- ItemA century of misery research on coloured people(African Sun Media, 2020) Jansen, Jonathan; Walters, CyrillWhen a group of Stellenbosch University (SU) researchers published an article on the “low cognitive functioning” and “unhealthy lifestyle behaviours” of coloured women,2 there was immediate outrage across the campus and the country. Yet this particular piece of published research was by no means exceptional. In fact, for the past hundred years Stellenbosch – and other South African universities – had been engaged in what is called race-essentialist research, that is, studies that insisted that there are four racial groups (whites, Indians, coloureds and Africans) and that certain aptitudes, behaviours and even diseases were directly related to these political classifications.
- ItemReinterrogating race in scientific research : a view from the history of physical anthropology(African Sun Media, 2020) Walters, HandriIt might come as a surprise to some to learn that the concept of race is a fairly recent phenomenon in the history of humanity. Race, as a marker of human difference, was only introduced in the sixteenth century. However, over the course of a few centuries, the world would witness a powerful transformation in the “perceptions of human difference” as framed by the concept of race.1 First, there was the introduction of racial variation based on observable differences, then the idea of racial categorisation, followed by the idea that these categories could be organised according to a human hierarchy.
- ItemUniversities and public goods: In defence of democratic deliberation, compassionate imagining and cosmopolitan justice(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Waghid, YusefOne of the most significant contributions to the advancement of modern higher education is found in the work of Frank and Meyer (2007:290) who argue that the public mission of the contemporary university is to assist in addressing great social problems such as improving business organisation and capital investment, protecting the natural environment, preserving human rights and cultural diversity, resolving crises of governance and promoting democracy – all aspects that constitute what can be referred to as the public goods of higher education. In order to foreground the public mission of the modern (African) university more clearly, I offer an account of higher education as a public good which ought to build on conceptions of democratic deliberation, compassionate imagining and cosmopolitan justice.
- ItemUniversities as organisations or institutions? : The culture debate and one institution(AFRICAN SUN MeDIA, 2009) Van Wyk, BerteThis chapter attempts to conceptualise institutional culture by posing a critical question: Are universities institutions or organisations? The question arises due to ambiguities in the literature: several authors describe universities as institutions rather than organisations, while others use the notions of ‘organisation’ and ‘institution’ interchangeably. In agreement with Hoffman (1999) that it would be critically important to consider how and in what ways concepts of culture can enhance – or impede – understanding, research and action in education, I explore the culture debate. There seem to be complex conceptual issues associated with some of the baseline debates on the nature of culture and, following from this, the nature of institutional cultures. The literature suggests that institutional culture as a social construct is embedded in a very definite historical context and purpose (Louw and Finchilescu 2003), and this historical context becomes very useful in an analysis of what constitutes institutional culture at Stellenbosch University. The discussion on two meanings of institutional culture (perceptions, and the language issue) indicates that culture is dynamic, and highlights how meanings change over time. The essay suggests that there is no easy definition of ‘institutional culture’, as there is no one single characteristic of an institution that can be cited to define this culture. I conclude that the usefulness of institutional culture is that it connects people and should be used for a purpose; it is not just something to have, which is where the discussion of the concept usually focuses (Toma, Dubrow and Hartley 2005).
- ItemHopeful teacher education in South Africa: Towards a politics of humanity(SUN MeDIA, 2012) Waghid, YusefINTRODUCTION: In this chapter I offer an account of Nussbaum’s politics of humanity to show how teacher education programmes can be remedied as the country’s universities endeavour to address the poor quality of teacher education programmes. Since the demise of apartheid education, the development of policy in relation to teacher education in South Africa has undergone major adjustments, and yet credible change in teacher education remains elusive. By far the most prominent conceptual and pragmatic change to which teacher education has been subjected points towards the cultivation of teachers who can enact their professions as democratic citizens. This implies that teachers ought to engender in learners a spirit of democratic citizenry that can imbue in them the virtues of dialogical engagement, connecting caringly with the other, and performing their tasks in a responsible manner. So it happens that current policy on teacher education accentuates the ‘roles’ of teachers in a post-apartheid dispensation along the lines of such democratic virtues.