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Philosophy can benefit prospective teachers can benefit prospective teachersCorporate Marketing / Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>A firm grasp of key philosophical concepts is important for prospective teachers if they wish to help address pedagogical and societal challenges in their specific contexts.</p><p>This is one of the key messages of a new book by Dr Nuraan Davids and Prof Yusef Waghid of the Department of Education Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University.</p><p>Their book <em>Philosophy and education as action: Implications for Teacher Education </em>was published recently by Rowman & Littlefield – Lexington Series </p><p>Containing ten chapters, the book focuses on ten key philosophical concepts, namely knowledge, practical reasoning, productive action, education, free speech, craft or art, deliberative engagement, love and friendship, cosmopolitanism, and potentiality (the way things could be as supposed to the way they are).  </p><p>Each chapter is presented as a conversation between students and lecturers, and reflects on the afore-mentioned concepts in relation to teaching and learning – emphasising how  action can be engendered within philosophy of education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to the authors, <em>Philosophy and education as action: Implications for Teacher</em><em> </em><em>Education</em><em> </em>offers a nuanced and practical understanding of these concepts to pre-service and in-service teachers, as well as academics and researchers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"In acknowledging the ongoing struggles that prospective teachers, and we would imagine, in-service teachers as well, have in accessing the language of philosophy of education, we have identified the ten key philosophical concepts," says Davids. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The book is unique in the sense that it attempts to respond to prospective teachers' concerns about the profession and how philosophy of education can be used to respond to pedagogic and societal concerns in Africa," she adds. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors say the book also seeks to address their students' resistance to philosophy of education. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"There are a number of reasons for this resistance. On the one hand, the majority of students in our class come from undergraduate programmes where they had not previously encountered philosophy of education. As such, they generally describe the language of philosophy of education as unnecessarily complex and confusing." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"On the other hand, those students who might have encountered philosophy before, or those who might be open to studying philosophy of education, do not necessarily consider the latter as necessary to teaching subjects, such as English, mathematics, or science." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors argue for a link between philosophy and education with the potential to effect teacher education practices. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We endeavour to clarify pertinent philosophical concepts in education and then look at how these concepts impact teaching, learning and management as classroom practices." </p><p>The authors say pre-service and in-service teachers, undergraduate and post-graduate students, academics, and researchers may benefit from the book.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Anyone who is interested in teacher education, teaching, and philosophy of education would find this book very useful. The book has a broader appeal because of our shared experiences with academics and lecturers from other international institutions." </p><ul><li><em>Philosophy and education as action: Implications for Teacher Education</em> is available through Rowman & Littlefield – Lexington Series and <a href="">Amazon</a>.</li></ul><p> </p><p><br></p>
SA’s youth face many challenges’s youth face many challengesCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>On Friday (16 June) we celebrate Youth Day. In opinion pieces published in the media, the following staff members and students from Stellenbosch University focus on some of the pressing challenges facing our youth and what should be done to solve them. Click the links below for the respective articles.</p><ul><li><p>Prof Yusef Waghid (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/p24%20Edu%20Waghid.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Mail & Guardian</strong></a>)<br></p></li><li><p>Folkers Williams (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/FWilliams_CapeArgus_Jun2017.pdf"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>Cape Argus</strong></span></a>) </p></li><li><p>Sibonele Sosibo (<a href="/english/Documents/newsclips/Youth%20Day%20Article_Sibonelo.pdf"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>News24</strong></span></a>)<br></p></li></ul><p> <br></p><p><br></p>
