TD: 2014 Volume 10 No 1
July 2014Editorial comment
- Twelve Monkeys, the Kassandra dilemma and innovation diffusion: transdisciplinary lessons for animal and environmental activism / Smith, SR
- Michel Serres' multidisciplinary philosophy of information and knowledge / De Beer, F
- On the historical semantics of the notion of software architecture / Gruner, S
- A survey of the knowledge, use, and adoption of emerging technologies by academics in an Open Distance Learning environment / Chimbo, B & Tekere, M
- A framework to evaluate the functionality of mobile applications for music composition / Visagie, S & De Villiers, C
- The significance of citation impact indicators of research performance in the developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa / Bakuwa, J
- 'n Persoonlike waardering van Hennie Aucamp as mentor / Pretorius, J
- A series of unfortunate events: how the battle to save an urban wetland was both won and lost / Govender-Ragubeer, Y; Meeuwis, J & McKay, TM
- 'Listening with our eyes': Collaboration and HIV and AIDS curriculum integration in South African higher education / Tanga, PT; De Lange, N & Van Laren, L
- Increasing self-efficacy in learning to program: exploring the benefits of explicit instruction for problem solving / Govender, I; Govender, DW; Havenga, M; Mentz, E; Breed, B; Dignum, F & Dignum, V
- The importance of a people-centred approach for Corporate Social Responsibility: A case study of Welverdiend and the surrounding community / Bester, V & Cronjé, F
- A comparative analysis of the implementation of anti-corruption legislation by anti-corruption agencies in the provinces of the Eastern and Northern Cape / Majila, T; Taylor, JD & Raga, K
- Municipal management and geo-hydrological aspects of importance in the potable water supply of Lindley / Nealer, EJ & Bertram, WE
- The knowledge and perceptions of history students of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) / Oelofse, M & Oosthuysen, A
- The early printed Books of Hours in the Grey Collection in Cape Town: evidence of an information revolution / Steyn, F C
Boundaries of the heart, transcended in the mind: Reflections on Td's first decade
As Td approaches its second decade of publication in 2014 there is a need to reflect on the journey of exploration into what, in 2004, was considered to be the unknown and unfamiliar ecology of a transdisciplinary research platform. The emergence of an ever-increasing output of academic material by researchers active in South Africa and other parts of the world suggests that we have begun to integrate our understanding of what goes on in creative disciplinary minds.
Perhaps the most heartening development has been the growing confidence of researchers to acknowledge that they have moved beyond their familiar disciplines of specialisation in an effort to come to a better understanding of how to untangle the complexity of problems people grapple with in their daily lives. For many the journey continues to be mapped - as is the case with the exploration of an unknown territory - a project under construction. Others tend to note the on-going uncertainty experienced in opening up creative avenues for understanding the sense of wonderment that pops up at the end of a project.
There does tend to be an increasing acceptance amongst practitioners of a multi-, inter- and/or transdisciplinary approach to research that the rigidity of singular disciplines no longer tend to act as an obstruction. Instead, there is a growing sense of negotiating the emotional experience of shifting from the defined boundaries and transcending them to come to gain a better understanding of what new frontiers need to be explored. In a recent article Montuori uses autobiographical narrative as part of a discourse to create awareness of the rapid and ongoing changes taking place in transdisciplinary research that shape cross-cultural experiences and the arts in a thought provoking manner. It is worth taking note of the need for creative thinking and the role transdisciplinary research can play.
Scientific disciplines are the product of processes of focussed and dedicated social learning in communities of rigorous high-level intellectual thinking that become the foundations of large bodies of knowledge. More than often these disciplines, as they make headway in the absorption of relevant factually constructed knowledge, are responsible for ground-breaking innovations in contemporary society. What is less apparent for the practitioners of these fields is the fact that the driving forces of the collective learning intellectual spaces are the processes of the emotive human mind. Dedication and commitment to a disciplinary form of thinking is a matter of passion. Therefore, only with the greatest of respect and appreciation, can we ponder and come to a better understanding of what has been accomplished.
In transcending those boundaries, by means of the careful exploration of lines drawn in the sand, should we progress to logically comprehend what goes on, on the other side. There is also increasing respect for the novel ways in which transdisciplinary research contributes to resolving complex problems.
Anthropologist, Tim Ingold, in his use of the concept of wayfaring, sheds light on the manner in which ideas tend to expand and turn into cultural insight and become a way of life. In much the same way frontiers in transdisciplinarity should remain open for laying down on-going lines and clusters of formations and creations of the human mind in the process of the lived life. Understanding the workings of the tactile senses in the process of unravelling matter creates a sense of beauty when we try to grasp how harsh reality unfolds in the mind and speaks to the edges to soften our comprehension in contexts of meaning and signification.
