Decolonising the curriculum to provide an enhanced teaching and learning experience for students was at the heart of this year’s College of Law and Management Studies’ Teaching and Learning Day.
Among other things, the day offered a platform for reflection and discussions on how the College can adopt strategies that will foster quality teaching and enhance student experiences. About 70 delegates attended the event. The amazingly packed, content-driven day included guest speakers, keynote addresses, breakaway sessions, and the Launch of the Book Drive by the office of the Dean of Teaching and Learning.
The event themed: ‘Fostering quality teaching-enhancing students’ experience’ featured presentations by College academics and education experts on the decolonisation of the curriculum.
The College’s Dean of Teaching and Learning Professor Betty Mubangizi said the theme calls for an innovative curriculum design, the adoption of appropriate pedagogical strategies and the adoption of assessment practices that are in sync with the highest quality management principles.
‘Today’s presentations are invaluable in providing tips and anecdotes on how we can foster quality teaching and enrich the millennial learner’s experience. I hope that lasting collaborations around research themes in teaching and learning emerged out of today’s reflections and that this was a rewarding experience,’ she said.
Renowned academic Professor Paulus Zulu from the School of Social Sciences’ Maurice Webb Race Relations Unit delivered the keynote address titled: Africanising the Curriculum. The presentation explored what the decolonisation of the curriculum would entail.
‘A number of academic institutions have departments of African studies, which have generated very limited parochial products orchestrated as knowledge. This presentation has attempted to show how the entire debate around Africanisation of the curriculum as an academic requirement is lost in the polemics of political expediency. Calls for Africanising the curriculum appeal more to the political sentiment than to the knowledge content of the curriculum,’ explained Zulu.
Professor Nyna Amin was yet another speaker external to the College. Amin is Associate Professor, distinguished teacher at UKZN and a former Fulbright scholar. She delivered a thought provoking presentation titled: Decolonising the Curriculum: Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Prizes were awarded to the best presenters which included Ms Shelley Donnelley for her paper on Understanding Undergraduate Absenteeism at a South African University. Ms Sue Price for her paper titled: Getting Students’ Feedback During Lectures – A Demonstration of Two Accessible Ways. Ms Serrenta Naidoo for her paper titled: Uptake of Writing Place Support in the College of Law and Management Studies. Dr Msizi Mkhize’s paper on Putting the Excitement Back Into Mathematics and Dr Joseph Jere’s paper on Information and Communications Technology as a Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education. Dr Cecile Gerwel Proches, Ms Nathalie Chelin and Dr Siegfried Rouvrais’s paper titled: Preparing Students for the Workplace: Reflections on a Qualitative Research Analysis of Engineering Students in a French ‘Grande Ecole.’ Mr Chancy Chaguluka, Dr Andrisha Beharry-Rarmaj and Dr J Amolo’s paper titled: International Post Graduate Students’ Perceptions of Service Quality at University of KwaZulu Natal’s Westville Campus, South Africa and Dr Fayth for her paper titled: Indigenisation and Africanisation of Law Schools’ curriculum: Advantaging legal pluralism in South Africa.
The College’s Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Managay Reddi said the College’s academics are really passionate about offering their students the best teaching and learning experience.
‘As we have heard speakers say that the idea is to be inclusive in what we do because what we do is the matter of the heart because these are important stories and narratives. The decolonisation of the curriculum gives us the opportunity to give to its proper place the knowledge that has been generated in this continent,’ she said.
Click here for a video on the book drive launched at the Teaching and Learning Day: https://youtu.be/jsEJWcImPc0
Words: Thandiwe Jumo
Photographs: Thandiwe Jumo and Sakhile Fatyi