Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Publications (2013)

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Bargate, K. & Maistry, S.
Alternation 9
Title Student's Experiences of Learning in a Structured Intensive Tutorial Programme
Abstract Managerial Accounting and Financial Management (MAF) have traditionally been perceived by students to be a difficult subject as students do not fully grasp the underlying disciplinary concepts and are unable to transfer knowledge from one context to another. This article reports on a study that sought to explore students’ experiences of learning in a Writing Intensive Tutorial (WIT) programme. A WIT programme is based on the approach of using informal exploratory writing in writing-to-learn. Informal writing is low stakes, ungraded and encourages critical thinking and learning of concepts rather than grammatical correctness. The participants in this study were MAF students who voluntarily participated in an 18 week WIT programme. The study was informed by the tenets of social constructivism and conducted in qualitative interpretative framework. The study drew on principles of case study research. Using Interactive Qualitative Analysis (Northcutt & McCoy 2004) as a data analysis tool, several key affinities (themes) where revealed. These affinities include an increase in personal confidence, improved study and examination techniques and the interactive tutorial environment. Students felt that their study techniques had improved as they adopted a deeper approach to learning. The structure of the tutorials was enjoyed by all students. They were able to interact with each other to develop a contextualised understanding of MAF concepts. These findings have implications for higher education accounting pedagogy
Keywords: Higher education accounting pedagogy, Interactive Qualitative Analysis, Managerial Accounting and Financial Management, programme structure, student learning, writing-to-learn

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Bawa, A.C. Alternation 9
Title Righting an Inverted Pyramid: Managing a Perfect Storm
Abstract The higher education participation rate in South Africa has been stagnant over the last 20 years and this has resulted in a very substantial gap between graduate supply and demand. The pressure for massification is also a response to other sociopolitical and economic imperatives. Notwithstanding the projections in the Green Paper on Post-School Education, it is argued that the structural inefficiencies in the way in which post-school education is currently structured will prevent massification. A purely speculative model is discussed for the organisation of higher education in KwaZulu-Natal, which it is argued, deals with these structural constraints and inefficiencies. It is proposed as a speculative model because its primary function to demonstrate that there are indeed viable ways to re-think the construction of the post-school education and training system to respond to the material conditions that prevail. The model proposed is a single federal institution of at least 60 existing campuses spread throughout the Province. A necessary condition for the model to work is that it will be a highly differentiated and then strongly articulated, thereby dealing with a rather contested national challenge of differentiation but in the context of meeting the needs of widening access.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Bertram, C., Mthiyane, N. & Mukeredzi, T. 
International Journal Of Educational Development
Title It will make me a real teacher’: Learning experiences of part time PGCE students in South Africa
Abstract The province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa has a recent estimate of 8000 unqualified and under-qualified teachers. Some of these teachers have an undergraduate degree, but do not have a professional qualification. In order to become professionally qualified, teachers with a degree must complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), which is traditionally a programme offered to fulltime ‘pre-service’ student teachers. However, part-time students have already been teaching in schools for some years and thus are in fact ‘in-service’ teachers. They have already gained professional practical knowledge through learning on-the-job. The study aimed to investigate what kind of knowledge they had learnt through experience and how this knowledge changes as a result of their formal learning on the PGCE. The study interviewed twenty part time PGCE students who are already practicing teachers about the kind of professional knowledge they acquired through the formal programme and their perceptions of how their practice changed as a result of this learning. Most of the respondents said that they had changed their teaching practice as a result of studying for the PGCE and that pedagogical knowledge about assessment, classroom management and lesson structuring strategies were deemed to be most important. More than half reported that the programme had developed their confidence as a result of both developing personal competence and through becoming a ‘real’ teacher by dint of achieving professional status. This points to the importance of offering teachers with a degree the opportunity to become professionally qualified through a flexibly offered programme.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Bryant, K. & Diga, K.
Alternation 9
Title W/righting Research Capacity Building: A Preliminary Model to Inform Writing Support Activities for African Researchers
Abstract This article contributes to the literature on research capacity building activities that specifically target researchers located at universities in the global South. It argues that although research capacity building activities, usually funded by development agencies in the global North, place some focus on the activity of writing for publication (particularly because of African researchers’ low rates of publication in academic journals), such activities do not necessarily take into account theories and research coming from the field of writing studies. Therefore, to address this limitation, this article discusses a particular research capacity building programme that used its funding to focus solely on the activity of writing for publication. The authors reflect on learnings from this writer/writing coach relationship support programme and use them to propose a preliminary model. They recommend that this model could be used to inform the construction of writing support programmes being designed, implemented, and facilitated at African universities to address African researchers’ challenges with publication. At this model’s foundation is a writing coach who has two attributes: 1) an empirical understanding of the writers’ specific contextual challenges with publishing; and 2) three theoretical understandings of writing informed by writing studies research: writing as process, writing as social and writing as rhetorical.
Keywords: African universities, research capacity building, writing capacity, writing research, writing theory, writing support programmes

