Original Research - Special Collection: Graham Duncan Dedication

An ethnographic account of a snapshot in Professor Graham Duncan’s journey of educational professionalism

Pieter Hertzog Du Toit
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3275 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3275 | © 2016 Pieter Hertzog Du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2015 | Published: 05 August 2016


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Abstract

This article takes the form of a meta-reflection on the educational contribution to the wider community of the University of Pretoria made by Professor Graham Duncan. It is but a snapshot of the academic life of a scholar of note. The epicentre of the article revolves around his educational professionalism that emanated from an intrapersonal point of departure.

Through an ethnographic lens that informed my action research over many years, I document my numerous scholarly encounters with my colleague and former student. My meta-reflection is typical of my ontological-epistemological stance, mirroring some of the questions and ways of thinking Professor Duncan as lecturer continuously asked himself. Two main questions are focused on. Ontological: Who is Graham Duncan as scholar of teaching in higher education? Epistemological: What epistemological grounding informs his view of his teaching practice?

As the nature of the article is ethnographic, I drew on texts created by Professor Duncan. These included a drafted article and emails that had been sent to me. I engaged with these texts in such a way that the article has become a living theory and affirmation of his and my educational values regarding facilitating and assessing learning in an innovative fashion. My analysis of his scholarly journey and texts offers rich qualitative data that are reported. The conclusion drawn is that Graham Duncan is an exemplar of a constructivist professional.

Keywords

Higher education; Academic staff development; Action research; Graham Duncan; Journey

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