Publications

Publications associated with the project are: 


Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., Farmer, J., Garraway, J., Herman, N., Jawitz, J., McMillan, W., Mistri, G., Ndebele, C., Nkonki, V. Quinn, L., van Schalkwyk, S., Vorster, J. and Winberg, C. 2015. Higher Education. Online. Collaborative research in contexts of inequality: the role of social reflexivity

Jawitz, J. and Perez, T. 2015. IJAD Online.
Investing in teaching development: navigating risk in a research intensive institution 

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. 2015. Pedagogy for fostering criticality, reflectivity and practice in a course on teaching for lecturers. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher EducationOnline.

Garraway, J. 2015. Academic staff development in foundation provision. South African Journal for Higher Education, 29 (1) 26 - 44.

Jawitz, J and Willilams, K. 2015. Presence and absence: Looking for the presence of teaching and teaching development in the website of a 'research led' South African university. Cristal, 3 (1) http://cristal.epubs.ac.za/index.php/cristal#.VY1ogmC2D8E

Van Schalkwyk, S, Herman, N., Leibowitz, B. and Farmer, J. 2015. Reflections on professional learning: Choices, context and culture. Online. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 46, 4 - 10.

Leibowitz,B., Garraway, J. and Farmer, J. 2015. Influence of the Past on Professional Lives: A Collective Commentary. Mind, Culture and Activityhttp://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/VXkEex6WiqrkFdjYTSkY/full

Ndebele, C. and Maphosa, C. 2014. Voices of Educational Developers on the Enabling and Constraining Conditions in the Uptake of Professional Development Opportunities by Academics at a South African University. International Journal of Educational Science, 7 (1) 169 - 182.  

Leibowitz, B. and Bozalek, V. 2014. Access to higher education in South Africa: A social realist account. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 16 (1), pp 91 - 109. http://wpll-journal.metapress.com/link.asp?id=X7243U561274

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (2014). Isn’t it time to start thinking about ‘developing’ academic developers in a more systematic way? International Journal for Academic Development. DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.879719

Ndebele, C. (2014).  Approach towards the professional development of academics as espoused in institutional policy documents at a South African university. J Soc Sci, 38(3): 255-269

Leibowitz, B. 2014. Conducive Environments for the Promotion of Quality Teaching in Higher Education in South Africa. Cristal, 2 (1) 47 - 73. 


Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., van Schalkwyk, S. and Winberg, C. 2014. Institutional Context Matters: the professional development of academics as teachers in South African Higher Education. Higher EducationDOI 10.1007/s10734-014-9777-2

Ndebele, C. 2014. Bridging the Partition between Quality Assurance Units and
Educational Development Centres at University: Leverage Points for Quality Development and EnhancementDirector: Centre for Higher Education Teaching and Learning University of Venda. J Soc Sci, 39(3): 303-316

Leibowitz, B., Ndebele, C. and Winberg, C. 2013. The role of academic identity in collaborative research. Studies in Higher Education. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2013.801424 (3 June 2013)

Leibowitz, B., van Schalkwyk, S., Ruiters, J., Farmer, J. and Adendorff, H. (2012) “It’s been a wonderful life”: Accounts of the interplay between structure and agency by “good” university teachers. Higher Education 63 353 - 365.

Jawitz, J., Williams, K., Pym, J. and Cox, G. 2013. Why we do what we do: Interrogating our academic staff development practice 76. In: T. Tisani and M. Madiba (Eds) Proceedings of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa (HELTASA) 2012 Conference.ISBN: 978-0-620-55540-1 Publication date: April 2013.

MacMillan, W. (on-line, HERD) ‘They have different information about what is going on’: Emotion in the transition to university. CHER-2012-1069.R2

Ndebele, C., (2014). Deconstructing the Narratives of Educational Developers on the Enabling and Constraining Conditions in Their Growth; Development and Roles as Educational Staff Development Facilitators at a South African University. International Journal of Education Science, 6(1), pp.103–115.



