Browsing School of Education by Subject "Academic careers – South African black women"
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ItemTurning adversity into opportunity: A black woman’s journey into academia(Unisa, 2014) Ndlovu, Nokulunga S.This article is a contribution to the stories of black women educators working at schools and higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa as they have responded to a variety of challenges in their journeys into academia. It is an auto-ethnographic account in which the author has borrowed concepts from sociology to help her analyse her experiences in two educational fields or contexts (ie, a high school and a university) which have contributed to the constitution of a habitus characterised by resilience and assertiveness. In this auto-ethnography the author focuses on the challenges she has faced; how her habitus has informed the choices she has made in response to these challenges; and how, as she has tried to work out what actions to take, she has been able to survive in the sometimes trying circumstances presented by the fields. Her story is in three parts: (i) her experiences as a Zulu First Additional Language (FAL) teacher in a previously white suburban high school at which there were no materials available for teaching Zulu at this level; (ii) her largely positive experiences as a student in the Bachelor of Education (BEd) Honours degree programme which enabled her to respond to some of the challenges of the high school teaching context; and (iii) her experiences as a lecturer at the Wits School of Education (WSoE) with responsibility for teaching (successively) Zulu FAL and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education courses, while also undertaking research in the latter area – experiences in which the support of a mentor played a key role. The author concludes by making explicit the impact of the interactions between her habitus and her experiences in the two fields as she has made choices that have contributed to her on-going development as an academic. ItemWhat were they all about? Two questions that provoked different reactions and feelings(Unisa, 2014) Botha, Elizabeth MathakgaThe poor education and lack of exposure to literature for most blacks in South Africa makes it difficult of English Second Language (ESL) speakers to cope with the demanding expectations for engaging with the level of knowledge and skills required for working in higher education. Being black, being an ESL speaker, and having to work at a higher education institution (HEI), which privileges the use of English, have combined to shape the author’s identity in many ways. The author uses the theoretical framework of agency and ownership in this narrative to share episodes of her journey as a student and an academic. Perseverance and persistence enabled her to overcome the challenges she faced during her studies and to navigate the expectations in her academic career. The narrative is based on two questions: the one triggered action of agency, and the other evoked feelings of self-doubt and judgement. As a black woman and an ESL speaker, the article intends to share the author’s experiences associated with overcoming those challenges and celebrating her success against all odds.