Leonard Molefe

Degrees Held

  • PhD (Sci. Ed.), UCT 2011.
  • MPhil (Sci. Ed.), UCT 2003.
  • BSc (Ed.), NUL 1998.

Research Interests

  • Development of science process skills (SPS) and scientific knowledge beyond the classroom (e.g., through science projects).
  • Practical work in science: Scientific investigations and fieldwork in Environmental Education, Life Sciences and Natural Sciences.
  • Scientific skills (e.g., SPS) and processes (e.g., the scientific process/method) in Environmental Education, Life Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Teaching Interests

  • Methods and pedagogical innovations relevant to a discipline (e.g., Environmental Education, Life Sciences & Natural Sciences).
  • Practical work in science teaching.
  • Teaching climate change.
  • Teacher education: Teaching Environmental Education, Life Sciences and Natural Sciences, with particular reference to knowledge, skills and values.

Selected Publications

Community Involvements

  • (2021), Exploring STEM Education for 21st Century Citizenship (SECC21st) in the Mauritian and South African Contexts. The project is based on STEM Education in higher education. It entails three mini-projects that are focused on, (a) Conceptualization of N-N STEM education at national, regional and international levels, and critical analysis of how it (STEM education) is currently measured in the world; (b) Situational analysis on how SECC21st in Mauritius and South Africa (the S-S context) is different from the N-N context; and (c) the contextual factors that present barriers and opportunities to the SECC21st in Mauritius and South Africa.The project is coordinated by Mauritius Institute of Education and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Science and Technology Education Cluster.
  • (2020-present), Keep It Cool (KIC). The project is about climate change education (CCE). It entails material development, facilitation of teacher training and research. The project is coordinated by VVOB and Green Matter.Five South African universities (including the University of KwaZulu-Natal [UKZN]) are participating in the project. UKZN team had been contracted to produce KIC-CCE material for Geography and Natural Sciences.
  • (2019-Present), Assessing the Effectiveness of Mathematics and Science Education Initiatives in Schools: Why has South Africa not significantly moved the needle? The project seeks to explore the extent to which mathematics and science-based education initiatives have had a bearing on teacher and pupil performance in schools. The scale and scope of the project is merely to provide a measure of the extent of change resulting from multiple initiatives. The project is coordinated by National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI).The Reference Group on Mathematics & Science Education (NACI Sub-committee) provides an oversight of the project.

Teaching Expertise

  • The expertise entails teaching; coordination, development/refinement of material and resources (e.g., fieldwork- and laboratory-based worksheets, module guides & timetables, etc.); and module-based research.
  • Modules: Biological Sciences for Educators: EDBS220; Life Sciences Method 2: EDBS311; Ecological Studies: EDBS330 (starting semester 2 of 2021); Natural Sciences: EDNS110; Natural Sciences Method 2: EDNS311 (starting semester 2 of 2021); Science Toolbox: EDNS111; Life & Living:

Student Supervision