Author: Rosemarie Milburn

17th BOLESWANA Conference in July 2018 in Windhoek, NAMIBIA

17th BOLESWANA Conference in July 2018 in Windhoek, NAMIBIA

The date for the submission of abstracts has been extended to 28 Feb 2018. SAERA is a member of BOLESWANA.
Conference theme: “Research for the Transformation of Teacher Education: Teaching for Equity and Relevance”

BOLESWANA is a research body composed of sister education research associations from Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, and the new addition, South Africa. This body of international educational research associations holds a biennial symposium that is hosted, on a rotational basis by member associations. The Namibia Educational Research Association (NERA) is hosting the 17th edition of this symposium in July 2017, in Windhoek, Namibia. BOLESWANA symposia bring together experts from the SADC region, Africa and beyond, to share knowledge, experiences and scientific evidence on educational matters. The Symposium is therefore a platform for sharing, reflecting and setting agenda for education improvement.
For more information, go to

Filed under: Conference

Conference Special Edition call for papers

2017 SAERA Conference Special Edition
Education in an Era of Transformation and Decolonization
Date of publication: 30 October 2018.
Guest Editors:
Dr Shervani K. Pillay & Professor Sylvan Blignaut

The SAERA Special Conference Edition of the Journal of Education is calling for papers that were presented at the 5th annual SAERA conference in Port Elizabeth (23 – 26 October 2017). Submissions should clearly reflect the conference theme: Education in an Era of Transformation and Decolonization

2017 Conference_Special Edition (Call for Articles)

Filed under: Journal of education

Call for Papers for a Special issue

Dear SAERA member,

Please find attached a Call for Papers for a Special issue of the Journal of Education, edited by the Curriculum Studies Special interest group. The theme of the Special Issue is Internationalising, indigenising, decolonising and Africanising Curriculum Studies

Please see the attached PDF for submission dates.

Please circulate to your networks and interested colleagues.

Visit the Journal of Education

2017-10-25_Special Edition Curric SIG (Call for Articles)

Filed under: Journal of education

Call for SAERA Research Honours Award 2018

South African Education Research Association

Call For SAERA Research Honours Award

In 2017, SAERA launched its inaugural call for the Research Honours award.

The SAERA Research Honours award may be made annually to an individual for an outstanding contribution to educational research in South Africa.


  1. Criteria for SAERA Research Honours award

1.1 The individual has contributed to the development of education research in South Africa over a sustained period of time and has made an exceptional contribution with respect to i) research outputs of consistently high quality (e.g. sustained, excellent post graduate supervision; journal articles and book chapters; edited and sole authored books) and ii) through meaningful service to education research (e.g. role in South African research associations; research innovation/management positions; research development).

1.3 The contribution should promote the transformational agenda of SAERA in terms of research in South Africa.

  1. Eligibility

2.1 The nominee should be a South African citizen/permanent resident.

  1. Process of nomination

3.1 Any SAERA member may nominate an individual for the award.

3.2 The following documents should be submitted to by 31 August 2018:

  1. A completed nomination form (available below) signed by the nominator and nominee.
  2. A nominator’s statement of 1000 words maximum in support of the nomination. The statement should clearly indicate how the nominee has contributed to the development of education research in South Africa.
  3. Supporting documents may be attached to validate the statement if wished.
  4. Evaluation process

The evaluation panel will comprise 2 executive members of SAERA, plus two members nominated by the evaluation panel. Their recommendation will be approved by the full executive of SAERA.

  1. Award

The SAERA Research Honours award will be presented at the annual conference in the form of a framed certificate. The recipient will be sponsored for registration of the conference and will thus receive SAERA membership for the coming year. The recipient will be expected to present an overview of their work at the conference

