The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Centre for General Education in partnership with the International Centre of Non-Violence (ICON) recently hosted Professor Liezille Jacobs, the Head of Department of Psychology, at Rhodes University for a reflective workshop titled: “Blurred Boundaries and Social Identities”.
The reflective workshop was aimed at academics reflecting on how their roles shifted during the heart of the pandemic, and how these are shifting again as they navigate going back to face-to-face teaching and learning. Drawing on her philosophical stance of being a constructivist, collaborative, and reflective; Prof Jacobs shared her experience of navigating her different identities of being in the classroom (virtually, and now in-person), and leading staff in her department.
The workshop provided a space for participants to reflect on how they can rethink not just what they are doing (i.e., teaching), but also how they are doing it, especially as they transition back to face-to-face teaching and learning. Participants in the workshop reflected on the following question, regarding the return to what is deemed ‘normal’ post the height of COVID-19: “what if we don’t go back, what if we move forward?”. This is a timely reflection for the Centre, with the Centre having recently completed its strategic planning session, and as part of this process developing a new vision and mission for the Centre.
Giving practical tips Prof Jacobs emphasised that, in navigating the different identities that academics have, boundaries are both important and healthy. She reminded the participants that not having and maintaining healthy boundaries may lead to unnecessary conflict. In addition, Prof Jacobs encouraged participants to be reflective and make time to journal.
“This is an important process of recording key learning for oneself, as you navigate their different identities and the move back to face-to-face teaching and learning,” she said.
Pictured: Rhodes University’s Professor Liezille Jacobs.
Copy supplied by the Faculty of Arts and Design.