Response to Conversation Article

It’s been a wonderful few days! Many people have written to us or followed this blog in response to the article in The Conversation, and many have asked to be involved. We are a tiny program at the moment – on Wednesday we welcome our third faculty member, and we only begin our second official term next week. We are still building our program from the ground up, and are often completely preoccupied with the nuts and bolts of curriculum design, teaching, and assessments.
That said, there are ways that those interested in joining us can directly be involved:
1) Join our global advisory group. This will simply be a database of individuals who we reach out to from time to time with questions pertaining to the program that we feel merit wider discussion. In cases where our students have particular research interests, we might approach individuals on that list for direct mentorship. We hope to keep the level of email traffic relatively low. If you are interested in joining this list, please email me your name, contact details, institutional affiliation (if you have one), and a brief bio. 
 
2) We are looking for new and interesting contributions to  this blog – we’d love to have you write one! Please email all contributions directly to me.
3) If you have publications that you would like to add to our open source project, please email them to me too! Alternatively, if you have objects that you think would be appropriate for teaching with, let us know.
4) ALU has several job openings. There is a posting for a position in Social Science, but until our student numbers grow we are unlikely to be hiring directly. Please do submit a CV, I’d just encourage you to consider other roles in the organisation as well as it seems important to be realistic with regards to our size and actual impact at the moment.
5) If you’d like to visit us and share your work and insight with our students and our community, let us know.
5) If you’d like to be involved in a way we haven’t thought of yet, please feel free to reach out. This is partly just to help manage the email traffic whilst also continuing to prepare for a very busy teaching term!
Many thanks and warmest wishes,
Jess Auerbach
jauerbach@alueducation.com
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2 thoughts on “Response to Conversation Article

  1. I admire the spirit of decolonizing social sciences in Africa, but would like to invite you consider the possibility of going further.

    1) Let me invite you to consider the possibiliy that it is not just in Africam and it is not just in social sciences, that we are colonized. The way formal scholing and research are practiced, there is very little doubting and questioning of what the ‘authorities ‘ tell us. To take examples from physical and biological sciences, students (whether school students, undergrad studentsk or grad student) take for granted hout questioning that (a) the earth revolves around the sun and rotates at an angle tilted to the plane of revolution, (b) Air is a mixture and water is a compound (contrary to ancient greeks and ancient indians, who held that they are elements), (c) matter is not infinitely divisible (contrary to Aristotle’s position), (d) all species of life evolved from a single ancestor species, and so on. They do not ask “Why should I believe these claims?” nor do teachers or textbooks take them through the relevant eevidence and arguments. (See http://www.schoolofthinq.com)

    1) We have been indoctrinated to believe that social sciences are not sciences. Consider the alternative classification:
    Mathematics
    Sciences (physical sciences, biological sciences, and human sciences)
    Humanities

    This classification allows us to inegrate
    a) the study of mind (human mind, animal minds, and possibly plant minds and the mind of bacterial colonies…)
    b) the study of society (human sociey, animal societies , and nonhuman societies, including bacterial colonies
    c) invedstigation of the past (evolution of the physical world, evolution of the biological world, evolution of the human world)

    Mohanan

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  2. As an armchair academic approaching the final lap of life’s race, I am so very heartened to hear of your University. Wisdom that has been handed down to us in various texts both ancient and more modern has been obscured and the aspects of these texts that have over the passage of time lost their significance are being paraded as the essence of these texts. I live in India, a nation grappling with the after effects of colonialism, as well as layer upon layer of invasion.
    Institutions such as yours which, I gather, focus on the individual as a vital speck in the human tapestry, will lead our youth to the understanding of the axiom propounded by Mahatma Gandhi – every tear must be wiped away. This is the only formula for this planet if we are to avoid Stephen Hawking’s dire prediction than we will soon need to colonize *systematically destroy* some other unsuspecting planet.

    If I may humbly suggest two topics that require inclusion
    1. Methods and strategies in non destructive, non violent protection of values
    2. The propagation of Pope Francis’ advice that the purpose of business is the protection of human dignity

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