Meet the Committee

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Linda Bosman
President
University of Stellenbosch

I am an early childhood generalist with experience across a range of disciplines and contexts in the early childhood and foundation phase (birth to nine). My area of specialization is early childhood science education and approaches that cultivate children’s identities and competencies as child scientists. I am an advocate for the implementation of play-based, inquiry-oriented, and transformational pedagogies in early childhood contexts; and child empowering approaches that promote child-citizen’s rights, voice, agency and active participation in early childhood practice and research. I have participated actively in international and local projects focusing on training student- and practicing teachers to implement child-focused inquiry pedagogy following the French La main à la pâte (hands-in-the-dough) approach in practice. I have authored a number of educational publications on
early childhood curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment; and presented papers nationally and internationally at various education conferences. I have supervised and co-supervised several postgraduate students successfully and have been an external examiner for numerous PhD theses. I am a member of the South African Academy for Arts and Sciences (SAASA). Presently, I am in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the University of Stellenbosch, involved in under and postgraduate teacher education, postgraduate supervision, and general academic, review and examination duties.

Email: lindabosman@sun.ac.za

Dr Hannelie Du Preez-Burger
Deputy-President
Wageningen University

Hannelie du Preez is appointed as educational trainer and advisor at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in The Netherlands, and also holds a position as a research associate within the department Humanities Education at the University of Pretoria (UP). Her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are located within the fields of early childhood, psychology, learning support and research. Hannelie’s research interests pertain to child citizenship and creating conducive learning environments to promote teaching, learning and personal development whilst positioning herself in Vygotsky’s theoretical framework. Her international collaboration includes serving on editorial boards, featuring as a guest editor, and delivering a keynote. Her publication record includes sources such as blind peer-reviewed articles, co-authored scientific book chapters, and chapters in respective teacher preparation textbooks.

Email: hannelie.dupreez@wur.nl

Michaela Ashley-Cooper
Executive Committee
Centre for Early Childhood Development

Michaela Ashley-Cooper is a Programme Manager and head of research at the Centre for Early Childhood Development, an early childhood development NPO based in Cape Town.  She holds a master’s degree in Research in Psychology from the University of Cape Town with a thesis on the neuropsychological effects of childhood trauma.  Michaela has worked in the ECD sector for over 12 years; managing a range of integrative intervention programmes and research programmes. Her research has included conducting quantitative and qualitative research, researching and writing ECD programme evaluations, writing research reports, journal articles, opinion articles and academic papers on ECD in South Africa, as well as analysing data and writing reports for all the Monitoring and Evaluation elements of the various intervention programmes CECD runs. This has included conducting and publishing a large-scale ECD research study looking at effective ECD programmes in South Africa, for the Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, as well as working as the lead author on a book chapter entitled, “Early Childhood Development in South Africa: Inequality and Opportunity” for a book on education and inequality in South Africa edited by Nic Spaull and Jonathan Jansen, published by Springer Press. More recently Michaela worked at the co-editor on two books, “Thought Leaders on Early Childhood development in South Africa: A Collection of Thought-Provoking Essays” published by CECD, and “Voices from the Early Childhood Care and Education Field in South Africa: Research and Promising Practices for New Directions” published by SARAECE.

Email: mashleycooper@cecd.org.za

Dr Donna Hannaway
Secretary
University of South Africa

Dr DM Hannaway is a senior lecturer and currently the PQM Manager in the College of Education at the University of South Africa. She grounded herself in early childhood from undergraduate studies and is currently a teacher educator and manages qualification development and accreditation. Dr Hannaway is an emerging researcher and has published journal articles and book chapters in her research interest which is technology-based teaching and learning as well as teacher education in the early years. She is also engaged in inter-institutional research and programme development for inclusive early childhood care and education.

