Dr Rowena Azada-Palacios, 30 April 2021: Hybridity and the Teaching of National Identity in Schools
From Pauline Patel
Debates among philosophers of education about teaching national identity have typically taken for granted Western and Eurocentric conceptions of nationhood and national identity, and have largely been folded into the question of whether patriotic nationalism is a desirable goal of schooling. These conceptions of nationhood and national identity, however, may be incongruous with the experiences of pupils from or in post-colonial contexts. In this presentation, I argue for an approach to teaching national identity that takes Homi Bhabha's conception of hybridity as its starting point. Understanding cultural identities as malleable rather than fixed, I propose that pupils be seen as co-creators of national identity. After offering examples of what such an approach might look like in a post-colonial school or among students with post-colonial identities, I conclude with some reflections on the implications of such for teacher education and higher education more broadly.