SUNCEP’s first video streaming teacher training session’s first video streaming teacher training sessionAnneke Müller<p>On Saturday 27 May, SUNCEP streamed its first tuition session live to Natural Science teachers in two different venues outside Stellenbosch, complementing the previous three contact sessions that were offered in Vredendal earlier this term.</p><p>SUNCEP's practice-based approach to professional learning entails contact tuition sessions, mentoring offered via cluster meetings, on-site support visits as well as e-support and e-mentoring. </p><p>The Centre for Learning Technologies at Stellenbosch University implemented an alternative conferencing software, called SUNStream where affordable two-way interactivity video-streaming via Adobe Connect is possible. Participants can "attend" these sessions anywhere and on any device such as a computer, tablet or even a smart phone. </p><p>This platform allows participants to communicate with one another, take polls interactively and also allows presenters to share documents on their own computer screen with the participants. The sessions can also be recorded and viewed later offline. </p><p>This session was streamed from the SUNCEP office to two groups of teachers: one group in Vredendal and another in Citrusdal.  A Vredendal based SUNCEP facilitator, Ms Christa Philander and the WCED Curriculum Advisor for Physical Sciences in the West Coast, Mr Lyndon Manas, attended and technically supported the teachers during the sessions. </p><p>SUNCEP has utilised the Stellenbosch University telematics platform and will continue to do so when applicable.  Rapid advances in technology have, however, made it possible to increase the two way interactive nature of broadcasts via streaming to any device and not just to telematic centres, thus strengthening SUNCEP's e-learning delivery of its short courses. </p><p>The SUNCEP team is very excited about this new platform.  "Now that we have tested the platform successfully, the possibilities are endless, especially to support teachers in deep rural areas, without anyone having to drive vast distances", said Dr Trevor van Louw, Director of SUNCEP. <br></p><p><em>Photo: SUNCEP staff members preparing for the streaming: Mrs Danelda van Graan, Mrs Erika Hoffman, Mrs Pauline Hanekom, Mr Andrew Fair and Mr Shaun Graham.</em><br></p>
Educational assessment a crucial part of teaching and learning assessment a crucial part of teaching and learning Corporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>Edu­cational assessment at schools and universities should be seen as a means through which teaching and learning can unfold and not just as something to test learners and students.</p><p>This is one of the key arguments in a new book by Dr Nuraan Davids and Prof Yusef Waghid of the Department of Education Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University.</p><p>Their book <em>Education, Assessment, and the Desire for Dissonance </em>was published recently by Peter Lang.</p><p>Comprising 10 chapters, the book covers themes such as the failure of governmental strategies for educational assess­ment; the power dimensions of pedagogic relations and assessment practices; the use of measurements and metrics in South African forms of assessment; and deliberative assessment encoun­ters.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The book looks at educational assessment practices in schools and universities broadly, while also drawing from South African experiences.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors say they wrote the book because they were concerned about South African schools and universities' complacency and non-responsiveness to conceptions and practices of assessment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">They argue that inasmuch as attempts have been made to move away from measurement and metrics, assessment in South Africa remains mostly connected to control and predictability, as com­monly encountered in international trends in assessment. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Assessment is overwhelmingly seen as something that has to be done in addition to teaching and learning. Such an understanding creates the impression that teaching and learning do not have an internal connection to assessment," says Davids.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Educational assessment is constitutive of teaching and learning and not an add-on practice (a non-governmental practice), as is currently the case with assessment practices in South Africa." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">They say they are concerned about school, university, and societal understandings that assessment can somehow be used to address learner or student performance, while simultaneously being used as a motivation for learning. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Unless assessment yields the necessary information to improve teaching and learning, and unless teachers know how to analyse and apply this information, assessment, as we see in the Annual National Assessment or the National Senior Certificate, adds no value."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">They argue that dissonance could be a way out of the quagmire of standardised "testing" measures that not only inhibit the pursuit of creativity, talent, and passions, but also make peda­gogic encounters a bit superficial and parochial. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to the authors, edu­cational assessment aimed at improving teaching and learning can be successful if it also incorporates the idea that a learner or student should not necessarily accept a teacher's particular assessment of his or her work.</p><p>"The student has to be allowed to disagree with the teacher (show dissonance/disagreement) – but, of course, has to show reasonable justification for doing so. In the same way, teachers cannot simply retreat into their rooms and assign marks/assessments to students without engaging with them."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"We contend that dis­sonance in educational assessment offers an alternative to assessment practices that currently constrain the autonomy of students and of teachers."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"If teaching is understood as directing students towards the unfamiliar and yet-to-be-understood, then assessment needs to offer the potentiality for a questioning of the unfamiliar and the yet-to-be-understood."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors say they recognise that assessment is a complex and demanding encounter and that it means different things, teachers, learners or students.