Special Issue Theme: Creating sustainable learning environments in the era of the posthuman: Towards borderless curriculum

Journal: Journal of Curriculum Studies Research (

Guest Editors:                                

Dr. Bekithemba Dube (University of the Free State, South Africa)

Prof. Sechaba Mahlomaholo (University of Mpumalanga, South Africa)

Prof. Wendy Setlalentoa (Central University of Technology, South Africa)

Background and Focus of the Special Issue

In the history of the world, the past two centuries witnessed unparalleled destruction of the planet by humans that even changed the climatic conditions thereof resulting in global warming, desertification, highest levels of water and atmospheric pollution, unemployment, poverty, hunger, violence, vandalism, wars, crime, rape, xenophobia, gender-based murders, unknown and new deceases, you name it. All these sacrifices at the alter of greed and the human being’s insatiable appetite for consumption of everything, without thinking about the future generation and the sustainability of the planet. Foregrounded by this, it is critical to examine curriculum across border to ignite educational solutions that challenge systematic trajectories facing humanity across the globe.

In addition, one would say almost timely, technological advances ushered in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution - Industrie 4.0. To date there is even a race to participate in the production and use of artificial intelligence - AI which is even a step higher than ‘mere’ digitisation. Technologies are enabling humans to continue with their activities, like teaching and learning effectively, even though remotely or in a blended. Industrie 4.0 with its attended artificial intelligence has accelerated these processes even further. Adaptive Learning - AL as an example of the software in devices that use sensors and algorithms, is enabling students and their lecturers alike to perform academically and otherwise better, far beyond their so-called natural human abilities. For example through AL, a student’s learning is personalised, individualised and customised to his or her particular needs, orientations, styles of learning, preferences, etc. AL functions like a companion, a buddy who can respond to all the students enquiries and questions. It scaffolds and mediates the learning from where a student is to the required levels. It suggests what content to learn and how to learn it with ease. It is there ubiquitously to assist the student. It functions like an extension of the student’s intellect. The human and the machine under such circumstances have merged into a new being with an identity beyond that of a human.

This is the subject matter of the posthuman where the identity of being human has become perforated. It has become liquidified and cannot be located in one place only. The student as in the example above is in Europe, in Africa and the East, everywhere through the capabilities of AL. S/he can know and participate in discussions, in learning and any activity from anywhere.  Time and space no longer have a hold on the human being. S/he cannot be arrested at any one level of academic performance. His/her ability to collaborate with other students, libraries, academics, or whomever are extend beyond imagination. His/her compassion is at its peak because s/he learns at his/her own pace and learns what s/he likes. His/her corporeality though seeming to be located in a defined space, his/her entire being is not. It is this new identity that Donna Haraway refers to as ‘the cyborg’ in order to use a metaphor close to the science fiction’s bionic man whose identity is in the interface between human and machine, among the human and the non-human, as well as the climaxing of the animal-object-human historical development. The student referred to about above,  is brought back to the initial reality of being one with it (reality).  S/he just a cog in this huge universal machine. Differentials in terms of any marker, real or imagined like gender, race, socio-economic status, religious, etc. do not matter as all are one. This  conception extends even beyond the African notion of the ‘I’ which is assumed to be built, couched and dependent on others. The conventional ‘I am because we are’ is exponentially multiplied and multiple layered to include machine, computers, others, etc.

It is in the consideration of the above that this special issue calls on contributions to help unravel the nature learning environments in the context of the era of the posthuman. The notion of sustainability is related to UNESCO’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focusing on the economic development of all in an environmentally sustainable manner towards the social inclusion of all. The idea of learning environments refers to contexts where identities of students and academics as well as other stakeholders in  education are created  and restructured accordingly across disciplines towards borderless curriculum where various nations learn from one another to improve humanity. The following foci by researchers will assist in achieving the aim mentioned above;

  • Theorisation of the posthuman identity at its relevance to (higher) education practices currently.
  • Analyse the challenges and responses of education in the context of the posthuman condition.
  • Reflect on the issues of the binaries based on the cyborg identity in education
  • Teaching and learning technologies in education in the era of the posthuman
  • Critique virtual classroom/ realities in the posthuman condition of education
  • Address the ethics of the use of Artificial Intelligence in education
  • Interrogate issues of race, culture, gender and/or disability in education in the context of the posthuman.
  • Construction of learning conditions across borders, Global North, South, East and West
  • Ensuring and assuring quality of curriculum and governance in education during the Posthuman.
  • What can we borrow from our neighbour to improve education in post human thinking?

