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Drafting a public-good professional capability index (PCI) for university- based professional education in South Africa Presentation to the HDCA Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Drafting a public-good professional capability index (PCI) for university- based professional education in South Africa Presentation to the HDCA Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Drafting a public-good professional capability index (PCI) for university- based professional education in South Africa Presentation to the HDCA Education Thematic Network, St Edmunds College, Cambridge 24 June 2009 Melanie Walker, Monica McLean, Arona Dison and Rosie Vaughan

2 Development Discourses: Higher Education and Poverty Reduction in South Africa. Funded by ESRC/DFID July 2008-December 2009, and based in the School of Education, University of Nottingham -poverty-reduction/index.php

3 Structure 1.Project aims and core concepts 2.South African context 3.Process of developing index, informed by: –capability approach; –data collection; and, – working with Research Working Groups (RWGs) 4.The tables that make up the draft index

4 Main aims - to investigate: how professional education in South African universities might contribute to poverty reduction and social transformation. how professional education in South African universities might contribute to poverty reduction and social transformation. the equity trajectory of universities and their role as engines of reform in addressing the challenges of poverty and associated human development needs of South Africa, through a focus on professional education.the equity trajectory of universities and their role as engines of reform in addressing the challenges of poverty and associated human development needs of South Africa, through a focus on professional education.

5 …and evolving questions What kind of university system holds the greatest promise for the realization of a vision of capabilities? What kind of professional education holds the greatest promise for the realization of professional and comprehensive capabilities by mobilizing agency and modifying identities of privilege? However, in current times, SA universities may/ do struggle to reconstitute identities away from the desire for social mobility and towards the public good.What kind of university system holds the greatest promise for the realization of a vision of capabilities? What kind of professional education holds the greatest promise for the realization of professional and comprehensive capabilities by mobilizing agency and modifying identities of privilege? However, in current times, SA universities may/ do struggle to reconstitute identities away from the desire for social mobility and towards the public good. Is living a fully good life necessarily one that includes various forms of laudable action (Nussbaum, 1990, p.17)?Is living a fully good life necessarily one that includes various forms of laudable action (Nussbaum, 1990, p.17)? If opportunities for achievable functionings crucially depend on creating the conditions to ensure true equality of opportunity, is there anything a) universities as transforming HEIs and b) public good professionals can do to create conditions which ensure true equality of opportunity? (Feldman and Gellert).If opportunities for achievable functionings crucially depend on creating the conditions to ensure true equality of opportunity, is there anything a) universities as transforming HEIs and b) public good professionals can do to create conditions which ensure true equality of opportunity? (Feldman and Gellert). In the face of neoliberalism, including its impact on HEI policy and transformation, is a professional capability list the most productive way to address questions of inequality of access, participation and success, in the struggle for social justice? Could capabilities be a STRATEGIC tool to promote structural change and democratic practice/reform?In the face of neoliberalism, including its impact on HEI policy and transformation, is a professional capability list the most productive way to address questions of inequality of access, participation and success, in the struggle for social justice? Could capabilities be a STRATEGIC tool to promote structural change and democratic practice/reform?

6 ....problems and questions What ought to/could be the underpinning principles of justice for public good professionalism?What ought to/could be the underpinning principles of justice for public good professionalism? The tension between the normative and the practical, and hence also of measurementThe tension between the normative and the practical, and hence also of measurement Our other regarding agency problem (associative justice)Our other regarding agency problem (associative justice) Is the CA enough? (theoretically)?Is the CA enough? (theoretically)? What about deep absolute poverty (poor simply excluded from the economy)?What about deep absolute poverty (poor simply excluded from the economy)?

7 Core concept: Social Transformation Central to political discourse in South Africa after the transition to democracy in 1994 (constitution most progressive –e.g. Equality includes the full enjoyment of all rights and freedoms….)Central to political discourse in South Africa after the transition to democracy in 1994 (constitution most progressive –e.g. Equality includes the full enjoyment of all rights and freedoms….) Redress of racial inequalities in South African society (in HE, achieving proportionate numbers of students from different racial groups)Redress of racial inequalities in South African society (in HE, achieving proportionate numbers of students from different racial groups) Eradication of povertyEradication of poverty

