Monthly Archives: mars 2013

Making a Difference

The Global South Network is based on solidarity with educators and people in the Global South. The goal is to develop more humane educational systems for all through approaches like critical practioner inquiry.

Making a difference

GSN bulletin

The Global South Network bulletin contains short reflections combining educational, developmental, and political aspects based on experiences and events around the world. Anyone is free to submit a text to the GSN bulletin. Send it to

13. Myth and reality in contrasting India

12. How the neoliberal berserk fury destroys the welfare sector – the case of Sweden

11. The elephants in the room

10. Precarity in a constrained rainbow nation

9. Back in the Lao PDR

8. The capitalist catching up influences still operating in a peasant society

7. What is this wind of change blowing across the African continent bringing with it

6. Who is fooling who

5. The smokescreen of poverty reduction

4. Brand Obama

3. A war by other means

2. Paradigm lost

1. Discipline as emancipation or dressage

Critical Perspectives on Teacher Education by Lars Dahlstrom and Brook Lemma

This article combines analysis from teacher education in Ethiopia and Namibia with recent examples of neo-liberal influences on national education sectors. The article describes the national teacher education reforms and analyses the forces and damages of the ‘liberal virus’ by looking at the plasma teacher phenomenon in Ethiopia and the travel and traverse of critical practitioner inquiry in Namibia. Our findings show how neo-liberalism when entering the education arena reduces teachers to technical caretakers and transforms what was once introduced as progressive and critical practices of education into separated entities following technical rationalities. Teacher education is also silently transformed to develop students and teachers alike into consumers in the educational marketplace through the neo-liberal governmentality that turns people into tightly controlled individuals who persist in claiming to be free in a globalised world. This article does not only bring out the damages inflicted by the liberal virus but also makes its exit by recommending the practice of contextualized critical thinking at all levels of education as proposed in Critical Practitioner Inquiry practices.

Critical Perspectives on Teacher Education

Critical Intellectual Work – an endangered tradition under neoliberal regimes

The study attends to the influences on broad policies, conceptions and practices of education from the present neoliberal regimes of thought. The aim is to analyse these influences from a critical and global perspective by looking at how national situations are changing according to the neoliberal governmentalities. The study looks at the developments both in the Global- North and the Global-South through influential international powers like the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA-agenda) in the North and the Education for All (EFA-agenda) in the South. The study claims that schools and universities are being reconfigured to fulfil their role as producers of a new type of person called the neoliberal being with certain characteristics that fits the neoliberal ideas of surveillance and individualism. The EFA-agenda influences almost all countries in the Global-South through its close connection to external and international economic support and through a doublespeak that talks the language of human rights but is operative through neoliberal surveillance powers. There is a need to question this neoliberal global hegemony that is operating through false promises.

Critical Intellectual Work – an endangered tradition under neoliberal regimes

Education reforms in Lao PDR

The education reforms attended to here include a programme for PhD studies designed for university lecturers from Lao PDR, a master course for teacher educators at universities and colleges in Lao PDR, and an introduction of Critical Practitioner Inquiry (CPI) to lecturers at the Faculty of Justice, National University of Laos. Abstracts from two PhD theses on education reforms in Lao PDR are included in the text.

Educational reforms in Lao PDR

Critical Educational Visions and Practices in Neo-liberal Times (published by Global South Network Publisher)

This publication is based on the CPI Masters course carried out in Ethiopia 2003 – 2005. An international seminar was organised in May 2004 to further the ideas involved in the Master course with the participation of international as well as national tutors from the Master course. The publication includes papers presented during the seminar.

The publication is edited by Lars Dahlström and Jan Mannberg.

1. Forces and Counter-forces by Lars Dahlstrom & Jan Mannberg

2. Is there an epistemological place for agency by Luiza Cortesao

3. Language, educational and (dis)empowerment by Carol Benson

4. Critical Practitioner Inquiry by Lars Dahlstrom

5. Plasma television teachers by Brook Lemma

6. Global trends on local grounds by Jette Steensen

7. Reflections on teacher education overhaul by Temechegn Engida

8. Practitioners opinions on teacher education reform by Nigussie Kassahun

9. Looking back, but not in anger by Staf Callewaert

Critical Practitioner Inquiry in Ethiopia

This masters course was a joint effort between Department of Education, Umea University and the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), in Addis Abeba. Participants represented five different universities in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia – CPI Masters

CPI Master Syllabus, Ethiopia

A Teacher Educator’s Reflection in Ethiopia


Action Research in Teacher Education by Ken Zeichner

In this chapter I revisit one of the major themes I addressed in the keynote talk that I gave at the 1992 CARN conference in Worcester in the UK. In my 1992 talk, “Personal transformation and social reconstruction through action research”(Zeichner, 1993), I explored the idea of what it means for action research conducted by primary and secondary school teachers to contribute to greater social, cultural, political and economic justice in a society, and I criticized both what I saw as an uncritical glorification of action research because of the alleged personal and social benefits that were often implied to be inevitably associated with doing it, and criticisms of teachers by academics for not directly seeking to change the structures of schooling and focusing their efforts mainly within their classrooms. I argued that while educational action research does not necessarily promote a more humane and just school or society and can (and has been) used to legitimate ideas and practices that are harmful to individuals and societies, that it is possible for teachers to do “socially critical” action research (Tripp, 1990) at multiple levels – in their classrooms, in their schools, and in the society at large.

Action Research in Teacher Education as a Force for Greater Social Justice

This text was also presented as a keynote address in the annual meeting of the Collaborative Action Research Network, Umea University, Sweden, November 2007.


Post-apartheid teacher education reform in Namibia – The struggle between common sense and good sense by Lars Dahlstrom

This thesis is a narrative of attempted efforts to change teacher education in post-apartheid Namibia. It analyses the broad global layers of influence on a newly born African nation state. It gives an overview of the historical deposits into common sense about schooling and education and the visions and practices of the liberation movement before independence. The teacher education reform was neither a defeat nor a victory, but positioned teacher education in Namibia in a new pedagogical situation with a possibility for future transformative developments.

Abstract and Acknowledgements


Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.

Chapter 12.



The liberal virus and false opportunity promise in education

The liberal virus and false opportunity promise in Education

This article places third world education in a historical-political imperialist perspective. It draws on the conception of imperialism as a decisive hegemonic force that has penetrated third world societies through different historical stages. The present form of informal imperialism characterised by global neo-liberal capitalism and market expansions will move education in third world societies down the technical rationality and market-oriented lane and away from an emancipation terrain of education with severe consequences for the populace of Africa, unless a strategic counter-force is organised.

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