Prof Thelma de Jager, HOD for Educational Foundation, now a C-rated National Research Foundation (NRF) researcher.
Prof de Jager’s teaching experience in primary, secondary, Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) schools and Higher Education spans more than 40 years. She completed her doctoral study at the University of South Africa and a four-year teaching diploma at the Normaal College of Pretoria. Her passion for teaching reflects in the numerous lecturer awards (including Best Lecturer of the Year) that she received since 2011. She was also selected as a finalist in the HELTASA awards for Best Lecturer of the Year.
She is loved and revered by all of her students, who talk about the uncompromising way she challenges and teaches them about the education system. As a researcher, she has supervised several doctoral and master’s students and published articles in international and national accredited and peer-reviewed journals. She also received several excellence awards for Woman Researcher of the Year (Faculty of Humanities).
Prof de Jager’s body of work places her among the most highly regarded education scholars in the country. She served on the advisory and editorial board of International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), the International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, the Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences (ACP2016). She was senior reviewer at the IAFOR conference, and in 2016, she was the organiser of the SAARMSTE conference held in Pretoria.
She conducted several keynote addresses at conferences, authored and edited textbooks such as: General Subject Didactics, Creative Arts Education (in collaboration with other institutions), and the Science to Teach and Differentiated Instruction. Currently, she is the project leader of the South African team for the ICALT 3 project (which involves 10 other countries with Netherlands as main project –leader) and the British Council on Inclusive Education, T4ALL project. Previously, she received the NRF Grant and Saturn bursary to conduct research.
Her research interests include Differentiated instruction, Inclusive education, Teaching methods and strategies, Science education, Technology assisted teaching and learning, Effective teaching practices, Models of teaching and Metacognitive learning.
Prof de Jager’s has a passion to improve teaching pedagogy and her studies could impact education policy that speaks to the implementation of differentiated learning.