School of Education

Dr Carol Bertram


  • Details

  • Position Senior Lecturer
  • Discipline Teacher Development Studies
  • CampusPietermaritzburg Campus
  • Office AddressRoom 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.


Recent Selected Publications



  • 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 Education. 20 (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.

Post Student Supervision

Graduated M.Ed students 2013 – 2016
Name Title of thesis
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


Graduated PhD students 2016- 2017
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