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Research fellows

Nimi Hoffmann

Nimi Hoffmann is a research fellow at CITE and is responsible for coordinating a representative survey of teachers in the Western Cape regarding their understanding of their role as professionals and the obstacles they face. The aim of the research is to generate a knowledge base to inform policy on how best to support teachers.

Nimi is also a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Rhodes University. Her research uses a combination of experiments, social network analysis and qualitative research to investigate discrimination and its impact on the flow of knowledge in African universities within a knowledge commons framework.

Logan Govender

Logan Govender works as a researcher in South Africa, specialising in education policy and development. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow and Senior Research Manager in the Education and Skills Development programme, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria. His academic studies include a teaching degree, with majors in English and History, an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) and a PhD in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa (2009). Previously a teacher, teacher union and research administrator, senior analyst in international relations, his research background and interests include: education policy studies with special emphasis on teachers and teacher unions, education quality, rural education/development and geo-political issues. His most recent publication was in the journal COMPARE in 2013, “Teacher unions’ participation in policy making: A South African case study.”


Postdoctoral fellows

Zahraa McDonald

Zahraa McDonald is a postdoctoral fellow at CITE. She has a B.SocSci from Rhodes University, a BA honours from UWC, an MA and a PhD from the University of Johannesburg.

Zahraa’s research interests span education, religion and citizenship. Her PhD study focused on expressions of post-secular citizenship in relation to Islamic education in South Africa, specifically with respect to the Deobandi education movement. It traced and critically engaged with the process by which doctrine is established, legitimated and authorised. She argued that a doctrine is situated in the public sphere when the concept it seeks to develop is embodied by those who espouse it. Educational institutions wherein such can be enunciated consistently over space and time are critical mediators of such doctrines. Moreover teachers who are taught and teach in educational institutions associated to the doctrine are the prime interlocutors in the process. The process of conceptual development culminating in embodiment can be applied to education systems generally in exploring how social justice can unfold. Religion education has the potential to ground the scientific project with rigour because it brings the normative to light in fascinating and interesting ways.


Fhatuwani Ravhuhali

Fhatuwani Ravhuhali is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CITE. He received his B.A.Hons in Education (Guidance and Counselling), and M.Ed. (Cum laude) degree and a D.Ed. degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of Venda, South Africa. Prior to joining CITI he taught Afrikaans as  2nd additional language, History and Life orientation at several public schools in Limpopo Province. He also worked as a part-time lecturer at the University of Venda from 2010-2014 offering the Methodology of Life Orientation, History of Education, Teaching and Learning Strategies, Reception year, and Psychology of Education. Fhatuwani areas of research interest are Teachers’ Professional Development, Initial Teacher Education and Training and Curriculum studies. He is currently a project leader working on a large scale  longitudinal study of initial teacher education programmes in the Western Cape.


Doctoral candidates

Nelius Jansen van Vuuren

Nelius Jansen van Vuuren is a doctoral candidate at CITE and has served as a Cluster Manager at the Abu Dhabi Education Council for the past 8 years in the New School Model project. He has a B.Ed (Honours) degree from the University of Johannesburg and an MA in Leading Innovation and Change from York University.

Nelius is currently producing a  leadership developmental program for all new senior school administrators in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is conducting an international comparative study to establish the perceptions, roles and responsibilities of newly appointed school leaders.


Marcina Singh

Marcina Singh is a PhD candidate at CITE. She has a Master’s degree in Education Administration, Planning and Social Policy, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, an Honours Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in English, Media and Writing from the University of Cape Town. Marcina has also taken up courses at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champagne) as well as Oulu University in Finland. She has a long standing career in research as well as education management in the private education sector. Her research interests include academic administration, classroom practices, good citizenship, social justice and education quality.


Thelma Mort

Thelma Mort is a PhD candidate at CITE. She studied Fine Arts & English at UKZN, and subsequently complete a PGCE at UCT, and an M.Ed in Art, Culture and Education at Cambridge University.

Thelma has taught in schools, museums, galleries and universities. Her research interests are in visual arts and cultural education, dialogic learning, social learning, creativity research and teacher identity. Her current research is in the identity and training of Intermediate Senior Phase Visual art and English teachers.


