic knowledge and work towards knowledge construction devoid of imperialist ideologies.

Keywords: Citizenship education, Botswana, primary schools, post colonial theory, knowledge construction, teachers’ perceptions, social studies

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