Human Rights Education in Diversity (Religion, Culture and Gender) 

Subarea leader: Prof Shan Simmonds

Secundus: Dr Annamagriet de Wet

Vision
Human Rights Education in Diversity (Religion, Culture and Gender) addresses human rights in education as praxis with the emphasis on gender, belief systems and cultural diversity, contributing to human rights literacy and human rights education. The main aim is to develop sustainable strategies to assist educators to infuse a culture of human rights in diverse education contexts.

Objectives
The subarea aims to:

  • develop sustainable strategies to assist educators to infuse a culture of human rights in diverse contexts;
  • conduct cutting-edge research on matters regarding human rights, gender issues, belief systems and cultures in the context of education;
  • contribute to theory and transformative curriculum development;
  • establish a core research group to engage in collaboration to sustain and support the increasing need for research in this domain, and to engage in rigorous discourses on Human Rights Education in diverse contexts.

 

Legal Perspectives in Education 

Subarea leader: Prof Marius Smit

Secundus: Ms Cecile Eloff

Vision

Legal Perspectives in Education has as its central vision the determination of the theoretical and real impact of legal principles, provisions and developments pertaining to selected foci within the education sphere. The research centres on an extensive analysis of legal determinants that impact upon South African education: legislation, common law principles, court cases, academic literature and empirical data generated, establishing theory related to the security of educators and their democratic and employment rights. The research also includes an enquiry into current legal developments and the application of human rights and democracy in education with the aim to establish a theory of substantive democracy for education in South Africa.

Objectives
The subarea aims to research, analyse and evaluate the application of:

  • human rights from a legal perspective in order to develop theory and improve geborgenheit in the education system;
  • representative, deliberative and participatory democracy from a legal perspective in order to develop theory and improve geborgenheit in the education system;
  • Labour legislation in education to expand the body of scholarship related to the physical and psychological security of educators in the workplace; the law of delict in the education sphere, with a special focus on matters pertaining to delictual liability in school sport coaching;
  • legal principles with regard to technical education at schools and vocational training at tertiary institutions;
  • effective school governance and leadership in a developing democracy.

 

Social Justice in Education    

Subarea leader: Prof Johan Botha

Secundus: Dr Louise Postma

 

Vision
This subarea aims to explore and promote the realisation of social justice within (post-) conflict and diverse societies as it manifests in education.

Objectives
The subarea aims to:

  • engage, explore and understand social justice and human rights theory as it manifests in social justice in education;
  • configure networks and structures in education which bring together different education role players to explore and promote social justice;
  • determine strategies to address human rights violations and social injustices that will translate into the realisation of social justice in diverse education contexts.

 

Social Justice, Religion and Spiritual Capital 

Subarea leader: Prof Ferdinand Potgieter

Secundus: Prof Charl Wolhuter

Vision
Social justice in education: religion, spiritual capital and human rights investigate, on the one hand, the extent to which religiously diverse societies display a-social dispositions and conduct, and to what extent such dispositions and conduct are reflected and/or inculcated, promoted and elicited in education-related praxis. On the other hand, it also investigates, from the standpoint of a personal, positive responsibility, the phenomena of spirituality as well as diversity and (in)tolerance in order to contribute to positive societal life.

Objectives
The subarea aims to:

  • explore, investigate, identify and analyse theoretically, the nature and determinants that contribute to (in)tolerant religious practices and spirituality in education(al) settings;
  • explore, understand and explain possible theoretical solutions to the anticipated problem of religious (in)tolerance among people and within education systems;
  • explore, understand and explain possible theoretical solutions to the phenomenon of spirituality in teaching-learning environments and within education systems;
  • explore, understand and explain the role and place of social justice education as well as social capital with regard to religious (in)tolerance and spirituality practices in education(al) settings;
  • determine the extent of learners’, pre-service and in-service teachers’ ability to enhance a culture of spiritual capital and spirituality practices based on social justice in education and diverse educational contexts.

 

Public Schooling in Diversity 

Subarea leader: Prof Elda de Waal

Secundus: Dr Elize Küng

Vision

With Education and Human Rights in Diversity as the backdrop, Public Schooling in Diversity investigates specific legs of the octopus called “school” in legally strategic ways to advance successful public schooling. The most important aim is to signpost legally strategic action-oriented guidelines for creating purposeful, disciplined and safe/secure learning milieus that will allow teachers of diverse backgrounds to support learners of diverse backgrounds in developing into accountable and worthy citizens.

Objectives

The subarea aims to:

  • embrace and advocate fundamental rights of the education partners;
  • study learner best interests and teacher rights to discover a sense of balance;
  • explore strategies to advance school and classroom security;
  • investigate religious, cultural and language Catch-22s at school level to help prevent human rights violations;
  • consider pathways towards education partner accountability for teachers, parents and learners to back democratic education principles;
  • investigate public law indicators to suggest a basic framework of legal aspects that are significant towards advancing successful public schooling;
  • analyse court cases to discover the legal standards required for establishing public schooling that acknowledges diversity. 

 

Discipline in Education Institutions 

Subarea leader: Prof Connie Zulu

Secundus: Dr Joyce Dhlamini

Vision

Discipline in Education Institutions aims to understand and determine the reasons for and the nature of misconduct in education institutions, including public schools and tertiary education institutions, in order to find suitable ways to govern it so that a positive climate conducive to orderly teaching and learning can be achieved.

Objectives

The subarea aims to:

  • conduct cutting-edge research on issues of misconduct in education institutions from multiple perspectives:  learners, students, educators and parents, nationally and internationally;
  • contribute to social cohesion and transformation by providing guidelines for the development of policy and practice regarding misconduct in education institutions;
  • develop a repertoire of strategies for the governance of misconduct in schools and tertiary institutions;
  • establish national and international collaborative research networks for the purpose of advancing knowledge in the field of misconduct in education institutions.