Institutional leadership reflections for developing a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in institutional culture

Presented by: Renuka Vithal

Room: Peer Gynt – Level 2

Time: Friday, 08:30-9:25


It has been shown that a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can be developed institutionally when conceptualised as multi-dimensional, inclusive and grown through an organic approach over time, in the case of one South African university (Vithal, 2016). This presentation follows from and builds on this case in contributing to a “scholarship of leadership”, which seeks to embed SoTL in institutional culture by asking the question: what aspects of university leadership have the potential to facilitate shifts in institutional culture toward valuing and developing SoTL? Drawing on my knowledge and experiences as a Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, in this retrospective, reflexive account, selected institutional leadership features and enablers (or constraints) for growing SoTL university-wide, are identified. These are then analysed and discussed from an insider leadership perspective, drawing on contemporary higher education leadership theories and approaches.


Renuka Vithal is a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dean of Education and Professor of Mathematics Education of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Her research interests and publications span a number of areas, including, the social and political dimensions of mathematics education, teacher education, educational research and more recently, higher education.

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