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 Post-Doctoral Research Fellows

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Dr Florence Taiwo Ogunyemi, fondly called Taiwo, is a teacher, researcher read more..

Dr Florence Taiwo Ogunyemi, fondly called Taiwo, is a teacher, researcher, and an advocate of child’s rights and early childhood education. She is a Senior Lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria, and currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Department of Childhood Education, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She had all her university education at Nigeria's premier university – University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Her doctoral thesis is titled "Epistemological Relevance of Constructivism in Early Childhood Education in Nigeria". Dr Ogunyemi has a number of publications on children's education issues in national and international outlets. She belongs to many national and international associations including OMEP International and International Society on Early Intervention. Taiwo is married with children.    

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Dr Loïse Jeannin is passionate about adult education and teacher read more..

Dr Loïse Jeannin is passionate about adult education and teacher professional development in multicultural environments. Her Ed.D dissertation with Walden University (United States) was on Professional development needs of faculty members in an international university in Thailand. She is an economics and management teacher (BSc & MSc., Paris School of Economics) and has taught in various international universities in France (Paris) and Thailand (Bangkok). As a teacher, Loïse enjoys empowering adult learners to develop their potential and grow professionally. She succeeded at the national competitive examination to teach economics and management in France (Agrégation, 2008) and was ranked first at the national level. Loïse conducts postdoctoral research on inclusive/multicultural education and teacher professional development in international universities. She will continue participating in international conferences and looks forward to pursuing research on her topics of interest.      

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Dr Felix Omal holds a PhD degree from the University of the Witwatersrand read more..

Dr Felix Omal holds a PhD degree from the University of the Witwatersrand with focus on the role of university councils in South Africa. He specializes in politics of higher education at the Ali Mazrui Centre for Higher Education Studies. His academic work focuses on developing critical African perspectives to university governance in a globalizing world.      

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Dr Nevensha Sing holds a PhD in Higher Education and a MEd in Leadership and Policy Studies read more..

Nevensha Sing holds a PhD in Higher Education and a MEd in Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked as a lecturer, tutor, writing centre coordinator, mentor, and an independent contractor. Her research interests include Student Experience, Vulnerability, Support, and Retention. She is also interested in internationalisation, globalisation, partnerships and the marketisation of higher education. Nevensha attributes her communication ability to her extensive experience in basic education having served as both a primary and high school educator, school based support team manager, head of department and guidance counsellor. She brings with her a strong and valued background in working with learners, students, parents, staff, management and stakeholders at all levels in the education field.      

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Dr Nic Spaull is currently a postdoctoral fellow within the SARCHi read more..

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a postdoctoral fellow within the SARCHi Chair for Integrated Studies for Learning Language, Mathematics and Science in the Primary School. Nic was recently awarded the Thomas J Alexander Fellowship by the OECD, and before that was a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. The research he has conducted in the current postdoc focuses on language in the primary school, and specifically on second-language learners. One area was on oral reading fluency and comprehension, co-authored with Prof Elizabeth Pretorius, and was published earlier this year in the prestigious international journal "Reading & Writing" (Springer - DOI 10.1007/s11145-016-9645-9). He will also be publishing his other UJ research on assessment titled "Disentangling the Language Effect in South African Schools" which will appear in the South African Journal of Childhood Education (SAJCE) later this year. Nic is also a research fellow at Stellenbosch University and sits on the Joint Advisory Committee of the South African Human Rights Commission. He has recently been awarded an ESRC/DFID grant to research exceptional township and rural schools in South Africa in 2016/17/18. Nic has been involved in a number of research projects for local and international organisations, including the South African Presidency, the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF, the EU, UNESCO and SACMEQ. The most recent of which was the "Binding Constraints in Education" project for the South African Presidency and the EU. He advises numerous NGO's , policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website (nicspaull.com) with new research and articles he finds interesting.    

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Dr Mani Rajbhandari, Research interests; Educational Leadership, Leadership Readiness read more..

Mani Rajbhandari, Research interests; Educational Leadership, Leadership Readiness, Leadership Maintenance, Leadership Behaviour, Leadership on Climate and Culture in Educational Settings.      

