Dr Wilma van Staden

Dr Wilma van Staden
E-Learning Specialist 


Contact details
Email: w.vanstaden@ru.ac.za


BSc(UNISA), BSc Honour (Environmental Sciences) (North-West University), MSc. (Environmental Management) (North-West University), PhD (Rhodes University)


Short Biography 

Wilma has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Botany and Microbiology, a BSc and a Master’s degree in Aquatic Ecology (Environmental Management). Her post-graduate research focused on aquatic ecology and the limnology of freshwater bodies on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. The title of her PhD thesis is: van Staden, W. (2018). Thesis: A review of Climate-Smart Agricultural system innovation in two Agricultural Colleges in the North-West Province of South Africa.

Wilma’s career in environmental education started when she became an agricultural teacher in 2012 after completing her MSc. She became interested in sustainable agricultural education and joined the ELRC in 2015. She continued to teach until 2021. Wilma started her work in ESD e-learning pedagogy, course and resource development through involvement in the Amanzi for Food and Sustainability Starts with Teachers projects



Wilma’s research is founded on sustainability, agriculture and environmental education. However, since Covid, her research shifted to ESD digital learning platforms and framework development and the digital pedagogical principles needed for transformative co-engaged active learning founded on ESD. At the moment she is involved in a number of research programmes as part, particularly as the online course developer and researcher in the Amanzi for Food, Sustainability Starts with Teachers (SST) and Fundisa for Change teacher capacity-building programme. Across these programmes, broad research interests include transformative social and digital learning; indigenous heritage, ESD knowledge uptake through course-activated processes, the development and functioning of ESD Learning Network, and teacher educator and teacher professional development.


Teaching and learning 

Wilma taught at primary, secondary and tertiary school levels for 18 years, where she was also involved in teacher training. Currently, she is at Rhodes University involved in the development, implementation and training of in-service and out-service courses at NQF Level 5 & 6, certificate and capacity-building programmes for teacher educators. Her main focus is the development and implementation of digital learning platforms for trainers of trainers integrated with indigenous heritage knowledge, ethical land care and sustainable development topics such as climate change and climate-smart agriculture.


Recent Publications 

Van Staden, W. 2022. Supporting the successful implementation of e-Learning in the South African Public Sector. International Journal of Distance Education and E-Learning (IJDEEL) Volume VII – Issue II (June 2022)

Van Staden, W. 2021 Impact of Digitization on TVET in Africa. Digitization, new qualifications and competencies in African countries. Centre for Researching Education and Labour. The University of the Witwatersrand. Preliminary Literature Review for UNESCO-UNEVOC

Van Staden, W. and Moore, D. 2021 PSETA Research Report. E-learning assessment framework for the public service sector. Available at: https://www.ifundisa.com/pseta-e-learning-publications

Van Staden, W. 2020 Climate Responsive Innovation within the Agricultural Curriculum and Learning System Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, Vol. 36: 73-87 Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa DOI 10.4314/sajee.v36i1.6 ISSN 2411–5959

Van Staden, W. 2020. Climate smart innovation tool: An Approach to review the climate responsiveness and innovation practices of the Agricultural Curricula Southern African Journal of Agricultural Vol. 48 No. 1, 2020: 42 - 54 http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2413-3221/2020/v48n1a525

Van Staden, W. 2018. A review of Climate-Smart system innovations in two Agricultural Colleges in the North West Province in South Africa. Doctoral thesis for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Education, Rhodes University supervised by Prof Heila Lotz-Sisitka and Prof. Rob O’Donoghue. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/10962/63426

Van Staden, W., Lotz-Sisitka, H. & O`Donoghue, R. 2018. Climate-smart innovation tool. A curriculum innovation support tool for the agricultural learning systems. Grahamstown, Rhodes university environmental learning research center. Isbn: 978-0-86810-644-1 available at: http://amanziforfood.co.za/csit-resources/

Lotz-Sisitka, H, Pesanayi, T. and van Staden, W. 2017. Amanzi for Food: Developing a social learning network approach to knowledge dissemination and uptake in the agricultural learning system, focusing on the management, use and conservation of water for small-scale farming and household food production.

Lotz-Sisitka, H., Pensanayi, T, Weaver, K., Lupele, C., Sisitka, L., O’Donoghue, R., Sithole, P., van Staden, W., Mabeza, C., Denison, J. and Phillips, K. 2016. Water use and food security: knowledge dissemination and use in agricultural colleges and local learning networks for homestead food gardening and smallholder farming. WRC Report no. 2277/1/16. ISBN 978-1-4312-0852-4

Lotz-Sisitka, H. 2021 Sustainability Starts with Teachers Course Report compiled for UNESCO.

Lotz-Sisitka, H., van Staden, W., de Sousa, B., Chetty, P. and Mponwana, M. 2022. Sustainability starts with teachers Communication report compiled for UNESCO.

Lotz-Sisitka, H., van Staden, W., de Sousa, B. and Chetty, P. 2022. Sustainability Starts with Teachers ARTP Course Formative Evaluation and Annual Progress Report: 2021

Van Staden, W. 2012. A limno-ecological study of the freshwater algal genera of Marion Island sub-Antarctica. Masters dissertation for the Degree of Masters in Science Department of Environmental Management, North West University supervised by Prof. Valdon Smith (Stellenbosch University).

Van Staden, W, S Jansen van Vuuren, VR Smith & JU Grobbelaar. 2010. The freshwater algae, excluding diatoms of Marion Island. 36th Annual Conference of the South African Association of botanist (SAAB). 11 January 2010, South Africa

Taylor J, Archibald C, Van Staden W & Van Rensburg L. 2010. A re-examination of the type material of Cymbella Kappii (Bacillariophyceae). Polish Botanical Journal 55 (1): 119-126..


Last Modified: Fri, 16 Sep 2022 11:32:55 SAST