Educating for (New) South African Citizenship: Engaging Trainee Health Workers with Issues of Difference

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For three years we have run an interprofessional, interuniversity course entitled ‘Community, Self and Identity’. Students in psychology at Stellenbosch University, an historically white South African university, and students in social work and occupational therapy at University of the Western Cape, an historically black university, participated in a course which offered a combination of face to face workshops and online workgroups. A range of participatory techniques were use to support students to explore their own, and their colleagues personal, social and professional identities. Student feedback on the course was overwhelmingly positive. Notwithstanding some concerns we have about the depth of student learning in a short course, we believe that a participatory approach which requires students to explore their own multiple identities is preferable to a techniques-based approach in which cultural competence is taught as a set of skills.


Keywords: Trainee Health Workers, Community, Self and Identity, eLearning, Participatory Learning, Intergroup Learning
Stream: Equity, Social Justice and Social Change; Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Educating for (New) South African Citizenship


Prof. Leslie Swartz

Professor, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University
Matieland, W Cape, South Africa

Leslie Swartz is Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University. A clinical psychologist by training, he is interested in issues of diversity with special reference to mental health and educational contexts. Much of his work has focussed on questions of provision of services in low-income contexts. He is involved in disability research training in southern Africa and in the establishment of an inter-university Centre for Public Mental Health. He is interests in the ways in which student and lecturer identities can best be harnessed to prepare students for work with diversity and difference. He is co-editor of forthcoming volumes on HIV/AIDS in South Africa and on disability and international development.

Prof. Vivienne Grace Bozalek

University of the Western Cape
South Africa


Dr. Ronelle Carolissen

Stellenbosch University
South Africa


Dr. Brenda Leibowitz

Stellenbosch University
South Africa


Lindsey Nicholls

Brunel Univesrity
UK


Dr. Poul Rohleder

Anglia Ruskin University
UK


Ref: L09P1313