Stone Cold Pedagogy

Stone Cold Pedagogy

Name (s): Dianna Moodley
Affiliation: Durban University of Technology
Country: South Africa

Write-up about the exhibition:

The pandemic has catapulted South African Higher Education (HE) into abrupt ‘pivot to online’, Emergency Remote Learning (ERL), deepening the current crisis of a severely fractured education system still recovering from ‘huge hangovers of their colonial and apartheid pasts’ (Boughey & McKenna, 2021). While universities have fervently enabled appropriate infrastructure, pedagogy should be 

acclimatising, enabling the development of adaptive graduates now more than ever, within this unpredictable, volatile environment. However, a perturbing finding is that ERL is exacerbating students’ existing academic challenges.

Highly subjective, sense-based data was retrieved from focus groups, revealing compelling, emotionally charged interpretations of students’ lived realities. Findings exposed that students were alienated and decontextualized from the learning process. An unproductive teaching practice prevailed, palpably desensitized to the psycho-social and mental impact of the pandemic on students. This presentation is a digital, interdisciplinary, contemporary dance piece highlighting the psycho-social impact of Covid-19 on students’ remote online learning.

It invites the viewer into experiencing students’ difficulties in adapting to ERL and calls for academics to consider how its current practice marginalises students through inconsiderate ways of learning that play ignorant to students’ lived experiences. The performance is infused with imagery and metaphors, highlighting how students get forced to adapt (or die) in their studies.

It is a cry, provoking academics into a brutal, self-conscious introspect and a humanistic response, a radical paradigm shift towards social justice for a post-conflict South African student-body. This is a call for an emancipatory approach to Teaching and Learning – Critical Humanising Pedagogy. 


August 25, 2022