Since its inception, social work has been plagued with its dual claims to legitimacy as a discipline and a profession. In seeking to promote its knowledge claims, social work research has increasingly relied heavily on positivism, where objectivity is defined as ‘. . . detached, unbiased, impersonal, and invested in no particular point of view’ (Lloyd, 1995: 352).
This paper draws on Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino and other critical voices to argue that education in Africa is victim of a resilient colonial and colonizing epistemology, which takes the form of science as ideology and hegemony. Postcolonial African elite justify the resilience of this epistemology and the education it inspires with rhetoric on the need to be competitive internationally.
Recent debates on indigenous knowledge have tended to focus on building up even more case study material of good practice in indigenous knowledge at the local level; the integration of indigenous and scientific knowledge; and the trend towards increased co-option of indigenous knowledge into the current neoliberal discourse.