Two master’s students’ perspectives on higher education studies in pursuit of scholarship
CITATION: Koen, M. & Bester, M. 2009. Two Master's Student' Perspectives on Higher Education Studies: In Pursuit of Scholarship, in E. Bitzer (ed.). Higher Education in South Africa: A Scholarly Look behind the Scenes. Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA. 283-303. doi:10.18820/9781920338183/13.
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Chapters in Books
This chapter reviews how higher education studies can hold much promise for improving lecturers’ professional development by exploring the journey of two master’s students under the same supervision. The intention of this chapter is to provide a concise description of two journeys against the background of self-discovery, identity development and professional growth. First the authors argue that new expectations, knowledge, globalisation and demands engulf almost all aspects of academics’ lives in the changing world of higher education in South Africa today. As a result academics, like other professionals, need to update themselves and be engaged in professional development, a lifelong engagement that allows them to expand, develop and deepen their understanding of teaching and learning. In the subsequent section the authors explain that in higher education studies the line between epistemological and ontological realities becomes blurred when a student acquires new knowledge and skills while joining the quest for new ways of being a teacher, researcher and scholar. In the final section the authors describe how higher education studies allowed them to enhance and transform their ways of being as higher education teachers and they highlight the way that higher education studies challenged them to embrace scholarship. They share with the reader the idea that as a result, engaging in higher education studies did not only influence and/or change some of their perceptions and conceptualisations, but they also acquired new skills and knowledge as they developed as teacher, researcher and scholar. They conclude that becoming scholars in teaching and learning is an ongoing process of professional development that requires integrity, persistence, enthusiasm, passion and courage.