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29 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Pexels
Prof Melanie Walker
Fostering human capabilities in universities may potentially transform education, says Prof Melanie Walker.

Education is at the centre of human life, and has the potential to be a crucial support for democratic life. Prof Melanie Walker’s recent research paper strikes a balance in dealing with people, education and the implications for democracy through the lens of human capabilities theory and practice and her own research.

People and papers

In her capacity as the SARChI Chair in the Higher Education and Human Development Research Programme at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Walker recently published a paper titled: Defending the Need for a Foundational Epistemic Capability in Education. It appeared in the special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities in honour of renowned Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s 85th birthday.

Nurturing epistemic justice

Within the context of existing literature such as that of Sen’s concern with the value of education on the one hand, and public reasoning on the other, Prof Walker argues for a foundational epistemic capability to shape the formal education landscape – as well as quality in education – by fostering inclusive public reasoning (including critical thinking) in all students. It would contribute to what Sen calls the ‘protective power of democracy’ and shared democratic rights, which, he argues, are strongly missed when most needed.

“Sen’s approach asks us to build democratic practices in our university and in our society in ways which create capabilities for everyone. If our students learn public reasoning in all sorts of spaces in university, including the pedagogical, they may carry this into and back to society,” she said.

Educating for equality

Empowering society and fighting for justice are some of the crucial contributions made possible through fostering the epistemic capability of all students. “The capability requires that each student is recognised as both a knower and teller, a receiver and a contributor in critical meaning and knowledge, and an epistemic agent in processes of learning and critical thinking,” states Prof Walker.

In a young democracy like South Africa’s, inclusive public reasoning becomes all the more essential in order to achieve equality, uphold rights and sustain democracy as enshrined in the constitution, thereby improving people’s lives. 

News Archive

Odeion: Staff Events in November
2008-10-15

Sunday, 9 November 2008
Christmas Concert Picnic
Odeion  Amphi Theatre
18:00

You are cordially invited to the Christmas Concert Picnic presented by students of the Department of Music.  Bring your picnic basket and be part of Christmas sing alongs and music.

Admission is free!  Invite your friends and family with and enjoy carols by candlelight under the stars!

For more information, contact Ninette Pretorius (051 – 401 2504).


Department of Music -  Public Examination Recitals.

The Department of Music presents Public Examination Recitals in the form of concerts in the Odeion.  You are cordially invited to these free events.

  • Admission to all concerts are free :  Book your free ticket at Ninette Pretorius (051 – 401 2504).

Monday, 10 November 2008
19:30 - Chester Meyer (B.Mus.Hons. – Choral Directing)
with
Primary School Jim Fouché Choir
Aurum Men’s Choir
UFS Choir
Accompanists: Joanita Erasmus, Jo-retha Smit & Hans Potgieter

Programme:
Works by Bach, Eben, Temmingh, Lightfoot, Britz and Orff, amongs others, will be performed, including two arrangements by Corné van Pletzen and Chester Meyer.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008
18:00 - Braam van Tonder (B.Mus. – Trumpet)
with
Petro Engelbrecht (piano)

Programme:
Torelli – Sinfonia con tromba
Hummel – Trumpet concerto in E-flat major
Addison – Trumpet concerto
Hindemith – Sonata in B-flat major for trumpet and piano
Arban – Variations sur Norma von Bellini

Tuesday, 11 November 2008
19:30
- Andrea Hobson (B.Mus.Hons. – Euphonium)
with
Petro Engelbrecht (piano)

Programme:
Barat - Fantaisie in E flat
Horovitz - Euphonium concerto (Moderato & Adagio)
De Faye - Deux Danses (Danse Sacreé & Danse Profane)
Hidas - Euphoniada
Jacob - Fantasia
Goedicke - Concert Etude

 

 

 

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