Proposal (Abstract) Submission

Interested contributors are requested to submit their proposal (abstract) to Dr. Bekithemba Dube ( via e-mail before 30 May 2022. The response will be provided within a maximum of three days, upon which you will be requested to prepare and make your submission. Abstracts should include:  

  • A succinct title
  • Author/s name/s
  • Author/s institutional affiliation
  • Contact details
  • An abstract (250 words) includes a brief introduction of the problem, the importance/purpose, the contribution to knowledge, the methodological approach and key findings if available.
  • Keywords (4-6)

Full-text Manuscript Submission

Authors are invited to submit their full-text manuscript via the online submission system at  before 31 July 2022.

Author Guidelines to Prepare the Full-Text Manuscript

Please refer to

Publication Fees

To cover the cost for providing our high-quality publishing service and full open access to readers, authors pay a one-time Article Processing Charge (APC) for manuscripts accepted after peer-review. The APC is 400 USD. There are no charges for rejected articles, no submission charges, and no surcharges based on the length of an article, figures or supplementary data.


  • 30 May 2022: Deadline for submission of proposals (abstracts)
  • 31 July 2022: Final date for submission of full-text manuscripts
  • 30 September 2022: Publication of accepted manuscripts


Please feel free to contact us for further information.


 Dr. Bekithemba Dube (University of the Free State)

Bekithemba Dube is a senior lecturer at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is the program director for Foundation and Intermediate Phase. He is prolific researcher in education, religion and politics in post-colonial Africa. He has in the past 2 years published over 40 articles and has received various awards for being the top research in the faculty of education. He has published a book on Post- Colonial Religio-Political and Religious Education in Crisis, the case of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania. He is a visiting international scholar at the Appalachian State University in United States of America

Prof. Sechaba Mahlomaholo (University of Mpumalanga)

Sechaba MG Mahlomaholo is a Professor of Education at the University of Mpumalanga, South Africa. He is a graduate of the Universities of Harvard and the Western Cape. He has guest edited 9 accredited and peer reviewed academic journals in Education. He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Free State, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research at the Walter Sisulu University and of Teaching and Learning at the University of Zululand. He has supervised and co-supervised close to a hundred Masters dissertations and PhD theses in total. He is occasionally invited to review research funding applications by the National Research Foundation and has to date been keynote speaker at conferences in St Petersburg State University, Canterbury Christ Church University and Aalborg University in Denmark

Prof. Wendy Setlalentoa (Central University of Technology, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, South Africa)

Prof. Setlalentoa holds the following qualifications: a Bachelor of Science (Education) degree from North-West University (NWU), former University of Bophuthatswana (UNIBO); a Bachelor of Education (Honours) degree also from NWU; a Master of Education (Didactics: Science) degree from the University of the Free State (UFS); and a PhD: Education degree from the Central University of Technology, Free State (CUT). Her other achievements include the following: Higher Education Leadership & Management (HELM) Fellowship Programme; Project Management (Regenesys); Financial Management (Regenesys); HERS-SA Academy Alumni; Registered Assessor and Moderator (ETDP SETA); Skills Development Facilitator (ETDP SETA); and currently a fellow of the Next Generation Women in Leadership Programme (nGenWiL at CUT).

Prof. Setlalentoa joined CUT in 2004 as a Lecturer: Teacher Education (2004 to 2010). She further held the following positions at CUT: Programme Head: Natural Sciences (January 2011 to December 2012); Senior Lecturer and Head of Department (HoD): Mathematics Science and Technology Education (December 2012 - June 2017); Associate Professor: Mathematics Science and Technology Education (July 2017 to date); and Acting Dean: Faculty of Humanities & Head of Department: Mathematics Science and Technology Education (01 May 2020 to 30 April 2021). Prior to joining CUT, Prof. Setlalentoa worked and held the following positions at different institutions: Lecturer at Taung and Strydom Colleges of Education (1984 -1987); Senior Lecturer at Strydom College of Education (1988 -1990); Head of Department at Strydom College of Education (1991 - May 1994); School Management Developer/Circuit Manager at Ladybrand Education District, Department of Education, Free State Province (April 1994 - October 2000); Whole School Evaluation Supervisor at the Department of Education, Free State Province (November 2000 - December 2003).

Prof. Setlalentoa has published several articles in accredited journals and conference proceedings, both nationally and internationally. She has also supervised students at postgraduate level, and served as an external examiner for different institutions.