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Chetty, N.
South African Journal of Science 109
Title Student responses to being taught Physics in isiZulu
Abstract The University of KwaZulu-Natal is in the process of formulating a language policy to introduce teaching and learning in isiZulu as well as in English to improve throughput and increase the number of graduates. The aim of this study was to determine if this policy is feasible within the discipline of physics. Critical engagement with students and a literature search allowed the determination of the potential gains and pitfalls of such a language introduction. The study also provides some useful insight into student contexts, schooling history and their perceptions of being taught in their vernacular. The inconsistent use of isiZulu words to translate basic physics words will require the development of a common vocabulary for teaching physics in isiZulu.
Keywords: isiZulu; physics; university; UKZN; survey; language

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Collins, A.
Alternation 9
Title Teaching Sensitive Topics : Transformative Pedagogy in a Violent Society
Abstract This article explores problems and possibilities in teaching courses that raise deep emotional issues for the participants. Two courses were developed to examine violence in South Africa, and provide social and psychological support for victims. It became clear that most of the students were themselves survivors of violence, and that the courses triggered powerful emotional reactions and shifts in self-understanding. This presented a danger that the participants would be overwhelmed by negative emotional responses to the course materials in ways that could be psychologically traumatic and also undermine the potential learning experiences offered by the courses. The challenge was thus to develop a pedagogical model which enhanced the positive potential for emotional engagement with the course materials. Here both the notions of critical pedagogy as personal transformation and empowerment, and the traditional psychotherapeutic ideas emotional containment and working through, were explored to develop a teaching practice that allowed participants to engage with the materials in a deeply personal way while maintaining a supportive environment that fostered increasing intellectual and emotional self-reflexivity.
Keywords: containment, critical pedagogy, psychotherapy, PTSD, trauma, vicarious trauma, violence

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Govender, K. & Dhunpath, R.
Alternation 9
Title Harmony and Conflict in a PhD Cohort Supervision Model
Abstract Doctoral supervision has experienced an evolution from the traditional one-on-one master apprentice model to the cohort supervision model which draws on the collective expertise of experienced and novice supervisors and student peers. An earlier exploratory study (Govender & Dhunpath 2011) which appraised student experiences and the key principles of collaboration and collegiality revealed two significant trends that seemed to characterize the cohort model. First, the relevance of cohort supervision in the post-proposal generation phase was of variable relevance to candidates and second, the challenge students experience in reconciling support from cohort supervisors and appointed supervisors; and between principal and co-supervisors undermined the model. In this article, we document the analysis of data derived from a follow-up study. We subject the two trends to further scrutiny, presenting the diversity o f experiences framed by theoretical and conceptual understandings of collaboration, experiential learning and peer-partnership inquiry. Based on further evidence generated, we argue that the post-proposal supervision is as valuable as the proposal generation phase and that the cohort model cultivates greater academic maturity and intellectual autonomy; enabling students to mediate the conflicting perspectives offered by supervisors. The article concludes with some reflections on the methodological framings of the initial and subsequent studies, signalling how researcher positionalities predispose them to particular analytical frames, stances and conclusion.
Keywords: collaboration and collegiality; supervision conflict; academic maturity; conflict and harmony

