Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) <p>Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly articles and essays that describe, theorise and reflect on creative adn critical teaching and learning practice in higher (university) education continentally and globally. The editors welcome contributions that are challenge hegemonic discourse and/or reconfigure higher education teaching and learning. We invite and well-researched, whether they are analytical, theoretical or practice-based, as well as contributions that deal with innovative and reflective approaches to higher education teaching and learning. We are particularly interested in articles that have relevance to the South African educational context.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> The University of the Western Cape en-US Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2310-7103 Editorial Logan Govender Zahraa McDonald Copyright (c) 2022 Logan Govender, Zahraa McDonald 2022-06-29 2022-06-29 10 1 i iv 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.576 Researching students’ epistemic access under Covid-19: Epistemological and methodological challenges <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This paper aims at critically examining the main epistemological and methodological trends in the scholarship of ‘student access’ and ‘success’ in South African higher education. This is done with reference to key moments in the process of higher education transformation and the main arguments on the individual, social and institutional factors that impact student achievement. The paper considers three intersecting domains: the knowledge foundational domain, the social domain, and the research discursive domain. It explores how these domains interface with the individual agency of the researcher and the participant with reference to the imagery and imaginary constructed around difference. The paper shows how the analytical discourses of access have largely reflected global theoretical influences which do not always speak to the local context. Thus, the paper calls for de-colonial approaches rooted in epistemic justice that account for the contextual peculiarities of student agency and experience.</p> </div> </div> </div> Michael Cross Logan Govender Copyright (c) 2022 Logan Govender, Michael Cross 2022-06-28 2022-06-28 10 1 1 22 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.456 Beyond heteronormativity towards social justice: Disrupting gender operationalisation in teaching and learning trends in higher education <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Quantitative approaches, based on numerical analyses of operationalised variables, used to present teaching and learning trends in higher education, are pervasive. However, teaching and learning trends disaggregated by gender are generally collected and/or reported according to a binary operationalisation. The gender binary is associated with heteronormative dispositions. This paper examines the extent to which gender operationalisation, as it relates specifically to teaching and learning trends in South Africa, promotes heteronormative dispositions and the consequent implications for social justice. Framed within Nancy Fraser’s approach to social justice, heteronormative dispositions constitute misrecognition and hence injustice. Based on a review of data gathering and reporting on teaching and learning trends by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), it is clear that, at present, non-binary expressions or analyses of gender are misrecognised. The paper argues that gender operationalisation associated with trends in teaching and learning contributes to heteronormative dispositions that are not commensurate with social justice. It calls for the disruption of binary gender operationalisation linked to teaching and learning trends as a mechanism for full recognition and socially just knowledge production. This paper does not focus on research in a moment of social disruption but rather seeks to disrupt research processes which could be exclusionary and promote injustice, and thus interrupt socially-unjust representations, specifically as it relates to gender.</p> </div> </div> </div> Zahraa McDonald Shireen Motala Copyright (c) 2022 Zahraa McDonald, Shireen Motala 2022-06-28 2022-06-28 10 1 23 38 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.572 Barriers to research access during COVID-19: Interviewing students with disabilities in South African higher education <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Carrying out research using face-to-face interviews with students with disabilities has been most difficult in higher education during COVID-19 pandemic. This paper seeks to answer the question: what are the barriers confronted by researchers in conducting interview research with students with disabilities in South African higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic? Data were collected by analysing and synthesising South African and international literature available in Research Gate, ERIC, JSTOR, Sabinet, ProQuest, books, journal articles, and online resources. With Critical Disability Theory illuminating the study, the major finding was that there are communication barriers when interviewing students with disabilities. The nature of the communication challenges varies from one category of disability to the other and have been exacerbated during COVID-19, thus limiting the voice of those students in research which could contribute to improvement in their learning.