Abstracts


Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., Farmer, J., Garraway, J., Herman, N., Jawitz, J., McMillan, W., Mistri, G., Ndebele, C., Nkonki, V. Quinn, L., van Schalkwyk, S., Vorster, J. and Winberg, C. 2015. Higher Education. Online. Collaborative research in contexts of inequality: the role of social reflexivity
This article reports on the role and value of social reflexivity in collaborative

research in contexts of extreme inequality. Social reflexivity mediates the enablements and
constraints generated by the internal and external contextual conditions impinging on the
research collaboration. It fosters the ability of participants in a collaborative project to
align their interests and collectively extend their agency towards a common purpose. It

influences the productivity and quality of learning outcomes of the research collaboration.


Jawitz, J. and Perez, T. 2015. IJAD IFirst
Investing in teaching development: navigating risk in a research intensive institution 
It is often assumed that academics working in a research intensive university are unlikely to invest in the professional development of their teaching. Institutional structures and culture tend to undermine investment in academics’ teaching role. This study, conducted at the University of Cape Town, draws on an analysis of the environment within which academics make decisions to invest in their role as teachers. While acknowledging the privileging of research embedded in the institution, a significant group of academics have found ways to assert their academic identities as teachers despite the possible consequences and risks that this position entails.

Garraway, J. 2015. Academic staff development in foundation provision. South African Journal for Higher Education, 29 (1) 26 - 44.
Foundation provision is a specially funded student support initiative for disadvantaged students in South African universities. This research focuses on foundation academic staff development. As with staff development more generally, there is a focus on improving classroom practices to support student learning. Although general and foundation staff development practitioners experience similar difficulties in carrying out their work, there are also particular structural and cultural constraints in foundation academic development. This research analyses foundation staff development as an activity system, using Engestrom’s version of activity theory, in order to better understand and expose tensions in staff development. Issues that are highlighted using this methodology are: confusion between the object of staff development and the means to achieve it; the means to achieve the object may be insufficient; and structures/cultures such as short contracts and marginalisation may constrain how staff development is taken up.

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. 2015. Pedagogy for fostering criticality, reflectivity and practice in a course on teaching for lecturers. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher EducationOnline.
Using the concepts of criticality, reflectivity and praxis, the paper presents an analysis of our reflections on participants’ responses to the assessment requirements for a course for lecturers on teaching.  The context in which the course is being taught has changed considerably in the last few years in terms of the mode of delivery, as well as the number and diversity of participants. Our analysis has generated insights into ways in which the course is not meeting all the learning needs of the participants, nor preparing them adequately to demonstrate, in writing, Their learning. Using insights gained, we suggest pedagogic processes and strategies for ensuring that the course focuses on both writing to learn and learning to write; And for assisting participants to acquire the practices to demonstrate their learning in written assessment tasks, using the requisite literacy including criticality, reflectivity and praxis.

Jawitz, J and Willilams, K. 2015. Presence and absence: Looking for the presence of teaching and teaching development in the website of a 'research led' South African university. Cristal, 3 (1) http://cristal.epubs.ac.za/index.php/cristal#.VY1ogmC2D8E. 
This article arises out of a broader study into the contextual influences on the professional development of academics as teachers in higher education in South Africa. Using Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis we examine the website of a ‘research-led’ South African university.  We examine the choices made in the use of website space and the presence and absence of texts which refer to teaching or the development of teaching. We compare these choices with those made about portraying other aspects of the university’s self-described mission on the website as a proxy for the valuing of teaching. We acknowledge that given the transient nature of online-existence, we have taken a slice in time to record the texts available to us on a particular day. We recognise that marketing spaces cannot be seen to equate to the commitment of institutions, departments or individual academics, but our concern in this project was to understand what publicly accessible claims the university makes about teaching, and whether such claims are borne out by its own self-description. With regard to teaching we found that absences are more frequent than presences, especially in comparison with the way other ‘core functions’ of the university are presented. Taken together it is difficult to find support for the rhetoric of the valuing of teaching that is conveyed in the university’s self-description. We suggest that this lack of valuing of teaching may have an effect on the choices academics make in responding to calls to invest time in developing their teaching.
Van Schalkwyk, S, Herman, N., Leibowitz, B. and Farmer, J. 2015. Reflections on professional learning: Choices, context and culture. Online. Studies in Educational Evaluation.
Understanding factors that enable and constrain the professional learning of academics for their teaching role provides insight into the complex space within which this teaching resides. The work of social realist Margaret Archer informed an analysis of multiple data sources as part of an exercise towards critical reflection and introspection about professional learning at the university. The data confirms previous work, but also takes the conversation forward. The university teacher – seen to be making choices, within a particular context and informed by her perceptions of the prevailing culture and her personal priorities – is central to this discussion. Academic development practitioners should consider how they might influence dominant discourses, and enhance the dispositions of teaching academics to support quality teaching. 