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Hahn,K. & Teferra, D.
Tuning journal for Higher Education
1 10
Title Tuning as Instrument of Systematic Higher Education Reform and Quality Enhancement reform and Quality Enhancement: The African Experience
Abstract This article explores the state of higher education in Africa as it relates to the experience and lessons learned in the Tuning African higher education project. It analyses the specific African dimension of the methodology, its contribution to the reform efforts in teaching and learning, and the critical issues vital for quality enhancement and harmonization of higher education in Africa.
Keywords: tuning; harmonization; curriculum development; reform; quality; higher education; Africa; regional intergration

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Hakizimana, S. & Jurgens, A.
Alternation 9
Title The Peer Teaching/Leanring Programme: An Analysis of Student's Feedback
Abstract Freire’s views on the dialogical nature of teaching and learning inspired a group of postgraduate students who had previously been involved in facilitating Supplemental Instruction (SI) but observed low student participation. After reflecting on their own experiences the group initiated a discussion forum for first-year biology students with the aim of transforming student learning from a relatively passive experience to an active, engaging process. In contrast to the SI programme Peer Teaching/Learning Experience Programme (PTLEP) sessions were characterised by large student numbers per session (100-300), a much longer duration (up to 3 hours), and they were conducted at weekends or after hours. Furthermore sessions were offered only close to exams and tests with two sessions per test and three sessions per exam. In the PTLEP tutorials, facilitators guide the process and make comments, but only after the students themselves have made suggestions on how to answer questions correctly. Records from the attendance registers, evaluation questionnaires given to a sample of students attending the programme, and video recordings of sessions revealed that PTLEP increased attendance and active participation of the attending students. These multi- layered peer interactions mitigated the effects of the high student-lecturer-ratios observed at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and offered pedagogical benefits as competition was decreased among students and cooperation, motivation, self-confidence and self-esteem were increased. Contrary to the belief that peer teaching should be limited to peer discussion in small groups, the students’ responses to a set of questionnaires and their participation in academic workshops indicate that, in an African context, peer education involving large numbers of students creates a motivating learning environment.
Keywords: Peer Teaching, students’ motivation, engagement, peer tutoring, pedagogy, collaboration

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Hassan, S.L.
Alternation 9
Title An Analysis of Perceptions of Academics Regarding the Reward for Excellence in Research: A Critical Theory Approach
Abstract Under the pretext of enhancing a knowledge society, educational transformation promotes a polarization between excellence in teaching and learning and excellence in research through a system that favours research. Academics who may be good teachers but who are not research active may be seen as incompetent. Through the lens of critical theory, this paper argues that this polarization has created an oppressive hegemonic working environment for academics. Self-administered questionnaires were applied with academics as the target group. Face-to-face interviews were conducted among middle and senior management. Respondents indicated that they were still committed to pursuing excellence in teaching despite the unbalanced reward system towards research. This sense of ‘calling’ could make respondents vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation. When, for the purpose of pursuing excellence, they take on an increasingly heavy workload in the absence of adequate resources and rewards, they are contributing to their own oppression and self-destruction.
Keywords: Critical theory, hegemony, Gramsci, educational transformation, research excellence, teaching excellence, teaching quality

