University of Pretoria's Faculty of Education announces new senior appointments

According to Professor Irma Eloff – Dean of the Faculty of Education, the new appointments will reinforce the Faculty’s reputation on excellence in research and innovation and also to ensure that its study programmes are at the cutting edge of teacher development.

“We have a significant contribution to make in terms of excellence in teacher training and education in South Africa,” she said.

Prof Eloff added that students entering study at any level at her Faculty will find a competitive but supportive environment in which every student is taken seriously and competently prepared to excel as a professional in any part of the world.

Professor Naidoo obtained her PhD in Mathematics Education at Aalborg University in Denmark and before that her B. Paed (Science) at the University of Durban-Westville, her B Ed Hons at UNISA and an M Ed (Mathematics Education) at Rhodes University. Before joining the University of Pretoria, Prof Naidoo was the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She has been immensely effective as Dean, not only initiating a broad re-curriculation process of the B Ed programme but also launching an Action Research Unit in 2008. Under her stewardship, the research outputs doubled in the Faculty of Education at NMMU.

“In taking up the position as Deputy-dean at Pretoria Professor Naidoo brings her vast experience of education to a vibrant, dynamic faculty where excellence in teacher training is prioritised. Her exceptional managerial expertise will no doubt strengthen the faculty in continuing to be one of the largest and most productive Faculties of Education in the country,” said Prof Eloff.

Professor Beckmann’s career in education, in which he has contributed to teaching and learning in various capacities, spans more than 37 years. He has published six books as author or co-author. He has also published 32 peer reviewed articles and supervised 20 masters and doctoral students to completion. He has served as a head of department in the past and under his leadership the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies has successfully provided distance education training to tens of thousands of educators in South Africa. He is also an NRF-rated researcher.

“The Faculty of Education welcomes Professor Beckmann back at the helm of the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies,” said Prof Eloff.

Professor Hartell is a loyal UP alumnus, having obtained his PhD, M Ed and B Ed (Hons) from the University of Pretoria. He has more than 30 years teaching experience. His initial managerial experience was gained as a senior teacher and a head of department – a position he filled for 14 years. Professor Hartell has been actively involved in funded research and community projects. He is recognised for his work in HIV/Aids and his publications have been accepted by predominantly international journals.

“Prof Hartell has articulated a solid, well-nuanced vision for the Department of Early Childhood Education – one that will enable the department to rise to the specific challenges related to the development and education of all young South Africans,” said Prof Eloff.

Dr Ferreira is a registered psychologist and she has six degrees to her name, all obtained with the highest academic accolades from the University of Pretoria. In the last six years, she has supervised 14 postgraduate students to completion – ten of them completing cum laude. She has published 18 articles and book chapters and three research reports. Dr Ferreira’s academic work continuously links research, community engagement, and active student learning within funded projects.

“Dr Ferreira is an NRF-rated researcher whose expertise in the fields of asset-based psycho-social coping, service-learning and HIV/Aids is sought after both nationally and internationally,” added Prof Eloff.

Prof Braun is a full professor in the Department of Physics in the University’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He was a visiting professor for extended periods at the University of Bergen (Norway), North Carolina State University (USA) and the University of Hiroshima in Japan, where he spent time in the Centre for International Cooperation in Education.

Prof Braun was the founding director of the Centre for Science Education (1995 – 2002), which is now known as the ‘Joint Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education’. The centre resides in both the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He began his academic career as a junior lecturer in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at Unisa – linking his interests in Computational Solid State Physics and Science Education. He holds an MSc and DSc in Physics and an MSc (Engineering Management: Technology Management).

According to Prof Eloff, the appointment of Prof Braun will bring strategic impetus to closer collaboration, in terms of teacher training, between the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Pretoria.

“Prof Braun is widely commended for exceptional dedication to high academic standards, being able to lead the renewal of curricula very effectively and superb personal scholarship,” she said.

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