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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

DU TOIT, Pieter H. Social transformation starts with the self: An autobiographical perspective on the thinking style preferences of an educator. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.4, pp.1-12. ISSN 2076-3433.

As an educator I am responsible for my professional development and the professional development of all educators with whom I have scholarly encounters. These encounters involve making a difference in the professional lives of other members of society, for example, in an educational setting with a view to transforming such a society, and transforming the society beyond the boundaries of educational settings. Educators in educational settings, such as schools, universities, and Further Education Colleges should serve their institutions as agents of transformation. As a specialist in educator professional development, specifically in the context of higher education, I look into my contribution to empowering these educators who operate within a micro-education society and to empowering myself. Therefore the point of departure for my research projects in general and the one reported in this article is the self -my preferences in terms of how I approach facilitating the professional development of different groups of educators and monitoring mine. An array of attributes, values, virtues, constructed meaning, competencies, etc. constitutes the self. Data obtained by means of a thinking style questionnaire, the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI), serves as part of the baseline data for exploring my teaching practice that revolves around educator professional development. Only some baseline data concerning the self are reported in this article. Some baseline data relate to other individuals - all involved in transforming themselves, their practices and society in some way as an individual self. This, however, is not reported in this article. The focus here is an autobiographical perspective on my thinking style preferences that inform my involvement in educator professional development. The outcome of the analysis of the baseline data pertaining to me includes a mixed-methods approach that complements the continuous action research on the professional development of the self over a period of more than ten years. The data reported present a small-scale collection of quantitative and qualitative data. This small-scale view of who I am as education specialist provides evidence that I have specific thinking preferences and avoidances in my teaching practice in general and facilitating professional development interventions in particular.

Keywords : professional development [interventions]; social transformation; thinking preferences.

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