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 John, V.
Journal of Family Ecology and Consumer Sciences
Title Exploring adult education and community development in a rural project: a conceptual framework
Abstract Conceptual frameworks developed during community development research are important in that they synthesise thinking about project dynamics (summative value) while also serving as frameworks for future research (heuristic value). This article discusses a conceptual framework developed from a case study of the Human Rights, Democracy and Development (HRDD) project, an adult education and development project in rural KwaZulu-Natal. The framework presents key features of the micro and macro environments of the project, while discussion of the framework engages with some of the dynamic interactions between these environments. After briefly presenting the features of the micro environment, the article then focuses in greater depth on the macro environment, examining the major forces in the macro-system of this project. This focus stems from the view that the socio-political character of the macro environment requires more explicit exploration in conceptual frameworks of a project operating in a post-conflict rural context such as KwaZulu-Natal. This brings to the fore the socio-political character of the macro-system within which family and community are located. Development interventions could benefit from being sensitive to these forces in project planning, implementation and evaluation phases.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 John, V.M.
Journal of Social Sciences
37 1
Title Transforming power and transformative learning in peace educator development.
Abstract Peace education and the development of peace educators should be a vita l component of any education system. This is particularly so in a developing country such as South Africa where high levels of violent crime and protest action occur alongside growing inequality. It is therefore surprising that in a context such as this so little attention is given to peace education in terms of programme offerings and scholarship. This paper explores and theorises aspects of the multi-faceted curriculum processes and the teaching and learning experiences in an undergraduate peace education programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Drawing on a small- scale qualitative study involving interviews with novice peace educators, the paper explores three aspects of curriculum innovation within the UKZN programme which attempts to address the cardinal challenges of peace educator development. It then considers three learning opportunities created for novice educators through such a curriculum. Using the lens of Mezirow’s transformative learning theory the paper finally, theorises some of the learning and teaching experiences of this programme.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Kassier, S. & Veldman, F.
Alternation 9
Title Food Security Status and Academic Performance of Students on Financial Aid: The Case of University of KwaZulu-Natal
Abstract Universities are required to improve access and facilitate academic success for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. However, tertiary education is costly and inadequate student financial support undermines academic interventions by contributing to high drop-out and low graduation rates. The prevalence of food insecurity (FI) under the local student community is high. However the extent to which FI affects academic performance is under researched. A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted on a random sample of local university students (n=269) on financial aid to try and contribute to the filling of this research gap. Anthropometric measurements, food security status, coping mechanisms, monthly food expenditure, dietary diversity, academic performance and nutritional knowledge were measured using standardised methods and questionnaires. The findings indicated that more than half of the participants (53.1%) reported to be moderately food insecure. No significant relationship between academic performance, determined by the Combined Performance Index (CPI), and level of FI was found. However, it was evident that all participants in this study under-performed with a CPI of less than 90 (aCPI below 120 is considered below average). The findings point to the need for further research into the financial aid received by underprivileged students as it is evident from the study that almost all students on financial aid, whether they reported to be food secure or insecure, under-performed academically.
Keywords: food security status, food insecurity, academic performance, university students, financial aid, combined performance index

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 King, K.
Alternation 9
Title South-South Cooperation in the In ternationalisation of African Higher Education
Abstract Set within the discourse of South-South Cooperation, the article seeks to disentangle some of the essential history of university partnerships, before looking in more detail at the kind of partnerships associated with China’s involvement with African universities. In reviewing China-Africa university partnerships, it pays attention to some of the history of this modality, as well as looking briefly at two more recent manifestations, the Confucius Institute partnerships between China and Africa and the 20+20 partnership between twenty African institutions of higher education and twenty counterparts in Mainland China.
Keywords: Partnership, Cooperation, Confucius Institute,20+20 higher education project

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Maharaj, L., Davis, N. & Khoza, S.B.
Alternation 9
Title Is Team Teaching Learner-friendly or Teacher Centered? Mode of Delivery in a Postgraduate Module
Abstract This article reports on the mode of delivery utilized in a postgraduate (honours) module at a South African higher education institution. In 2011 the authors taught a module individually to their respective groups. In 2012 they used a team teaching approach for some lectures and in other lectures they taught their individual groups. Initial conversations with students indicated a sense of dissatisfaction with the team teaching approach. Using module evaluations and a focus group discussion with selected postgraduate students, this article answers the question: what are postgraduate student’s experiences of the mode of delivery used in the team teaching approach? Findings indicate poor links between individual lecturers resulting in students’ inability to connect one topic to another. However, a slight improvement in performance was noted when results were compared with the previous year. The argument is posited that a variation in the mode of delivery created a new discourse of transformation that challenges established notions of teaching which arguably promote learner passivity and are teacher-centred. A tension between transformative teaching and students’ interest (performance) seems to be unresolved which raises the question whether team-teaching as a transformative approach is learner-friendly. Given the post-apartheid curriculum shift towards critical engagement and student participation, the dominant mode of delivery at higher education institutions is in need of transformation to increase student involvement in learning.
Keywords: Disruptive learning, mode of delivery, team teaching  transformative teaching