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Because assessment is complex and demanding, it is something that people should do together. We would aver that educational assessment ought to be advanced by a desire to do things differently." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In this regards they propose an assessment <em>within</em> teaching as opposed to assessment <em>of </em>learning and an assessment <em>for </em>learning.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Assessment <em>within</em> teaching and learning places the onus on both teachers and learners or students to consider the practice as something done in association with others. Such a view is different from the traditional ones that prejudice doing things for others. This would mean that assessment ought to be considered as an encounter." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors add that this type of assessment implies that teachers and students are present in pedagogical relation­ships that produce meanings and operations that are carried out in their own presence. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Teachers and students are, or have the potential to be pedagogical equals."  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The authors say their book may appeal to academics, educational practitioners, policy analysts, students, and teachers.</p><ul><li><em>Education, Assessment, and the Desire for Dissonance</em> is available at <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a> as well as leading online bookstores. </li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"> <strong>Photo</strong>: Dr Nuraan Davids and Prof Yusef Waghid with a copy of their new book.</p>
Multilingual mobile dictionary help students master concepts mobile dictionary help students master conceptsCorporate Communication / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie<p>New education students sometimes find it difficult to master concepts that are used in their courses. And because they do not understand concepts, they struggle with reading comprehension and to submit good written assignments.</p><p>"The development of concept literacy  ̶  the ability to read and understand subject-specific terminology  ̶  is a major challenge for many students," say Drs Carina America and Michele van der Merwe, two lecturers in the Department of Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>America teaches Economics and Management Science subjects and Van der Merwe Afrikaans to education students. Van der Merwe is also a lexicographer i.e. someone who compiles dictionaries.</p><p>They joined forces to develop a multilingual cell phone dictionary that can help students understand concepts used in Economic and Management Sciences. This "subject dictionary", known as MobiLex, is written in such a way that students can easily access it from their mobile phones. The project came to fruition in collaboration with SU's Language Centre and the assistance of the Centre's Head: Advancement of isiXhosa, Pumlani M Sibula. </p><p>America says the dictionary is written specifically for students who want to teach Economics and Management Science subjects in schools. She adds that MobiLex explains concepts to students in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa.</p><p>MobiLex is currently available on the SU website and students can access it through their mobile phones and computers. According to Van der Merwe, the next challenge is to develop MobiLex into an app that students can download onto their mobile phones.</p><p>The concept of MobiLex was developed four years ago by their colleague Professor Christa van der Walt to specifically address the problem of concept literacy.</p><p>"MobiLex wants to help students gain easier access to the explanation of concepts."</p><p>"This is not just an ordinary dictionary; it is a subject dictionary that explains concepts in the way the lecturer would like them to be explained."</p><p>"The dictionary is designed in such a way that it can easily be used on a cellphone. It is also updated regularly," says Van der Merwe.</p><p>"If students sit in the class and have access to the internet, they can use their computers or phones to search MobiLex for the meaning of concepts that they do not understand."</p><p>America is of the view that if students know the meaning of a particular concept, it can improve their understanding of such a concept and develop their ability to read a specific text critically. It also helps them to write better assignments.</p><p>"MobiLex can thus be a source of support to improve students' writing and reading skills."</p><p>Van der Merwe points out that students are happy that they can use MobiLex on their mobile phones and in the classroom.</p><p>"Students say it also helps to use MobiLex outside the classroom especially if there are certain concepts that they did not fully understand during a lecture and could not look up in time."</p><p>Van der Merwe says that even though the dictionary is aimed at undergraduates, it has also been extended to senior students.</p><p>They point out that in addition to Economic and Management Sciences MobiLex have been used successfully in other subjects in the Faculty of Education namely Educational Psychology, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Curriculum Studies.</p><p>The two lecturers say they recently had visitors from Europe who were impressed with MobiLex. They add that teachers also asked when MobiLex would be available in schools.</p><ul><li><strong>Photo</strong>: Pixabay</li></ul><p><strong>FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Carina America (EMS)</p><p>Department of Curriculum Studies</p><p>Faculty of Education</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 3793</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a> </p><p> </p><p>Dr Michele van der Merwe (MobiLex)</p><p>Department of Curriculum Studies</p><p>Faculty of Education</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 2396</p><p>E-mail: <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a> </p>