Why do we think about space as being distant? It is right next door and in fact on the inside whenever we care to think about space that seems so distant. We are living space and it shapes itself around us in an effort to embroil us in the matter of the universe in a manner we still have to learn to comprehend. Space, as a whole, is incomprehensible. At the same time space is immediate and an extension of our beingness. To discard the objective of understanding the space beyond which we find ourselves in, we wilfully embark on descriptions that are distant and aloof. The difficulty of imagining things close by and the inability to see detail make for difficult conceptions of what constitutes reality. Yet, when time progresses and there is reflection on what transpired space reduces in size and the reduction becomes almost a caricature of remembrance as it sinks into memory. There is then the assumption that the spatial awareness and self-description of space is universal and ensconced in reality. That is not the case. In fact, it is an illuminated mind picture that is neither real, nor always truthful and perhaps merely a shadow encapsulated in the visual realisation of the dynamics of light and dark. Dimensional silhouettes can present truthful images for negotiation by the non-material mind. At the centre is the idea of what is represented in ideational modes of conception over time and a variety of spaces.
In transdisciplinary research the objective is to explore problems we experience in society, based on the knowledge and insights gained from conventional disciplines, but with an awareness that it would be possible to come to novel conclusions when a variety of disciplines are integrated in the quest to understand better than before. As we collectively learn from disciplines and the existent sources of cultural knowledge around us, it is possible to locate knowledge in a different manner.
We thank the scholars who have published in Td the last decade for the their contributions. It is hoped our endeavour would go from strength to strength in transdisciplinary fields of exploration.
The early printed Books of Hours in the Grey Collection in Cape Town: evidence of an information revolution (2014)Printed books of hours, the best-seller of the late medieval trade in books, provide evidence of an information revolution equal to that occasioned by the Internet today. The Grey Collection of the National Library in ...
The knowledge and perceptions of history students of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) (2014)Using the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC) and the concept of reconciliation as a case study, the article attempts to assess the knowledge and understanding of the registered undergraduate history ...
Municipal management and geo-hydrological aspects of importance in the potable water supply of Lindley (2014)When the South African Government in 1998 re-demarcated its 283 municipalities so that they completely cover the country in a “wall-to-wall” manner, their main focus was on growing local economies and maintaining the ...
A comparative analysis of the implementation of anti-corruption legislation by anti-corruption agencies in the provinces of the Eastern and Northern Cape (2014)Many countries experience various degrees of corruption. South Africa is no exception. The undeniable fact is that corruption cannot be reckoned as a mere country- or regionspecific problem; it is a far wider phenomenon. ...
The importance of a people-centred approach for Corporate Social Responsibility: a case study of Welverdiend and the surrounding community (2014)Despite the contribution of mining to the South African economy, this industry has impacted negatively on the environment and society for many decades. These negative impacts are mostly evidence of poor corporate actions. ...
Increasing self-efficacy in learning to program: exploring the benefits of explicit instruction for problem solving (2014)The difficulty of learning to program has long been identified amongst novices. This study explored the benefits of teaching a problem solving strategy by comparing students’ perceptions and attitudes towards problem ...
'Listening with our eyes': Collaboration and HIV and AIDS curriculum integration in South African higher education (2014)Integrating HIV and AIDS into the academic curriculum is not engaged with vigorously enough in South African higher education institutions, for several reasons, ranging from lack of interest to complaints of belabouring ...
(2014)Many urban wetlands in South Africa are either lost or degraded in the name of development. Of those remaining, most are less than pristine, even canalised, dredged, drained or filled. This is partly because urban wetlands ...
(2014)In hierdie studie benut die skrywer die 5D-raamwerk en teoretiese en metodologiese onderbou van waarderende ondersoek en persoonlike waardering vir ŉ persoonlike waardering van die skrywer, Hennie Aucamp. By name handel ...
The significance of citation impact indicators of research performance in the developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa (2014)This paper argues that Sub-Saharan Africa needs to produce more journals indexed by ISI Web of Science (WoS). Researchers from the region should also publish in other ISI indexed, reputable and high impact journals such ...
(2014)The functionality of a diverse range of mobile applications for music composition is discussed in this paper. The focus is on generic functionality requirements, the needs of novice and expert users to compose music and ...
A survey of the knowledge, use, and adoption of emerging technologies by academics in an Open Distance Learning environment (2014)The realisation of the advantages offered by e-learning accompanied by the use of various emerging information technologies has resulted in a noticeable shift by academia towards e-learning. An analysis of the use, ...
(2014)This study outlines in some detail the semantic variety of the notion of ‘software architecture’ in the field of software engineering since the early 1970s. This paper shows that there are two schools of thought in ...
(2014)This paper is a tribute to the formidable multidisciplinary philosophy of information of the French philosopher, Michel Serres. His approach is to an extent based on his statement: “Let us nevertheless try to see on a ...
Twelve Monkeys, the Kassandra dilemma and innovation diffusion: transdisciplinary lessons for animal and environmental activism (2014)Animal activists and environmental activists believe that the world and its inhabitants face devastating consequences in the future if behaviour towards and the treatment of animals and the environment do not change. ...