Browsing by Author "Davids, N."
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- ItemDemocratic engagement as denudation : moving beyond risk taking(HESA, 2016) Waghid, Y.; Davids, N.In this article, we argue that democratic engagement as a form of human action can be enhanced if enacted through disclosure. Firstly, we expand on the notion of democratic engagement whereby human action is enacted through democratic iterations, mutual respect and humanness. Secondly, we argue that practising humanness, such as when one learns from others, can most appropriately be enacted when one becomes reflectively open to the new, and reflectively loyal to the known. Thirdly, because of the latter point, we draw on Giorgio Agamben’s (2011) notion of denudation whereby it is argued that forms of human engagement can become substantively democratic if enacted through an unconcealed disclosedness, in other words, an unveiling of the self in which visibility and presence (nudity) hold sway. Inasmuch as others open themselves up to one, so one ought to disclose oneself to others in order for the encounter to remain democratic. And, when such a form of democratic engagement assumes a form of denudation, the possibility is always there that human action will be enacted through an unveiling of the self, which is infinitely free of secret. Hopefully then, democratic engagement will be more unconstrained and unrestricted by that which might be otherwise contained.
- ItemEducational leadership as action : towards an opening of rhythm(HESA, 2016) Waghid, Y.; Davids, N.Nowadays, its seems as if higher education institutions have unobtrusively adopted leadership styles that seem to be in consonance with neoliberal, managerialist approaches to leadership in education. It has become apparent that, to lead, one has to occupy particular authoritative positions. Yet following such an account of leadership, institutional practices become more attuned to leadership styles in which it is erroneously assumed that people need to be told what to do and how they need to do it in order to meet the demands of the neoliberal and managerialism associated with the attainment of high levels of productivity within the institutions. Unfortunately, as we shall argue, such leadership approaches militate against the very idea of education and its intertwined practices. Consequently, we advocate a position of leadership in education that enhances the doing of action that opens up that to which Agamben (1999) refers to as ‘rhythm’. Education, we argue, has a better chance of being realised and sustained if institutions attune their practices towards an opening of rhythm – one that departs from an instrumentalist, leadership-by-position towards leadership that embraces rhythmic action.
- ItemEducational theory as rhythmic action : from Arendt to Agamben(HESA, 2017) Davids, N.; Waghid, Y.Traditionally, educational theory has been couched as modes of human action through concepts such as poiesis and praxis. Inasmuch as poiesis and praxis have significantly shaped educational theory, we argue that such modes of action – if considered as mutually exclusive – do not sufficiently explain the interrelationship between educational theory and practice. Firstly, we extend the notion of action as explained by Arendt. Next, we offer an account of Agamben’s ‘opening of rhythm’, which integrates the notions of poiesis and praxis to pave the way for an understanding of educational theory as creative will that moves human action from enacting the unexpected into ‘an increasingly free and rarified atmosphere’. Secondly, in re-examining the Aristotelian concepts of poiesis and praxis, we argue that Agamben’s ‘opening of rhythm’ extends the Arendtian notion of action to perform the unexpected, and offers an as yet unexplored lens through which to understand the nexus between educational theory and practice.
- ItemIn support of practice-based teacher professional learning(HESA, 2020) Jeram, R.; Davids, N.Research indicates that teacher education programmes are impeded by abstract, theory-laden and decontextualised modes of teacher professional development. As a result, teachers have particular sets of pedagogical knowledge without a clear understanding of how this knowledge ought to be implemented in diverse classroom settings. As an alternative response, an argument is made for a practice-based teacher professional learning approach. By analysing theories around practice (practice theory) and the concept professional learning, we propose, firstly, that teacher professional learning programmes should include pedagogies for learning that are continuous, intensive, socially mediated, supportive, embodied and relate to the contextual needs of the teacher. Secondly, that teachers ought to be provided with the skills, necessary for the conversion of theoretical ideas into practice. Thirdly, we contend that a practice-based teacher professional approach requires teacher agency in relation to their practices, as opposed to merely implementing various strategies and approaches.
- ItemOn the polemic of academic integrity in higher education(HESA, 2019) Waghid, Y.; Davids, N.Academic integrity is integral to credible scholarship. Yet, the escalation of publications and the desire to publish, even in this journal – South African Journal of Higher Education – often bring into play the important practice of academic integrity. As the rush for publications increasingly becomes an obsession, rather than an intrinsically loved scholarly activity, the ugly side of academic fraud, cheating and plagiarism begins to accelerate, and this manifests in research outputs. This introductory article takes a critical look at three significant developments in realising research outputs in higher education: Turnitin for turnitout, academic cheating and Google cutting and pasting. We proffer what academics should be doing to avoid the malaise creeping into and manifesting in higher education.
- ItemPrioritising higher education : Why research is all that matters(HESA, 2018) Davids, N.; Waghid, Y.Birthdays are joyfully relative events, which, at times, become more about reflection, and at times, regret, with each passing year. As Stellenbosch University embarks on its 100th year, celebrations and commemorations have adopted tentative nuances and burdens of heavily-laden legacies of wrongs and ills, which stand to be corrected. Much has been said, and rightly so, of assuming responsibility for questionable roles in highly divisive and harmful practices. In turn, much is envisaged for future actions of remedy and redress – particularly in relation to social responsibility and community interaction. In considering the role and responsibility of a university, many would agree that if the core of higher education is its epistemological contribution, then its impact is determined by its social worth. In this sense, any teaching and learning should not only be cognisant of its social context, but teaching and learning should always be both responsible and responsive to the world which it encounters. Yet, a university’s responsibilities can, and should never be at the expense, or risk of research. As will be discussed in this article, prioritising higher education means prefacing, and giving precedence to research. Prioritising higher education through research creates the spaces necessary for a philosophy of dialogue. Moreover, research is indispensable to meaningful teaching and learning. Put differently, it is with research that a university sustains and advances its intellectual, social and ethical project into the realm of the public. And, this implies a renewed look at the university with an ecological parlance of inquiry that accounts for the university on the basis of assemblages, engagements, reflections and sightings – whether smooth and or striated.