Leibowitz,B., Garraway, J. and Farmer, J. 2015. Influence of the Past on Professional Lives: A Collective Commentary. Mind, Culture and Activity
This collective commentary is based on the narratives of the author-protagonists, three South African higher education developers who were involved in political activism during their youth. The commentary investigates the continuities between the author-protagonists’ youth and their later professional engagements. Drawing from social realism, the concepts of agency and reflexivity provide a helpful analytic lens. Together, the narratives suggest that these concepts may be more complex when viewed against individual narratives and that some of the differences between social realist Margaret Archer and her critics are worth bridging. Undertaking an investigation of one’s own past is beneficial for professionals engaged in higher education development.

Leibowitz, B. 2014. Conducive Environments for the Promotion of Quality Teaching in Higher Education in South Africa. Cristal, 2 (1) 47 - 73. 
The article reports on an investigation into constraining and enabling conditions for professional academic development with regard to the teaching role at eight South African universities. The data comprised transcripts of interviews with 10 – 16 academics across a range of levels of seniority, demographic categories and disciplines at each institution. The findings suggest that organisational climate and access to infrastructure and resources are more significant than the literature on professional development to date has implied, especially for institutions in resource-constrained environments. The analysis supports the view that critical realism helps to bridge the psychological/individual and socio-cultural approaches and points to the need for further research on individual properties such as sense of agency. From a methodological point of view the study affirms the need for multi-site investigations, which analyse phenomena occurring across a range of socio-political contexts. 

Ndebele, C. and Maphosa, C. 2014. Voices of Educational Developers on the Enabling and Constraining Conditions in the Uptake of Professional Development Opportunities by Academics at a South African University. International Journal of Educational Science, 7 (1) 169 - 182. 
ABSTRACT What are the cultural, structural and agential conditions which enable and constrain the professional development of academics in their role as teachers, which either encourage or discourage them to take advantage of professional development opportunities afforded by the selected South African University (named the University of Higher Learning (UHL) in this paper to protect its identity)? In order to answer the above question, this paper
which is part of a wider National Research Foundation (NRF) Research project involving eight universities, sought to deconstruct the narratives of educational developers on the enabling and constraining conditions with regard to the professional development of academics as teachers at a historically White South African university. The study
adopted a qualitative case study approach. Ten educational developers constituted the purposive sample for the study. Individual interviews were held with the educational developers using a semi-structured interview schedule. Using the Archerian social realist theoretical framework qualitative data was analysed by first transcribing interview
tapes and coding the transcribed data. Content analysis was then used to analyse data thematically. The study found constraining factors which included perceived lack of time, overload and general undervaluing of teaching when compared to research. Some promoting factors included the existence of an established teaching and learning
centre as well as the existence of teaching excellence awards. Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that that there are a number of structural, cultural and agential factors promoting or hindering academics’ uptake of professional development opportunities and recommend that teaching and learning centres in universities should continue to engage academics to ensure that they prioritise the undertaking of professional development courses. Professional development courses should also be tailor-made to ensure that they answer the felt needs of academics in different faculties and departments.

Leibowitz, B., Bozalek, V., van Schalkwyk, S. and Winberg, C. 2014. Institutional Context Matters: the professional development of academics as teachers in South African Higher Education. Higher EducationDOI 10.1007/s10734-014-9777-2.
Abstract: This study features the concept of ‘context’ and how various macro, meso and micro features of the social system play themselves out in any setting. Using South Africa as an example, it explores the features that may constrain or enable professional development, quality teaching and the work of teaching and learning centres at eight universities in varied socio-cultural settings. The article draws on the work of critical realists and their explication of the concepts of structure, culture and agency. The research design was participatory, where members of teaching and learning centres at the eight institutions defined the aims and key questions for the study. They collected the data on which this article is based, namely a series of descriptive and reflective reports. The findings clustered around six themes: history, geography and resources; leadership and administrative processes; beliefs about quality teaching and staff development; recognition and appraisal; and capacity, image and status of the TLC staff. These features play out in unique and unpredictable constellations in each different context, while at the same time, clusters of features adhere together. Whilst there is no one to one, predictive relationship between university type and outcome, there is a sense that socio-economic contextual features are salient and require greater attention than other features.

