Representation of Pragmatism in Scholarly Publications on COVID-19

Makhulu A. Makumane, Simon Bheki. Khoza, Blossom Bulelwa Piliso


Pragmatism is an important resource that has helped higher education institutions (HEIs) in Lesotho and South Africa to complete the 2020 academic year even when they were affected by COVID-19. Pragmatism is a philosophy of human actions combined with experiences in order to produce outcomes or consequences, where the reality is about what works according to individual needs based on a specific situation. During the COVID-19 era, pragmatism has been represented by the use of learning management systems (LMSs) and social media sites (SMSs). The representation of pragmatism, based on ten sampled publications of this study was divided into performance- (driven by LMSs) and competence-based (driven by SMSs) curricula. The purpose and objective of this study was to explore and understand the representation of pragmatism in ten scholarly publications purposively sampled for this study on education during the COVID-19 era. Document analysis framed by pragmatic paradigm, critical discourse analysis (CDA), and community of inquiry (CoI), was used to generate data for this study. The findings concluded that pragmatism was the reason for HEIs saving the 2020 academic year: pragmatism harmonised the tension between LMSs and SMSs which existed even before the COVID-19 era. Consequently, this study recommends the application of pragmatism in any uncertainty/novelty situation in education, in order to address individual needs before professional and societal needs.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Simon Bhekumuzi Khoza, Makhulu A. A Makumane, Blossom Bulelwa Piliso

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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