Academic Staff Development, Culture, Resistance


Higher education institutions and specifically lecturers must stay pertinent and informed of the changes in the academic world. The necessity for staff development programmes in higher education institutions is in accordance with the acknowledgment that transformation for academics is crucial and they need to continually consider their practices to stay pertinent in their disciplines and in teaching and learning issues. Using Karl Marx critical theory, this article explores some dialogue that build lecturers’ assertiveness towards teaching and learning in their fields of study. It strives to explore academics' struggle to engage in initiatives on professionalising academic training. Lecturers might interpret academic staff development initiatives as dictatorial and these result in unwanted consequences for both academics and the institution. The study used the 2017-2018 Campus academics statistics on Academic Staff Development (ASD) workshops to sample participants. Questionnaires were sent through google docs to 80 participants. The findings show that there is resistance to undertake professional development courses because of departmental cultures and traditions are detrimental to academic staff development; workload; undervaluing teaching and learning; workshop emphasis on the theoretical features of teaching than practical examples as well as lack of motivation and incentives among others. A well-planned and continuous ASD creates better impact on encouraging and professionalising academics on innovative pedagogies.


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Author Biographies

  • Zwelijongile Gaylard Baleni, Walter Sisulu University
    Manager Academic Staff Development Directorate of Learning & Teaching Walter Sisulu University
  • Clever Ndebele, Walter Sisulu University
    Senior Director - Learning & Teaching Directorate


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