In November I was very fortunate to participate in the International Consortium for Educational Development (ICED) conference in Cape Town (thanks boss!). I presented some of the thinking that Tai Peseta and I have been doing around students as partners. You can see our abstract here iced-2016-abstract, and we plan to publish a full paper at some stage. The session was well attended, which is a bit of a lottery at a big conference with lots of parallel sessions.
The conference’s keynote speakers were a highlight – particularly Joan Tronto, Achille Mbembe and Michalinyos Zembylas. I’ve linked to their conference think pieces, and have been inspired to read more of their work. I also particularly enjoyed the presentation by Vivienne Bozalek and colleagues on ‘diffractive’ methodology. The talk by Ellen Hurst on ‘translanguaging’ in the classroom and in assessment was eye opening . I really appreciated Vanessa-Jean Merckel’s honesty in discussing how she and her students learn about social justice. Roisin Kelly-Laubscher, Moragh Paxton, Samukele Mashele & Ziyanda Majombozi presented their findings about South African first generation students. They are contributing a chapter to a book I’m co-editing called Understanding Experiences of First Generation University Students, to be published by Bloomsbury in early 2018 – can’t wait!
The conference organisers did an amazing job during a very difficult time of the #feesmustfall and the #rhodesmustfall protests. The morning keynote sessions were at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Baxter Theatre (loved the architecture). The original plan was then to have the parallel sessions on the UCT campus, but due to the possibility of the campus being closed by protests, we instead hopped on buses to go the parallel sessions in two nearby hotels.
The conference dinner was at the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens. At the dinner ICED’s journal, the International Journal for Academic Development (IJAD), awarded its best paper for 2015. There’s free access to the paper here, as well as the runners up. I’m one of the new co-editors of the HERD journal, and wonder if an ‘article of the year’ might be of interest to the HERD readership…
It was just a short trip but I did a short ‘hop-on, hop-off’ bus tour, and stayed in airbnb accommodation near UCT, which was a great way to get some insight into local life. The after-effects of apartheid, some 22 years on, are still apparent and confronting. After the trip I read Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime, which I highly recommend for its very personal and vivid insights into life under- and post-apartheid.