Innovative Best Teaching Practices Promoted at Symposium

Excellence in Teaching and Learning through innovative best teaching practices was promoted at a College of Health Sciences’ (CHS) symposium.

‘This theme is very fitting because as a learning institution we continuously seek new ways our curriculum in the College can encourage innovation and creativity in students,’ said Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College Professor Busisiwe Ncama. ‘Advancing technology will benefit patients and clients in hospitals and in clinic settings. To attract the best students and retain them, we need to be competitive and innovative in our teaching.

The annual Teaching and Learning symposium discussed establishing a common understanding of the Primary Health Care Curriculum, best practices in Education and the application of the seven graduate core competencies.

In 2014, the CHS Teaching and Learning Task Team – in collaboration with representatives from the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Health, stakeholders and community representatives – developed the Graduate Core Competencies Framework.

The Framework presents seven core competencies that are a common baseline for all graduates from the health sciences programmes in the CHS. The competencies are healthcare practitioner, scholar, professional, health advocate, leader and manager, communicator and collaborator. The competencies are developed in the practice environment ensuring cultural sensitivity, resilience, accessibility, flexibility, resourcefulness, reflectiveness, creativity, reflexivity and integrity.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at UKZN, Professor Sandile Phinda Songca, outlined the teaching and learning strategy of UKZN and put emphasis on research innovation and the importance of reviewing the curriculum.

Welcoming participants, the Dean of Teaching and Learning in the College of Health Sciences, Professor Sinegugu Duma, said: ‘This symposium has remained the space where we are reminded of our responsibilities as teachers, of the social contract we have with our students and the communities we serve. Our responsibly is huge because it is through praxis of teaching and learning that we are able to produce graduates and health practitioners who are competent, safe and fit for purpose.’

The CHS Teaching and Learning Office recognised three academics for the Teaching Excellence award category. Dr Bernard Gaerde was honoured for his contribution towards promoting the Decentralised Clinical Training Platform.

Professor Timothy Hardcastle and Professor Verusia Chetty were also recognised for their outstanding contribution to the teaching endeavor in the College in the same category

Words: Lihle Sosibo

Photographs: Supplied