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Mudaly, R. & Ismail, R. 
Alternation 20 1
Title Teacher learning through tapping into indigenous knowledge systems. 
Abstract This article reports on a qualitative study that involved re-thinking and re-doing teaching, by exploring the value of incorporating practices and knowledge embedded in indigenous knowledge systems. It begins by troubling the notion that all knowledge systems not rooted in the western mode of thinking are ‘naturally’ subaltern. The article focuses on pre-service science teachers who experience challenges when they engage with different epistemologies to inform their practice. Their responses to these challenges are explored through the following research question: How do pre-service teachers learn to teach culturally inclusive science? Drawing on the constructs of sociocultural theory and the Zone of Proximal Development, the way in which pre-service teachers learn was explored. A sample of 30 pre-service science teacher volunteers, who are part of a total population of 98 individuals that study a pedagogic content module at a tertiary institution in South Africa, participated in this study. The methodology describes how the pre-service teachers were trained, through module activities, to teach culturally inclusive science. The participants worked co-operatively in groups and generated lesson plans, as well as written reflections on their activities, which served as the data. The findings reveal that pre-service teachers can, through module activities, be enabled to refer to multiple sources of information, including custodians of indigenous knowledges, as legitimate, relevant and valuable holders of knowledge. Collaborative work among pre-service teachers can increase their confidence to draw on different knowledge systems, by transcending familiar pedagogical boundaries when they train to teach school science. Included among the recommendations is pre-service teachers’ call for modules taught at tertiary institutions to include IKS as a compulsory component. The article concludes by revealing how the incorporation of IK into mainstream knowledge production can contribute to epistemological decolonisation and the restoration of African identity.
Keywords: Pre-service science teachers, indigenous knowledge systems, Zone of Proximal Development, western school science, teacher training

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Ntombela, S.
Africa Education Review
10 3
Title Inclusive education and training in South African higher education: Mapping the experiences of a student with disabilities
Abstract The South African Constitution upholds and entrenches the human right of all citizens. Similarly, the Higher Education Act of 1997 promotes equality of access for all, especially for those previously marginalised or excluded. The study reported in this article explored challenges experienced by students with disabilities at his university. Using an interpretive qualitative case study, data were collected through a narrative. In addition, personal communication and photographs were also used as data. The study attempts to open a small window to the lived experiences of students with disabilities in public institutions. Findings suggest that the public is often not aware of, nor responsive to, the needs of minority groupings, which highlights that disability is more a human rights issue than a medical problem. The study concludes that physical inclusion without considerations for accommodations does not address access issues. These findings have implications for how universities are organised and how they support the learning of all.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Pillay, D., Pithouse-Morgan K.P., Naicker, I., Chikoko, V. & Morojele P.J
 Journal of Social Sciences
37 2
Title What access? Lived experiences of international postgraduate students from Africa studying in a South African university
Abstract This paper reports on a study that investigated lived experiences of international post-graduate students from African countries in one School of a South African university. The researchers saw a knowledge gap regarding how much the institution ‘knew’ about these students’ experiences and sought to address the question: What can be learnt from these experiences regarding  access to the institution? The study adopted a qualitative research approach involving two in-depth focus group interviews with the students, one at the beginning of the academic year and the other six months later. Data were analysed at two complimentary stages. First data were categorized into two, namely responses about institutional support and those about social and academic experiences.Second, data were further broken down into emerging sub-categories out of which meanings were made. Key observations from the study include that the support sectors of the university were perceived as inefficient and ineffective, academic staff performance was experienced as very good, the university’s curricula were viewed as needing fine-tuning, and overall, in seeking to integrate with the institution, some students were more resilient than others. It was concluded that the apparent lack of cohesion between the sector s of the university was inhibitive to student integration. Therefore integrative and epistemological access was under threat.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Preece, J.
South African Journal of Higher Education
27 4
Title Community engagement and service learning in a South African university: The challenges of adaptive leadership
Abstract This article presents the preliminary findings of two community engagement (CE)/service learning case studies undertaken at a South African university. The following criteria were used for selecting the case studies: they were community needs-led; attracted a multidisciplinary team approach; and involved service learning (SL) students from different disciplines. The findings highlight the challenges of negotiating these three dimensions, and the perceived learning benefits for community, staff and student participants. The article draws on SL and CE literature which highlights the paucity of research regarding multidisciplinary engagement or the community voice in service learning projects. It frames its discussion around theories of community development, with reference to the concepts of adaptive leadership and collaboration. It concludes by stating that small-scale projects can demonstrate mutually beneficial outcomes for all partners but that communication and leadership are multi-layered, requiring university vigilance in relation to competing values and purposes.
Keywords: adaptive leadership, asset-based development, community engagement

