Browsing by Author "Costandius, Elmarie"
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- ItemContinuous programme renewal and critical citizenship : key items for the South African higher education curriculum agenda(AOSIS, 2018-06-18) Bitzer, Eli; Costandius, ElmarieIn this article, we explore the term ‘programme renewal’ and then continue to point out why programme renewal bodes an essential topic for continuous inquiry and attention. We also highlight the importance of approaching programme renewal from a sound theoretical base and point to the important issue of promoting critical citizenship with students in learning programmes. We finally point to the links between programme renewal and critical citizenship through four sample cases.
- ItemCritical citizenship and higher education curricula : legacies and prospects(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: In this chapter we explore three related issues. Firstly, we briefly refer to some of the legacies from South Africa’s colonial and apartheid past, especially as they pertain to university curricula and student learning; secondly, we point to links between critical citizenship and higher education curricula; and thirdly, we refer to a number of relevant examples where critical citizenship education was recently introduced into core curricula by a number of South African universities.
- ItemCritical curriculum inquiry in an undergraduate visual communication design programme : a case study approach through a complexity theory lens(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2011) Costandius, ElmarieINTRODUCTION: The challenge to curricula to encourage socially sustainable ways of living – environmentally, economically and socially – is a global phenomenon. An example is the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations that aim to create a global partnership for development to address poverty, illness, health, education and environmental sustainability (United Nations 2011). The Earth Charter Initiative (n.d.) aims of addressing principles for constructing a just, sustainable and peaceful global society are similar. In South Africa, the Department of Education, in the Education White Paper of 1997 (RSA DoE 1997), as well as in the Report of the Ministerial Committee on Transformation and Social Cohesion and the Elimination of Discrimination in Public Higher Education Institutions (RSA DoE 2008), aims at addressing the importance of social change and integration. The Stellenbosch University HOPE Project (Stellenbosch University 2010), an initiative of the rector of this university, comprises concrete ways of addressing critical social issues on campus, and also in the broader South African society.
- ItemCurrent realities and future agendas for critical citizenship education(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: What have been established up to this point? Chapter 1 highlighted three main issues that involve university curricula and critical citizenship education, namely elements of the debate on international curriculum challenges, the debate on national (South African) curriculum challenges as well as challenges linked to curricula engaging “outside” communities. Within the international curriculum arena, four pertinent challenges seem immanent: firstly, an apparent lack of common terminology, language and focus to conduct a proper curriculum discourse; secondly, a lack of curriculum leadership at all levels, including levels of leadership at universities; thirdly, a perceived lack of interest and seriousness in curriculum inquiry; and fourthly, a lack in debate that involve underpinning values that higher education curricula need to promote, particularly in evolving democracies such as South Africa.
- ItemCurriculum challenges in higher education(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: A decade ago and 11 years after the birth of a new democratic political dispensation in South Africa, an important contribution to inquiry into higher education curricula saw the light. But, in writing their well-commended book Engaging the curriculum in higher education, Ron Barnett and Kelley Coate (2005) struggled with a problem that they articulated through a number of bothering questions (2005:161‑162), for instance: Should we, in higher education, refer to “the” curriculum or “a” curriculum? Is the concept of curriculum more of an adjective than a noun – meaning that a curriculum represents intentions and hopes rather than an entity? Is curriculum necessarily singular or can one talk about a generic curriculum as a kind of Platonic ideal in higher education? The point made by Barnett and Coate is that if the language of curriculum inquiry is problematic, even more serious are the difficulties in involving “ordinary” academics and students in curriculum matters and their discourse. This is far from saying that academics and students fail to engage with curriculum issues, but it does point to the fact that curriculum constituents may not always know how their direct involvement shapes curricula and, moreover, that they do not necessarily use the “right” or applicable curriculum language. What is therefore needed, as we are reminded by authors such as Barnett and Coate, is strong curriculum leadership at different levels in higher education institutions – leadership that encapsulates imagining a culture of new and renewed curricula that reach out to future demands, that develop conversational spaces and promote the involvement of academics and students. What may also be needed is curricula that create new energies, which is nothing short of involving universities and other higher education institutions in their own core business, namely to educate for an unknown future.
- ItemEngaging curricula through critical citizenship education : a student learning perspective(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: In the previous chapters we have shown that numerous curriculum challenges remain in higher education – not only in South Africa, but worldwide. One such challenge is to provide a critical citizenship perspective to curricula that may contribute to educate for more democratic and sustainable environments. We have also drawn on Giroux’s views on critical pedagogy and engaged curricula as a potentially useful lens to relate critical citizenship to critical pedagogy. Lastly, we have pointed out that in South Africa, although important higher education policy initiatives had materialised after 1994, much work remains to promote critical citizenship in higher education curricula. At least four elements of learning seem to inform critical citizenship education in curricula, namely psychosocial, transformational, socio-political and multicultural learning. One may also refer here to theories of learning, but what we do realise, however, is that the forces interacting and wrestling for power in constructing curricula that engage students on the one hand, but also keep such curricula vibrant on the other hand, are numerous, complex and ever-shifting. This we want to allude to in the sections that follow.