Email: hannad@unisa.ac.za

Dr Giulietta Domenica Harrison
Treasurer
SANTS

Giulietta Harrison, who is the current Treasurer of SARAECE has come from a background of many years of teaching in early childhood classrooms
across a variety of contexts.  She has been a school Principal, an H.O.D and a lecturer in Foundation Phase.  She is presently the Director for Africa A+ Schools and H.O.D. for B.Ed. F.P. at SANTS, Higher Education Institute.  She has a passion for helping teachers to provide positive spaces for learning which she expresses through her work in Emotional Intelligence.  She did her Masters research looking at how to promote this in a Grade R classroom and her PhD on understanding how children learning, using Grade 1 Literacy as her vehicle for analysis. She has written a variety of training programmes as ‘open-source’ documents for the NPO sector including parent and teacher programmes.  As the Director of an NPO, she works closely with and conducts research with educators in the poorest communities in South Africa.  She has published extensively in books and journals together with supervising Masters and PhD students when working at Rhodes University.

Email: giulietta@sants.co.za

Hasina Banu Ebrahim
Committee Member
University of South Africa

Hasina Banu Ebrahim holds a PHD on Constructions of Early Childhood  Education for and by Children. She is an NRF rated Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Africa. She is also the UNESCO Co-chair in Early Education, Care and Development.  Professor Ebrahim won the 2017 UNISA Women in Research Award and she was the first runner up in the South African Women in Science Award in 2018. Her research coheres around the theme Early Childhood at the Margins with special reference to policy, practice and workforce development. She has numerous publications in national and international journals.  She is the sector editor for the South African Journal of Childhood Education and serves on editorial boards of a number of international journals. She is the Chair of Mentorship in the College of Education at UNISA. She has secured grants and mentored majority women researchers nationally and on the continent. Outputs of her mentees, appear in three co-edited volumes related to the early years.

Email: ebrahhb@unisa.ac.za

Ina Joubert
Committee Member
SANTS

Professor Ina Joubert has more than 35 years’ experience in education. She has acted as school principal, lecturer in distance education and head of an academic department at the University of Pretoria. She has recently been appointed as Executive Academic Director of SANTS Private Higher Education Institution. She has published numerous books, book chapters and scholarly articles. She has supervised MEd (18) and PhD (20) students and she received C3 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF). She was awarded a special achievement award for the promotion of Afrikaans in Early Childhood Education by the Academy for Science and Art in 2018. Professor Joubert’s work in literacy and Citizenship education in Early Childhood, has brought several accolades to herself.

Email: profinaj@sants.co.za

Dr Colwyn Deborah Martin
Committee Member
University of Witwaterstrand

Colwyn Martin has been involved in teaching and research in higher education since 2007. At present, she is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand in the Foundation Phase Studies Division. Her ideologies and practices as a teacher educator are framed within the theory of critically reflective teaching. As such, she makes use of responsive and innovative pedagogies to improve teaching and learning within a complex and changing education landscape. This is her attempt to enable students, teachers and teacher educators develop an awareness of how actions in and on action support teaching and learning. Colwyn’s research is situated at the intersection of three main research areas: early literacy curriculum, early literacy pedagogy and early childhood teacher professionalisation. Her research is based on endeavours that attempt to construct understandings of contextual realties; which inform the content for teacher education programmes and teacher professionalisation. At present, Colwyn is involved in three multi-institutional, national research projects: The Transformative Pedagogy for Early Childhood Care and Education, Early Childhood Workforce
Study and a Paired Reading Project. She has supervised a number of PhD and Masters students to completion. Colwyn has published a number of research articles in accredited national and international journals. She has also presented papers at both national and international conferences.

Email: colwyn.martin@wits.ac.za

Dr Naseema Shaik
Committee Member
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Naseema Shaik is the Deputy President of the South African Research Association of Early Childhood Education (SARAECE) and is a Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She is the Co-ordinator of the Diploma Grade R. Naseema is also the lead co-ordinator of the Transformative Pedagogy Project funded by the Department of Higher Education and the European Union. Naseema is also a member of the Faculty Research Committee and a member of the Research Ethics committee at the Education faculty at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Naseema’s research interests are located in the critical paradigm therefore her research is aligned with bringing about transformative change in early childhood pedagogy. Thus her research has been located in children’s participatory rights and participatory pedagogies and has been published in both local and international journals. She has presented her research at both local and international conferences.  Naseema has also published chapters in text and scholarly books. Her PhD explored the Nature of Child Participation in Grade R which was achieved in 2014. Naseema
has supervised Masters and PhD students.

