Humanising pedagogy in times of the COVID-19 emergency: Student and academic voices in South Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled higher education institutions (HEIs) to rethink, redesign, and respond in real time. The dramatic closure of education institutions in South Africa, and in other countries worldwide, raised several questions in terms of the adaptability and readiness of the HEI sector to adapt and respond to the changes. The changes called into question issues such as in-person teaching and learning practices, digital resources, academic staff and student readiness for learning in digital environments, and connectivity and access to internet services and facilities. As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, the roles of academics and students have changed drastically. This has prompted worldwide scrutiny of teaching and learning in a way never experienced. The implementation of sustainable pedagogical approaches requires broad consultation particularly with key stakeholders such as academics and students. Lack of academic and student engagement can gravely affect the sustainability of any new pedagogical models that are rolled out. The aim of this chapter is to appraise the voices of students and academics working in teacher education during the rapid, unplanned, move to digital teaching and learning. Using an interpretative paradigm and case study design that involved online class observations and personal interviews with professors, lecturers and students, the chapter reports on the distress, discomfort, and frustration that students and staff in emergency remote teaching and learning suffered. The experience resulted from, inter alia, uneven access to digital literacy, mental health support, power generation supply, and digital learning and information communication technologies. Framed within notions of humanising pedagogy, the chapter provides critical reflections on lessons learnt from these voices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Emerald Handbook of Higher Education in a Post-Covid World
Subtitle of host publicationNew Approaches and Technologies for Teaching and Learning
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781803821931
ISBN (Print)9781803821955
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022


  • Academic voices
  • Africa
  • COVID-19
  • Humanising pedagogy
  • Remote teaching and learning
  • Student voices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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