Author: Rosemarie Milburn

Condolences to Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo and his family

The SAERA executive and members would like to extend their condolences to Prof Sechaba Mahlomaholo and his family on the recent passing of Prof Mahlomaholo’s wife. We extend our deepest sympathies to him and his family as they struggle through this period of grief.

Filed under: SAERA

Colloquium Pedagogies on a Damaged Planet: 21-23 September & Deleuze workshop 24 & 25 September

Dear Colleagues


This colloquium is an open invitation to experiment and explore how education can be done differently – from early childhood to university education. In particular, we have invited presenters of the colloquium Pedagogies on a Damaged Planet to engage delegates in pedagogies that reject humans’ claim to exceptionalism and the epistemic arrogance of locating knowledge, intelligence and meaning-making in the subject and only in the human subject.

Keynote presentations will be explored by using the community of enquiry pedagogy. We will explore, for example, the question ‘What decolonising difference would it make for the environment if we would teach posthuman(e)ly in all phases of education?’ and of course other questions raised by participants.

For registration:

Link Programme for Conference Pedagogies on a Damaged Planet (21-23 September) & Deleuze Workshop (24-25 September) 2018



Filed under: News about education

SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award


South African Education
Research Association

Promoting and supporting research in education


Administrative e-mail:


The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award may be made annually to an outstanding PhD thesis awarded by a South African Higher Education Institution in the field of education.


SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award Email:


  1. Criteria for an outstanding PhD thesis


1.1 Makes a substantial and original contribution to theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological knowledge in education.

1.2 Shows outstanding research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity/trustworthiness.

1.3 Has potential impact for policy-makers, practitioners, and other research users or provides a significant conceptual and theoretical contribution to its field.

1.4 The study has a transformative intent. There are indications that the research is aimed at advancing theories and methodologies in socially critical ways.

1.5 Evidence of published or submitted research outputs would strengthen the nomination


  1. Eligibility

2.1 The degree should have been awarded during the calendar year preceding (i.e. the award for the year 2018 is for a degree granted during the period 30 April 2017 to 30 April 2018). ‘Degree awarded’ means when the University formally wrote to confirm the award rather than the graduation ceremony.


  1. Process of nomination

3.1 Any SAERA member may nominate an outstanding PhD thesis for the award.

3.2 The following documents must be submitted to by 30 June 2018:

  1. A completed nomination form;
  2. A proposer’s statement of no more than 1,000 words in support of the nomination. The statement should clearly indicate how the work makes a significant contribution to education research against the relevant SAERA Doctoral Thesis Award criteria for assessment;
  3. The examination reports (these may be anonymised if required by the rules of the HEI, and if requested by the examiners);
  4. Proof of any publications emanating from the thesis that have been accepted for publication or published from the dissertation;
  5. An electronic copy of the full dissertation.


  1. 4. The evaluation process

The evaluation panel will comprise three SAERA executive members, plus one other member nominated by the Executive Committee. The evaluation panel will examine all the documentation per nominee and make a decision based on how well the thesis meets the criteria.

  1. Award

The SAERA Doctoral Dissertation Award will be awarded at the Annual conference. The recipient will be sponsored to attend the conference, and receive SAERA membership for a year. The recipient will be expected to present his/her work at the conference, and to write a summary of the study to be placed on the SAERA website


Nomination form SAERA PhD award 2018

Filed under: Conference

Call for SAERA Research Honours Award

South African Education
Research Association

Promoting and supporting research in education


Administrative e-mail:



The SAERA Medal of Honour award may be made annually to an individual or research entity for an outstanding contribution to educational research in South Africa.


  1. Criteria for SAERA Research Honours award

1.1 The individual/entity has contributed to the development of education research in South Africa over a sustained period of time or has made an exceptional contribution through a specific output.

1.2 This contribution can be in the form of research outputs (e.g.sustained, excellent post-graduate supervision; journal articles and book chapters; edited and sole authored books) and/or through service to education research (e.g. role in South African research associations; research innovation/management positions).

  1. 2. Eligibility

2.1 The nominee should be a South African citizen/permanent resident. If an entity is nominated, it should be registered in South Africa.