Dr Naseema Shaik is also a representative for the South African Journal of Childhood Education (SAJCE)

Email: shaikn@cput.ac.za

Professor Elizabeth Henning
National Research Foundation South Africa Research Chair

Professor Elizabeth (Elbie) Henning is a professor of Educational Linguistics and the founding director of the Centre for Education Practice Research on the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg in 2007. She is a SARChI Chair at the University of Johannesburg. She was awarded a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Academy of Education in the USA for her research on teacher development in informal settlement communities in the 1990s, with the mentorship of Prof Shirley-Brice-Heath (Stanford). She was selected as an American Educational Research Association (AERA) Fellow in 2010 and is a C1-rated researcher in the National Research Foundation (NRF) system of researcher evaluation in South Africa. Elizabeth leads studies about children’s mathematical cognition and early literacy with a recently added focus on the reading of STEM texts in the middle grades of the primary school. These studies include pre-service teacher education.  With Dr Kathleen Fonseca and two postdoctoral research fellows, she initiated neuroimaging  with  functional near-infrared spectroscopu (fNIRS) in the Cognition Lab at her university. She is the editor of the South African Journal of Childhood Education and the founding editor of Education as Change. She was awarded a South Africa Research Chair by the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology in 2015. She was a founding member of SARAECE and the research that preceded it. https://mg.co.za/article/2011-05-27-teacher-rescue-plan-takes-off/

Email: ehenning@uj.ac.za

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Bart Declercq

Bart Declercq is a senior researcher at the Centre for Experiential Education, KU Leuven (Belgium) with more than 20 years of experience in early childhood research with a particular focus on quality assessment, process quality and continuous professional development from a process-oriented perspective. He coordinates and implements research, development, support, training and coaching regarding quality insurance and monitoring of pedagogical quality both in Belgium and abroad. He has worked intensely with several local counties. He is since 2011 involved in MeMoQ: Measuring and Monitoring Pedagogical Quality in Early Childhood (0-3 years) commissioned by the Flemish agency for Public Health, Welfare and Family’. He is co-author of several self-evaluation instruments to improve the process quality, practice-based books for professionals, the Flemish pedagogical framework and scientific articles. Since 2009 he is active as a thematic specialist in quality assurance in Mentes, a
supporting structure for small childcare providers. Between 2006 and 2012 he collaborated in a project between the Flemish Government for Education, the Department of Education of the Free State and the University of the Free State to develop and implement the Free State pre-grade R curriculum (0-4 years), contributed in the Saraece 2017 Workshop on the ECCE programme framework and qualification development for initial teacher education and the Saraece conference 2021. In 2019 he conducted an Equity-focused mid-term evaluation on VVVOB South Africa’s programs on Leading and Teaching for Diversity, South Africa (Pretoria – Durban – Bloemfontein). In the nineties and early 2000, Bart stayed several times all over Southern Africa due to an exchange programme (which lasted for 6 years) between Chirojeugd Vlaanderen and Chiro Southern Africa. He regards this as a wonderful experience.


Bart’s aspirations for SARAECE:


SARAECEE is a powerful research association, with lots of innovative ideas and research. My biggest aspiration is to strengthen the relation between all this beautiful research and the complex practice. Research can and must inspire and improve daily practice for young children, their families and the professionals (carers, teachers, and significant others) that support them. The ultimate goal is that all of them flourish and can fulfill their full potential. This demands translating research into practice, together with practitioners, teachers and educators, so that innovative practices will be supported as much as possible.

