School of Education

Prof Carol Bertram

Prof Carol Bertram

AL: Education Studies


Associate Professor


Teacher Development Studies


Contact Number



Pietermaritzburg Campus

Office Address

Room 49, Education Building, PMB Campus

Degrees Held

  • B.Soc Sci (Psychology and History)
  • HDE (1993)
  • B.Ed (1996)
  • M.Ed (1999)
  • PhD (2009) (UKZN)

Research Interests

  • My interests are in the field of sociology of education, curriculum and knowledge structures particularly in the contexts of history education and professional learning of teachers.
    Teaching Interests: I teach on the Honours and the Masters’ TDS programmes in curriculum, teacher development, teacher learning and teacher knowledge.  I also supervise PhD students in these fields.

Selected Publications

  • Zulu, F.Q.B & Bertram, C. (2019) Collaboration and teacher knowledge in a teacher learning community: A case of mathematics teachers in KwaZulu-Natal province. South African Journal of Higher Education.
  • Mthiyane, C.C.N., Naidoo, J. & Bertram, C. (2019) Context matters: Heads of Department’s leadership practices in monitoring and supporting teachers in schools participating in Jika iMfundo. Journal of Education, 75, 65 – 76. doi:
  • Christiansen, I.M. & Bertram, C. (2019) Early schooling teachers’ learning from a formal teacher development programme in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development. 66, 78-87.
  • Kimathi, F. & Bertram C. (2019) How a professional development programme changes early grades teachers’ literacy. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 9 (11) DOI:
  • Bertram C. (2019) What is powerful knowledge in school history? Learning from the South African and Rwandan school curriculum documents. The Curriculum Journal. 30 (2), 125-143, DOI: 1080/09585176.2018.1557536
  • Bharath, P. & Bertram, C. (2018) Analysing historical enquiry in school history textbooks. Perspectives in Education, 36(1): 145-161 DOI:
  • Christiansen, I.M., Bertram, C. & Mukeredzi,T.G. (2018) Contexts and concepts: analysing learning tasks in a foundation phase teacher education programme in South Africa, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, DOI: 10.1080/1359866X.2018.1461804
  • Mukeredzi, T.G., Bertram, C. & Christiansen, I. (2018) Investigating teacher learning from a university programme for Foundation Phase teachers, South African Journal of Childhood Education 8(1), a524.
  • Bertram, C. (2016) Recontextualising principles for the selection, sequencing and progression of history knowledge in four school curricula Journal of Education, 60, 27-54.
  • Bertram, C., Christiansen, I. and Mukeredzi, T. (2015) Exploring the complexities of describing foundation phase teachers’ professional knowledge base. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 5(1): 169-19.
  • Rusznyak, L. and Bertram C. (2015) Knowledge and judgement for assessing student teaching: a cross-institutional analysis of teaching practicum assessment instruments. Journal of Education, 60, 31 – 62.
  • Bertram, C. and Wassermann, J. (2015) South African history textbook research: A review of the scholarly literature. Yesterday and Today.14, 151 -174.
  • Bharath, P. and Bertram, C. (2015) Using genre to describe progression of historical thinking in school history textbooks. Yesterday and Today.14, 76 – 98.
  • Mukeredzi, T., Mthiyane, N. and Bertram, C. (2015) Becoming professionally qualified: the school-based mentoring experiences of part-time PGCE students. South African Journal of Education, 35 (2). (reviewer role)
  • Bertram, C. (2014) Shifting discourses and assumptions about teacher learning in South African teacher development policy. Southern African Review of Education20 (1), 90 – 108
  • Bertram, C., Mthiyane, N and Mukeredzi, T. (2013) ‘It will make me a real teacher’: learning experiences of part time PGCE students in South Africa. International Journal of Educational Development. 33, 448 -456.
  • Bertram, C. (2012) Bernstein’s theory of the pedagogic device as frame to study history curriculum reform in South Africa. Yesterday and Today, 7, 1-22.
  • Bertram, C. (2012) Exploring an historical gaze: a language of description for the practice of school history. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 44 (3), 429 -442
  • Bertram C. (2011) What does research say about teacher learning and teacher knowledge? : Implications for professional development in South Africa. Journal of Education, 52, 3-26.
  • Bertram, C. and Bharath, P. (2011) Specialised knowledge and everyday knowledge in old and new Grade 6 history textbooks. Education as Change.15 (1), 63 -80.

Teaching Expertise

  • Research methods and design, curriculum, knowledge structures, teacher development, teacher knowledge, teacher professional learning.

Student Supervision

  • Shange, LPP Exploring the role of the District Teacher Development Centre in supporting teachers’ professional learning 2019
  • Mnguni, N Exploring the role of Peacedale District Teacher Development Centre in supporting teachers’ professional learning 2019
  • Thwala NPN Exploring how a District Teacher Development Centre supports teachers’ professional learning: a case study in Phumelela district 2019
  • Shange, N. Exploring the role of Sunshine District Teacher Development Centre in supporting teachers’ professional learning 2019
  • Hlabisa, S. Exploring the role of Ngotsha District Teacher Development Centre in supporting teachers’ professional learning 2019
  • Ngwenya, X An exploration of the influence of the Matric Intervention Programme on the professional identity of local and lead teachers.2019
  • Mahlaba, L. An Exploration of Three Rural Teachers’ Practices on the use of English as a Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) when teaching Geography.2018
  • Nzama, T. Ntombela, B. Makhathini, N. Kwela, N. Case studies of teacher learning from the Reading to Learn programme in primary schools 2018
  • Myende, SSS An exploration of clusters as Teacher Learning Communities for Grade 12 Geography teachers in the Inland Circuit 2017
  • Msomi, DM An exploration of teacher learning in grade 12 history professional development workshops 2017
  • Chetty. S. Exploring theory and practice in the National Certificate Vocational (NCV) in the Automotive Repair and Maintenance (ARM) course 2017
  • Makwara, V. Exploring teacher learning through the construction and use of teaching resources in an Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Co-supervisor Dr TG Mukeredzi) 2016
  • Govender, S A case study of informal learning of Foundation Phase teachers 2016
  • Laban, M. Teaching Shakespeare: Exploring the PCK and beliefs of teachers of English 2016
  • Mcaba, S. Exploring the knowledge base of Foundation Phase teachers regarding the teaching of language (co-supervisor Dr TA Mbatha) 2015
  • Nkosi, C. Exploring the quality of the SANBI teacher development workshops 2015
  • Rawhani, V. An analysis of the values in the Foundation Phase of the South African curriculum and their application in workbooks 2014
  • Mutereko, P Learning to Teach: The Experiences of Part – Time Post Graduate Certificate in Education Students 2014
  • N. Mxenge An Exploration of Teacher Learning in Life Sciences Cluster in Mpumalanga Province 2019
  • Bharath, P. An investigation into how Social Science textbooks develop progression in historical thinking. 2016
  • Zulu, FQB Teacher learning: A case study of two teacher learning communities in KwaZulu-Natal (Co-supervisor Dr TG Mukeredzi) 2017
  • Kimathi, F Professional learning of Foundation Phase teachers in the Advanced Certificate in Teaching (ACT) 2017