Ronicka Mudaly

Ronicka Mudaly

Ronicka Mudaly

Degrees Held

  • B Paed (Science)
  • B Ed (Honours
  • M Ed
  • D Ed


Research Interests

An emerging research nexus area where social justice, education in general and science education in particular, intersect, is captured by my publications, research projects and conference presentations. This is an interdisciplinary field, and I address the following issues using a social justice lens: gender, transformative environmental education, alternative knowledge systems, and decolonizing the curriculum, as these apply to science education in particular and education in general. My publications are used to advance discourses related to human emancipation by making visible oppressive constructs, with a view to changing these.

Teaching Interests

The outcomes in my modules resonate with calls for a humanistic approach to education, as well as with goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030 to improve ourselves through creativity, and to promote an active citizenry capable of addressing poverty and deprivation.  Students cultivate school gardens for food security, health and nutrition in order to achieve these outcomes. I encourage pre-service teachers to adopt a humanist approach to science teaching and to enable learners and their communities to become self-reliant, and this articulates with the NDP Vision 2030 for communities to be self-sufficient. The theory of cultural production underpins this activity, because pre-service teachers are taught to empower impoverished communities through food gardening, for example, and simultaneously leverage knowledge from their communities.

Teaching Expertise

  • Postgraduate honours module: Teaching and learning in Science and Mathematics Education 2;
  • Postgraduate honours module: Curriculum Development in Science and Mathematics Education
  • Undergraduate content module: Life Sciences for Educators 340
  • Undergraduate pedagogy module: Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Natural Sciences 211

Community Involvement

  • (2020 to present) Exploring ‘STEM Education for 21st Century Citizenship (SECC21st)’ in the Mauritian and South African Contexts. I am Principal investigator and the lead coordinator. I was nominated by the Cluster Leader in 2020 to lead this international collaborative project. I schedule meetings, chair meetings and conceptualised the main and sub-projects.  I developed the modus operandi to guide the principles for working on this collaborative venture. I present work to deepen understanding of key concepts. All except two members (who are busy with PhD study) of the Science and Technology Cluster are actively engaged in this collaboration.
  • (2019 to present) Exploring possibilities for decolonizing Science and Mathematics Education Curricula. I am the Principal Investigator on the project and was awarded R744 000 by the National Research Foundation in lieu of this project.
  • (2021 to present) Education chapter of Country Report on Covid-19. Appointed by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) to write the Education Chapter of the Country Report on the measures implemented by the South African government to combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa (2020-2021).
  • (2020-2022) Keep It Cool (KIC) Climate Change Education project funded by a Belgian NGO, to the value of R800 000, under the auspices of the national Fundisa For Change programme. I collaborated with colleagues from UKZN to develop lesson plans for practicing teachers in the KIC project. Constructing solar ovens, food preservation and turning these into business opportunities, are among the focus areas of the project. The teaching strategy focuses on the model where Locally Relevant Teaching (LORET) offers teacher teams a step-by-step procedure to plan locally relevant, sustainable development teaching that is adapted to local needs. Skills for sustainability, as these relate to Infrastructure, Transport, Energy, Finance, Clean air, Innovation, Water and Food Security and Leadership, are emphasised.
  • (2015-2018) Exploring support seeking behaviours of male undergraduate students at UKZN. I was the lead researcher on the project and was awarded R100 000 by the UTLO in lieu of this project.
  • (2012-2016) Exploring learning and teaching methodologies in ethno-botany and integrating these in Life Sciences and Natural Sciences Education Higher Education curricula. UTLO funded.  Project leader: Professor R Mudaly. Other members: Drs N Govender, A James.
  • (2016-2018) Students’ understanding of what it means to be self-regulating learners of science and technology: a study of pre-service and in-service teachers at a South African university (HSS/1052/012). This is a Cluster project and is unfunded.
  •  (2016-2018) Exploring the integration of Science, Technology and Indigenous Knowledges (STIK) embedded in farming practices into university education curricula with regard to environmental sustainability and climatic change. Project leader: Prof N Govender. Other members: Prof R Mudaly and Dr A James
  • (2016-2019) Women Academics: A South African Story. This is a national project and is funded by the NRF. Project leader: Professor V Pillay (UP).
  • (2020-present) Designing and Evaluating the new B Ed curriculum to empower pre-service science teachers to develop positive beliefs, attitudes, knowledge and skills about practical work: A longitudinal study. Cluster project

Selected Publication

Student Supervision