How the Teaching Development Grant was used (and the problem of common-sense understandings of teaching and learning)

Keywords: Teaching development grant, University Capacity Development Grant, Academic Development


A professional qualification is required to teach at the primary and secondary level, but at the higher education level, all that is needed is content expertise. This may well contribute to South Africa’s low throughput and retention rates, in response to which, since 2004, the State has provided an amount of ZAR5.5 billion in the form of a Teaching Development Grant to address the slow completion rates. We present an analysis of the grant across the sector using a Social Realist framework. We suggest that many initiatives replicated issues identified in the literature as being of concern in that they rely on common-sense assumptions rather than theorised accounts. We also found that expertise in academic development was unevenly distributed. Given that the grant has continued, in the form of the University Capacity Development Grant, it is worth looking at how the grant has been used to ensure that future initiatives are effective.

Research Articles