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Friday, 21 August 2020

Exploring relations between race and elite schools

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Faculty of Education Lecturer Samantha Kriger, is happy to launch her first book, which is a study of patterns of racial segregation in the elite primary schools of one of the ‘whitest’ and wealthiest areas of South Africa, the southern suburbs of Cape Town. ACCOMPLISHMENT: Faculty of Education Lecturer Samantha Kriger, is happy to launch her first book, which is a study of patterns of racial segregation in the elite primary schools of one of the ‘whitest’ and wealthiest areas of South Africa, the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Faculty of Education Lecturer Samantha Kriger, in collaboration with her co-author and PhD supervisor, Prof Jonathan Jansen, will be launching her first book, ‘Who Gets in and Why?’ on Wednesday, 26 August 2020.

The book investigates how do the schools in the Southern Suburbs administer their admissions policies? What keeps some of the Western Cape’s elite schools ‘white dominant’ in a country that is overwhelmingly black? Why does a post-apartheid government allow ‘white-dominant’ schools to exist?

Kriger, who is pursuing her PhD in Education: Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University, says this is a study of patterns of racial segregation in the elite primary schools of one of the ‘whitest’ and wealthiest areas of South Africa, the southern suburbs of Cape Town.  “What keeps these elite schools ‘white dominant’ in a province and country that is overwhelmingly black?

“How do the schools administer their admissions policies such that the outcome is white-majority enrolments?”

She adds this is the first available study on the micro-politics of primary school admissions that addresses the question of ‘Who gets in, and why?’ against the backdrop of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. “For this reason, among others, the book holds significance for international scholarship on education policy and politics while at the same time offering practical value for South African parents who struggle to get their children admitted to these elite schools,” she remarks.

Kriger who is based at Mowbray Campus, started at CPUT in January 2017 as a lecturer for Pre-Service Teachers for Primary School Teaching.  Prior to CPUT, she was actively involved with teaching in schools for 25 years.  Her research interests include primary schooling, music education, and its impact on language literacy development recognising the complexities of changing teaching practice.

The mother of two boys, who is married to a SANDF naval captain, says her interaction with Prof Jansen through her studies has resulted in them collaborating for “this much-needed book”.

“I have learnt so much! To co-author with someone, who has written so many books is certainly a highlight for me.  What is surreal is to co-author with someone who has received awards for his books.”

Jansen’s Knowledge in the Blood was a winner of the 2014 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize and received the best book of the year award in the Library Journal. In 2019 Jansen received a South African Literary Award for his book: As by Fire.

Kriger says Jansen teaches by example and his drive and work ethic are what inspired her on her academic journey.  

Meanwhile, Jansen says this is one of his most productive and fulfilling research and writing partnerships. “Samantha brought great energy to the demanding research site visits, a depth understanding of the primary school environment (which I do not have), and a fairly sharp capacity for crap detection e.g. when a school claimed to be transformed when the data suggested otherwise. The book is much stronger because of her contribution to thinking and writing about a vexed problem.”

The book launch will be in the form of a zoom; Individuals are able to attend from the comfort of their homes. For more details and RSVP follow the link below.

https://www.usb.ac.za/usb_events/who-gets-in-and-why/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=USB_Leader%E2%80%99s_Angle_Series_%7C_Book_Launch&_cldee=bnBhZGF5YWNoaUBnbWFpbC5jb20%3d&recipientid=contact-2953c6001652e51180cb005056b8008e-884885f0c7da47c7b9a153b08b0d8a81&esid=ca4b4b50-28e1-ea11-811e-005056b87f92

*For the duration of Women’s Month, we will be profiling several high profile CPUT women whose achievements and activities help us to become One SMART CPUT.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce

Email: boyceap@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and the Built Environment and Applied Sciences Faculties.