8 Core Concept: Poverty Conventional conceptualisations: resource-based (under a dollar a day); and/or happiness (utility) Conventional conceptualisations: resource-based (under a dollar a day); and/or happiness (utility) Alternative: a multidimensional understanding –poor people deprived of a range of possibilities to be and to do (e.g. SA Speak out on Poverty public hearings in 1998, poverty emerged as not only about lack of financial resources, but more centrally about an absence of opportunities and choices which allow people to build decent lives for themselves and their families (Archbishop Njongo Ndungane, 2009)Alternative: a multidimensional understanding –poor people deprived of a range of possibilities to be and to do (e.g. SA Speak out on Poverty public hearings in 1998, poverty emerged as not only about lack of financial resources, but more centrally about an absence of opportunities and choices which allow people to build decent lives for themselves and their families (Archbishop Njongo Ndungane, 2009)

9 SA Context: apartheid legacy and poverty Legacy of apartheid – institutionalised racial oppression, overlaid on class discrimination causing extreme inequalityLegacy of apartheid – institutionalised racial oppression, overlaid on class discrimination causing extreme inequality Despite economic growth, around 42% of South Africans are both poor and deprived (Klasen, 2000)Despite economic growth, around 42% of South Africans are both poor and deprived (Klasen, 2000) Gini co-efficient in South Africa is 1:100 (Seekings and Nattrass, 2005)Gini co-efficient in South Africa is 1:100 (Seekings and Nattrass, 2005) 11.4% officially HV positive in % officially HV positive in 2002 Unemployment is around 26/7% (structural not cyclical)Unemployment is around 26/7% (structural not cyclical) Just under 12 million people qualified for means- tested social grants in 2007Just under 12 million people qualified for means- tested social grants in 2007 But, social pensions have failed to keep pace with inflationBut, social pensions have failed to keep pace with inflation Poor without a voice in the policy debate (Freidman, et al)Poor without a voice in the policy debate (Freidman, et al)

10 South African context: racial demographics (2007) Population group AfricansColouredsIndiansWhitesTotal Numbers (millions) Percentage79.5%8.8%2.5%9.5%100% Badat, 2008

11 SA Context: Higher education HE differentiated according to race and designed to reproduce social relations (HBU/HWU)HE differentiated according to race and designed to reproduce social relations (HBU/HWU) White Paper on Higher Education (1997): contribution to social transformation by combining economic priorities with the need to support a democratic civil society. Transformed HE would be characterised by access; quality in teaching and learning; graduates who are critical, analytical, and tolerant, able to deal with change and diversity; staff diversity and rigorous scholarship; democratic governance; open academic climate; institutional culture of tolerance and respect.White Paper on Higher Education (1997): contribution to social transformation by combining economic priorities with the need to support a democratic civil society. Transformed HE would be characterised by access; quality in teaching and learning; graduates who are critical, analytical, and tolerant, able to deal with change and diversity; staff diversity and rigorous scholarship; democratic governance; open academic climate; institutional culture of tolerance and respect.

12 Headcounts enrolments in HE Race and Gender African58%63% White30%24%

13 HE students as % of relevant age group (2006) (cf to absolute numbers of black students at 76% in 2007) Population group AfricansColouredsIndiansWhitesTotal Success rates 65%77% PercentageParticip.12%13%42%59%100% Soudien, 2008

14 Teaching/research staff Race and gender African23%25% Coloured5%6% Indian8%8% White62%59%

15 Executive and management staff Race and gender African19%24% Coloured9%8% Indian7%7% White66%61%

16 Higher education challenges HE as a microcosm of society: fault-lines of race, class and genderHE as a microcosm of society: fault-lines of race, class and gender How do we teach good (moral and ethical) considerations?How do we teach good (moral and ethical) considerations? How do we produce professionals and researchers who are critical, analytical and have deep social conscience?How do we produce professionals and researchers who are critical, analytical and have deep social conscience? How do we produce young men and women who will personify good?How do we produce young men and women who will personify good? (Badat, 2001)(Badat, 2001)

17 Conditions for pro-poor social and economic policy and potential importance of HE educated professionals 1. presence of social consciousness (Swaan, 1988): (i) a widespread perception among economic elites that all social groups are interdependent, (ii) that elites bear some responsibility for the conditions of the poor, and (iii) the belief that effective means of assisting the poor do exist or might be created.1. presence of social consciousness (Swaan, 1988): (i) a widespread perception among economic elites that all social groups are interdependent, (ii) that elites bear some responsibility for the conditions of the poor, and (iii) the belief that effective means of assisting the poor do exist or might be created. 2. political organisation, coalition and compromise building (Przeworski, 1987)2. political organisation, coalition and compromise building (Przeworski, 1987) (In Friedman et al, nd, p.2)(In Friedman et al, nd, p.2)

18 Elite thinking (De Swaan et al, 2000) 3 elements of social consciousness refer to 3 different types of thinking:3 elements of social consciousness refer to 3 different types of thinking: 1) Factual assessments1) Factual assessments 2) moral evaluations2) moral evaluations 3) power of collective agency3) power of collective agency