</p> </div> </div> </div> Sibonokuhle Ndlovu Copyright (c) 2022 Sibonokuhle Ndlovu 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 39 62 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.419 Fieldwork Dynamics in a Higher Education Setting amid the COVID-19 Pandemic <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>This paper highlights how fieldwork, particularly within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, has undergone changes in response to the pandemic, considering its significance to knowledge production in the academic arena and beyond. The paper presents different fieldwork related circumstances and innovative practices linked to the COVID-19 crisis in aspects such as securing consent from participants, handling the interview process itself, dynamics surrounding interviewer and participant encounters and how they influence validity of data. A group of 8 students from the Humanities faculty and another 8 from the Sciences faculty were purposively chosen with all drawn from the extended programme. Participants also included 8 academics, 4 drawn from each of the two faculties. The implications of one's position, level of reflexivity, and understanding of epistemological assumptions are also explored. The concepts of positionality and reflexivity are used to examine the diverse ways in which the fieldwork process is mediated.</p> </div> </div> </div> Phefumula Nyoni Olaide Agbaje Copyright (c) 2022 Phefumula Nyoni, Olaide Agbaje 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 63 77 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.444 Text, Voice-notes, and Emojis: Exploring the use of WhatsApp as a responsive research method for qualitative studies <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Unprecedented times are upon us and the need for ethically responsive online research methods is increasing exponentially. Currently, literature is showing that previously frowned upon methods such as the use of social media continue to offer solutions to traditional research challenges in times of COVID-19 and beyond. This paper describes how the features of WhatsApp were used to respond to the needs of geographically dispersed, working study participants. Tronto’s Ethics of Care framework is employed as a lens to place emphasis on the elements of care this emerging method offers. Participants and the researcher reflected on the high level of responsiveness WhatsApp offered as a method and the drawbacks are also discussed. In conclusion, this paper offers a list of recommendations that researchers need to take into account when using WhatsApp as a method in a context-sensitive manner.</p> </div> </div> </div> Ziyanda Mwanda Copyright (c) 2022 Ziyanda Mwanda 2022-06-28 2022-06-28 10 1 78 92 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.423 Suitably Strange: Re-imagining learning, scholar-activism, and justice <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Using artworks emergent from my career as a pracademic and scholar activist, I attempt to share a ‘tactile theory’ of being and doing, that refer mainly to response-abilities (i.e., abilities to respond in accountable ways) in scholar activist educational sociology. I aim to make visible (and tactile) the sometimes-invisible qualities and practices needed for navigating the eroded and dying ecological relations of our generation, as well as warming up and making pliable the heteronormative, capitalist, patriarchal and anthropocentric conventions that are associated with it. In order to warm and sculpt these normative conventions, I argue for the need for ‘suitably strange’ practice. I present six images and associated prose that aim to optimally disrupt these conventions, towards generative rethinking and embodying learning, scholar activism and justice, and from which I explore a tactile theory, an example and related response-ability for each. I end with a reflection of how these suitably strange artefacts can help us develop a new concept of proactive-cognitive justice or ‘justness’.</p> </div> </div> </div> Dylan McGarry Copyright (c) 2022 Dylan McGarry 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 93 115 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.511 Learning to become entrepreneurial through a change laboratory methodology <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Following Clark’s early work, the concept of the entrepreneurial university has been circulating for a number of years. Being entrepreneurial entails that staff develop the sort of open-ended, problem-solving, and innovative solution-generating thinking underlying the concept. This manner of thinking may be important as an orientation to working life both inside and outside the university, not only in the commercial sense, but also in dealing with societal issues. Although there are guides as to what areas a university should develop to become entrepreneurial, there is little guidance as to how staff may explore and develop their own entrepreneurial thinking. This article suggests that the problem and solution generating approach of the change laboratory, underpinned by the theory of expansive learning (and transformative agency), may provide such guidance. Furthermore, forwarding this approach may support the critical developmental and transformative role that universities can play in society and so serve to balance out the more commercial thrusts often proposed by managing bodies.