Read: Insights on Higher Education- Prof Michael Samuel
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.
South African Education
Promoting and supporting research in education
Administrative e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL FOR SAERA RESEARCH HONOURS AWARD
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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com by 30 June 2018:
- A completed nomination form signed by the nominator and nominee.
- 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.
- Supporting documents may be attached to validate the statement if wished.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
On behalf of the SAERA Executive
SAERA are deeply saddened by the loss of Professor Clive John Miller. He was one of the founders of SAERAs constitutive organisations and a remarkable education scholar.
May our condolences bring his family comfort.
A prophetic and profound influence in adult education
Alan J Penny
31 July 2017 University World News Africa Edition Issue 201
Professor Clive John Millar was the first chair of adult education at a South African university and had a profound influence on the development of university-based adult education in South Africa. He was a founder of the Kenton Conference, an annual meeting of teacher education leaders that helped to inform and influence the shape of teacher and adult education policy, practice and research in post-apartheid South Africa. He passed away at his home in Scarborough in Cape Town on 18 July, ending a long battle with cancer.
Millar was born in Cape Town on 24 June 1936 to parents who taught him to appreciate the fine, if simple, things of life, and to embody the principles of integrity, fairness and justice, and the value and appreciation of humour and personal warmth.
He attended the South African College School and, after what he described as a poor matriculation pass, he entered the University of Cape Town. In that environment he blossomed both intellectually and personally, achieving a first-class honours degree in English in 1957, a Bachelor of Education degree with distinction a year later and a Master of Arts in English in 1962.
Between 1959 and 1963 he taught at Westerford High School in Rondebosch, Cape Town and the Gordon Schools in Huntley, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He joined the staff of Aberdeen College of Education in 1963 and remained there until his appointment to the staff of the University of Cape Town in 1967. In 1972 he successfully completed a Master of Science degree in Education at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
In 1975 he took up the inaugural Chair of Teaching Science at the University of Fort Hare. He remained there until he was appointed Professor of Adult Education at the University of Cape Town in 1979 – the first chair of adult education at a South African university. He held the chair until his early retirement due to ill health at the end of 1998.
‘A subtle, rare and respectful gift’
As a teacher he was noted for his openness, modesty, warmth and humanity. He didn’t come with a prescription for any particular action or direction; rather, he provided space to explore different options and directions to the point where those with whom he was working would reach a realisation of what could be appropriate in any given situation. It was a subtle, rare and deeply respectful gift.
As a researcher and writer he possessed an acuity few of his colleagues could match. As family friend Professor Barry Hymer has written, “Clive’s work reflected a profound respect for the reader and a finely tuned capacity for problematising easily accepted norms or understandings. His writing style was impressively accurate and succinct, whilst his logic and written work was admirably spare, elegant and unpretentiously lucid.”
The well-crafted and prophetic arguments of his University of Fort Hare inaugural lecture in 1975 resonate to this day as the present government of South Africa and South African universities attempt to address the meltdown in these institutions. The boldness of what he had to say on that occasion, and his subsequent oratory in the decision-making halls of the University of Cape Town, whilst generally courteously received, marked him as a person to be taken seriously, if not to be kept at arm’s length by those threatened by his insights. He had the ability to expose the contradictions implicit in teacher and higher education, contradictions which persist to this day.
Teaching as communication
He saw teaching as a kind of communication with learners whilst he also recognised the power of the context to demotivate and disempower both teachers and learners. A clear thread is notable in his personal development too, from a belief and confidence in technical skills to the evolution of an acute personal and experiential awareness of personal knowledge and a sound awareness of the significance of context.
His role in shaping the future of university-based adult education in South Africa was profound. The move to the
University of Cape Town as its first Professor of Adult Education gave him the opportunity to develop and nurture a model of a collective institutional academic enterprise, a model which his close friend and colleague Professor Tony Morphet has described as bringing together people and ideas in which the intrinsic goods of intellectual work are corporately and intensely valued.
As Morphet has remarked, “Clive was a craftsman – boats, houses, combi’s and second hand cars, all the ordinary things anyone gets involved in, conjoined with intellectual craftsmanship – the use of propositions, logic, argument, debate, and reason”. It was a model which brought together marginal people and immersed them in processes which encouraged them to find a common focus in a coherent project.
It is significant to note that as early as the 1980s Millar, his colleagues and students (all learners) were using and practising such concepts as curriculum negotiation, facilitation, process, problematisation, academic discourse, experiential learning and reflection – all of which that have become orthodox today and, indeed, are all features of an intellectual craft and academic work.
On the national stage Millar is probably best remembered as one of the founding fathers of the Kenton Conference, an annual get-together of teacher education leaders which did much to inform and influence the shape of teacher and adult education policy, practice and research in post-apartheid South Africa.
Over the course of his academic career he wrote several books and seminal papers which, when read today, surprise the reader with what they say about the present challenges facing the education sector in South Africa and, indeed, many other countries too. Last year, in spite of rapidly declining health, he published A Practical Guide to Classroom Research. The book brings together the best in classroom-based research by teachers and their training.
Millar is survived by his wife Sheila with whom he shared a long and happy marriage, and two sons Christopher and Paul, their wives and five grandchildren. As one of them has said: “Apart from all he did with us, he was great company too.”
University World News
The annual SAERA Nelson Mandela Education Legacy Lecture
Date: 18 September 2017
Venue: Council Chambers Madibeng Building
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
RSVP: Prudence Mohau at firstname.lastname@example.org by 4 September 2017
The speaker for the 2017 lecture is Prof Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg.
The title of his presentation is: The meaning of decolonizing knowledge and universities – problems and opportunities