Prof Christine Pascal
Centre for Research in Early Childhood
United Kingdom

Professor Christine Pascal OBE (Director of Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)), was a teacher in primary schools in Birmingham from 1976 to 1985, before moving into the university sector and specialising in early childhood research and evaluation projects. She has been Director of the Effective Early Learning (EEL) Project, the Accounting Early for Life Long Learning (AcE) Project, and was the National Evaluator of the DfES Early Excellence
Centre Programme. Currently she is President of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA). She was President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education from 1994-1997, and is now
Vice President. She has also done extensive work at government level to support the development of early years policy, sitting on a number of national committees, has served as a ministerial advisor, and an Early Years Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education. She has written extensively on early childhood development and the quality of early education services and served as an Expert Advisor to Dame Tickell’s review of the EYFS in England. In the past 3 years she has delivered a number of early years policy and evidence reviews for clients including The Sutton Trust, Early Education and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Department for Education.

Email: drchrispascal@crec.co.uk

EXTENDED COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Zelda Adendorf
Consultant

Zelda Adendorff is the former Deputy Director for the Teaching and Learning Development Capacity Improvement Programme at the Department of Higher Education and Training, and Project Manager for the Teacher Education for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Project. She is currently working as a consultant in the area of programme and curriculum development for Higher Education Qualifications, including those in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). Her current research interests include: policy development and implementation in Higher Education, professionalisation of ECD educators, and the use of Complexity Theory as an analytical framework for understanding the conditions that need to be in place for positive and sustainable change and development to take place at a systemic level in education. These interests are at the heart of her current PhD studies.

Email: zeldavb4@gmail.com

Keshni Bipath
UP

Prof. Keshni Bipath is currently an associate professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education (ECE) at the University of Pretoria. She co-ordinates the Project for Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education (PIECCE) and the ECE Post-Graduate programmes. She has also been a Foundation Phase educator, Head of Department, Assessment specialist and E-Learning specialist at the Gauteng Department of Education for 17 years before she joined UP in 2006. She is passionate about professionalization of the ECD workforce, policy implementation, transformational pedagogy, literacy development of young children and relationship-building amongst parents and teachers in the Early Childhood Care and Education sector. She has published numerous articles and presented papers at international and national conferences on Early Childhood Care and Education, educational improvement and school effectiveness in South Africa. Prof Keshni Bipath articles: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0588 9905, https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=NyRENPkAAAAJ&hl=en

Email: keshni.bipath@up.ac.za

Ayesha Carrim
UNISA

Ayesha Carrim is a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of South Africa. She is lecturing Life Skills: Science and Technology. She is currently studying towards her PhD in Education Management. Her research interest is on exploring leadership support in schools as well as student support and participation in an ODEL environment. Going forward Ayesha would like to contribute as much as possible to research in Early Childhood Education.

Email: Ecarria1@unisa.ac.za

Glynnis Daries
Sol Plaatjes University

Glynnis Daries (Ph.D.) is a senior lecturer in Foundation Phase Teaching at Sol Plaatje University. She is the Head of Department in Education Studies. In a career that spans over 14 years, she has played the role of a teacher, facilitator, manager, academic, researcher, mentor and advocate for the early years. She completed her Ph.D. in early childhood care and education in January 2017 at the University of the Free State. Her Ph.D. focused on the ‘funds of knowledge’ of practitioners and young children at community and privately owned early years centers. The study contributed to a deeper understanding of the sources of knowledge and the daily practice of practitioners with very young children. She contributed to new thinking about the professionalism of early childhood practitioners.

Email: glynnis.daries@spu.ac.za

Lorayne Excell
WITS

Post retirement, Lorayne Excell remains active in the field of early childhood education, both as a researcher and an educator. Her specific fields of interest are early childhood care and education and the Grade R phase. She has researched and published in areas such as social justice, professional teacher development, early literacy, and playful pedagogies in the early years. She continues to be involved in student development at the Wits School of Education as well as contributing to the development of various early childhood programmes.

