Research 2002

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Faculty of Education

Prof JD Jansen, Dean

Telephone number: 012 420 3513
Fax number: 012 420 4215
E-mail address:

Preface by the Dean

In 2002 the Faculty of Education made substantial progress towards its goal of creating a world-class organisation distinguished by the high volume and quality of research outputs.

The specific achievements of the Faculty of Education in terms of research performance are the following:

  1. an increase of 36 % in accredited research outputs over 2001, and a dramatic increase of 216% compared to the 1999 baseline performance of this Faculty.

  2. the first ever achievement of the Chancellor’s Award for Research to the Faculty of Education - or, for that matter, to a non-science or engineering Faculty of the University.

  3. the production of a record number of scholarly book publications that have already gained international recognition; these books include
    • Indigenous Knowledge Systems (New Africa Books) by Professor Catherine Odora-Hoppers (Department of Curriculum Studies)
    • Mergers in Higher Education: Lessons learned in transitional contexts (UNISA Press) by Professor Jonathan Jansen with PhD students Chika Sehoole, Venitha Soobrayan, Nyoki Bandi, Mankolo Lethoko and Sibu Chalufu (Department of Education Management and Policy Studies)
    • Teaching Strategies for Outcomes-based Education by Professor Roy Killen (Extra Ordinary Professor, Department of Curriculum Studies)
    • English Language Proficiency and Contextual Factors Influencing Mathematics Achievement of Secondary School Pupils in South Africa by Professor Sarah Howie (Department of Curriculum Studies, Centre for Evaluation and Assessment)
    • Life Skills & Assets by Drr Liesel Ebersöhn and Irma Eloff (Department of Educational Psychology)
    • Lifeskills and Career Counselling by Prof Kobus Maree and Dr Liesel Ebersöhn (Department of Educational Psychology)
    • Leadership in Education by Prof Louis Calitz, Otto L Fuglestad, Sølvi Lillejord (Department of Education Management and Policy Studies).

  4. the allocation of an unprecedented volume of external research funds to international projects, including:
    • Norwegian study on science and mathematics education in Southern Africa
    • World Bank study on secondary education in Africa
    • UNICEF study on education finance and the costs of schooling in South Africa
    • UNDP study on the sustainability of education reforms in South Africa.

  5. the achievement of a record number of doctoral graduates in one academic year (16 new doctors), a result of the focused efforts to intensify the training and completion of students in PhD programmes. In the first graduation ceremony of 2003 alone, another 12 doctoral graduates are expected.

  6. the award of a record number of external research team grants from foundations including the National Research Foundation, the South Africa Netherlands Partnership for Alternative Development, the Mott Foundation and Norwegian Council for Higher Education, among many others.

These record achievements in the research performance of the Faculty of Education can be attributed to specific interventions led by the Faculty of Education, including the following:

  • a research capacity building programme in 2002 that exceeded 180 hours of training for academic staff.

  • a rigorous mid-term (July) and year-end review (December) in which all young scholars in the Faculty are held accountable - in a public forum - for actual accredited outputs produced by the academic concerned.

  • a regular and intensive “publications workshop” in which the manuscripts of academic staff are “workshopped” for final publication within weeks of the workshop review.

  • a public defence of research proposals by every doctoral student - a process that has not only improved the quality of research designs, but also expedites the “flow-through” of PhD candidates.

The establishment of a discrete number of research centres is intended to further bolster the research performance of the Faculty of Education in the years ahead; these Centres include

  • the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment (Director, Professor Sarah Howie)
  • the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Education (Director, Professor Erna Alant)
  • the Inter-University Centre for Education Law and Policy (Director, Dr Rika Joubert)
  • the Joint Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (Director, Dr Loyiso Jita).

The Faculty is delighted to note that this exceptional research performance has had many positive spin-off effects. For example, the Faculty of Education now attracts postgraduate students from virtually every continent especially in masters and doctoral level studies. This process of internationalisation through competitive training programmes and top quality postgraduate students is a decisive step forward in meeting our non-negotiable goal of establishing in this part of the third world a truly world class education programme.


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