MESSAGE FROM THE UNIVERSITY
The primary mandate of the University’s education programmes is to prepare and provide teachers of the highest calibre for the school system in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and neighbouring countries; equip those with interest in community engagement with relevant scientific knowledge and skills and promote interest in and cultivate research proficiency as a precondition for developing a critical mass of scholars and researchers in the field of education.
Teaching a noble profession
Making teaching your career of choice is indeed a very wise decision. The cliché that teaching is a noble profession and mother of all professions is as true today as it was many years ago.
The vision of the University namely:
to be a leading African comprehensive university focusing on innovative educational, research and community partnership programmes that are responsive to local, regional, national development priorities, and cognisant of continental and international imperatives resonates appropriately with that of the Faculty namely, to be a leading faculty in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and neighbouring countries in the preparation and provision of teachers of the highest quality, with emphasis on teachers of Mathematics, Science and Technology as well as other critical school learning fields and in the upliftment of regional, provincial and national communities through appropriate community development interventions.
It is that portion of the broad spectrum of the mission of the University which refers to:
the provision of affordable, appropriate, career-focused and professional programmes that addresses rural development and urban renewal with primary emphasis on science, technology and development studies which resonates aptly with the mission of the Faculty namely, commitment to excellence in the provision of programmes for the initial professional education of teachers (pre-service) and continuing professional teacher development (in-service) which are geared towards equipping both future and serving teachers with relevant knowledge and skills of the highest quality, with emphasis on teachers of Mathematics, Science and Technology as well as other critical school learning (subject) fields.
Education’s four programme focus areas
In order to deliver on the above-mentioned mandates, the Faculty has identified four programme focus areas, namely:
- Initial Professional Education of Teachers (IPET)
- Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD)
- Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MSTE) and
- Social Sciences and Development Studies (SSDS).
- The vicious cycle of low quality performance in school and university Mathematics, Science and Technology
- A problem-based model for teacher education at WSU
- Infusion of HIV/Aids in teacher education programmes
- An investigation into the nature, scope and significance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems
- Striking a balance between Professional Content Knowledge (PCK), Academic Content Knowledge (ACK) and School-Based Experience (SBE) in IPET teacher education programmes
- Development challenges of rural – urban communities.
A dedicated School for the preparation and provision of Mathematics, Science and Technology teachers namely, the School of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education was established in order to capture and articulate the prioritisation of the preparation and provision of Mathematics, Science and Technology teachers in the vision and mission of the Faculty as well as in the legislation which established Walter Sisulu University as a comprehensive university.
School of Continuing Professional Teacher Development
There is an incontrovertible relation between pre-service and in-service education of teachers inasmuch as the two supplement and complement each other in many ways. Indeed, one cannot exist without the other. The University offers several undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education programmes.
The School of Initial Professional Education of Teachers (IPET) comprises all programmes which are designed for the initial preparation and provision of teachers for the school system, excluding teachers of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
Social Sciences and Development Studies addresses an indispensable field of study in higher education namely, a scientific investigation into human nature, human interaction and development. The study of such social sciences as sociology, anthropology, political studies, criminology and administration of criminal justice and so on cannot be underestimated.
Education’s priority research niche areas
Notwithstanding a great demand for research activity and development in all fields of education study, a few priority research niche areas have been identified.