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Building a People’s University in South Africa: Race, Compensatory Education, and the Limits of Democratic Reform


reviewed by James H. Williams — 2004

coverTitle: Building a People’s University in South Africa: Race, Compensatory Education, and the Limits of Democratic Reform
Author(s): Gregory M. Anderson
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing, New York
ISBN: 0820449547, Pages: 244, Year: 0820449547
Search for book at Amazon.com

Education is tasked with many of the aspirations of the modern state—economic development, nation-building, peace, equalization of opportunity, and, from time to time, redress of historical inequalities. Despite these ambitions, the processes by which education achieves, and can be made to bring about, such goals remain murky. Our understanding of how to use education to redress historical “disadvantage” and social inequality, for example, is largely theoretical and somewhat naďve, uninformed by critical comparative analysis of experience across contexts or by evidence of what has actually happened when such initiatives have been attempted. Gregory Anderson, in his extraordinary book, provides invaluable documentation and analysis of the successes and failures of compensatory education at South Africa ’s University of the Western Cape (UWC). His cautionary tale tells of the possibilities and limits of democratic action from the platform of a single institution. Valuable from a broader perspective, the book unravels the complexities of change that must take place for a university to compensate for systematic inadequacies of... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 8, 2004, p. 1576-1578
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11297, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 10:21:22 PM

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About the Author
  • James Williams
    The George Washington University
    E-mail Author
    JAMES H. WILLIAMS is Assistant Professor and Director of the International Education Program at The George Washington University.
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