- ItemEngaging the curriculum in visual communication design : a critical citizenship education perspective(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-12) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, E. M.; Troskie-de Bruin, C.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Curriculum Studies.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The importance of global and local change and transformation is emphasised through initiatives such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (2012) and the Earth Charter Initiatives (2011) for constructing a just, sustainable and peaceful global society. In South Africa, the need for transformation has been underlined by the South African Department of Education in the Education White Paper of 1997 (DOE 1997). At Stellenbosch University, the Pedagogy of Hope (US) project aims to find concrete ways to reflect on historical influences and current SA society. Tremendous progress has been made in transformation regarding legislative policies, but personal transformation within people is proving to be slow. As a response to these realities, a module called Critical Citizenship was introduced for first-‐ to third-‐year Visual Communication Design students at the Visual Arts Department at Stellenbosch University. The aim of this research project was to explore the perceptions and attitudes of students, learners and lecturers regarding personal transformation through teaching and learning in the Critical Citizenship module. As a framework for the study, I emphasised the importance of giving consideration to the emotional dimensions of learning (Illeris 2007), meaning considering the learning being (Barnett 2009) as a thinking, feeling and acting person (Jarvis 2006). The objectives of the study were to identify such emotional reactions to the Critical Citizenship module and to establish what the emotional reactions revealed about the immediate and broader context of the teaching and learning context in which students, learners and lecturers learn and teach. I followed an interpretative approach and a case study research design that aimed at exploring and providing an in-‐depth investigation of the Critical Citizenship module was used. The themes that surfaced from reflections written by students and learners and from group interviews, comprised feeling unprepared for this type of project; feelings of guilt and shame; resistance to this type of project; asymmetry and assimilation, but also feelings of hope. Other responses, suggesting feelings of empathy, privilege, humility, re-‐ evaluation of priorities and values, sameness and difference, feeling out of a comfort zone and reflecting on blackness and whiteness were also interweaved with the main themes. The results of the research included that taking into consideration the emotional aspects in critical citizenship education is important because we are thinking, feeling and acting beings, but moving beyond emotional reactions toward rational actions is crucial. Critical citizenship cannot be taught in isolation because the context in which it exists plays a vital role and an inclusive critical citizenship curriculum within community interactions for the wider society is suggested.
- ItemAn example of critical citizenship education in an arts curriculum(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: If one considers the importance of global and local change and transformation for constructing just, sustainable and peaceful societies globally, initiatives such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (Kindzeka 2014) and The Earth Charter Initiative (2012) feature prominently. As discussed earlier, the need for such kind of transformation in thought and action in South Africa as an evolving democracy is vital, as underlined by several policy initiatives, both in higher education institutions and at a national level (DHET 2014; DoE 1997; NPC 2011). At Stellenbosch University (SU), where we both work as academics, the HOPE Project (see Botman 2011 for details on this initiative) was launched in 2008. Its aim was and still is to find concrete ways to reflect on historical influences on the current South African society and to address the need for change towards a higher education that significantly contributes to society. To correspond with this stated aim, a module called “Critical Citizenship” was introduced for first- to third‑year Visual Communication Design students at the Department of Visual Arts at SU. The case study in critical citizenship that we elaborate on involves the Critical Citizenship module in particular. The case study had as its aim to explore the perceptions and attitudes of students, a group of learners from a township school and two art lecturers who participated in the Critical Citizenship module regarding personal transformation through teaching and learning in the module. As a framework for the study, the importance of considering the emotional dimensions of learning (also see Chapters 3 and 4) was emphasised, thereby implying that students should be understood and treated as thinking, feeling and acting persons.
- ItemExploring shame and pedagogies of discomfort in critical citizenship education(AOSIS, 2019-09-30) Costandius, Elmarie; Alexander, NeeskeBackground: Social transformation in South Africa is a sensitive issue because of the historical realities of segregation and past injustices. Aim: To address transformation, Visual Communication Design students were asked to design an exhibition, event, sculpture or garden to memorialise the forced removals that took place on the site of the current Arts and Social Sciences Building of Stellenbosch University and to thereby contribute with their own ‘voices’ to an event or exhibition. Setting: The focus of the project was to memorialise the forced removals that occurred on the place known then as Die Vlakte. The aim was to investigate the reactions of students and community members to explore how a visual communication project prepared them or failed to prepare them for dealing with social injustice. Methods: A case study research design was applied, and inductive qualitative content analysis was used in processing and organising data. The theoretical framework included critical citizenship education, social justice, pedagogy of discomfort, shame and white shame. Results: Critical citizenship education may form part of pedagogies of discomfort, and shame may be used positively as we ask students to negotiate emotionally charged subjects through visual communication. Conclusion: As the case studies have shown, students are capable of identifying sources of discomfort and growing from them to perceive a local historic event in a more sensitive and inclusive way.
