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UKZN Academic is Chair-Elect of Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices Special Interest Group

11 May, 2017

Professor Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan has been elected to serve as Chair-Elect of the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Professor Kathleen Pithouse-Morgan of the School of Education has been elected to serve as Chair-Elect of the Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Pithouse-Morgan’s role as an SIG officer began in April 2017 and will involve a 6-year leadership commitment as Chair-Elect (2 years), Chair (2 years), and Past Chair (2 years). The SIGs provide a forum within AERA for the involvement of individuals drawn together by a common interest in a field of study, teaching, or research.

The Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (S-STEP) SIG is an active community of scholars, who work in a wide variety of settings, seeking to make substantial contributions related to the theory and practice of teacher education and self-study research design/practice. The SIG meets yearly at the AERA annual meeting in North America and every second year at a SIG conference in England. 

Pithouse-Morgan is honoured to take on this leadership role citing mentoring from academic leaders, including Professor Relebohile Moletsane (UKZN), Professor Claudia Mitchell (McGill University), Professor Anastasia P. Samaras (George Mason University), Professor Joan Conolly (Durban University of Technology), and Professor Naydene de Lange (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, as one of the reasons in securing this new role.

She sees her mentoring and scholarly collaborations with colleagues in South Africa and internationally as essential to her academic learning and development.

‘I aim to make mentoring and collaborative scholarship a significant focus of my leadership within the SIG to contribute to cultivating a research environment that is supportive of achievements of others, particularly postgraduate students and early career academics.’

‘I see the election outcome as an acknowledgement of the quality and impact of the South African self-study research that has been produced over the past decade and that is increasingly becoming a significant part of global self-study research conversations,’ said Pithouse-Morgan.

Dean and Head of the School of Education Professor Thabo Msibi said  the School is very excited and proud of Pithouse-Morgan’s ‘exceptional’ accomplishment  adding that AERA is arguably the most respected and one of the largest professional organisations for educational researchers in the world.

‘Having a member of our School chairing one of the largest SIGs of this organisation is an honour that the entire University community should celebrate.  This recognition from AERA speaks volumes on the quality of work produced by Professor Pithouse-Morgan, and her standing internationally.  We wish Professor Pithouse-Morgan well during her tenure in office,’ he said. 

Pithouse-Morgan’s academic work in Teacher Development Studies focuses on professionals initiating and directing their own learning to enhance their continuing growth, and implications thereof for education in the professions. Methodologically, her work has contributed to scholarship on professional learning through self-reflexive methodologies of self-study research, narrative inquiry, and autoethnography.

The trajectory of her academic work has led to an original conceptualisation of “polyvocal professional learning”, which makes visible how dialogic encounters with diverse ways of seeing and knowing can deepen and extend professional learning.

This conceptualisation was developed in collaboration with Professor Anastasia P. Samaras and is the focus of their recently edited book, Polyvocal Professional Learning through Self-Study Research (Sense Publishers, 2015), which was nominated for the 2016 AERA Qualitative Research SIG Outstanding Book Award.

Pithouse-Morgan is lead author of a chapter in this book that received the South African Educational Research Association (SAERA) 2016 award for an outstanding peer reviewed publication. She has participated in S-STEP SIG activities since 2006 and served as Secretary of the SIG for 2012-2014. She is also the convenor of the Self-Reflexive Methodologies SIG of SAERA, which was established in 2014. 

Melissa Mungroo

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