Provoking ethical relationships

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Teachers often approach teaching and learning relationships by mimicking the way they were taught or the way they learnt, in a cycle where academics create images of themselves. In South Africa’s colonial and apartheid past, whiteness hegemony constructed and enabled the white, heterosexual male as the ideal, self - constraining and disadvantaging those who differed as ‘other’, creating injustices in which education was complicit. Rubbing against this grain, formal staff development can provide transformative learning spaces where unconscious assumptions and practices that privilege the status quo are excavated, and alternative teaching and learning relationships between teacher and student are re-imagined. In formal courses, for instance, facilitative roles can be modelled which provoke interactions that encourage ethical relationships between participants who differ in terms of their backgrounds, disciplines, races, gender, philosophical viewpoints and so on. Such critical ‘work’ is underpinned by a contextual mandate towards social justice and a philosophical stance which privileges difference as more than a pedagogical tool, but an ethical one.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-imagining academic staff development: spaces for disruption'
EditorsLynn Quinn
Place of PublicationStellenbosch
ISBN (Print) 978-1-920338-76-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • staff development
  • ethical relations
  • Derrida
  • reflection
  • adult education
  • educational development


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