Teaching narrative

Teaching philosophy

I would classify my approach to teaching and assessing as being in alignment with cognitive – constructivist learning theories, with an emphasis on the social aspects of learning. Zimmerman (2013, 6) describes these as “a socially mediated experience where individuals construct knowledge based on interactions with their social and cultural environment. Thus, as posited above, my teaching methods draw on the three components highlighted above: the individual student, the process of constructing knowledge, and the social and cultural environment in which all of this occurs.  This view of teaching draws on a range of teaching approaches, and as such, I use group work, case studies, interactive lectures, projects, tests, presentations, field trips, guest lectures and games as part of my instructional and assessing tools. 

Summary of evidence of my teaching

Innovative teaching/learning practice 

As a reflective and responsive lecturer, I am constantly innovating in my teaching. This innovation is not only through the use of diverse web-based approaches as evidenced in this portfolio. It is also through the use of multilingualism in assessments, and more recently it is through research on the influence of the emergency remote teaching and learning, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, on student-centred learning. I have made it a point to regularly apply for external and internal grants to fund these innovations, and in most cases have been successful.

Innovative teaching project

I have created this website to house digitised texts from the Early South African Black Press. These texts are not easily available online so through funding I received, I digitised them and created the site. The site is used by students and external parties to access the multilingual content from these newspapers. Work on the site is continuing so as to convert these digitised copies into searchable texts, a move that will not only benefit my students, but anyone else who is interested in content from the Early South African Black Press. This project is both an example of innovation in teaching, as well as the production of teaching material.

Professional development as a higher education practitioner 

Between 2018 and 2020, I attended over 15 training and development courses to help me become a better teacher and supervisor. These include the year long CPUT Teaching Development Programme and several CHEC courses. In 2020 I particularly focused on courses that were geared at helping me improve my online pedagogies, since the pandemic necessitated this move. In 2019 I did a 3-day course in supervision, and in 2020 built on this by taking a course in online supervision.

Papers presented at educational conferences

I am a reflective educator who not only researchers in my field, but also researchers in the field of journalism education with a keen focus on the use of multilingualism. As my portfolio shows, I have secured over R150 000 externally and internally to undertake research in this area. I have presented the work at over 5 conferences and published 2 journal articles and a book chapter from my findings. I have also been requested to review publications and conference submissions on education matters due to my engagement in this respect.