Click below for nomination form

Call for SAERA Research Honours_ Award 2018 Nomination form>

Filed under: Conference

Message from the incoming president: Lesley Wood

It is a pleasure for me to have been elected the President of SAERA for the coming two years. I have been an active member of the SAERA executive since its inception, having served in the portfolio of WERA representative and deputy president. The focus in the first few years of SAERA was on compiling the constitution and making sure all the legal requirements were met; establishing a strong membership base; and setting up processes and systems to make sure the association continues to flourish. In 2016 we drafted a strategic plan which detailed the different portfolios in the executive and their associated duties. We believe this will ensure that no aspect of SAERA is neglected, given that the executive members are all busy academics and give of their time freely for the good of the association. I would like to thank Prof Sechaba Mahlohaholo for his leadership in the past two years. Given his demanding position as DVC, he is unable to remain on the executive and Prof Aslam Fataar has kindly agreed to step into the role of outgoing President. The members of the executive and their portfolios are posted on this site. I encourage you, as members, to interact with the various portfolio holders, and support them with any information or other help you might like to offer e.g. organisation of a regional workshop. We have just had a successful conference hosted by Nelson Mandela University and for this, we must thank Dr Shervani Pillay and her LOC. As SAERA grows, so it becomes increasingly difficult to find venues that can house a large conference and so we have been forced to rely on corporate venues which present issues of affordability and accessibility for some members, particularly students and practitioners. As an executive we are committed to making the conference as affordable as possible, while still maintaining high academic standards, and we will apply our minds to how we can do this in the coming year. We would also like to hear from our members, and so encourage you to complete the survey you were sent this week to voice your opinions of the conference and how it can be improved. I have worked with most of the current executive for some years now, and I know they are all committed to and passionate about SAERA, as the leading education research association in South Africa and its committment to support capacity development of education and education researchers within South Africa. I thank the executive committee, and the larger membership, in advance for your ongoing support during the next two years.

Filed under: SAERA


This year’s award was won by Dr Bruce Damons from Nelson Mandela University. He was nominated by his colleague Dr Deidre Geduld for his thesis entitled “A COLLABORATIVELY CONSTRUCTED PROCESS MODEL FOR UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORTING THE WORK OF THE COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER IN A COMMUNITY SCHOOL”. He was promoted by Prof Lesley Wood, with Dr A Witten as his co-promoter. This thesis was judged by all three examiners as making an important international contribution to the field of school leadership and community-based research and was accepted by all without any required changes (not even technical ones!). The thesis explored how community volunteers could be recruited, supported and sustained to assist a community school operating in difficult socio-economic conditions in achieving basic school functionality. Following a Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) design, he recruited 15 community volunteers and formed an action learning set where they collaboratively sought to understand the processes and conditions needed to recruit, support and sustain community volunteers and their involvement in the school. Transcripts and visual artefacts from the action learning set meetings and a focus group meeting of the school management team were analysed to generate data, complemented by secondary sources, such as documents. This participatory approach to data generation allowed the voice of every participant to be heard; agency was increased through active participation; and the sense of affiliation to the group was deepened. The iterative design of the research process further ensured that the participants also engaged in a critical discourse analysis of the emerging data, of which the trustworthiness was enhanced through the use of dialogic and process, catalytic, rhetoric, democratic and outcome validity. The emergence of the data through this collaborative engagement was underpinned by the ethical values of mutual respect; equality and inclusion; democratic participation; active learning; making a difference; collective action; and personal integrity.
The findings revealed that community volunteers did add immense value to the school by supporting teaching and learning processes. However, the community volunteers also harboured expectations of material support and opportunities to develop skills. In addition, the study revealed that the hierarchical culture and structures present in most South African schools need to become more democratic and collaborative, with those working to make the school more functional, including community volunteers, being valued, acknowledged and supported. The participants also constructed their understanding of what a community school should be and do and how it should serve the interests of the children from the community. A process model was constructed from these findings regarding on ways to recruit, sustain and support community volunteers involved in community schools, specially designed so that schools could adapt it to suit individual contexts. In addition, a manual of the process model was generated so that the participants could facilitate other schools to implement it.

Filed under: Conference

Journal of Education to be indexed with SciELO

The Scholarly Publications Unit at Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has invited the Journal of Education to be indexed with SciELO SA (Scientific Electronic Library Online). This means that the journal received a positive peer review evaluation from the ASSAf Peer Review Panel, publishes regularly and is open access.

SciELO SA is a fully indexed open-access journal collection in the service of the South African research community through effective quality assurance, worldwide visibility, accessibility and impact, and amenability to bibliometric analysis. SciELO SA is connected to international indexing services, e.g. Thomson Reuter’s Web of Knowledge now integrates the SciELO Citation Index.
This means that the articles published in the Journal of Education will be more visible and accessible.

Filed under: Journal of education

New President and office bearers elected

New President and office bearers elected

Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo completed his two-year term as SAERA president at the 5th conference held in Port Elizabeth last week. The new president is Prof Lesley Wood from North West University, who had previously served as Deputy President. The other office bearers who were elected are Ingrid Baigrie (UJ) as Treasurer, Siphiwe Mthiyane (Wits) as Deputy President, Labby Ramrathan (UKZN) as Secretary. These office bearers will serve a two year term starting from October 2017.

Filed under: SAERA