Jacques Verster

Jacques Verster has a National Diploma; NPDE; BEd Honours; and MEd. He has worked in various positions in the education sector, including as a college lecturer, high school teacher, education specialist and public education practitioner. His doctoral research focuses on the usefulness of experiences during a PGCE FET Mathematics programme in the classroom context.


Melanie Sadeck

Melanie Sadeck is a doctoral candidate at CITE and the Head of the Department of Teacher Professional Development in the Faculty of Education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). She manages the formal in-service Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Programmes and coordinates short courses, partnerships, service learning and community engagement activities in the Faculty. She obtained her BSc, HDE B.Ed and M.Ed at the University of the Western Cape. Her research focus is the professional learning of novice science teachers. Melanie’s research interests are teacher professional development and science education.


Lorna Balie

Lorna Balie has a BA in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics with an additional major of Applied English Language Study from the University of Stellenbosch. In addition, she has a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies at the European Peace University in Austria. Her thesis focused on the impact of peace education on youth in South Africa. She has also been a participant in the Ashley Kriel Youth Leadership Development Project at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. She worked as an English foreign language teacher in South Korea for one year and a half and completed two internships. Her first internship was at Southern Hemisphere which focused on research, monitoring and evaluation and thereafter worked at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation where she coordinated the research project on Everyday Peace Indicators for the South African case study. She volunteers as a mediator for the Access to Justice Association of South Africa and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Network of South Africa. Lorna is enrolling as a doctoral student at the Centre for International Teacher Education. Her thesis is titled “The Role of Education in Contemporary Conceptualizations of Justice in South Africa and its Implications for Practice”. Her research will explore the relationship between inclusive education and restorative justice. She is currently the research officer for the study which explores the role of teachers in peace-building in post-conflict contexts. She therefore project manages the South African case study.


Masters candidates

Jeremiah Dampies

Jeremiah Dampies is currently an M.Ed student at CITE and a Senior Lecturer in the ECD field at the College of Cape Town. He has a BA Hons and HDE from UWC as well as an FDE from University of Pretoria in 1997.

Jeremiah focuses on initial teacher education and teachers’ professional experience to better understand how educators at a college department approach their various challenges, and the different teaching and learning practices that they individually employ to deal with their particular teaching contexts. His aim is to develop more considered insights into what such educators regard as important for their students to learn, where they developed the skills and expertise to impart this knowledge, what kinds of support they were given to develop this and what kinds of pedagogical practices they have cultivated in their classrooms.


Thomas Salmon

Thomas Salmon is an M.Ed candidate from the UK; the title of his thesis is ‘Teacher education and the roles of teachers as agents of social cohesion in South Africa’. Thomas was previously based in Australia at Murdoch University and in South East Asia, and recently at Sussex University in the UK. He has also completed internships at Teachers without Borders and UNESCO. Last year he was a consultant with SERO completing the EU Policies for OER Uptake (POERUP) project. He is also interested in the use of technology and in open data and this year he also started a social network for graduate students called Data Ed Network.


Juan Benjamin

Juan Benjamin is an education professional in the Western Cape. He holds a B.Ed (Hons) degree in education management and is currently pursuing an M.Ed in the same field at CITE. Juan is passionate about staff development and school improvement and the need to build teacher competencies to enhance proficiency in the learning and teaching environment. A firm believer in integrating technology into the delivery of the curriculum, he is currently researching the use of an e-mentoring tool to enhance the competencies of novice teachers in a rural district.


Widad Sirkhotte Kriel

Widad hails from Uitenhage, a small town in the Eastern Cape. She completed her BA (Media) degree at NMMU and thereafter a PGCE from UWC. Her love for teaching and visual arts led her to undertake an Honours Degree in Art Education at CPUT. In addition, she has taught at private high schools for several years.

Widad’s areas of research interest entail: Initial Teacher Education, Pedagogies for Transformation and Curriculum Studies.

Tarryn Gabi de Kock

Tarryn joined the Centre as an M.Ed candidate in 2015. Prior to this, she completed her BSocSci in Politics and Anthropology, and her Honours in Politics at Rhodes University. During her time at Rhodes she also worked as Politics section editor and researcher for the campus media organisation the Oppidan Press, and tutored in both Politics and Anthropology. Her research interests are in the areas of language and inequality, gender, social justice, critical race theory and education policy.