I was appointed as a social work lecturer in July 2006. During 2006 I was nominated by the then HOD of the social work department (and current Director of Teacher and Learning of UWC), Prof Vivienne Bozalek, for the distinguished Teacher Award. I have invested considerable energy and time in learning to teach and to do this competently. I have come to enjoy the teaching experience and have consequently developed an avid interest in increasing my knowledge in effective and modern teaching practices and motivated to know more about the learning experience, especially in professional programmes like social work.
My initial research interest was on admission and selection practices in professional programmes like social work. I became interested in alternative access routes like Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). I developed RPL as an access alternative (and redress mechanism) within social work in close collaboration with the Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL), UWC. I had established a selection process of RPL candidates for the social work programme. My research in this field yielded 2 articles published in accredited social work journals.
I am also interested in the impact of adverse childhood experiences on student learning and in the context of professional learning in social work. This is pertinent not only for the context of South Africa where students’ experiences mirror the social circumstances of the majority of peoples in SA but also in my research found that it is an international concern and not only for social work programmes. Without knowing who the students are that are sitting in your classroom means that you are making assumptions about who they are and what they know and how they learn. In social work courses this belief would be quite imprudent given the philosophical and theoretical modules focusing on diversity and difference. Each student brings his/her socio-cultural, language, gender, educational, and ethnic diversity to the learning environment. It teaches us tolerance and acceptance for the differences amongst us. These differences, which also lie at the heart of social work practice in South Africa, must not be diffused with pathology, but rather a foundation for engagement and enlightenment. My interest and research into social work teaching and learning has yielded 3 articles published in accredited social work journals.
I have completed my PhD in social work through Stellenbosch University (2014). The thesis title is: An inquiry into the role of adverse childhood experiences in teaching and learning in social work. I have completed four articles emanating from my PHD.
I am involved in various research projects on teaching and learning and the student experience. My areas of specialisation are: teaching and learning in social work; students’ learning needs and student profile; student epistemological access and throughput; factors that impact on student learning; social work curriculum development.