  1. Process of nomination

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

3.2 The following documents should be submitted to by 30 June 2018:

  1. A completed nomination form 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.



CALL FOR SAERA RESEARCH HONOURS AWARD 2018 Call for SAERA Research Honours_ Award 2018 Nomination form

Filed under: SAERA

Book Launch Opportunity


Dear SAERA member,




The SAERA 2018 conference hosted by the NWU Faculty of Education will be held from 22 – 24 October 2018. We would like to invite all SAERA members who recently published a book and or/ chapter in a book to present their book/s at the book launch and cocktail event on the 22nd of October.


For a fee of R2000-00 you will be provided with a table where you can exhibit your recently published book/s. Delegates will be able to walk around from one table to the other and be introduced to your work.


If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions in this regards, please make contact.


Kindest regards

Corlia Twine LOC (SAERA 2018)


Tel: 018 299 2149


Filed under: Conference

SAERA Nelson Mandela Legacy Lecture 2018

Dr Maria Elena Torre (CUNY) and Prof Puleng Segalo (UNISA) presented on 24 April 2018, at North-West University, the annual SAERA Nelson Mandela Legacy Lecture, entitled “Epistemic Justice in the Academy: Decolonizing Power, Knowledge and Being through Critical and Participatory Research.” The scholars drew upon the writing of Mandela as a way of critiquing education. A short summary of the main points made by them follows:

They argued that the transformative value of education does not lie in transforming the individual, it lies in transforming the community and re-centering the community as a place that contributes knowledge and values. Education needs to aspire to structural change, rather than concentrating on individual performance within the system. They critiqued the current education system as leading to a reinforcement of class, race and gender regimes. Such a system does not and cannot lead to liberation. It leads instead to privilege.

Although Mandela is cited as saying that education is the tool to enable the poorest child to reach their dreams, he was not concerned about the creation of a series of “stars”, but about the creation of the firmament in which many stars can find their place and shine. Colonial education for Mandela began with him having to adopt an English name. It continued in a language that centred its own knowledge as superior. This continues today in both schools and higher education, where the community is presented as being out there and students are presented as outsiders going to rescue the community. We become academics who speak and defend the system and we replicate this with our students. This is epistemic violence. Forcing students to leave their identity behind when they enter the academy is a form of colonization. The demographics of higher education may change, but the curriculum itself has remained the same. Epistemic rebellion is about de-centering Eurocentric knowledge and being disobedient. How do we decolonise and disrupt? As academics we need to learn what dehumanisation means for our students. We need to break with the modern western university by challenging the status quo. Agency, identity and languages are critical in this work. Language, when imposed, is a way of not seeing and not listening to people even although its very purpose is to enable understanding of and between people. Blind importation of knowledge is a form of laziness and that is why the decoloniality project is so very important for universities. Afrikaans was not simply a language, but also a way of being and of seeing people.
Participatory action research provides a methodology that involves collectives that generate and reach towards a just world. Research sites become sites of democratic knowledge zones that return knowledge to the community – and such knowledge should be fed back into the curriculum for our students to learn about community issues. This flips the colonial script and recognises how under siege we are. Uncomfortable intersections become the place where reconciliation becomes possible. Drawing upon elders’ knowledge and wisdom is important for educating the subject that speaks.
We embrace education as a means of overcoming man-made poverty. Poverty is a creation and an injustice. Education is a means to create justice. What kind of education can do this? Not an education that alienates you from self and from community. Teaching should confront the assumptions made about me and about my community; becoming and seeking criticality in the engagement.

However, we must not forget that the marginalised have power. Being othered can be flipped to reveal how knowledge works so that we see the underside of the academy. Language imposition caused people to die and knowledge imposed causes the life world of the university to die; to become a death world (as described also by Mbembe). It is for this reason that students revolt because the feeling of alienation becomes intolerable on many levels, from the perspective of the university as institution, from the perspective of the student.

After the lecture there were questions and comments. Comments about how we valorise Mandela and the ideal of An African Education when the issues around marginal identities and gender are challenged with the patriarchal discourses in communities in South Africa. Which Mandela is being referred to in the context of the academy? There are contradictions in the man who Mandela was, and also in ourselves.

Dr Torre also ran a two-day workshop for academics from UFS, NMU, UJ, UKZN and North-West on critical participatory action research. This was attended by 24 early career and experienced researchers and proved to be very participatory, encouraging and motivating.

Filed under: The Nelson Mandela Education Legacy lecture