Clinical Sociologist Addresses the Boys2men Leadership Initiative Conference in Durban
Clinical Sociologist and UKZN academic Dr Mariam Seedat-Khan delivered a keynote address at the Boys2Men Leadership Initiative Conference hosted in Durban by the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA).
The aim of the Conference was to positively influence 47 young boys, enhancing their knowledge and assisting them to become good citizens; as well as assets to their families, communities and the country.
Seedat-Khan, who spoke on how the young men should be ‘Managing Academic Related Tasks’, examined some of the key skills required and issues that both educators and students face in a post-apartheid South Africa.
Her paper was part of a clinical sociology intervention that helps learners understand how to process and output information for assessments.
Seedat-Khan’s presentation was aimed at improving the students’ learning processes by focusing on their learning style, attention span, confidence, information processing and eye-brain connection.
In the interactive session, Seedat-Khan provided the boys with tools to assist them in improving and enriching the learning process. ‘Within South African society the gap between the rich and the poor is vast and separates us at the outset into those who will have the resources to succeed and those who will be left behind due to financial limitations.
‘Both as academics and educators it becomes our responsibility to address these challenges head on in the classroom and place all students at the starting line together,’ she said.
Seedat-Khan believes that learning is a process that can only succeed if the student being taught feels they have the potential to achieve the desired results and outcomes.
Discussing factors that affect learning in schools, she identified how the lack of resources and the shortage of teaching staff and how various school system strategies could be put in place to tackle these problems.
‘It is essential at this point that we consider a learning style assessment at the beginning of each year. This way teachers and specialists can begin to plan, integrate and use effective techniques for learners that help them achieve academically,’ she said.
Seedat-Khan advised those in the audience to meet their own challenges in an academic environment by reinforcing the basic skills that she equipped them with to ensure positive outcomes.
‘These principles if followed carefully and diligently guarantee successful outcomes over and over again. Remind yourself to integrate these steps every time, until they become habitual. With success as students we become successful in our careers and these success factors develop along a continuum throughout one’s life.’