Convenor: Prof Pieter du Toit, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria

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Co-convenor: Revd Dr Delysia Norelle Timm, Durban University of Technology

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SIG description:

The RPR SIG aims to offer all higher education practitioners from different contexts opportunities of becoming part of a scholarly community of practice that inter alia promotes scholarship of learning and teaching, scholarship of postgraduate supervision and scholarship of leadership and management, using a reflective lens. We advocate using research designs such as action research, informed by autoethnographic studies and living theory that will contribute to investigating and improving practice. Improving practice revolves around becoming a reflective practitioner who takes responsibility for own professional development.  Most often than not such self-regulated professional learning is referred to as practitioner-research.

Members of the SIG consists of an array of professionals such as higher education practitioners/lecturers, heads of department, academic staff development professionals, and supervisors of Master’s and doctoral students interested in self-reflective studies of practice. Young, newly appointed academic staff may find this scholarly niche helpful in becoming a researcher of note by bridging the gap between scholarship of teaching and research scholarship. Typical of the participatory nature of action research and developing scholarly communities of practice is the mentoring role established action researchers take. Therefore this SIG is considered a nurturing environment for up-and-coming scholars.


A special 2017 issue of the South African Journal of Higher Education will be dedicated to action research and related research designs and approaches. It is envisaged that a scholarly community of self-study, autoethnographic, reflexive and action research practice, among others; practitioner-researchers and advocates of living theory and constructivist professional learning may contribute and engage in establishing similar communities of practice. A wide national and international reader audience may be introduced to your innovative research projects that revolves around changing/improving self and practice – an opportunity not to be missed.

A double-blind peer review process is followed. Each author is responsible for submitting online on the SAJHE system following the submission procedure and the guidelines for authors (available on the website). Authors need to be subscribers or should subscribe prior to submission. Page fees are to be paid by authors


  • Call for contributions: November/December 2016
  • Authors are invited to submit by 1 March a draft article that outlines the focus of the research project and its research
  • Design – adhering to the guidelines for authors. It should clearly indicate how the research being reported is aligned with the focus of the intended special issue. These submissions should be sent by email directly to the guest editor at for the purpose of a first round of peer reviewing of contributions
  • Authors will be notified by 1 April 2017 of the status of their proposals
  • Full papers are expected to be submitted by 6 May 2017
  • All submitted papers will be reviewed on a double-blind basis and returned to authors by 15 June 2017

These dates will be strictly adhered to as this SAJHE special issue is set to be published by the middle of October 2017

Guest Editor: Pieter du Toit

The following workshop on Action Research was presented on invitation by SAIDE:

Du Toit PH Action research as innovative means to self-study: A quest for ‘thinking out of my box’!  OER Africa/SAIDE Convening, 17-18  May, Nairobi

A workshop on using self-study action research forms part of the pre-conference workshops of HELTASA/ICED 2016 (consult the Conference programme):

Workshop 20: Revd Dr Delysia Timm Using self-study action research to explore ethics, care and quality in higher educational practice and research (HEPR)