Retired Law Academic Achieves Doctorate

Dr Angela Crocker
Dr Angela Crocker graduated with a doctoral degree.

Retired Law Academic Dr Angela Crocker graduated with a doctorate proving that a dream delayed is not a dream denied.

‘My motivation for this PhD research stemmed from my love of teaching,’ said Crocker. ‘So, my research began as a close reflection on my own teaching at UKZN’s Howard College, driven by a desire to improve the learning experience of my students. In particular, I wanted to be able to use my research to achieve something tangible. Attaining a PhD qualification is the pinnacle of my academic career – even though it took me until I was retired to achieve it!’

The former lecturer who specialised in Teaching Legal Skills and Computerised Research Skills says her PhD research stemmed from her love of teaching. 

‘I know that writing can be a long, arduous process consisting of endless drafts and negative feedback so I wanted somehow to make the process more enjoyable for my students and even to spark a love of writing in many of them.’

Crocker hopes to publish research she did for her PhD which draws on work done in South African universities attempting to answer the question of how a sustainable, structured approach to teaching and tutoring legal writing in South African Law schools could be achieved with large classes of novice legal writers and legal lecturers sometimes having overwhelming teaching loads and competing academic commitments.

‘My thesis suggests that the answers are in harnessing the knowledge and energy of final year and postgraduate Law students to tutor and mentor undergraduate Law students in a legal writing programme that is pedagogically well-designed and administratively well-structured. I want to use the ideas showcased in my research to tutor and mentor students who are struggling to write well,’ she said.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Supplied

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