Distinguished Teachers’ Award for Education Academic
Education academic, Professor Bheki Khoza, has received a UKZN 2020 Distinguished Teachers’ Award (DTA).
The award, which recognises teachers who have a favourable and lasting influence on students and display evidence of an educational impact beyond the classroom, is open to all who teach at UKZN and promote the importance of excellence in teaching at all levels.
‘I am humbled by the award which motivates me to continue with what I have been doing,’ said Khoza. ‘I feel the DTA confirms that whatever activities I have been part of in teaching, supervision, research, leadership, learning, and community, contribute significantly towards University development, personal development, and community/societal development.’
He says in his teaching, supervision, and research, he is responsive to student and academic, societal, and professional needs with his teaching, supervision, and research strategies including extensive support during and outside the contact lectures and supervision. ‘I always encourage students to discover their identities and in so doing understand their needs through studies, before they use their competencies to address the demands of their societies and professions.’
Khoza’s teaching and supervision processes are framed by identification and understanding of all the curriculum concepts which support the integration of various technologies into education. ‘Curriculum concepts include educational goals (aims, objectives, and learning outcomes), content, assessment (formative, summative, and peer), time, teaching environment with resources (hardware, software, and theories), teaching, and learning activities, grouping, as well as teacher with student roles and responsibilities.
‘Working with these curriculum concepts is essential for me as they help me to understand each student’s rationale or needs for learning, whether personal, societal, and/or professional. When I teach or supervise students I use one-on-one sessions to establish each student’s requirements before we sign the UKZN Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). If it is not possible for my students to attend a face-to-face session, we use Skype or ZOOM,’ added Khoza.
He believes that awards such as the DTA are important because they constantly demand that academics develop portfolios of evidence measuring their performance every year.
‘If the majority of academics perform well in all these activities, the University’s ranking improves, attracting sponsorship, scholarships, and quality students from various communities,’ he said. ‘The award also helps academics, through these activities, find and understand their personal, University, and community or societal identities, in order to address their personal, University, and societal needs.’
Khoza co-ordinates various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, while teaching and supervising postgraduate research in Education, Curriculum Studies, and Educational Technology. His papers have been published in local, national, and international journals. Publications focus on curriculum and educational technology issues, with a keen interest shown in the convergence of educational theory and technological platforms.
Words: Melissa Mungroo