College of Education

Improve teacher education

Prof Elize du Plessis

The inaugural lecture of Prof Elize du Plessis, College of Education, entitled Classroom readiness of open and distance learning student teachers: Can they step out "in style"?, took place on 28 February 2019.

"In my most recent research I determined student teachers’ classroom readiness on completion of their teaching practice modules. Based on this research, the general picture looks very positive, students feel prepared," said Du Plessis in her inaugural lecture. "Unfortunately, if we look at the reality of our education, in 2017, South Africa ranked 10th out of 15 for Grade 6 reading and 8th for Mathematics," she deplored.

The 2018 International Institute for Management Development World Digital Competitiveness Ranking positioned South Africa 49th out of 63 economies, a drop from 47th place in 2017. "If we want to produce quality teachers, it makes sense to select the best applicants for teacher education courses. In Finland, only the top 10 college graduates are allowed to enter the teaching profession," Du Plessis pointed out.

As a service provider, Unisa trains 52% of South African teachers. "We need to reflect seriously about the quality of teachers we eventually send out to our schools. My plea is to increase the admission requirements and to improve the quality of teacher education courses to assist student teachers in becoming competent and reflective practitioners and stepping out in style," she concluded.

You can read the inaugural lecture here.

The person behind the professor

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Anna-Mart van der Merwe

Technology: Friend or foe?


If you were a sea creature, what would you be and why?

A dolphin, because they are altruistic and they can sing!

What’s the greatest risk you took to get where you are today?

Taking the first step by presenting a conference paper.

What three skills must a professor possess?

  1. Listen to others and ask questions
  2. Time management skills to do research
  3. Perseverance until you succeed with publications

* Compiled by Sharon Farrell, Editor: Internal Communication, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/07/02