Diffracting learning/teaching entanglements: A South African vice-chancellor’s perspective
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This chapter considers data from interviews conducted with eight vice-chancellors from both historically advantaged and disadvantaged higher education institutions (HEIs) in South Africa, as part of a larger national project on professional development of teaching and learning. It hones in on one particular interview which was a ‘hot spot’ and which ‘glowed’ (MacLure 2013) during data analysis. The perspective of vice-chancellors on learning to teach is important for providing insights into the broader context in which the process of learning to teach takes place. This is because it is vice-chancellors who are affected by both past and current policies and discourses, while also being pivotal in affecting and being affected by institutional enablements and constraints regarding learning to teach. The material discursive in terms of past and present sociopolitical discourses and policies, as well as access to resources, deeply affect learning to teach at both a systemic and institutional level. Vice-chancellors find themselves at the interface between these national and international discourses, policies, and practices as part of their specific university environments where these discourses and policies are enacted. These entanglements dynamically reconfigure learning to teach in higher education.