</p> </div> </div> </div> James Garraway Hesta Friedrich-Nel Hanlie Dippenaar Copyright (c) 2022 James Garraway, Hesta Friedrich-Nel, Hanlie Dippenaar 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 116 135 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.527 The Africanisation of universities in Africa: Reclamation of humanity and rationality <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The process of Africanisation teaching and learning in universities in Africa is an extremely important endeavour; yet, this noble undertaking is conceptually disputed and trivialised in certain scholarly circles. Owing to the negative perceptions associated with Africa, there are reservations associated with Africanisation. Accordingly, there are perceptions that Africanisation may compromise the standard of education, the quality of lecturing staff and research, as well as the general deterioration of infrastructure. Additionally, in some scholarly cycles, Africanisation is regarded as anachronistic and confrontational to global dimensions of knowledge, as well as teaching and learning. On the other hand, proponents of Africanisation uphold the perspective that teaching and learning draw relevance by incorporating local knowledge traditions. Against the backdrop of these conceptual contestations, the concern that dominates this article is that it is imperative that the process of Africanisation be founded on guiding philosophical principles. In this article, the argument is made that notions of humanity and rationality provide a philosophical framework for the process of Africanisation.</p> </div> </div> </div> joseph Pardon Hungwe Themba R Mkhize Copyright (c) 2022 joseph Pardon Hungwe, Themba, R Mkhize 2022-06-29 2022-06-29 10 1 136 152 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.487 Theoretical physicist identity development: A critical account of factors influencing progression from novice to expert <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>In a context of rapid change in higher education and work, lecturers are still expected to provide meaningful learning experiences that enculturate students to disciplinary knowledge, values, and practices. Within the STEM disciplines, this process of enculturation is premised on the existence of an underpinning ‘culture of science’ defined by long-established discipline-specific discourses that include values, models of thinking, patterns of behaviour and even language conventions. In this reflective autoethnographic study, we apply Carlone and Johnson’s ‘science identity’ framework to analyse the reflections of a theoretical physics lecturer on the journey to becoming a theoretical physicist. The analysis reveals the factors (implicit and explicit) that may enhance or constrain academic progression. These factors are discussed in relation to implications for students from diverse backgrounds, and the critical role played by lecturers in revealing the ‘rules of the game’.</p> </div> </div> </div> Alan Cornell Kershree Padayachee Copyright (c) 2022 Kershree Padayachee, Alan Cornell 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 153 164 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.530 Using scaffolding academic literacy practices in tertiary classrooms: A South African case study <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Academic development research supports embedding academic literacies development in disciplinary teaching. This enables students to experience reading and writing as disciplinary academic practices. However, few lecturers have the language knowledge and the pedagogical expertise to do this. The Reading to Learn pedagogy provides a scaffolded methodology that lecturers in higher education can adapt. We reflect on our own experiences of using these scaffolded academic literacy practices in three cases: with first year biology students, biochemistry Honours students and Masters in Education students. We argue that scaffolded academic literacy practices are useful because they emphasise both the reading and writing of texts in the discipline, provide an educational approach to plagiarism by modelling how to meaningfully paraphrase academic text, and support learner engagement. Additionally, the professional learning opportunities help academics to develop both knowledge of language and a clear methodology which can be adapted to a range of disciplines and levels.</p> </div> </div> </div> Carol Bertram Kathryn Johnson J.P. Dean Goldring Copyright (c) 2022 Carol Bertram, J.P. Dean Goldring, Kathryn Johnson 2022-06-14 2022-06-14 10 1 165 185 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.515 Education, Communication and Democracy in Africa A Democratic Pedagogy for the Future <p>Education, Communication and Democracy in Africa A Democratic Pedagogy for the Future.<br>Editors: Manthalu, C.H.; Chikaipa, V. and Gunde, A. M. (2022)</p> <p>By Moyra Keane.</p> Moyra Keane Copyright (c) 2022 Moyra Keane 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 186 188 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.575 Challenging the apartheids of knowledge in Higher Education through Social Innovation <p>Joanna Bezerra, Craig Paterson &amp; Sharli Paphitis (Eds.), Challenging the apartheids of knowledge in Higher Education through Social Innovation. Sun Press.</p> <p>Dr. Shona McIntosh, Department of Education, University of Bath.</p> Shona McIntosh Copyright (c) 2022 Shona McIntosh 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 189 193 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.574 Higher Education Hauntologies: Living with Ghosts for a Justice-to-Come <p><strong><em>Higher Education Hauntologies: Living with Ghosts for a Justice-to-Come</em></strong> (2021) (Routledge), Edited by Vivienne Bozalek, Michalinos Zembylas Siddique Motala &amp; Dorothee Hölscher.</p> <p>Review by Carol A. Taylor, University of Bath, UK, <a href=""></a></p> <p>&amp; Nikki Fairchild, University of Portsmouth, UK,&nbsp; <a href=""></a></p> Nikki Fairchild Carol Taylor Copyright (c) 2022 Nikki Fairchild, Carol Taylor 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 194 203 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.573 Understanding higher education: Alternative perspectives <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Boughey, C. &amp; McKenna, S. 2021. Book title: Understanding higher education: Alternative perspectives. Cape Town: African Minds.</p> <p>By Jennifer Case.</p> </div> </div> </div> Jennifer Case Copyright (c) 2022 Jennifer Case 2022-06-27 2022-06-27 10 1 204 207 10.14426/cristal.v10i1.565