19 Professional education: rupturing of the insulating membrane the majority of the [South African] elite are distanced from the poor and feel little, if any sense of personal responsibility for groups within their social segment (Hossain et al, 1999, p.27). BUT Social consciousness could be operationalized educationally through:the majority of the [South African] elite are distanced from the poor and feel little, if any sense of personal responsibility for groups within their social segment (Hossain et al, 1999, p.27). BUT Social consciousness could be operationalized educationally through: curriculum that fosters historical, political and social knowledge and understanding (De Swaan et al, 2000; identification; feasibility; Sullivan and Rosin, 2008 bodies of knowledge)curriculum that fosters historical, political and social knowledge and understanding (De Swaan et al, 2000; identification; feasibility; Sullivan and Rosin, 2008 bodies of knowledge) identity formation, commitment and professional values (generalized responsibility; responsibility and identity)identity formation, commitment and professional values (generalized responsibility; responsibility and identity) Ethical learning and pedagogy which fosters affiliations (interdependence and policy/collective action; community)Ethical learning and pedagogy which fosters affiliations (interdependence and policy/collective action; community)

20 Ethical Identities Yet, it may be argued that the most critical challenge facing the next phase of our democratic dispensation is none other than the absence of a set of well-defined and generally accepted ethical and moral values. As the forefathers of modern economics have convincingly argued, no socioeconomic system is sustainable, let alone prosperous, without a set of moral values that are generally internalised across the society. Democratic South Africa is no exception. (Abedian, 2009)Yet, it may be argued that the most critical challenge facing the next phase of our democratic dispensation is none other than the absence of a set of well-defined and generally accepted ethical and moral values. As the forefathers of modern economics have convincingly argued, no socioeconomic system is sustainable, let alone prosperous, without a set of moral values that are generally internalised across the society. Democratic South Africa is no exception. (Abedian, 2009) If, as Soudien (2008) suggests, racial identities are reconstituted at university, away from race towards concerns with status and belonging, then surely ethical forms of identity construction and reconstruction are [theoretically] possible?If, as Soudien (2008) suggests, racial identities are reconstituted at university, away from race towards concerns with status and belonging, then surely ethical forms of identity construction and reconstruction are [theoretically] possible?

21 Developing the PCI: Conceptual Framework (Capabilities) Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom,1999) and Martha Nussbaum (Women and Human Development, 2000) Capability approach: capabilities (effective opportunities to be and do) and functionings (actual beings and doings) -apply both to clients (comprehensive capabilities) and professionals (public-good professional capabilities)Capability approach: capabilities (effective opportunities to be and do) and functionings (actual beings and doings) -apply both to clients (comprehensive capabilities) and professionals (public-good professional capabilities) Poverty defined as multi-dimensional: low income; low quality of life, the denial of choices and opportunities for a tolerable life (as capability deprivation).Poverty defined as multi-dimensional: low income; low quality of life, the denial of choices and opportunities for a tolerable life (as capability deprivation). Poverty reduction defined as expanding human well- being and agency (as capability expansion)Poverty reduction defined as expanding human well- being and agency (as capability expansion)

22 Comprehensive capabilities Nussbaum (2000); Wolff and De-Shalit (2007) Life Life Bodily health Bodily health Bodily integrity Bodily integrity Sense, imagination and thought Sense, imagination and thought Emotions Emotions Practical Reason Practical Reason Affiliation (A and B) Affiliation (A and B) Other species Other species Play Play Control over ones environment (A and B) Control over ones environment (A and B) Doing good to others Doing good to others Living in a law abiding fashion Living in a law abiding fashion Understanding the law Understanding the law

23 Developing the PCI: Conceptual Framework (ideal-type professionalism ) […] (1) professional skills is human capital that (2) is always dependent for its negotiability upon some collective enterprise, which itself (3) is the outcome of civic politics in which the freedom of a group to organize for a specific purpose is balanced by the accountability of that group to other members of the civic community for furtherance of publicly established goals and standards. (Sullivan, 2005)[…] (1) professional skills is human capital that (2) is always dependent for its negotiability upon some collective enterprise, which itself (3) is the outcome of civic politics in which the freedom of a group to organize for a specific purpose is balanced by the accountability of that group to other members of the civic community for furtherance of publicly established goals and standards. (Sullivan, 2005) [Professionals] are concerned with different aspects of [public] good, in some cases the immediate good of individual patients, students or clients, in others of firms or groups, and in others the general good. But such service must always be judged and balanced against a larger public good, sometimes one anticipated in the future. Practitioners and their associations have the duty to appraise what they do in light of that larger good, a duty which licenses them to be more than passive servants of the state, of capital of the firm, of the client, or even of the immediate general public. (Freidson, 2004) [Professionals] are concerned with different aspects of [public] good, in some cases the immediate good of individual patients, students or clients, in others of firms or groups, and in others the general good. But such service must always be judged and balanced against a larger public good, sometimes one anticipated in the future. Practitioners and their associations have the duty to appraise what they do in light of that larger good, a duty which licenses them to be more than passive servants of the state, of capital of the firm, of the client, or even of the immediate general public. (Freidson, 2004)