Email: Lorayne.Excell@wits.ac.za

Susan Greyling
NWU

I am based in Fochville Gauteng and work at NWU Potchefstroom as the Unit for Open Distance Learning (UODL) Academic Manager: Faculty of Education. I played a main part in developing the Grade R programme, having insight in curriculum development processes and extensive knowledge of theoretical framing of teaching and learning. I was the Programme Leader for the Diploma in Grade R Teaching and the Programme Leader for ECCE, mainly responsible for the design, delivery and presentation of the degree and diploma in ECCE within the teacher education programmes delivered via distance learning. My research interests include Early Childhood Education as well as Educational Management. I am currently busy with her PhD Educational Management (UNISA). Theme: Management training for Foundation Phase Teachers that strive towards Principal positions: Case study in the North West Province.

Email: susan.greyling@nwu.ac.za

Xoliswa Magxala|
Walter Sisulu University

Xoliswa is a PhD candidate at Rhodes University and a lecturer for BEd Foundation Phase in the Department of Adult, Foundation Phase and Educational Foundations Education, at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU). Before joining the WSU, she taught in the Foundation Phase for 18 years. She has presented papers in various national and international conferences and has also contributed a chapter called: Young children learning to read and write in a home context: A study of two families in a rural community in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, in a published book titled: Masixhase abantwana bakwazi ukufunda nokubhala: Let us enable our children to read and write. She has also co-authored a chapter called: Identity and Belonging; published in a book titled: Curriculum, Pedagogyand Assessment: A Handbook on Early Childhood Education in South Africa, published by Pearson South Africa. She
has taken part in several research conferences nationally and internationally. Xoliswa believes that working hard and striving for success is the best way to live.

Email: xmagxala@wsu.ac.za

Ashnie Mahadew
UKZN

Dr Ashnie Mahadew is an academic from the College of Humanities, School of Education at the University of KwaZulu- Natal. She holds teaching qualifications and an honours degree in Psychology.  She completed her Master’s and PhD
degrees at the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal (UKZN). She has spent 20 years as a foundation phase teacher before joining UKZN where she presently lectures in language and literacy to the Bachelor of Education students. Dr Mahadew also
supervises postgraduate Masters’ students and her research focuses on community-based action research in the early childhood care and education sector.

Email: amahadew8@gmail.com

Mzoli Mncanca
UNISA

Mzoli Mncanca is a lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Africa (Unisa). He has recently completed a PhD in sociology of early childhood education at the University of Johannesburg. His teaching roles focus on initial teacher training for early childhood education and the foundation phase. His current scholarship interrogates the influence of fathers/father figures and male teachers on the socio-educational development of young children. Before joining Unisa, he coordinated national projects on learner welfare and community participation in education at the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT).

Email: mzoli@live.se

Matshediso Rebecca Modisa
UNISA

Matshediso is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Education, at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her current work includes lecturing and supervision of postgraduate students. As an emerging researcher whose interest focuses on Early Childhood Leadership, Management, Curriculum and is passionate about establishing international writing collaborations around ECE leadership; she has published chapters and collaboratively written a chapter with academics from Finland, Germany, Japan, Singapore and United States. She is a coordinator of International Leadership Research Forum in Early Childhood Education (ILRF-EC) at UNISA. She is also involved in inter-institutional research projects (Project for Early Childhood Policy Analysis and Programme Development for Inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education). Her experience as Primary School Teacher, ECE Teacher, Deputy Principal, and Senior Education Specialist for ECE in the Department of Education spans over 30 years in the education sector. She has successfully organised an International Leadership Research Forum in Early Childhood hosted by UNISA Department of EC with the support of Colleagues and projects contributions from the departmental projects including SARAECE.

