Call for submissions

Pedagogies in Context

The 2019 HELTASA conference aims to reclaim a voice for Southern African researchers and practitioners by inviting delegates to consider the notion of ‘pedagogies in context’. 

In South Africa, the field of Academic Development has produced a wealth of research spanning more than thirty years of practice. The impact of globalization, however, has meant that our own work, and what we have learned from it, is often made subservient to knowledge from the Global North and the so-called ‘best practices’ that emerge from it.

The plural of ‘pedagogies’ is important. While there are elements of pedagogy that travel across contexts, the idea of a set of universal practices which will best attend to the varied structures of different knowledges, and meet the learning needs of all students and the social, cultural and economic conditions in all institutions is clearly problematic.

In this conference, delegates are asked to explore the contexts in which they work at course, programme, disciplinary, institutional, regional and national levels and consider what truly is ‘best’. We invite participants to consider how experiences and perspectives that have previously been silenced can be inserted into the ways we think about teaching in higher education. 

We welcome submissions via our submissions page - Please note that the final deadline for submissions is: 29 July 2019. 

Questions that could be considered include:

  • How does a set of pedagogical practices best meet the needs of students enrolled in a course or programme? How can, for example, pedagogy take account of the experiences of rural students who may be in large urban areas for the first time in their lives as they embark on tertiary study?

  • How can pedagogy account for the multiple ways of being (including gendered, raced and classed ways) that comprise our society?

  • How does pedagogy need to take account of, say, the goals of a university of technology or the purposes of a vocational or professional programme in comparison to those of a traditional university or the general formative degree?

  • How are curricula structured in ways that attend to the target knowledge while enabling access?

  • How do resources (both material and in relation to the availability of teaching staff and tutors) impact on what is possible as a pedagogy?

  • How can pedagogy impact on the lives of students who, in the protests of 2015 and 2016, told us how alienated they were in their universities?

  • How does content relate to pedagogy?

  • How can we use pedagogy to ‘trouble’ dominant assumptions about the contexts in which we find ourselves?

  • How can we use technology critically to enrich our students’ learning experiences and foster inclusion in communities where access may be limited?

  • How can we teach students to be the entrepreneurs they will need to be if they are to provide for themselves and their families in contexts where secure ‘jobs for life’ are increasingly disappearing?

Key to our thinking about context are the questions: ‘Good for whom?’ and ‘Exactly whose interests are being served?’

These questions are but examples of many more that could be asked as we consider the idea of ‘pedagogies in context’
and disrupt the notion of the ‘best’, or even ‘good’, practices introduced to us by the Global North.

We welcome submissions via our submissions page

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