Ndebele, C. 2014. Bridging the Partition between Quality Assurance Units and
Educational Development Centres at University: Leverage Points for Quality Development and Enhancement J Soc Sci, 39(3): 303-316
In efforts to develop, assure and enhance quality teaching and learning in universities two structures have emerged in higher education in South Africa namely Quality Assurance (QA) Units and Educational Development Centres (EDCs). The role clarity of these structures in this mandate are however sometimes not explicit resulting in tensions between the two. Using a social realist analytical framework this paper proposes strategies for enhancing synergy between educational development and quality assurance at one South African university named the University of Higher Learning to protect its identity. The paper argues that several leverage points between the two can be used to develop an understanding of their complementary roles, for example, ensuring that educational
development expertise is integrated into quality-related work by structuring it into for example programme development, review, accreditation and institutional audit processes and leveraging on the second round of institutional audits with its focus on teaching and learning. The study recommends an integrated model in which quality assurance and educational development work together in developing and implementing both the teaching and learning and the quality assurance agenda in the university.

Leibowitz, B., Ndebele, C. and Winberg, C. 2013. The role of academic identity in collaborative research. Studies in Higher Education. DOI:10.1080/03075079.2013.801424 (3 June 2013)
This article reports on an investigation into the role of academic identity within
collaborative research in higher education in South Africa. The study was
informed by the literature on academic identities, collaborative research and
communities of practice. It was located within a multi-site study, with
involvement of researcher collaborators from eight South African higher
education institutions. Eighteen academic development practitioners recorded
their perceptions of their participation in one higher education research project.
An analysis of the research team members’ experiences of participating in the
first phase of the research project lent credence to the factors influencing
participants’ academic identities. The study found that collaborative research
provided potential for knowledge generation and personal and professional
growth, but noted that in order to enable participation, attention needs to be paid
to the interrelationship between researchers’ academic individual and collective

identities and their sense of expertise in the field of educational research.

Leibowitz, B., van Schalkwyk, S., Ruiters, J., Farmer, J. and Adendorff, H. (2012) “It’s been a wonderful life”: Accounts of the interplay between structure and agency by “good” university teachers. Higher Education 63 353 - 365.
This study is set in an era and a context in which extrinsic forms of motivation
and reward are offered by higher education institutions as a means to enhance teaching,
and in which teaching is effectively undervalued in relation to research. The study focuses
on the role of agency in professional development and demonstrates the relevance of
Margaret Archer’s description of the interplay between structure and agency for understanding how academics enhance their teaching in research-intensive universities. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted by a team of academic development advisors in order to obtain accounts of teaching academics of their becoming good teachers, in their own words. An analysis of the transcripts of the interviews with the lecturers demonstrates how dimensions such as biography, current contextual influences, individuals’ dispositions and steps taken to enhance teaching interact in a spiralling manner to generate a sense of self-fulfilment and agency. Intrinsic, rather than extrinsic motivation, is shown to be significant in propelling individuals towards action. The article concludes with an assessment of the implications of the interplay between structure and agency, the need for an enabling environment with a key role for intrinsic motivation for professional development strategies, in research-intensive universities.

MacMillan, W. (on-line, HERD) ‘They have different information about what is going on’: Emotion in the transition to university. CHER-2012-1069.R2
 Most new students experience school to university transition as challenging. Students from backgrounds with little or no experience of higher education are most vulnerable in this transition, and most at risk of academic failure. Emotion appears implicated in the differential way in which first-generation students and students with family familiarity of university experience the transition. This article draws on the voices of first-year dental and oral hygiene students at a South African Dental Faculty regarding university transition
experiences. It draws on the construct of capital and Archer’s (2002) understanding of “competing concerns” to examine how emotion shapes students’ experiences of university transition and how they position themselves with regard to these experiences. The article explicates the ways in which emotional commentary and classed locations intersect, exploring the extent to which this intersection shapes young people’s framing
of their concerns of ‘being a student’ and ‘becoming a dentist’. The article identifies aspects of the university’s material and cultural environment which shape students’ emotional responses and which consequently are implicated in the perpetuation of class-based differential life chances.