Email: modismr@unisa.ac.za

Jane Tozana Mthembu
TUT

Tozama Mthembu is a lecturer in the Primary Education Department within the School of Education at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). She taught in the Foundation Phase for fifteen years and was the Head of Department. She was the coordinator for the School Based Support Team (SBST) before joining TUT. Her Doctor of Education (DEd) degree focused on developing pre-service Foundation phase teachers’ formative assessment. She believes that formative assessment is key in improving learning. She has co supervised MEd students, some of whom have graduated. She holds a Master of Arts (Linguistics) degree which she obtained from the University of Kwazulu Natal. She is currently lecturing Literacy to Foundation Phase student teachers.

Email: mthembujt@tut.ac.za

Zanele Mtshali
University of Zululand

Doctor Zanele Ellen Mtshali joined the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of Zululand in 2011, after working in several primary schools in the Empangeni area. She also taught Grade One for seven years at a diverse elementary school. She is passionate about teaching languages both IsiZulu and English to young learners. Her research focuses on how language is taught to learners from diverse language backgrounds. She published a paper which says: Teaching English home language comprehension skills to Foundation Phase learners from diverse language backgrounds in South Africa Journal Childhood Education in 2022 and Foregrounding the gender divides in Early Childhood Teachers in 2015. She has two students pursuing Ph.D. and master’s degrees. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology from UKZN, a Master of Linguistics from UNIZULU, Honours from Stellenbosch, a BA from UNIZULU, and a PTD from Vista. She has different portfolios at UNIZULU: a member of the Higher Degree Committee, a member of teaching and learning, and review proposals and programs from other universities for both Ph.D. and masters. She also presented at different universities like Fort hare University, Walter Sisulu, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Mangosuthu Technology, at the moment is doing PGDip with UKZN. As an ECE department, we collaborated with Karlstad University in Sweden in 202 and a project with the University of KwaZulu-Natal language development in helping our students to have a clear understanding of teaching reading in a nearby school with our Campus.

Email: mtshaliz@unizulu.ac.za

Shonisani Mulovhedzi
University of Venda

Dr Shonisani Agnes Mulovhedzi holds a PhD degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Pretoria. She is a committee member of South African Research in Early Childhood Education (SARAECE); Provincial Early Childhood Development Inter-Sectoral member. She is a Univen Senate member. She is also a coordinator of the Univen-Model Preschool. Her research and teaching focus primarily on special issues relating to Early Childhood Education specialised with an emphasis on leadership, Life Skills and inclusive education in the Foundation Phase. She won Vice-Chancellors excellence awards in teaching and learning. Shonisani has written and published book chapters and articles in accredited journals. She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters. She moderated dissertation and thesis from various universities and reviewed articles, book and book chapters. At present, Dr. Mulovhedzi is working as a senior lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the University of Venda.

Email: Shonisani.Mulovhedzi@univen.ac.za

Jabu Mzimela
UKZN

Jabulile Mzimela is an Early Childhood Education specialist. She is a teacher educator at the University Of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Education under the
Discipline of Early Childhood Education.  She holds a PhD degree in Teacher Development Studies. Her research interests are on Home Language and First Additional Language teaching. Lately, she has developed a further interest on Early Childhood Care and Education. Area of expertise: Early Childhood Education. I specialise in Literacy teaching both Mother Tongue and First Additional Language

Email: Mzimelaj@ukzn.ac.za

Thandekile Ngema
SANTS

Thandekile Ngema has been involved in teacher training for South Africa for 7 (seven) years with a particular focus on languages. She is presently a lecturer at SANTS Private Higher Institution where she continues to pursue her passion in language teaching and material development.

Email: Thandekile@sants.co.za

Julie Rubbi-Nunan
UNISA

Dr Rubbi Nunan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Early Childhood Education, College of Teacher Education at Unisa. She has worked in the public mainstream (Foundation Phase- Grade R to Grade 3) and Inclusive Education context (Grade R to Grade 7) for twenty years and served as the Foundation Phase Departmental Head for ten years. Her research interests include understanding student behaviour and teaching and learning adversity issues for inclusive and responsive learning spaces.

Email: rubbijs@unisa.ac.za

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