Maren Seehawer

Associate Professor

International Education and Development

Special fields:

  • International education and development
  • Indigenous knowledges
  • Participatory action research
  • Decolonisation of education
  • Decolonising/indigenous methodologies
  • Positionality
Phone: 22590583
Office: 321A


My research interest is on (the decolonisation of) education in Sub-Saharan Africa. I work on quality education in the broad sense in that I ask and address questions such as: Who has the power to define good education? Whose knowledge(s) should children learn? To what kind of 'development' should quality education contribute? How can we disrupt internalised colonial notions of education equalling European Education?

In connection with this thematic focus, I explore the decolonisation of academic knowledge production, of theoretical frameworks, research methodologies and ethics, for example, by exploring the African philosophy of Ubuntu as a research paradigm. Being European, white and privileged my research interest requires an explicit inquiry into (colonial) North-South relations and my own positionality. (How) can I decolonise my research practice in order to be a good ally in the decolonial struggles in the global South?

In my PhD project, five South African science teachers and I engaged in participatory action research to explore the integration of students' local indigenous knowledges into some of the teachers' regular classes.

Latest academic publications

  • Seehawer, M. & Breidlid, A. (2021). Dialogue between epistemologies as quality education. Integrating knowledges in Sub-Saharan African classrooms to foster sustainability learning and contextually relevant education. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 4(1), s. 1 - 7. Search in Cristin...
  • Thomas, P., Seehawer, M. & Fylkesnes, S. (2019). Arenas of Empowerment? Case Study of a ‘Multicultural’ High School in Oslo, Norway. Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging (1st Ed.), s. 134 - 146. Routledge. ISBN: 9781138559622
  • Seehawer, M. (2018). Decolonising research in a Sub-Saharan African context: exploring Ubuntu as a foundation for research methodology, ethics and agenda. International Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice, 21(4), s. 453 - 466. ISSN: 1364-5579
  • Seehawer, M. (2018). South African Science Teachers’ Strategies for Integrating Indigenous and Western Knowledges in Their Classes: Practical Lessons in Decolonisation. Educational Research for Social Change, 7. ISSN: 2221-4070
  • Keane, M., Khupe, C. & Seehawer, M. (2017). Decolonising Methodology: Who Benefits From Indigenous Knowledge Research?. Educational Research for Social Change, 6(1), s. 12 - 24. ISSN: 2221-4070
  • Seehawer, M. (2016). How can South African Science Teachers integrate Indigenous Knowledges into their teaching? A lesson learnt from Eastern Cape Teachers who did it - and a Call for Action for Teacher Educators. Promoting IKS for Continental Cooperation and socioeconomic Development. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of the African Association for the Study of Indigenous Knowledge Systems AASIKS, s. 64 - 70. ISBN: 978-0-620-73340-3