Change and Transformation in the Knowledge Production Paradigms: A Global Perspective
Prof. Catherine A. Odora Hoppers, University of South Africa
Date: 27th May 2016
Venue: KSU – Tipico Careers Common Room
Chairperson: Prof. Carmel Borg, Editor, Malta Review of Educational Research
Organised by: The Editorial Board of the Malta Review of Educational Research, in collaboration with the Critical Institute
There are many things which education and development in Africa was supposed to be about, but which it is still NOT. To many critical readers, education has stood by, “eyeless in Gaza”, unable to find the words and strategies deep enough to deal with epistemological disenfranchisement and cognitive justice with untold consequences for the development of the “whole person” in Africa. When it has engaged with “development”, education either encourages blind assimilation into it; or it proposes ameliorative responses to the effects of development such as over-consumption and environmental pollution; or selectively focuses on particular aspects of development such as economic development whilst underplaying or totally ignoring cultural and intercultural education. For its part, “development” has been rescued from time to time from itself by such humanizing prefixes as “sustainable”, “human-centred”, and “ecological” etc, but at its core, its pungent inheritance has yet to be unpacked and new parameters for thought and action devised in particular in the Higher Education landscape.
Professor Hoppers is a scholar and policy specialist on International Development, education, North-South questions, disarmament, peace, and human security. She is a UNESCO expert in basic education, lifelong learning, information systems and on Science and Society; an expert in disarmament at the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs; an expert to the World Economic Forum on benefit sharing and value addition protocols; and the World Intellectual Property Organisation on traditional knowledge and community intellectual property rights.
In South Africa, Professor Hoppers holds a South African Research Chair in Development Education at the University of South Africa (2008) a National Chair set up by the Department of Science and Technology. Prior to that, she was a technical adviser on Indigenous Knowledge Systems to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (South Africa) and led the Task Team to draft the national policy on Indigenous Knowledge Systems. She was a Distinguished Professional at the Human Sciences Research Council; an Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria; a visiting Professor at Stockholm University (Sweden) where she led the Systems Research Collaboration (Sweden and South Africa), bringing together policy makers and professionals in the academia in the two countries. She was the Scientific Coordinator and Campus Director for the Council for the Development of Social Science in Africa (CODESRIA) Annual Social Science Campus (2006); and a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from Orebro University (Sweden), and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. She was formerly a member of the International Faculty of the United Nations International Leadership Academy (Amman-Jordan); and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), and was a member of the Academy of Science Special Panel on the Future of Humanities (South Africa). She serves as member of the Board of the PASCAL International Observatory (initiated by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Countries (OECD)). She is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and is the Chair of the African Academy of Science Advisory Council on the Social and Cultural Sciences (2014). In 2013, she was appointed by the Minister of Higher Education (South Africa) as Member of the Task Team on the Ministerial Project on the Future of the Humanities and Social Science.
She has addressed the International Bar Association, the Swedish Research Council, and Academy of Science of South Africa, the British House of Lords, and the Royal Dutch Shell. She is Goodwill Ambassador for Makerere University in Kampala Uganda; and Ambassador for Non-Violence at the Durban Universities’ International Centre for Non-Violence. She was given the Presidential Medal of Honour by the President of Uganda on the 9th October 2013, marking Uganda’s Golden Jubilee, for her ground-breaking academic research and leadership. In July 2015, she received the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Africanist Award for her pursuit of the total liberation for the African continent through the promotion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Education. In August 2015, Prof Hoppers was awarded “Woman of the Year” by the University of South Africa, and was named as a “Leading Educationist” and was honoured in the Gallery of Leadership as the 63 most influential people who have shaped Unisa since its inception in 1873, in a permanent exhibition in Kgorong Building in UNISA.