Eduvoice 2011    

Dr Azeem Badroodien (Department of Education Policy Studies) has a leading article in the Mail & Guardian of 16 November on his research on the Ottery Youth Facility. A photographic summary of the article.

SAFETLI Leadership Symposium held in Stellenbosch
The South African Further Education Leadership Initiative (SAFETLI), based in the Centre for Higher and Adult Education (in the Faculty of Education), recently held its second annual leadership symposium at STIAS. Read more …

Dr le Cordeur invited to Netherlands
Dr. Michael le Cordeur, chairman of the Afrikaanse Taalraad and lecturer in Afrikaans Curriculum Studies, has been invited to participate in a discussion in the Dutch parliament about Afrikaans. Read more ....

3 and 10 November, 2012: Workshops
Marie Brennan and Lew Zipin, international educationists from Victoria University, are presenting two workshops on "The Pedagogical Challenge: Facing the Aporetic Madness of Social Justice"

SACHES conference, Port Elizabeth (30 Oct - 1 Nov, 2012).
Prof Fataar and Dr Azeem Badroodien took a group of Stellenbosch doctoral students to present at the SACHES conference. For further information see Department of Education Policy Studies.

The Centre for Global Studies in Education - Executive Seminar Series at the University of Waikato in New Zealand

Prof Yusef Waghid, Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies and the ex-Dean of the Education Faculty, was recently invited to give two key note addresses at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Prof Waghid who is the author of Community and Democracy in South Africa: Liberal vs Communitarian Perspectives (2003), Education, Democracy and Citizenship Revisited: Pedagogical Encounters (2010), and Conceptions of Islamic Education: Pedagogical Framings (2011) gave a talk on “In Defence of a Communitarian View of African Philosophy of Education” in which he argues for a reasonable and culture-dependent view of African philosophy of education. In his second talk , “The Arab Spring and the Illusion of Educational Change”, he argues that the lack of robust citizenship education programmes in the Muslim and Arab world have left their education system vulnerable to the dominance of authoritarian values and the curtailment of freedom of speech and tolerance.

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Academic receives medal in acknowledgement of his work in Geography

The gold medal that he received from the Society of South African Geographers was achieved on the shoulders of others – people like his parents and family, colleagues and people who, along with him, dedicate their lives to trying to create a better future for everyone through education.

Prof Peter Beets who received an award from the South African Association of Geographers speaking passionately about his work as educator. (Photo: Justin Alberts)

So says Prof Peter Beets of the Department of Curriculum Studies in the Faculty of Education about the award that he recently received in acknowledgement of his many-faceted and meritorious contribution to the field of Geography in general and, more specifically, Geography teaching in Southern Africa. The award includes honorary membership of the Society. “The announcement of the Society’s intentions came completely out of the blue. But I am thankful that efforts to promote the discipline on different levels are acknowledged in this way and that I could be part of it.”

With the educational transformation after 1994 and the associated establishment of the South African Qualifications Authority he served in the National Standards Body for Human and Social Studies (NSB 07) with the task, among others, of promoting the interests of Geography on different levels in education. In his post at the time of Senior Curriculum Planner in the Western Cape Department of Education he led the process of writing the curriculum for Geography (Grades 10 to 12). He fulfilled the same task during the latest curriculum renewal. For him, this involvement offers an opportunity to use the expertise that he has acquired as an academic, in conjunction with other role players, to further the quality of Geography teaching in South Africa. He furthermore also tries to account for current schools of thought in academic Geography in the school curriculum and in that way to narrow the gap between school and university Geography.

Beets points out that a critical understanding of the spaces within which we live, along with an understanding of the interactions and stresses between the various components in these spaces, is essential to support learners/students to achieve the active citizenship that is aimed at creating a sustainable world. “As a child who grew up on the wrong side of the apartheid dispensation in the Boland town of Wolseley it was difficult to understand the inequalities that manifested themselves at different levels. The ability to be able to analyse your living space and to ask key geographical-conceptual questions about it can enable you to systematically gain a deeper understanding of it. And even more so, with this thorough understanding of the physical and human processes and phenomena, and their interactions, it then becomes easier to apply acquired knowledge and skills to work towards a more equal dispensation – from knowledge to action.”

