International acclaimed academic and mathematics strategist Professor Bal Chandra Luitel provided interesting insights and an engaging platform during the official first day of the Higher Education Learning and Teaching Conference Association of Southern Africa organized by DUT and held at Coastlands Umhlanga.
Prof Bal Chandra who is hailed as a transformative education researcher presented his cutting-edge research in the education conference that commenced on Tuesday, 22 November 2017. The respected scholar employs multi paradigmatic research designs for portraying the systematic problem of mathematics and science.
The Nepal born academic presented his research project titled ‘Developing Education Research for Transformative Professional Development: A Case of Postgraduate Education Research Programme for a Greater Good’ a topic that draws upon the activists view of teacher education. Prof Bal Chandra’s presentation radically challenged the limit of positivistic research that inherits many exclusionary epistemic practices among researchers.
“These epistemic practices are such as value neutrality, context – insensitive research design and an un-reflexive research enterprise. In this process, I share how a multiparadigmatic research design enables researchers to develop themselves as politically, ethically and epistemologically astute educational practitioners,” Prof Bal Chandra explained to delegates.
He made an example of Kathmandu University where he is a Professor of Education and told delegates that the long standing assumptions about educational research and practice can be addressed through a well – developed graduate research programme that enables practitioners to cultivate a host of educational perspectives.
“This well-developed graduate programme must smooth the progress for practitioners to interrogate their deep – seated values, beliefs and practices about what count as ‘good’ education. They must construct empowering visions for their profession as teachers, teacher educators and educational researchers, “said Bal Chandra.
The delegates converged to stimulate the important critical and creative discourse covering higher education, diversity and social justice. The HELTASA conference provided an opportunity for different stakeholders in the higher education sector to interrogate and respond to the current challenges facing the sector. The conference brought to the fore academic conversations on the greater purpose of higher education and what do the changing landscape and the impact of these developments have on institutions, students and other key role-players in the sector. They were also different subthemes which were deliberated in different commissions.
The four-day conference was organized by DUT’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
Professor Thengani Ngwenya CELT’s Director said as higher education teachers and researchers they are called upon to engage in a rigorous and systematic reappraisal of what institutions teach. He added that South Africa needs to review its Higher Education funding mechanisms and foster a culture of inclusivity.
“These broad themes should allow us to adopt wide-ranging theoretical and practical approaches to issues of decolonization and cultural alienation resulting from what our students see as a disjuncture between what they are taught in our universities and their own views and experiences as South Africans,” said Ngwenya.
Pictured: Respected academic and researcher Professor Bal Chandra Luitel sharing his cutting-edge research with delegates attending the HELTSA Conference organized by DUT.