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Preece, J.
Alternation 9
Title Service Learning in a Community Engagement in South African Universities: Towards an 'Adaptive Engagement' Approach
Abstract This is a concept article which develops the argument posited by Mahlomaholo & Matobako (2006) in an earlier Alternation publication that university community engagement through service learning fails to impact on community change because insufficient attention is paid to genuine engagement (listening to the community; enhancing local resources, critiquing power relations, reciprocity). The article traces the evolutionary nature of the terms community service, community engagement and service learning, particularly over the last six years. It briefly reviews the focus of recent studies on this topic and highlights some current concerns in the community engagement and service learning literature with mutidisciplinarity, the production of knowledge and sustainable community engagement. It reflects on the paucity of literature which links service learning and community engagement with community development theories and concludes with recommendations for more multidisciplinary service learning initiatives which focus on community engagement that leads service learning rather than the other way round. In so doing the article draws attention to the advantages of framing community engagement within asset-based community development theory (Ferriera & Ebersöhn 2012) and the concept of ‘adaptive leadership’ as discussed in a recent article by Stephenson (2011) from the US and offers a new concept of ‘adaptive engagement’. The article concludes by suggesting there is a need for more research which examines the implications for applying service learning through a community development lens.
Keywords: adaptive engagement, community development, community engagement, service learning.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Ramrathan, P.
South African Journal of Higher Education
27 1
Title Towards a conceptual framework for understanding student dropout from HEIs
Abstract Higher education institutions (HEIs) within South Africa, in particular, have experienced a high rate of student dropout within undergraduate programmes. Reasons for such a high dropout rate, as contained in the extant literature suggest that the majority of students drop out because of biographical and financial reasons. The international literature suggests that student dropout is located within the discourse of students' experience of higher education. This article reports on an institutional study on student dropout at a South African HEI with a view to exploring, through a fine-grained analysis, the issues that researchers need to conceptualise when researching student dropout. Through the analysis of data generated by the mixed methods approach, the article presents a conceptual framework for exploring personal, biographical and institutional issues impacting on student dropout. Through this framework, new insights on this phenomenon are illuminated and one such illumination relating to insidious institutional violence is presented.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Taylor, M., Naidu, P.
Alternation 9
Title Challenges in Developing and Implementing Strategies to Facilitate Completion of Their Research by Postgraduate Students in the Discipline of Public Health Medicine 
Abstract Many students have successfully completed the required course work modules but not the research required for the Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The aim of this project was to support, mentor and motivate the students to complete the dissertation. This paper discusses and analyses a teaching and learning project to assist these students with academic writing skills. Using action research students were contacted to assess their academic needs through a questionnaire. Students were then contacted individually, mentored and assisted with administrative procedures. After further discussions with students and staff, a series of workshops were held on academic writing, data analysis, and writing manuscripts, and in the next phase, these were evaluated. Data indicates that MPH students appreciated the mentoring, encouragement and the workshops set up. Constraints included the challenge of accommodating students who work in different districts of KwaZulu-Natal and have to travel long distances to attend, and who also have to work and meet family commitments. The number of students completing their dissertations was less positive and indicated that despite interest expressed, and their participation and positive feedback in the workshops, few students completed their dissertations in 2012. A more structured process providing both academic and peer support may be helpful and assist students to complete their dissertations and papers, facilitated by additional staff through a cohort-based programme.
Keywords: Masters in Public Health, Mature students, mentorship, skills training, supervision

