Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) <p>Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly articles and essays that describe, theorise and reflect on creative adn critical teaching and learning practice in higher (university) education continentally and globally. The editors welcome contributions that are challenge hegemonic discourse and/or reconfigure higher education teaching and learning. We invite and well-researched, whether they are analytical, theoretical or practice-based, as well as contributions that deal with innovative and reflective approaches to higher education teaching and learning. We are particularly interested in articles that have relevance to the South African educational context.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> The University of the Western Cape en-US Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL) 2310-7103 Editorial Carolina Guzman Laura Dison Copyright (c) 2023 Carolina Guzman, Laura Dison 2023-06-29 2023-06-29 11 1 i iv 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.683 Problematising the South African Higher Education inequalities exposed during the Covid-19 pandemic: Students’ perspectives <p>Former Rhodes University students, co-authors of this article, were engaged in a knowledge-making project during the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper is a product of that project, where participants deliberated on the inequalities in the education sector based on their experiences in their university. These were exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic. Using a decolonial theoretical lens, they present the experiences of students to critique university decisions at the time. They argue for a reconnection with the idea of the university as a public good, as an antidote to the neoliberal tendencies that perpetuate inequality in the sector. This requires a reconnection with its own students, and to collaborate with them to find strategies to deal with crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, a reconnection between the university and the school sector could lead to greater synergy and an easier transition between school and university.</p> Corinne Knowles Abongile James Lebogang Khoza Zikhona Mtwa Milisa Roboji Matimu Shivambu Copyright (c) 2023 Corinne Knowles, Lebogang Khoza, Abongile James, Milisa Roboji, Zikhona Mtwa, Matimu Shivambu 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 1 21 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.668 Towards understanding the influence of rurality on students’ access to and participation in higher education <p>This study examines the experiences of students from rural backgrounds in higher education in South Africa in order to foster more equitable access and participation. Edward Soja’s notion of spatial justice provides a platform for thinking about rurality and its impact on access and success in HE. Soja’s trialectical account means understanding rurality historically, spatially, and socially, and enables exploration of spatial inequalities based on the interplay between rurality and HE. Data was collected within an interpretive, qualitative, case study design through document analysis, interviews, and focus groups. The findings reveal the inequalities that students experience in HE due to their rural backgrounds and the fact that their experiences, abilities, and knowledges are neither acknowledged nor valued in the university, often by the students themselves. This study contributes to understandings of the historical, social, and spatial foundations of inequality in HE and charts future directions for policy and practice.</p> Hellen Agumba Zachary Simpson Amasa Ndofirepi Copyright (c) 2023 Hellen Agumba, Zachary Simpson, Amasa Ndofirepi 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 22 42 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.643 Learning-centred assessment validation framework: A theoretical exploration <p>Classroom-based assessment validation has received considerable critical attention and many conceptualisations have emerged. While these conceptualisations are helpful in advancing our assessment knowledge, there is a need for a more learning-oriented teacher assessment practice validation. This paper builds on previous validation theories and approaches to redefine the validity of classroom-based assessment in terms of practical, useful, and trustworthy interpretation and uses of classroom assessment in enhancing learning and teaching. Further, the paper sets relevant inferences and prioritises teachers as sources of evidence in assessment evaluation based on pragmatic principles and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. This explication is valuable in exploring a learning-centred validation approach for evaluating classroom assessment. The paper suggests practical principles for evaluating learning-oriented, teacher-based assessment. Lastly, the paper concludes by articulating implication of the approach in any contemporary assessment system. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Oluwaseun Ijiwade Dennis Alonzo Copyright (c) 2023 Oluwaseun Ijiwade, Dennis Alonzo 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 43 67 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.613 Teacher-team reflections on the quality and modes of thinking in Writing Intensive courses at the University of the Witwatersrand during the first year of the global COVID-19 pandemic <p>Writing Intensive (WI) courses depend on student engagement and continuous responses to student work. The sudden move to online learning in the face of COVID-19 presented profound challenges to this model. This is unsurprising since it is widely accepted that globally the quality of learning, particularly the acquisition of deep literacy, declined significantly throughout the pandemic (OECD, 2021; Garfinkle, 2020). This paper draws on the reflections of three course teams in different disciplines and follows the method pioneered by John Bean and Barbara Walvoord in the evaluation of writing programmes (Bean, et al., 2005). It mines iterative and comparative teacher team reflections but does not seek to provide quantitative data on ‘proof of impact’. From the evidence of these three courses, it is suggested that student learning and problem solving can be enhanced through the explicit teaching of the types of reasoning required, in these cases analogic, empathetic, and inferential. The argument is located within wider international arguments on the crisis of deep literacy and the work of The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on developing literacy skills in a digital world (OECD, 2021).</p> Pamela Nichols Avril Joffe Roshini Pillay Bontle Tladi Copyright (c) 2023 Pamela Nichols, Avril Joffe, Roshini Pillay, Bontle Tladi 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 68 95 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.583 Doctor who? Developing a translation device for exploring successful doctoral being and becoming <p>Doctoral training and education tends to focus on how to research and write a thesis, which can take many forms. However, a thesis is not the only valued outcome of a doctorate: the emerging Doctor is important too. Being and becoming a Doctor implies identity work and engaging affective dimensions of researcher development alongside researching and writing a thesis. These are not always explicit in doctoral education, though. Thus, we contend that their role in researcher development needs to be named, described, and understood. In this paper we use Constellations from Legitimation Code Theory to make visible two valued doctoral attributes and dispositions as exemplars. We have used published papers in the field of doctoral studies as data. Within increasingly diverse doctoral student cohorts, it is important to actively foreground the development of valued affective dispositions through doctoral education to enable more candidates to achieve success in their doctorates.</p> Sherran Clarence Martina van Heerden Copyright (c) 2023 Sherran Clarence, Martina van Heerden 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 96 119 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.618 Reimaging reflexivity through a critical theoretical framework: Autoethnographic narratives on becoming a (de)colonised researcher <p>The theory and practice of reflexivity need to be reimagined. In the increasingly globalised world of medical education research, critical perspectives and methodologies for honest, powerful, and just reflexivity are needed. Autoethnography offers a compelling methodological approach to reflexivity, for it interrogates self and interpersonal interactions within socio-cultural contexts through retrospective autobiographical storytelling. Southern theory, decoloniality, and intersectionality together framed critical reflections on power inequalities at personal, contextual, and epistemological levels, throughout the qualitative research process.&nbsp; Reflective questions informed by these theories are included to practically guide individuals in their reflexivity. We are collectively responsible for epistemically- and socially-just research, which means the disruption of normative and hegemonic (i.e., White, Western, Eurocentric, and colonial) research and reflexivity practices; and the development of ethical research that does not reproduce inequalities but welcomes and amplifies other ways of knowing, doing and being.</p> Danica Sims Copyright (c) 2023 Danica Sims 2023-06-27 2023-06-27 11 1 120 138 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.642 Karen Barad as Educator: Agential Realism and Education <p>Murris, K. 2022.&nbsp;<em>Karen Barad&nbsp;as Educator: Agential Realism and Education</em>. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore Ptd Ltd.</p> Petro Du Preez Copyright (c) 2023 Petro Du Preez 2023-06-29 2023-06-29 11 1 139 142 10.14426/cristal.v11i1.682