The 2021 HELTASA National Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) Colloquium coincides with the launch of a special issue in Education as Change on the theme of ‘Promoting Scholarship in ECP’.  As the 2020 HELTASA National Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) Colloquium could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academics were given the opportunity to submit abstracts for the special issue.  The articles in the collection were drafted and submitted during the second half of 2020.  During the 2021 HELTASA National Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP) Colloquium, delegates will have the opportunity to engage with some of the authors and have a glimpse of their articles.  Submissions cover various fields, for instance, Academic literacies, Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics Education and Post-humanist research.

THEME: Promoting scholarship in the extended curriculum programme

Scholarship in the extended curriculum programme (ECP) needs to be promoted, as there is still a paucity of academic contributions from the ECP sector, due to the casualisation and precarity that many academics employed on these programmes experience. These academics are also overburdened with large teaching loads, they do not have access to research funds or grants and are excluded from knowledge of how to set about becoming scholars in academia. It is only at a few institutions that ECP academics receive any mentorship with regard to pursuing further postgraduate qualifications and developing themselves as educators and scholars. This is because ECP is often located on the margins of academia, with the consequence of ECP academics not being fully integrated into academic life.

This special issue conceptualises scholarship in the broadest way, similar to Griffiths (2004) referring to teaching and learning, which is:

  • research-led (incorporating research into curriculum)
  • research-oriented (students are taught the process of research in the undergraduate curriculum)
  • research-based (the curriculum would be inquiry-based; students would research the subject matter rather than be given content);
  • research-informed (academics would be involved in researching their own pedagogical practice and basing it on prior research rather than “common sense”) (Griffiths, 2004).

In addition to this, the calls to decolonise the curriculum, both in how it is carried out and in the academic content, are also pertinent for promoting scholarship in the ECP programme. The links between ECP and modernist discourses of development need to be revisited and even ruptured, especially when they represent ECP as resolving a deficit or doing remedial work, without acknowledging the agency, potential, resilience or background of the ECP student. It is evident that the legacy of Bantu education in the Apartheid era is still felt and has created huge disparities between sections of the population. Yet, decolonising the curriculum invites us to be mindful of how we nurture future thinkers and leaders, without simply assimilating them into a mainstream system. The fourth development goal 2030 of the United Nations, which calls for inclusive education, is also important to consider in democratising scholarship to include both students and academics. This shifts the focus from students as research subjects to active participants in a joint inquiry.

The special issue sub-themes include:

  1. Multilingualism – How might students be encouraged to use their mother tongue to access and contribute to knowledge construction in extended curriculum programmes?
  2. How does multimodality work to contribute to socially just pedagogies and making knowledge more accessible in extended curriculum programmes?
  3. How do casualisation and precarity affect the academics who teach on the extended curriculum programmes and their ability to become scholarly in their teaching and research?
  4. How might scholarship of teaching and learning and inquiry-focused learning contribute to ECP students becoming producers rather than receivers of knowledge?
  5. How might indigenous knowledges be incorporated into extended curriculum programmes?
  6. How might decolonising the curriculum contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  7. How might effective tracking and monitoring of ECP students, using student data analytics, contribute to scholarship?
  8. What pedagogical and institutional practices would contribute to students and academics becoming scholars?

Focus and Scope of Education as Change
Education as Change (EAC) is an accredited, peer-reviewed scholarly online journal that publishes original articles reflecting critically on issues of equality in education and on the ways in which educational practices contribute to transformation in non-formal, formal and informal contexts. EAC’s Management Committee understands critique, mainly understood in the tradition of critical pedagogies, as a constructive process contributing towards a better world.

Contributions from and about marginalised communities, and from different knowledge traditions are encouraged. The articles could draw on any rigorous research methodology, as well as transdisciplinary approaches. Research of a very specialised or technical nature should be framed within relevant discourses. While specialised kinds of research are encouraged, authors are expected to write for a broader audience of educational researchers and practitioners without losing conceptual and theoretical depth and rigour. All sectors of education are covered in the journal. These include primary, secondary and tertiary education, adult education, worker education, educational policy and teacher education.

Guest editors
Vivienne Bozalek is an Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research, Teaching and Learning at Rhodes University. She holds a PhD from Utrecht University. Her research interests and publications include the political ethics of care and social justice, posthumanism and feminist new materialisms, innovative pedagogical practices in higher education, critical family studies and post-qualitative and participatory methodologies. Her most recent co-edited books include Theorising Learning to Teach in Higher Education with Brenda Leibowitz and Peter Kahn (2017), Socially Just Pedagogies: Posthumanist, Feminist and Materialist Perspectives in Higher Education with Rosi Braidotti, Tamara Shefer and Michalinos Zembylas (2018), Nancy Fraser and Participatory Parity: Reframing social justice in South African higher education with Dorothee Holscher and Michalinos Zembylas (2020).

Aditi Hunma is a senior lecturer at UCT. She is based in the Language Development Group in the Centre for Higher Education Development. Her research interests include innovative pedagogies to teach academic writing and the role of educational online spaces as transformative in unequal higher education contexts.

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