Caleb Mandikonza


Caleb Mandikonza

BSc (Hons) Biosciences (UZ); PGCE (UZ); PGDE (UZ); MEd.(RU)

Dissertation title: Exploring Competencies, Change – Oriented Learning and Agency in a Regional Teacher Professional Development Programme’s Change Projects

Caleb Mandikonza completed his PhD studies at the Environmental Learning and Research Centre. Teacher academic professional development is at the heart of his interests and especially in the fields of in Environment and Sustainability Education and Science Education.

His current PhD research sought to understand how one professional development course, the Rhodes University/ SADC International Certificate in Environmental Education course influenced teacher education practice. The course was implemented through a long assignment, the change project, which involved the institution, colleagues, the community of practice and learning interactions during an on-course phase. The research was conducted by following up course participants in two case institutions this research through their assignment submissions during the on-course phase, observations during their context of practice and interviews, in order to establish how they implemented the change project in and part of their practice.  Understanding of the notion of Practice was guided by Bourdieu (1998) and Kemmis (2009). The realist social theory of “morphogenesis” by Margaret Archer (1995) was used as a lens to look into teacher education practice and ascertain whether the course had any influence on practice of participants. The study revealed that course mediation in communities of practice enabled teacher educators to transcend their teacher education practices and capabilities for mainstream environment and sustainability education. 

Caleb’s other interest lies in indigenous knowledge practices which he views as providing the backbone of knowledge-skills that learners have when they get to learn conventional classroom knowledge. He advocates an exploration of the baggage of what learners know and bring to class in order to successfully use tools available for the learner to expand the zone of proximal development during any mediation of learning. 

Caleb has been involved with tutoring a first year augmentation course in Cell Biology and Zoology. He was able to use his understanding of mediation to help first year biology students to develop skills that enable them to engage with tertiary work in their discipline. In addition, Caleb was involved with facilitating an Assessment course for university lecturers in South Africa, through the Centre for Higher Education Research Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. During the course sessions, the notion of mediation always guided his practice. 

Caleb was offered and took up the Advocacy and Senior Researcher for the Fundisa for Change Programme.

Keywords: Teacher professional development; Change project; Agency; Capabilities; Mediation; morphogenesis; practice
Supervisors: Prof Heila Sisitka and Prof. Rob O’Donoghue


Last Modified: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:38:32 SAST