Four new NRF ratings for the Faculty of Education

Posted on November 01, 2016


The Faculty of Education is proud to announce that four of our staff members have received new ratings from the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

Prof Kobus Maree, a full-professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, received a B1 rating as from 1 January 2016. His main research interests are career counselling, career construction (counselling), life design (counselling), emotional-social intelligence and social responsibility, and learning facilitation in mathematics. He links research results to appropriate career choices and to life design.

Prof Maree is a former editor of the South African Journal of Psychology, managing editor of Gifted Education International, executive editor of the SA Journal of Science and Technology and a member of several national and international bodies, including the National Career Development Association (USA), the Society for Vocational Psychology (SVP) (USA), the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) (USA), the Psychology Association of South Africa (SA), the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (SA Akad) (South African Academy for Science and Arts (SA Acad)), and the Association of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Since the beginning of 2004, he has written more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and 60 books or chapters in books.

The Stals Prize was awarded to him by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in 2009 for his exceptional research and contributions to psychology, and again in June 2014, for exceptional research and contributions to Education.  On the occasion of the 20th South African Psychology Congress, held in in September 2014, he received the Award for Excellence in Science from the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), and in October of the same year he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Golden Key International Honour Society for exceptional academic achievements, leadership skills and community involvement. He received a Chancellor's Medal for Teaching and Learning from the University of Pretoria in 2010 and has been nominated successfully as an Exceptional Academic Achiever in four consecutive years (2013-2016).

Prof Linda Theron, a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology,  received a B3 rating, which will become effective on 1 January 2017. Prof Theron is an extraordinary professor in the Optentia Research Focus Area at the North-West University. She is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as an educational psychologist.

Prof Theron's research explores the resilience processes of young people in South Africa who are challenged by chronic adversity and accounts for how sociocultural contexts shape these processes of resilience. Together with Dr Michael Ungar from the Resilience Research Centre in Canada, she was a principal co-investigator of the five-country Pathways to Resilience Study (2009-2015). In 2013, she received the Education Association of South Africa's research medal for her rich contributions to understanding, and promoting, resilience processes that support the positive adjustment of South African youth.

She is the lead editor of Youth Resilience and Culture: Complexities and Commonalities (Springer, 2015) and an associate editor of the journal Child Abuse & Neglect (Elsevier).

Prof Johann Engelbrecht is a professor in mathematics education in the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education. He received a C1 rating, which will become effective on 1 January 2017.

He is a former Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and was a founder member of the SA Mathematics Foundation (SAMF), of which he is currently the Executive Director. He is an active researcher in the field of mathematics education at the tertiary level and his international involvement in the teaching of undergraduate mathematics includes numerous research and keynote presentations; membership of international scientific committees for international conferences; research papers on mathematics education published in international academic journals; and joint research projects with colleagues in many countries. He represented South Africa on the 2012 International Programme Committee for International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) in Seoul and was a member of a survey team on blended learning at the ICME 2016, which was held in Hamburg.

Prof Engelbrecht was one of the founders of the international Delta movement, a Southern Hemisphere collaboration in the field of undergraduate mathematics education. He has received several awards for teaching, including the Claude Harris Leon Award, 'Championship in Mathematics Teaching', in 1998, and the South African Mathematical Society Award for the Advancement of Mathematics in 2005.

He was the founder of the Mathematics for Undergraduates Teaching Initiative (MUTI), which fosters ties between mathematicians and other role-players, including other departments, faculties and universities, and also initiated the UP Mathematics competition.

Prof Chaya Herman, a professor in the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies, received a C2 rating which will become effective on 1 January 2017.

Her fields of interest include doctoral education, education policy and higher education qualitative research methodology. In 1994, she received the award for the best PhD thesis. She was also the recipient of an RDP award.

Her publications include the following:

Meltz, A., Herman, C. & Pillay, V. 2014. Inclusive education: a case of beliefs competing for implementation. South African Journal of Education, 34(3).

Herman, C. 2013. Industry perceptions of Industry-University partnerships related to doctoral education in South Africa. Industry and Higher Education, 27(3):217-225.

Herman, C. 2012. The purpose of the PhD – a South African perspective. Higher Education Policy, 25:1-18.

Herman, C. 2011. Doctoral education in South Africa – research and policy: editorial introduction. Perspectives in Education, The changing face of doctoral education in South Africa, Special issue 3, 29:i-v.

Herman, C. 2011. Obstacles to success: Doctoral students' attrition in South Africa. Perspectives in Education, The changing face of doctoral education in South Africa, Special issue 3, 29:40-52.

Herman, C. 2011. Expanding doctoral education in South Africa: Pipeline or pipedream? Higher Education Research & Development, 30(4): 1-13.

Herman, C. 2011. Elusive equity in doctoral education in South Africa. Journal of Education and Work, 24 (1-2):163-184.



- Author Faculty of Education

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