Item Open AccessReflective learning in training mental health practitioners(University of the Free State, 2010) Roos, Vera; Kitching, AnsieEnglish: This article explores the critical, collective reflections that promoted the learning process. Action research has been applied to gather data by means of observation, individual interviews and video recordings. Learners and facilitators co-constructed a containing environment while engaging in reflective discussions. Learning processes involved the modelling of interactions, the development of shared values and the creation of safe spaces. The learning community developed from a position where they mainly complained about challenges to a co-operative position in which they explored alternative ways to promote the shared purposes of the learning community, as well as the communities in which they have engaged. Item Open AccessCritical reflections on collecting class attendance registers in large psychology classes(University of the Free State, 2010) Thatcher, Andrew; Rosenstein, David; Grootenhuis, Geertjie-Kieke; Haiden, GillianEnglish: The general impression among academic staff is that non- attendance of lectures is adversely affecting students’ academic performance. This study reflects on the impact of using data collectors to collect data on lecture attendance. It focuses on some of the important issues that emerged when collecting data on class attendance by means of class registers. These issues are discussed in light of possible implications for the larger research project and in terms of the academic endeavour. This article concludes with suggestions for improving the data collection process that might prove useful for other researchers wishing to work in this area. Item Open AccessTeaching for transformation: the use of narrative metaphor to develop reflexive professionals(University of the Free State, 2010) Sliep, YvonneEnglish: This article emphasises the importance of developing critical reflexivity in professionals. Higher education in South Africa is still shaped by socio-economic and political inequalities. This article suggests that transformative teaching practices can respond to the challenges resulting from such inequalities by making use of narrative metaphor. Narrative metaphor embraces the power of stories in teaching and learning through experience-based, constructivist pedagogy. Transformative teaching and learning connects new knowledge with lived experience, resulting in an on-going construction and reconstruction of personal, professional and contextual narratives. Knowledge is thereby co-constructed and participants become part of actively shaping the context in which they live, study and work. Item Open AccessCreating a culture of thinking? Reflections on teaching an undergraduate Critical Social Psychology course(University of the Free State, 2010) Kiguwa, Peace; Canham, HugoEnglish: This article is a retrospective reflection on the experience of teaching a newly introduced third-year Critical Social Psychology course at the University of the Witwatersrand. Student evaluations and course presentation are discussed in order to critically reflect on the implications, if any, for nurturing critical thought and practice in students’ work. While considering the content, structure, assessments and presentation of the course, this article examines the teachers’ own learning and development of professional identity as teaching practitioners. Using Freire and Foucault’s approaches to a critical pedagogy, the article highlights the importance of interrogation of student-teacher relations, as well as knowledge production in general. Item Open AccessIn search of a metaphor for the ever-eluding obligation of academic publishing(University of South Africa, 2010) Hoffman, LyzetteEnglish: Universities have an obligation to serve the community in producing knowledge. In addition, the investment of the government in tertiary education in the form of subsidies should be repaid by furthering scientific research. Publication of academic articles is one of the most important ways to communicate research and knowledge produced. Yet more than two years elapse before a researcher’s article is published. Publication pitfalls and possible solutions for optimising publishing of academic articles were investigated in a roundtable discussion. A metaphor is suggested to better understand and manage academic publication. Item Open AccessFacilitating the emancipation of the learner(University of the Free State, 2010) Van Deventer, VasiEnglish: Learner independency focuses on the learner’s ability to take responsibility for and to manage his/her learning processes. But this conceptualisation lacks an important component, namely the consideration of the learner’s movement towards becoming an emancipated learner, demonstrating a high degree of agency with a thorough meta-cognitive grasp of the quality of his/her actions. This article presents a theoretical basis for the process of learner emancipation and describes a model for conceptualising such processes. The model operationalises learning in terms of learner actions. Learner action is considered a function of theorising and practice, and four classes of learner action are distinguished, namely the actions of a consultant, a theorist, a practitioner and an entrepreneur. Examples from existing courses in Psychology illustrate how the core tenets of the model can be operationalised in practice. Item Open AccessTowards an appropriate pedagogy for community psychology: the University of South Africa experience(University of the Free State, 2010) Fourie, Eduard; Segalo, Puleng; Terre Blanche, MartinEnglish: This article describes a new approach to teaching community psychology. Rather than attempting to “transmit” a body of knowledge, students’ intellectual and creative abilities are drawn upon to recruit them for the project of “re-imagining” communities and community psychology. The article describes the development and implementation of new courses at second- and third-year, as well as honours levels. Students are encouraged to move from experience to theory, rather than from theory to experience, in order to develop their own authentic voice in contributing to the sub-discipline, and to become part of a collaborative network of community psychology students and practitioners. Item Open AccessThe textbook as conversational partner(University of the Free State, 2010) Bakker, Terri; Eskell-Blokland, Linda; Ruane, IlseEnglish: Undergraduate teaching in psychology relies heavily on textbooks. Once the text- book has been selected, lecturers tend to relax. Modern textbooks include ready-made slides and test banks. All the information the student needs to know is thus packaged, illustrated, colourful and ready. This article questions whether learning is a mere transfer of the contents of the textbook to the student’s mind. It would be more benefical if academics could view knowledge and learning from a postmodern, social constructionist perspective. This would imply a view of learning as a conversation rather than a linear process. This article proposes to take the ‘text’ out of the textbook and to engage with it together with other texts such as tests, class material and conversations in a larger context.