Opinion article: Teachers are in ideal position to help article: Teachers are in ideal position to helpProf Ronelle Carolissen<p>​Our world is becoming increasingly complex and intolerant of social difference. </p><p>Schools and especially teachers have a significant role to play in creating opportunities for children and adolescents to engage in dialogue and to affirm the value of difference in themselves and others, writes Prof Ronelle Carolissen, associate professor of community psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology at Stellenbosch University and Vice-Dean: Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education, in an opinion piece in the<em> New Age</em>.<br></p><p>Read the full opinion piece <a href="/english/faculty/education/Faculty%20Documents/Carolissen_TheNewAge_Mar2017.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-8" style="">here</strong></a>.<br></p>
Sixth Postgraduate Supervision Conference hosted by Centre for Higher and Adult Education Postgraduate Supervision Conference hosted by Centre for Higher and Adult EducationPia Nänny<p>More than 150 delegates from 11 countries attended the sixth Postgraduate Supervision Conference hosted by the Centre for Higher and Adult Education (CHAE), situated within the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University (SU), from 28-31 March. </p><p>The theme of the conference was 'Postgraduate supervision: Spaces, journeys and new horizons' and discussions were focused on the spaces, journeys and ultimate destinations of postgraduate students and their supervision. </p><p>Delegates were welcomed by Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-rector:<sub> </sub>Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at SU.</p><p>"The topic of this conference is very close to my heart as I am responsible for postgraduate studies at Stellenbosch University. In South Africa, the success rate at PhD level is only about 50%. This is very worrying. At our own university – Stellenbosch University – the retention rate is 65% – which is not that good either, in my opinion.</p><p>"We need to understand why this is the case, and that is why this conference is so important."</p><p>Prof Cloete mentioned challenges such as the high opportunity costs of candidates not completing their PhDs, the lack of supervisory capacity and the slow through-put rate.</p><p>To complete a postgraduate degree is not easy and tenacity as well as a well-structured relationship between student and supervisor are important ingredients for success, he added.</p><p>"With this conference you are adding a lot of value to the postgraduate environment and I am looking forward to the outcome of this meeting," Prof Cloete concluded.</p><p>The keynote speakers at the conference were Associate Professor Nick Hopwood from Sydney University of Technology, Dr Suzanne Ortega, President of the Council of Graduate Schools in the USA, Prof Kirsi Pyhältö from the University of Helsinki and Dr Amaleya Goneos-Malka, Postgraduate Research Fellow at the University of Pretoria.</p><p>The conference, which started on Wednesday 29 March, was preceded on Tuesday 28 March by a meeting of Deans of Postgraduate Studies (or their equivalent) to discuss issues of mutual concern related to international and national trends and challenges for postgraduate schools and offices.</p><p>Prof Liezel Frick, Director of the Centre for Higher and Adult Education (CHAE), said the conference was an important opportunity for researchers to share their research on postgraduate supervision with their peers.</p><p>"It is also a capacity-building opportunity for novice supervisors, but in the end we all learn from each other."</p><p>Emeritus Prof Eli Bitzer, conference organiser, added that the long-standing nature of the conference confirmed that the Centre has firmly established itself as a leading entity on postgraduate pedagogy and supervision as well as research education – in South Africa and internationally. </p>
Transformative potential of technology in SA schools: Opportunities and challenges potential of technology in SA schools: Opportunities and challengesPia Nänny<p>The transformative potential of technology in South African schools was the topic of the Faculty of Education's talk during Stellenbosch University's recent Homecoming weekend.</p><p>Dr Sonja Strydom, Senior Advisor at the Centre for Learning Technologies and advisor at the Faculty of Education, discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by learning technologies.</p><p>"Learning technologies are not meant to replace teachers but rather to complement the best features of face-to-face teaching. It is most effective when an appropriate learning technology tool is used to address a specific educational challenge in the class room or lecture hall.</p><p>"Learning technologies could have transformative power but a critical approach is vital and therefore educators should be aware of the opportunities as well as the challenges.</p><p>"When an educator identifies a certain educational challenge, he or she should be able to select an appropriate tool and know what they can achieve with it, as well as when and how to include it. Learning technologies need to be integrated in the curriculum in a sensible manner."</p><p>The background to this talk is the national drive to integrate learning technologies in school practices as well as the school curriculum, which paves the way for exciting and potentially transformative pedagogies in the current SA school context. Schools are being equipped with a range of basic to more advanced technologies and educators are expected to integrate learning technologies as part of the learning experience of learners. Similarly a closer alignment between departments of education and higher education teacher training departments regarding the use of technologies is evolving. </p><p>"It is important to realise that technologies can transform, but also divide," said Strydom. "It therefore remains our responsibility to embrace these opportunities with sensitivity."</p><p><strong>Video: </strong>Showcasing the current learning technology practices evolving at SU's Faculty of Education as well as the potential of such practices for school education at different educational and contextual levels.    </p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p><br></p><p><strong>Photo: </strong>At the talk, Willie Knoetze used one smart phone and several A4 pages with specific patterns to showcase how high-technology principles can be applied in a low-technology environment (e.g. where learners don't have access to smart phones or tablets). Photographer: Henk Oets</p>
