The University of Cape Town (South Africa)
“Changing Academic Landscapes: Principles and Practices of Teaching Writing At the University of Cape Town” By Arlene Archer
This paper looks at the principles and practices of teaching writing in the Writing Centre at the University of Cape Town (UCT). It outlines some of the context of higher education in South Africa and how writing centres need to contribute to both access and redress of past inequities. In order to critically engage with writing, the UCT Writing Centre takes an “academic literacies” approach, which focuses on contextualized social practices, rather than decontextualized skills. This practice-based approach helps to explore the interdisciplinary nature of the work, as well as the changing representational landscape in higher education. The paper explores some of the impact the Writing Centre has had on student writing, and argues that the Centre contributes to higher education transformation through the mentoring of postgraduate students as future academics.