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- Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) - Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2014
Author Sherran ClarenceSource: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp i –iv (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.39More Less
This third issue of Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning contains four papers, and a book review section where the reviewers comment on issues that are touched on and explored in some of the articles. The articles explore issues related to academic literacy development, teacher education, doctoral study, and academic freedom and the need for humanities education in South Africa.
Source: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 1 –23 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.23More Less
In South Africa there are many students, especially those from previously underrepresented groups at university, who successfully gain access to university but do not succeed in completing their degree either within the prescribed time or at all. One of the barriers to student success at university is the difficulty these students have in accessing the literacy practices of the disciplines. Therefore, within a first year biology course at a South African University, an intervention that focused on the academic literacy practices in biology was introduced. The intervention was designed around the assignment of writing a lab report. This paper describes this intervention and how it impacted on one studentâ??s journey from learning science at school to learning science at university. A literacy history interview and 'talk around text' interviews were used to assess the student's experience of the intervention. Comparison of the student's first and final drafts of the report revealed changes in the style and format of his writing. These changes in his report writing as well as in his attitude and motivation for writing the report were facilitated by a better understanding of the expectations of writing in university biology. This understanding was mediated largely through the modelling and deconstruction of the expected genre. This highlights not only the importance of providing first year students with examples of the genres they are expected to be writing but also the facilitation of their engagement with these new genres. Without these kinds of intervention many students are unlikely to gain access to disciplinary ways of learning and writing, which ultimately may lead to their exclusion from university.
Source: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 24 –48 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.34More Less
This paper argues that history education is becoming dangerously obsolete, as it does not always relate to the contemporary needs of 21st century learners, who often find history useless and irrelevant to their present situation. This challenge is attributed to, among other reasons, the way history is taught through largely lecture-driven pedagogies that significantly reduced active learner engagement. This article draws on Gadamer's Hermeneutic philosophy to advocate for dialogue in understanding and interpreting history artifacts using 21st century technologies. Gadamerian Hermeneutics focuses on horizons of understanding through open-ended questioning and answering between past and present rather than transmission to passive audiences. The article argues for the collaborative interpretation of history meanings between teachers and students mediated by a Wiki. The methodology involved a case study of pre-service teachers enrolled at Makerere University in Uganda. The purely qualitative study draws on Gilly Salmon's five-stage model of online learning. The findings indicate that participants successfully engaged with the first three stages - access and motivation, online socialisation, and information exchange - but less so with stages four and five, knowledge construction and development. The paper concludes by proposing a framework that could be useful to teachers wanting to facilitate history education using modern approaches that are relevant and meaningful to today's learners.
Source: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 49 –67 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.36More Less
Relationships between the expectations of the PhD, creativity and identity are a rich terrain for research, explored here. Doctoral student identity and the expectations of the PhD have been the focus of much previous work, while work on candidates pursuing research in literature and art has focused on tensions in their work, and the conceptual threshold crossings they make during the PhD journey. The research discussed here explores tensions and rich relationships between creativity, identity and success for candidates self-defined as 'creative' engaged in doctorates ranging between art or literary practice, and creative work in professional contexts.
Source: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 68 –84 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.33More Less
This article presents some of the current challenges facing academic freedom and the humanities in South Africa as well as across the world. It focuses first on the shifting fortunes of academic freedom in South Africa, contrasting the pride of place given to it in the pre-1994 social imaginary with its current undermining in higher education policy. It further examines how this undermining is related to a general trend in a global higher education policy which privileges STEM disciplines, and argues that a fuller understanding of the contribution of the NAIL disciplines to the public good is essential to help counter current challenges.
Risk in Academic Writing: Postgraduate Students, their Teachers and the Making of Knowledge, L. Thesen and L. Cooper (Eds.) : book reviewAuthor Brenda LeibowitzSource: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 85 –87 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.35More Less
Risk in Academic Writing: Postgraduate Students, their Teachers and the Making of Knowledge is a very timely publication, given the current interest worldwide in postgraduate studies and postgraduate supervision. This edited volume covers topics related to postgraduate studies at masters and doctoral level, largely with a focus on academic writing. The volume contains studies on academic writing principally at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, but with contributions from the United States (Suresh Canagarajah and Ena Lee) and the United Kingdom (Mary Scott). The final two chapters reflecting on the case studies by Teresa Lillis and Brenda Cooper eloquently and appropriately summarise the book and praise its contents, as well as the form in which many of the pieces have been written, but they take forward the discussion begun in the volume about risk, voice, agency and resistance.
Academic freedom in a democratic South Africa: essays and interviews on higher education and the humanities, J. Higgins : book reviewAuthor Chris WinbergSource: Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2, pp 88 –91 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/cristal.v2i2.38More Less
The publication of this collection of essays and interviews could not be more timely, arriving as South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy. The essays collected in this volume were previously published as academic articles, chapters in books and reports between 1990 and 2013 and offer a scholarly analysis of key events in South African higher education over this period. The term 'academic freedom' has become something of a 'received idea' in South Africa; there is a tendency to label whoever is defending it as 'reactionary' or 'conservative'. Higgins challenges these notions by engaging with academic freedom from historical, theoretical and critical perspectives, offering readers opportunities to re-visit many of the positions and decisions taken over a period of vigorous debate and policy-making in South African higher education.