- ItemExploring the transformative potential of collaborative art projects on the Stellenbosch University campus(UNISA Press, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Perold, Karolienthis article explores the potential of visual art projects in negotiating social transformation within the context of a South African higher education institution (HeI). the experiences of students and staff involved in three collaborative visual art projects initiated at Stellenbosch University (SU), Stellenbosch, South Africa from 2013 to 2014 were explored through interviews, observations and reflective writing. It was found that through harnessing the medium of art as critical dialogic tool operating amidst the embedded differences and divides of the past, institutional culture can be re-imagined and aspects of critical citizenship, particularly tolerance of difference and democracy, can be realised within the collective university community. In conclusion, it is suggested that visual art projects of this kind seem to have the potential to access what Bhabha (1995) terms the ‘third Space’ and to facilitate transformative learning. It can play a valuable part in negotiating social transformation in South African higher education.
- ItemHenry Giroux on critical pedagogy and engaged curricula(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2015) Costandius, Elmarie; Bitzer, EliINTRODUCTION: In Neoliberalism’s war on higher education (2014), Henry Giroux refers to neoliberalism as a central organising idea in shaping his critical view of higher education. At the time of its writing, Giroux was Global TV Network Chair in Communications and Professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, Canada. He portrays neoliberalism as a mode of governance that produces identities, subjects and ways of life driven by a survival of the fittest. This ethic is grounded in the idea of the free, possessive individual and committed to the right of ruling groups and institutions to accrue wealth removed from matters of societal ethics and social costs. Also recently, another of his books, Education and the crisis of public values (2012), questioned the North American education system and the attack on the public school sector. In this work his observations are articulate, to the point and in many circles regarded as accurate. In addition to his vast research and publishing contributions, Giroux has an established international network of collaborators who comment on educational and social issues.
- ItemThe "human colour" crayon : investigating the attitudes and perceptions of learners regarding race and skin colour(University of South Africa Press, 2017) Alexander, Neeske; Costandius, ElmarieSome coloured and black learners in South Africa use a light orange or pink crayon to represent themselves in art. Many learners name this colour “human colour” or “skin colour”. This is troublesome, because it could reflect exclusionary ways of representing race in images and language. This case study, conducted with two schools in the Western Cape, investigated Grade 3 learners’ attitudes and perceptions regarding race and skin colour through art processes and discussion. The aim was to promote critical engagement with race in Foundation Phase educational contexts. Suggestions include changing the language used to describe skin colour, just recognition and representation of races in educational resources and the promotion of critical citizenship education. This research indicates the need to create practical curriculum guidelines to discuss race issues in the South African classroom.
- ItemIndependent and interdependent concepts of self : a meeting of worlds(SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein, 2009) Costandius, ElmarieThis article argues for a re-evaluation of pedagogical methods to integrate an interdependent concept of self with an independent concept of self in order to enhance teaching and learning. The influence of an African communal or interdependent system in comparison with the dominant independent individual system is investigated by means of interviews with students at the Arts Department. The social constructivist learning perspective with the concept of communities of practice as a framework is used for the study. Based on the findings, the article advocates teaching and learning methods that are more multiculturally sensitive and that incorporate "other" voices and alternative ways of dialogue in order to improve interaction and information sharing.
- ItemInvestigating "othering" in visual arts spaces of learning(University of South Africa Press, 2017) Biscombe, Monique; Conradie, Stephane; Costandius, Elmarie; Alexander, NeeskeIn the political, social, cultural and economic context of South Africa, higher education spaces provide fertile ground for social research. This case study explored “othered” identities in the Department of Visual Arts of Stellenbosch University. Interviews with students and lecturers revealed interesting and controversial aspects in terms of their experiences in the Department of Visual Arts. Theoretical perspectives such as “othering”, symbolic racism, the racialised body and visual art theory were used to interpret these experiences. It was found that “othering” because of indirect racism and language or economic circumstances affects students’ creative expression. Causes of “othering” experiences should be investigated in order to promote necessary transformation within the visual arts and within higher education institutions.
- ItemReflecting on critical citizenship in critical times(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2016) Costandius, ElmarieAfter the first democratic elections in South Africa 22 years ago, people were in general optimistic and could imagine a better future for all. This hope slowly faded over time for many young people. Only 15% of undergraduate students and 21% of master’s students in South Africa at higher education institutions complete their studies (Mtshali 2013). According to Ramphele (in John, 2013), students are accepted into universities, but the adjustment and demands of higher education are unattainable for most students because of differences in primary and secondary school educational standards. This is one of the most fundamental issues with which higher education in South Africa is dealing. The year 2015 was a time of turmoil with the student uprisings at universities in South Africa. The previous time that so many learners protested was 1976 in Soweto to demand accessible education.
- ItemTeaching citizenship in visual communication design : reflections of an Afrikaner(SUN MeDIA, 2012) Costandius, ElmarieIntroduction: An academic institution’s focus of learning is usually on students, while the learning of lecturers is often regarded as being of secondary importance. Is it true, as the old adage has it, that the best way to learn is to teach? And, if so, is the learning that takes place mostly content-driven learning or reflective? This chapter describes the learning that occurred through a citizenship module that aimed to change the perceptions and attitudes of students, and also my own reflective experience of the process, which I realised was also a journey in personal learning.