In addition to his years as a Geography teacher on the Cape Flats, he also was a lecturer and later a senior lecturer at three teacher training institutions. He is a recipient of the Rector’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and was already nominated twice by the best first-year student as the lecturer who had the greatest impact on his/her progress. As both only and co-author he has published articles in internationally and nationally accredited journals. He also is the author of chapters in academic textbooks and Geography school textbooks, and is currently working on an atlas.

Beets says his objective is to help establish the school subject Geography as a science of integration. “Previously, Geography was presented in a very compartmentalised manner, as physical geography on the one hand and human geography on the other. The world in which we live, on which Geography as a subject offers a specific analytical lens, is much more complex, however – jut think about the issues with which humanity struggles today. Integral to most of these issues is a complex interaction between physical and human processes. The solution or management of these issues (such as global warming, for instance) requires an understanding that extends across these ‘compartments’. It therefore entails complex answers to complex problems.”

Beets initially studied at the University of the Western Cape with a teaching bursary. He then obtained a Master’s degree in Geography from Unisa and a diploma in teaching development from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. He later completed his PhD in Curriculum Studies through Stellenbosch University.

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Dr Michael le Cordeur receives the Order of the Golden Pen

Dr Michael le Cordeur, lecturer in Afrikaans Curriculum Studies, recently received the prestigious award, the Order of the Golden Pen from the Cordis Trust for exceptional contributions to the promotion of Afrikaans.

The process of identification is based firstly on merit, then on involvement in the community and lastly on how the person can make further contributions. The promotion of Afrikaans is approached from a framework of merit for those who speak the language. The Trust’s board, which includes influential poets and authors like Fanie Olivier, John Miles, Braam de Vries and DKM Dido, as well as academics like Proff. Heilna du Plooy and Herman Gillomee, mentioned in their announcement that this award serves as acknowledgement of the on–going contributions for the advancement of Afrikaans and expressed the hope that it will serve as inspiration for further publications and involvement.

Above: Dr Michael le Cordeur  

The 12 awards consist of an address (lecture), R5000 prize money and a free publication by Cordis Trust Publications on an appropriate topic. The aim is the advancement of the art of writing, poetry, drama, lyrics and cultural aspects.

Other recipients include the poet, Floris A Brown, the author Dana Snyman, the academic Dr Susan Smith, lecturer at the University of Fort Hare, Dr Jeanette Ferreira and Stef Kruger.

Dr le Cordeur recently returned from Turkey where he lectured at the University of Izmir on the value of mother tongue education. He was also one of the speakers at the symposium on Cape Afrikaans which was held 20th July at UWC. He is the guest speaker at the Afrikaans Language Museum’s Language Day celebration which takes place the 14th August. He will speak about Cape and other varieties of Afrikaans. He will also present in George on the 15th August and at the ‘SATU’ conference on the 4th September in Port Elizabeth.

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Mathematics teachers attend residential course for ACE in Mathematical Sciences

From 25-30 June mathematics teachers from around the country attended their fourth and final residential course in Stellenbosch as part of the ACE in Mathematical Sciences.

The ACE in Mathematical Sciences is a 2 year programme offered by the Institute for Mathematics and Science Teaching at the University of Stellenbosch (IMSTUS) on behalf of the department of Curriculum Studies and in collaboration with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC). The programme uses a blended learning model which combines face-to-face contact, interactive telematic sessions and online discussions and the first cohort enrolled in 2009. During the residential course the teachers stay together in the hostel at Stellenbosch High School and attend sessions from 8:30 in the morning till 20:30 in the evening.

We look forward to seeing these teachers back in December for their graduation!

Above: The Mathematics teachers with facilitators Ingrid Mostert, Bertus van Etten and Toni Beardon

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Commonwealth scholarship

The Postgraduate and International Office (PGIO) is proud to announce that several SU students and staff have qualified for the Commonwealth and Erasmus Mundus scholarships for 2012.

Mr Adam Cooper

The Commonwealth scholarship allows students from developing Commonwealth countries to undertake Master’s, PhD and split-site studies in the UK. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the scholarship offers successful candidates a range of benefits including but not limited to concessionary or other approved airfare, tuition and examination fees and a monthly allowance.

The results for the Commonwealth scholarship tenable in the UK for 2012 have also been released. We are proud to announce that Ms. Marisa Coetzee and Mr. Adam Leon Cooper (PhD student in die Department of Education Policy Studies - Faculty of Education) have been successful in their applications to study in the UK through this scholarship.

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