Monday, 24 February 2014

Research Findings

The initial three year funding cycle for this project has come to an end. We are waiting to hear whether the application for a new round of funding has been successful. In the meantime we have reported on this first cycle to the National Research Foundation. While we were busy with this first cycle there were high points, when it felt like our collaboration was making a real difference to our working lives and we were really getting somewhere. (The photos below give a sense that working together is fun, as well as a lot of hard work.)  But there were other moments when it felt we were so busy with our personal and professional lives, or so mired in a morass of data, that we were merely treading water. Now that I complete this report, I realize we have really achieved a great deal. The synthesis of findings is in the page on Report to NRF 2014, and the conclusion is the following:"The requirement by the National Research Foundation that proposals on education research be based on a collaboration amongst at least three institutions, one of which is rural, has stimulated a valuable mode of inquiry, one which could not have yielded the richness and variety of data, had it been conducted in one institution, or similar institutions.  The key finding of this not-as-yet concluded research project, is that there is a great need for attention to the teaching role in South Africa, and for capacity building of the institutional role-players, both management and professional developers, to support this role. Change at the level of the system (structural and cultural) are required to effect this." 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

New paper by team members on professional development - and the ethics of care

A new paper has been produced on professional development, by Vivienne Bozalek, Wendy McMillan, Delia Marshall, Melvyn November, Andre Daniels and Toni Sylvester. Just appearing in Teaching in Higher Education,  it is entitled: Analysing the professional development of teaching and learning from a political ethics of care perspective. This is very useful if you want to learn a bit more about the political ethics of care, and how it can be applied to the professional development of academics. It is also a very interesting paper in that it is written by a group who operated as a team, to lead professional development retreats. 

 To cite this article: Vivienne Grace Bozalek, Wendy McMillan, Delia E. Marshall, Melvyn November,
Andre Daniels & Toni Sylvester , Teaching in Higher Education (2014): Analysing the professional
development of teaching and learning from a political ethics of care perspective, Teaching in
Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2014.880681

To link to this article:

Here is the abstract: 

This paper uses Trontos political ethics of care as a normative framework to evaluate
a model of teaching and learning professional development. This framework identifies
five integrated moral elements of care attentiveness, responsibility, competence,
responsiveness and trust. This paper explicates on each of these elements to evaluate
the piloting and implementation of a teaching and learning professional development
model at a South African higher education institution. The political ethics of care was
found to be a useful normative framework for a group of higher educators to reflect on
the process of engaging in teaching and learning professional development in that it
revealed the importance of differential power relations, the importance of working
collaboratively and being attentive to the needs of both caregivers and care receivers.
Keywords: political ethics of care; normative framework; professional development;

higher education; teaching and learning