Appropriate pedagogy for practice, the ha-ha in the higher education landscape



Design Education Strategy


  • verbal communication, teaching approaches, design philosophies

In this paper I argue that appropriate methods and approaches in university teaching require an on- going ontological and epistemological debate. A pedagogic orientation implies a framework for educational decision making and participation that can result in strategic educational failure if it is poorly understood.

Pedagogy is a universal educational concept and is part of every constructed educational endeavour. From my perspective as an educator in a vocational educational setting, the understanding of educational  concepts  is  generally  scant.  Educational  terminology  is  rarely  used  amongst  the educators and words such as pedagogy are ambiguous and foreign to the practitioner educator. Maybe  educators  fear  being  wrong  educationally,  not  adhering  to  the  rules  of  education  and therefore not engaging constructively with the concepts. This paper might not demystify the topic completely, but an attempt will be made to narrow the gap, or the ha-ha in the applicable landscape. The educational reference in the paper is that of a University of Technology (UoT) within the Higher Education (HE) setting in South Africa, and will be briefly contextualised.

The  ha-ha51 is  metaphorically  applied  to  illustrate  the  possibility  of  similar  hidden  landscaped illusions in higher educational settings. Accountability therefore lies with the architects of the HE landscape and their influence on the educational approach, as well as the teacher-academic who needs to facilitate individual learning towards economic sustainability.

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