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Theme: Strategies and Innovations in Teaching and Learning

Introducing social theory to first year Sociology students phronetically

Paul Stewart
Department of Sociology
University of the Witwatersrand

Bent Flyvberg’s (2001) construal of phronetic social science has served to articulate institutional pedagogic responses to teaching sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand to first year students under changed conditions in the tertiary sector in post-apartheid South Africa. It has further inspired the development of and provided practical guidelines for attempts at introducing a student-centered and epistemologically grounded method of introducing social theory within the course. This phronetic orientation is briefly outlined as a relevant, socially engaged and practical form of social scientific analysis. Its methodological guidelines are reflectively applied to attempts at improving the teaching of social theory. This results in a brief critique of institutional attempts to implement relevant curricular changes as well as a reflective auto-critique of adopting a phronetic perspective when teaching social theory to first year students. The paper concludes by claiming to have shown how this is embryonically being achieved.

Full Paper in MS Word

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