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Van Laren, L.
Acta Academia 45 3
Title Breaking out of the cocoon': academics' experiences of integrating HIV and AIDS into the curriculum
Abstract The South African Higher Education Policy Framework on HIV and AIDS tasks universities to address HIV and AIDS in teaching, research and community engagement. In a global economy, integration in academic disciplines is a cost-effective method, simultaneously allowing for multiple perspectives of engaging with the epidemic. This study uses a qualitative approach to explore the sharing experiences of academics who integrate HIV and AIDS issues into the curriculum. Academics from three South African higher education institutions were interviewed. Three themes emerged from an analysis of their experiences: to share or not to share; how academics view integration in terms of their role as an academic, and who is integrating what. The findings indicate that academics are taking up the challenge, but that they require collegial support.

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Van Laren, L. & Goba, B.
Alternation 9
Title The Volatile Issue of Language(s) of Instruction in Foundation Phase Mathematics Teacher Education in a Multi-Lingual Context
Abstract In multilingual countries, international and national studies indicate that issues around languages of instruction are challenging because of complex social, political and economic factors associated with language usage. However, the South African Language in Education Policy (1997) stipulates that foundation phase learners need to be taught in their mother tongue. Therefore, appropriate modules are required at higher education institutions to prepare foundation phase pre-service teachers for mother-tongue instruction. As mathematics teacher educator researchers, we acknowledge the challenges faced in teacher preparation for multilingual mathematics classrooms. Our findings indicate that some South African higher education institutions have responded to these challenges by using simultaneous translation methods or offering modules with an African language of instruction. We argue that it is important to identify these challenges but also to ‘start with ourselves’ to explore ways of improving foundation phase mathematics teacher preparation in our multilingual context.
Keywords: higher education, language of instruction, mathematics education, self-study

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Vithal, R., Subbaye, R. & North, D.
Alternation 9
Title Valuing Teaching in University Academic Promotions
Abstract Studies on academic promotions point to a consensus among academics that excellence in teaching quality should be rewarded and recognised though challenges remain about how exactly this can be done. This article presents a quantitative analysis of all applications for academic promotion and their outcomes over a three-year period (2009-2011) at a South African university; where promotions to all ranks (lecturer to professor) are made on the basis of teaching and/or research. It statistically examines the extent to which academic promotions may be attributed to research and/or teaching with particular reference to gender and rank. The results demonstrate that teaching is valued and brings into sharp relief the gendering of academic promotions. Significant findings show that while more men applied for promotion to the ranks of the professoriate; a greater proportion of women were successful in being promoted at these levels. Moreover, the success rate of females is 20% lower than the success rate of males if research is the only criterion for promotion; and the success rate of females, when using both research and teaching criteria, is 22% higher than it is for males. The research reported suggests that the implication of excluding teaching as a criterion for academic promotions disadvantages the career progression of women academics and is a barrier to increasing the number of women in the professoriate.
Keywords: academic promotions, excellence in teaching versus excellence in research, gender, professoriate, rewards and recognition, university teaching quality

Year Authors  Journal/Book Volume Issue
2013 Wildsmith-Cromarty, R.
Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
31 2
Title A problem-oriented, form-focused course design for teaching isiZulu as an additional language
Abstract This article describes the development of a university course for mother-tongue isiZulu students on the learning and teaching of isiZulu as an additional language at school level. The course was developed at a university in KwaZulu-Natal for second and third year students in the general BA degree and was based on three fundamental principles: (i) that learning should be task and problem-based leading to reflection; (ii) that tasks and materials should include authentic and relevant content and data for problem-solving; and (iii) that the students would derive more from an instructional context that made use of their mother tongue as well as English. The course design and methodology draw on research into teacher thinking and cognition which lays emphasis on consciousness-raising and reflection while the course content conveyed in worksheets and seminar inputs draws on psycholinguistic theories of second language acquisition with emphasis on developmental processes. The course is described with the focus on the main research assignment as an example of the task-based, mediated approach used in the course. A case is made for the explicit focus on form encouraged by the worksheets because of the structural nature of the language in question and the challenges it poses for learners, and also for the use of complementary languages of instruction.

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