- ItemReflecting on a doctoral supervision : from scepticism to friendship(UNISA Press, 2013) Waghid, Y.; Davids, N.In this article two colleagues are in conversation regarding doctoral supervision: The first author acted as a doctoral supervisor, while the collaborative author was a doctoral candidate during three years of study. The first author offers a narrative account of his sceptical encounter with the candidate while the candidate offers an account of her experiences during her doctoral studies. Drawing on the seminal thoughts of Harvard philosopher Stanley Cavell (1997), particularly on his ideas on 'living with scepticism', the first author argues that postgraduate student supervision ought to be an encounter framed by scepticism. He points out that supervising students sceptically might engender moments of acknowledging humanity within the Other (autonomous action); attachment to the Other's points of view with a readiness for departure (deliberative engagement); and showing responsibility to the Other (recognition of the other). Not necessarily in response, but certainly in conversation, the candidate presents her own experiences of encountering two unknowns, namely, the writing process demanded by a doctoral dissertation, and the unknown Other of a doctoral supervisor. She journeys her shift from naïve attachment to a writing that she thought she owned to one of mature detachment, strong enough to stand on its own. In exploring the necessary sense of completion and arrival that ought to accompany the doctoral process, the candidate singles out elements of trust, belief and the knowledge that the doctoral supervisor ought to attach the same value to a student's work as he/she does. Finally, in recognition of the unexpected of the doctoral journey, the candidate reflects on the flourishing of a friendship, which emerged from an encounter of scepticism.
- ItemResistance and dissonance in higher education : on doing things differently(HESA, 2018) Davids, N.; Waghid, Y.The historical inequalities and imbalances, so deeply embedded in the institutional structures and discourse of higher education, continue to haunt university spaces as these institutions continue to veer along the precipice of transformation. While statues have been removed, buildings renamed, and fees adjusted, higher education in South Africa remains a largely disparate and alienating topography – no more so because of the gaping wounds left by iterative student protestations. Seemingly, the more leadership structures in higher education stonewalled student protestations, the more student resistance intensified – not only in scope, but in violence. In this sense, we are reminded of Foucault’s (1997) dyadic depiction of power and resistance – that is, that power necessarily provokes resistance, since without resistance, there can be no power. In this article, we reflect, on the necessity of resistance not only in relation to power, but as a practice that ought to be ubiquitous to higher education. And secondly, we argue that if higher education is to fulfil its ideological mandate of doing things differently for the sake of epistemological and public good, then it necessarily has to be underscored by dissonance.
- ItemTolerance as an imperative for higher education and democracy(HESA, 2019) Davids, N.Beyond the noise and din of the numerous #feesmustfall campaigns, there arose deeper concerns of the lack of regard on display not only between protesters and institutional authorities, but between protesting and non-protesting students. Of course, protests by their nature are manifestations of perceivably unheard and unrecognised demands and plights, which make the flaring of tempers inevitable. But, perhaps, what defined the student protests most distinctly were not the impassioned calls for economic accessibility, transformation, and decolonisation, but its volatility, and, at times, sheer contempt. The concern of this article is to offer a conceptual consideration of tolerance as an educational imperative within higher education, and democracy. That is, if higher education is to fulfil its responsibility in relation to the public good, then it has to espouse those virtues that are most likely to contribute to peaceful and harmonious co-existence.
- ItemTowards the contextualisation of democracy : a critical precursor for citizenship education in universities(HESA, 2019) Davids, N.In response to a controversial article, which sought to draw connections between intelligence and essentialist understandings of race and ethnicity, a university Senate has adopted a motion, geared at off-setting any future research of this nature. The resort to notions and imperatives of citizenship education, as contained in this motion, raises necessary questions about how a university conceives of itself in relation to acting and being democratic. It would appear from the language and content of the motion, that should the motion be implemented, it risks slipping into yet another reductionist approach to citizenship education. In response, this article argues that citizenship education cannot be decontextualized from the space (a university) in which it is expected to function and live. That is, that democratic citizenship education can only be meaningful to the extent that the principles and values are democracy are brought forth through the lived experiences of students, academics, and all others, who occupy this space.
- ItemTracking five years of teacher education enrolment at a South African university : implications for teacher education(HESA, 2020) Davids, N.; Waghid, Y.The faculty in which we are based offers two initial teacher training programmes: the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE); and the four-year BEd qualification ‒ allowing students to pursue a specialisation in either the foundation or intermediate phase. Compared to other faculties, the Faculty of Education occupies the somewhat precarious label of being one of the “most transformed” faculty in the university. In other words, given the historical privilege of the university, the Faculty of Education is considered to have shown the most evident strides towards transformation in terms of racial representation. A cursory glance at statistics of student enrolments over a five-year period, provides interesting insights ‒ insights, which, as we shall discuss in this article, should be interpreted with great caution. The interest and purpose of this article is to use the student enrolment statistics at a historically advantaged university as one indicator of a representative sample of teachers, who are likely to enter South African schools. The interest, on the one hand, is to gain an idea of the corpus of enrolled student teachers ‒ by taking account of race and gender. On the other hand, we intend to use this data to further our discussions on representation, and the implications for teacher education, and hence, teaching. In the background, are inevitable concerns centring on notions of representation in relation to conceptions of transformation.