24 Public good professionalism = pro- poor professionalism For our purposes, the concept of professionalism, in all its historical and social complexities, offers a range of identities. The one we are offering here to professionals bound up with transformation in South Africa is founded on ideas about human development that emphasise capability expansion for both professionals and their clients. This particular definition of professionalism carries with it a special emphasis on responsibility, in South Africas context, for poverty reduction. Sen (2008) calls this feature of human development a social justice imperative linking responsibility to effective power.For our purposes, the concept of professionalism, in all its historical and social complexities, offers a range of identities. The one we are offering here to professionals bound up with transformation in South Africa is founded on ideas about human development that emphasise capability expansion for both professionals and their clients. This particular definition of professionalism carries with it a special emphasis on responsibility, in South Africas context, for poverty reduction. Sen (2008) calls this feature of human development a social justice imperative linking responsibility to effective power.

25 If the public good soul of professionalism is to be strengthened, the education of professionals is the critical starting point (Sullivan, 2005).If the public good soul of professionalism is to be strengthened, the education of professionals is the critical starting point (Sullivan, 2005). We are conceptualising professional education as a process of capability expansion that will open up freedoms for individual students to be a particular kind of professional.We are conceptualising professional education as a process of capability expansion that will open up freedoms for individual students to be a particular kind of professional.

26 Developing the PCI: Data Collection- the cases UniversityCase(s)Respondents Acacia: HAU (Afrikaans) 23,000-70%W,30% B Theology and Engineering 4-5 alumni; 4-5 student focus groups; 3-4 lecturers and HoD; Dean, PVC, NGO/Prof body Fynbos: HDU, 15,000 93% B, 5% W, 2%I Public Health and Law Silvertree: HAU, 21, %B,40%W Social Development (Social Work)

27 Developing the PCI: Analysing Data (1) Questions about: what kind of professional SA needs;what kind of professional SA needs; what kind of education would produce such a professional;what kind of education would produce such a professional; what enables and constrains the production.what enables and constrains the production. December days team work on Social Development:

28 TTransformationPPoverty P2+ Contribution to poverty reduction P2- Contribution to poverty reduction (negative) C Capabilities (of the poor) CPCPCPCP Professional capabilities CLCLCLCL Lecturer capabilities E+ Educational contribution E- Educational contribution (negative) Development Discourses Codes From the week of 15 th -19 th December 2008

29 4 initial professional capabilities - vision- vision - agency- agency - resilience- resilience - affiliation- affiliation

30 Developing the PCI: Analysing Data (2) December-March chunking data, producing university narratives and case summary narratives.December-March chunking data, producing university narratives and case summary narratives. March 21 st -March 31 st team worked in SA to produce tables.March 21 st -March 31 st team worked in SA to produce tables. Extended case studies and ideal-type short accounts are being written for each case.Extended case studies and ideal-type short accounts are being written for each case.

31 Developing the PCI: Working with RWGs Research Working Group of three or four in each site: PVC, HoD, Dean, Head of Educational Development.Research Working Group of three or four in each site: PVC, HoD, Dean, Head of Educational Development. Three stages: reading and written comments; attending workshop in March; revising tables and a final meeting (July) to discuss how to embed the approach.Three stages: reading and written comments; attending workshop in March; revising tables and a final meeting (July) to discuss how to embed the approach.

32 The Draft PCI Tables Based on theory, a rich data set and collaboration (still incomplete and provisional) 1.Evaluative framework for educational goals: (incommensurable) capabilities and functionings. 2.Evaluative framework for institutional conditions. 3.Educational arrangements, departmental level 4.Constraints: Legacy of apartheid Problems: agreement and operationalising

33 Achievements and hopes Achievements A deeper appreciation and understanding of university-based professional education contexts, practices, possibilities and constraints in South Africa. The generation of capability-based lists that are evidence- based and collaborative; and, of interest and use to some professional educators. Hopes: Furthering 1 and 2 above, and seeing the implementation of the PCI in some contexts.


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