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Dr Genevieve Richards life’s work has been on the improvement of read more..

Since her first year as an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) the focus of Dr.Genevieve Richards life’s work has been on the improvement of socioeconomic and academic opportunities for students in marginalized communities all over the world. Over the last 15 years her search for the solutions to the educational and social issues affecting student learning and performance has taken a number of forms. However, at the heart of every endeavor is the motivation to find solutions that will academically and socially engage students and the community of people who serve them.      

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Dr Asamenew Demessie Bireda, completed his BA degree in English language read more..

Asamenew Demessie Bireda, completed his BA degree in English language & literature and MA degree in Educational psychology (Measurement & Evaluations) both from Addis Ababa University and PhD degree in psychology (developmental Psychology) from University of South Africa. He has worked as a teacher, journalist, and lecturer. Since 2007 he has been working at University of South Africa as a student counselor and Academic reading & writing facilitator. He has presented papers in different conferences and published articles in an internationally accredited peer reviewed journals. In 2015 the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) awarded Dr. Bireda a Prize for innovation and Best Practice in Open, Distance, Flexible, Online Education and E-learning at the 26th ICDE World Conference, Sun City, South Africa. He is currently, a post-doctoral research fellow within the faculty of Education at University of Johannesburg and his research revolves around resilience among orphans and vulnerable children. His research interest areas fall under developmental psychology (child & adolescent development); counseling (career development); social psychology (identity development and interpersonal relationships) and Higher Education (Open Distance Learning, student support, and research supervision).      

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Dr David Balwanz has fifteen years of research and evaluation, program design read more..

David Balwanz has fifteen years of research and evaluation, program design and program management experience in the field of comparative and international education. His experience is focused in the sub-Saharan Africa region and includes extensive work in Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia working with a variety of organizations, including the Department for International Development, the Global Partnership for Education, the World Bank, USAID and Ministries of Education in several countries. David is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg. His recent research has focused on secondary education and youth development in middle-income countries. For his postdoctoral fellowship, David is conducting research on community-run programs operating in townships in Gauteng which support the ‘holistic development’ of secondary school aged youth. David has published research on the secondary education, post-school education and youth development in South Africa and holds a PhD in International Education Policy/Political Economy from the University of Maryland-College Park.    

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Dr Nicky Roberts research interests include: School improvement and cost-effective read more..

Nicky Roberts research interests include: School improvement and cost-effective systemic change in education, Early mathematics learning (ECD and Foundation Phase) with a focus on the integration of mathematical thinking and big ideas in mathematics into rich language learning (using story telling), The use of technologies (particularly m-learning to reach and support carers and teachers of young children), and Special educational needs in mathematics. Most of Nicky's current research is in mathematics education and technology enhanced learning. She is able to move between the academic realms and the commercial consulting research environment. Nicky brings extensive commercial research experience undertaken for a wide range of research clients including private sector companies (Telkom, MTN, Nokia, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, KPMG), international donor agencies (GIZ, DFID, UNESCO, UNICEF), government agencies (National, Provincial and local governments as well as various Sector Education and Training Authorities). She has managed both small and large scale research projects. The large scale projects have spanned several countries and many have been multi-year assignments. She has been responsible for the project scope, budgets and related financial and human resource management of the research.     

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Dr Sarah Godsell completed her Honours degree on the history read more..

Dr Sarah Godsell completed her Honours degree on the history of the small town Rooiberg in 2008, with a focus on the dynamics of the town after the life-force of the town, the tin mine, closed down. Both her MA and her PhD (Blurred Border's of Belonging:Hammanskraal Histories 1942-2002, 2015) were on the area north of Johannesburg, Hammanskraal. Focal points of the thesis included an engagement with spatial theory, looking how Hammanskraal has different histories and was different things to different people at different times. This engagement is pushed further into South African historiography, calling for investigations into multiple, simultaneous histories, and examining how space is seen in South African history. Her current work is interested in how history is learnt by education students, and what this means for how these future teachers understand the concept of history, and so how they will work with it in our primary school classrooms.