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Faculty of Education Teaching and Learning Webinar: 13 October 2022
Author: Dr Anthea H M Jacobs
Published: 31/10/2022

​The Vice-Dean (Teaching and Learning) of the Faculty of Education, Professor Michael le Cordeur, recently published a piece in The Daily Maverick (18 July 2022) entitled “We need a curriculum overhaul to equip young people for the workplace of the future". In subsequent discussions, the question arose, “Where do we start with this huge task?" There was agreement that a good starting point to get the discussion going, would be to organise an online teaching and learning webinar, using “futures thinking" and programme renewal as points of departure. This webinar took place on the 13th of October, and the write-up below briefly summarises the event. 


 “2032 – alternative futures of teaching, learning and assessment" 


Doris Viljoen

The presenter framed her talk within the following quote by Jerome Glenn: “We are always going to be walking into the unknown – but we don't need to do it with ignorance". 

Keeping in mind how various global shifts and trends in education touch us as individuals, as a faculty, or society, will the graduates delivered by the Faculty of Education be able to function as educators and facilitators of learning in the world of work in 2032? This was how Doris Viljoen, Director of the Institute for Futures Research at the Stellenbosch University Business School, problematised her address. 

One of the biggest global changes currently facing academics and those trying to shape the face of teaching, learning, and assessment is the nature of human knowledge and how humans access it. The ease with which humans are now able to access vast quantities of information digitally and remotely, coupled with the growing expectation of being able to hyper-personalise one's experiences, will require fluidity in our relational engagement with stakeholders as we (as academics) facilitate the co-creation of knowledge through our various collaborations with students and peers. In this way we can begin to meet the changing and unique needs of our students so that they are able to make sense of teaching, learning and assessment. During the talk, Ms Viljoen outlined some of the challenging realities faced by South Africans, such as efforts to attain the 17 sustainable development goals, which cannot be ignored when considering students' pursuit of further education. She also referred to South Africans' resilience, agility, and ability to function in complex environments as strengths to rely on when facing the ever-changing landscape of teaching, learning and assessment. 

Ms Viljoen concluded her presentation by reminding us to remain eternally curious, to seek diverse or adverse opinions, and to be willing to step into the unknown by embracing new ideas and charting new courses despite the many uncertainties we face. During the post-presentation discussion, one of the attendees asked what the future looks like for teachers in an increasingly post-human, technology-driven world that also projects teacher shortages by 2030. In response, Ms Viljoen indicated that the projected teacher shortages are calculated based on our existing understanding of what a classroom or school or teacher is. However, we should be receptive to change and consider alternate teaching and learning possibilities and opportunities in collaboration with fellow higher education practitioners as we plan for the future. 

The seminar was attended by 20 staff members from the Faculty of Education, and there was lively engagement in the MS Teams meeting chat.  In the words of one of the participants, the presentation offered “very valuable, insightful information which surely makes one think about the future of education.

The recording of this webinar is available here. ​