Ndebele, C., (2014). Deconstructing the Narratives of Educational Developers on the Enabling and Constraining Conditions in Their Growth; Development and Roles as Educational Staff Development Facilitators at a South African University. International Journal of Education Science, 6(1), pp.103–115.
This study was inspired by the author’s participation in a National Research Foundation (NRF) project involving eight South African universities, investigating the enabling and constraining conditions with regard to the professional development of academics in their role as teachers in higher education. Deviating from the NRF project which focused on
academics, this study deconstructs the narratives of academic development practitioners on the cultural, structural and agential conditions which enable and/or constrain their own professional development, growth and roles as educational staff development facilitators at a South African University. Designed within the qualitative research approach, a case study design was used. Ten educational developers constituted the sample for the study. Individual interviews were held with the educational developers using a semi-structured interview schedule. Using the Archerian social realist theoretical framework qualitative data was analysed by first transcribing interview tapes and coding the transcribed data. Content analysis was then used to analyse data thematically. The study found that lack of laid down appointment criteria and huge workloads were the major constraining conditions; senior
management support and seasoned expertise in the Centre were major enablers for the growth and development of educational developers. Based on the findings, the study concludes that educational developers are overworked and have loosely defined roles
and recommends the crafting of a code of conduct for educational development and the development of an academy for educational developers.

Quinn, L. and Vorster, J. (2014). Isn’t it time to start thinking about ‘developing’ academic developers in a more systematic way? International Journal for Academic Development. DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.879719
There is no defined route to becoming an academic developer. The research on
pathways into the field (e.g. Kensington-Miller, Brailsford, & Gossman, 2012;
McDonald, 2010; McDonald & Stockley, 2008) shows that in most cases serendipity
and chance played a role(McDonald, 2010, p. 40). Moreover, induction into
academic development (AD) is often ad hoc, haphazard, and informal. Due to the
changing higher education (HE) context, the field has grown exponentially and in
many countries now plays a central role in institutions. This has generated increased
demand for knowledgeable and competent developers that are able to contribute
towards solving some vexing problems in contemporary HE. Current recruitment
and induction processes of new developers do not necessarily meet this demand.
In light of the above, we pose the question: given the changing context of HE
and the field of AD, is it not time for us to induct newcomers into the field more systematically?

Ndebele, C. (2014).  Approach towards the professional development of academics as espoused in institutional policy documents at a South African university. J Soc Sci, 38(3): 255-269
How do institutional policy documents espouse the approach towards the professional development of academics in their role as teachers at one South African University? In order to answer the above question, the researcher conducted a document analysis of the case study institution’s documents relating to the teaching and learning agenda focusing specifically on the development of academics as teachers. Using the Archerian social
realist theoretical framework, the paper analyses the cultural, structural and agential mechanisms in relation to the professional development of academics as espoused in institutional policy documents at a University. The findings from the document analysis suggest that while an espoused culture exists, structure and agency do exert an influence
on the extent to which this espoused culture is translated into reality. The documents show the need to strengthen agency that will work in the domain of culture to effect a paradigm shift in terms of seeing the development of academics as teachers as an integral aspect of an academic’s career. In addition the documents suggest a strengthening of the structures responsible for supporting the professional development of academics. The study recommends strengthening of synergy among the various structures and agents that deal with staff development to avoid duplication and the re-inventing of the wheel..


Leibowitz, B. and Bozalek, V. 2014. Access to higher education in South Africa: A social realist account. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 16 (1), pp 91 - 109. http://wpll-journal.metapress.com/link.asp?id=X7243U561274
This article reports on access to higher education in South Africa nearly twenty years after the formal demise of apartheid. It presents a description of the challenges facing South African society and schooling, which impact, on higher education and on its ability to transform itself from an exclusive system to one which is more representative of the general population. The study utilizes publicly available data about the education system as well as publicly available documentation and interview data about eight South African universities from a variety of socio-economic and geographic contexts. Using a framework for analysis derived from the work of social realist Margaret Archer on the interplay between structure, culture and agency, it considers limitations in the policy environment as well as the manner in which individuals at the meso level of the university constrain and enable change to occur.

No comments:

Post a comment