Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Keep growing your teaching @ SU
Author: Gerda Dullaart
Published: 29/07/2020

​​​​Keep growing your teaching @ SU

Teaching Fellowships

The SU Teaching Fellowships provide excellent teachers and scholars of teaching and learning with the opportunity to spend more consistent periods of time, with various forms of support, to focus on aspects of curriculum renewal, the exploration of teaching and learning, and the dissemination of good teaching and learning practice in departments and faculties. More information about the 2021 Teaching Fellowships is available from Dr Karin Cattell-Holden, or on the CTL Website.

The body of work developed by Dr Elize Archer of the CHPE resulting from her Teaching Fellowship (2017-2019) continues to grow.  She has recently been awarded with an Early Career Development grant (June 2020 - June 2021) based on her research about empathy in health professions and how it can be taught and learned. The impact of this body of work has been to empower several colleagues (and herself) to include the teaching of empathy in current curricula and to increase awareness about patient-centredness in the health system.


Elize has found in her research and teaching, that health professionals can be taught behavioural skills, but will probably not make sustained changes towards patient-centred health care until it resonates with their own world view.  Up to now most of her work was done with undergraduate students. She realised that, in order to influence students’ behaviour and thinking, it is important to understand the perspectives of the registrars (specialists in training), since they have a huge influence on the junior students' development. It is important to understand how they manage (in the very busy and complex health system) to navigate their patient interactions in terms of empathic communication. Her follow-up work will be investigating exactly this.


“The affordances that CTL provides have been instrumental in my development as an academic. As a new lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, I received FIRLT funds in 2008 for a project called The use of simulated patient scenarios in the teaching of basic clinical procedural skills. This helped me to start exploring the communication skills of medical students. Since then a lot has happened - but there is no doubt in my mind that this opportunity has helped me to get started!”


Dr Archer received an SU Teaching Excellence Awardin the “Developing Teacher” category in 2018. She also received a merit certificate for her Teaching Fellowship in 2019, acknowledging her contribution to the development of the scholarship of teaching and learning at SU.