School of Education

Education Academic Receives Prestigious Research Award

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Professor Michael Samuel.
Professor Michael Samuel.

Professor Michael Samuel of the School of Education has been honoured with a research recognition award from the South African Education Research Association (SAERA).

The award is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding, distinctive contribution to education research.

Said Samuel: ‘I dedicate this award to all those fellow travellers on the journey of academic scholarship: each of you has helped me shape my thoughts, my research arguments and my resistance to ritualistic educational research. I was fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues, staff and students who helped disrupt our complacency with performativity cultures that value only superficial transformation goals. My joy is supporting young scholars to blossom into assertive academics.’

This award has ‘affirmed my campaign for a deep transformation that spans not only nationalistic democratic agendas but also questions how we position ourselves in developing a southern scholarship in dialogue with our international partners.

‘My soon-to-be 90-year-old dad has inspired the fabric of educational interests from my early years within our home and family,’ said Samuel. ‘His pride is embedded in our recognition of the family’s decades of educational struggles, which this award affirms. Hopefully, other scholars will be inspired to strive to contribute to excellence in distinctive scholarship.’

Samuel has served as a curriculum designer of innovative masters and collaborative doctoral cohort programmes locally and internationally.

He developed a research tool called The Research Wheel to assist the development of collaborative supervision in postgraduate education.

He has also been a member of the Ministerial Committee on Teacher Education assisting in the development of national teacher education policy in South Africa. He has also served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at UKZN. His research interest focuses on teacher professional development, higher education, life history and narrative inquiry.

His book: Changing Patterns of Teacher Education: Policy, Practice and Prospects, documents the status of teacher education nationally at the time of the new democratic era.

Another of his books, Life History Research: Epistemology, Methodology and Representation has inspired several studies of professional development in education and the health sciences.

A further book: Continuity, Complexity and Change: Teacher Education in Mauritius, explores the challenges and possibilities facing a small island in negotiating its presence in global and international discourse of comparative higher education and teacher education.

His 2016 book Disrupting Higher Education Curriculum: Undoing Cognitive Damage, explores options for imaginative redirection of higher education curriculum design.

He is also the recipient of the Turquoise Harmony Institute’s National Ubuntu Award for Contribution to Education.

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