Students present isiXhosa Cultural Production present isiXhosa Cultural ProductionPia Nänny<p>​Various elements of the culture of the amaXhosa were celebrated in the first ever isiXhosa Cultural Production presented by Education students at Stellenbosch University (SU).</p><p>The aims of the production were, among others, to showcase the uniqueness of the culture, create a richer and lasting learning opportunity for all participants and encourage collaborative knowledge acquisition.</p><p>The participants ranged from second-year BEd to Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students. Most of them speak isiXhosa as a third language, especially the Xhosa Communication 378 & 388 groups which formed the majority of the performers. The organisers of the event consulted widely to ensure an appropriate and sensitive approach to the various topics.</p><p>The production was hosted in a tent on the grass in front of Nerina residence and constituted a "classroom outside the formal classroom environment".</p><p>Guests included Prof Maureen Robinson, Dean of the Faculty of Education, as well as staff members from SU's Transformation Office and various other SU departments, centres and units. </p><p>Dr Michael le Cordeur, chairperson of the Department of Curriculum Studies, described the production as a "historic event" and applauded the initiative.</p><p>"A morning like this is very important if we want to prove that we are serious about indigenous languages. SU has committed itself to support and develop isiXhosa and this production is an important step at the right moment."</p><p>Topics touched on by the various groups included music, traditional and contemporary dancing, the headdress and facial decorations, preparing food and having a meal, the value of family, marriage customs, the significance of amaXhosa in the history of the Shosholoza song, ancient traditional music and singing, naming practices, and architecture.</p><p>Prof Robinson said it was very impressive to see the quality of the work, the good spirit, the teamwork amongst the very large and diverse group of students, and most of all, the respect afforded to issues of language and culture.  </p><p>"I am sure that students will have learnt much from this that they can take into their future work as teachers," she added.</p>
Donation of minibus 'investment in the future of young people' of minibus 'investment in the future of young people'Pia Nänny<p>They have not only invested in a minibus – they've made an investment in the future of children in South Africa.</p><p>This is the opinion of two German parliamentarians who visited Stellenbosch University's Department of Sports Science on Monday to hand over the keys of a Quantum minibus.</p><p>The bus will mainly be used by honours students in the field of Kinderkinetics to travel to the communities they serve.</p><p>Ulla Schmidt, vice president of the German Bundestag (parliament), and Dagmar Freitag, chairperson of the sports committee in the German parliament, visited the Weber Gedenk Primary School in Jamestown together with Prof Elmarie Terblanche, former chairperson of the Department of Sports Science, Dr Heinrich Grobbelaar, present chairperson of the Department of Sports Science, and Dr Eileen Africa, coordinator of the Kinderkinetics honours programme.</p><p>Some of the honours students presented a class to the grade 3 learners of teacher Eustacia van Wyk, with a focus on the advancement of among other things hand-eye coordination and balance.</p><p>According to the headmaster, Mr Terence Moses, it is to the benefit of the school and learners that these students do their practical hours there.</p><p>The aim of Kinderkinetics is to enhance the development of gross motor skills in young children (0-13 years) through physical activity.</p><p>The Kinderkinetics programme is also involved with groups in Kylemore, Mitchell's Plain, Somerset-West, Bellville and at the Tygerberg Children's Hospital. They also offer sessions at various Virgin Active gymnasiums.</p><p>"We are very impressed with what we have seen today," said Freitag. She met Prof Terblanche a few years ago while she was visiting German athletes training at Coetzenburg.</p><p>"Germany's contribution is more than just a drop in the ocean, but it is small compared to your inputs and contributions. We are happy to support you."</p><p>Schmidt, a trained teacher, told the students and the department that they are doing fantastic work.</p><p>Dr Africa, who developed the Kinderkinetics honours programm at SU, is very passionate about child development and especially developmental milestones.</p><p>"Movement offers a firm basis for children for further development – not only physical but also cognitive and social development. Physical activity is also an important component of health in general. Children have to move as much as they can.</p><p>"Transport has been a big challenge for us thus far, but this bus enables us to reach the children with whom we work a lot easier."</p><p>The minibus (Jokl) have been named after Dr Ernst Franz Jokl, a German educator who founded the Department of Sport Science (then physical education) in 1936. </p>