Dipane Joseph Hlalele

Degrees Held

  • PhD (Psychology of Education), University of the Free State, 2003
  • MA (Higher Education Studies), University of the Free State, 2008
  • MEd (Psychology of Education), University of the Free Sate, 1998
  • BEd, University of the Free State, 1996
  • BAEd, University of the North (Qwaqwa Branch), 1992

NRF Rating

  • C2, 2022-2027


  • August 1, 2020-Full Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • April 1, 2017-Associate Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • 2004- March 2017-Senior Lecturer, University of the Free State
  • 2010-2016-Assistant Dean, University of the Free State


  • 2016 Prolific Researcher in the Faculty of Education Award
  • 2014 & 2016 Vice-Rector’s Community-Engaged Research Award

Research Interests

  • Sustainable learning
  • Community Engagement
  • Inclusive Education
  • Rural Education

Teaching Interests

  • Inclusive Education: Theory and Practice
  • Children’s vulnerabilities
  • Critical Educational Psychology
  • Subjectivity and identity
  • Critical pedagogy and social justice education
  • Educational Psychology

Selected Publications

Research Projects

  • 2017-2019: National Research Foundation Grant-Community Engagement Funding Instrument, Project title: Community engagement in rural contexts: a relational leadership strategy, Grant No: 104869, Principal Investigator, Amount: R1 697 896.00
  • 2017-2018: National Research Foundation Grant-Community Engagement Funding Instrument, Project title: Sustainable urban-rural learning connections, Grant no: 104847, Co-investigator, Amount: R337 400.00
  • 2015-2016: Afromontane Research Unit Grant- Project title: Navigating vulnerabilities, building resilience and creating sustainable futures for the people of the AfromontanePrincipal Investigator, Amount: R38 000.00
  • 2014-2016: National Research Foundation Grant- Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers (CSUR), Project title: Sustainable rural learning ecologies, Grant No: 87694, Principal Investigator, Amount: R468 200.00
  • 2013-2014: National Research Foundation Grant- Community Engagement Funding Instrument (UKZN/UFS partnership), Project title: Adaptive leadership for community engagement and service learning, Grant No: 82616. Co-Investigator, Amount: R215 295.00

Community Involvement

  • 2017-2019, Project title: Community engagement in rural contexts: A relational leadership strategy, Short description: The purpose of this multidisciplinary and qualitative study is to propose a relational leadership strategy for community engagement in rural contexts. Relational Leadership finds relevance as an approach that seeks to work for positive change in organizations whilst observing inclusivity, processes, empowerment, ethics, and purposefulness (key elements of RL)
  • 2019-2022, Project title: Understanding the exclusion/inclusion conundrum in southern African education. Short description: The study documents and analyses narrative expressions of lecturers, student teachers, learners, teachers, and community members’ understanding of exclusion and inclusion in the southern African education system. Through maximum variation/heterogenous sampling, we randomly selected participants from the five groups in Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Critical Diversity Literacy was adopted as a theoretical lens.
  • 2014-2016, Project title: Sustainable rural learning ecologies. Short description: This qualitative study is both basic (seeks to know and understand) and critical (seeks to empower and change). Drawing from the interpretations and understandings of various stakeholders, and communities that have created their contemporary sustainable rural learning ecologies, we investigate how sustainable rural learning ecologies can be created.
  • Provides regular commentary on educational issues to LesediFM listeners on the current affairs programmes (LesediFM has 4 million listeners).
  • Chair: Human and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee.
  • 2016 Member: Research Team, Developing a Rural Education Framework, Department of Basic Education.
  • 2017 Member: Research Team, Developing National Standards for Inclusive Teaching, Department of Higher Education and Training and British Council.

Teaching Expertise

  • Introduction to Inclusive Education
  • Research Proposal development

Student Supervision