Dr Catherine Hutchings

Senior Lecturer


I am a senior lecturer in the Language Development Group (LDG), part of the Academic Development Programme in CHED. I have taught various undergrad and postgrad academic literacy embedded courses, mainly in the faculties of Humanities, Health & Allied Sciences and Commerce. I am co-ordinator of the Postgraduate ‘Writing Pathways’ project  which comprises a suite of on-line and face-to-face postgraduate offerings from the LDG. Apart from course teaching, I have run workshops on academic writing, thesis and scientific report writing, as well as supervision workshops for staff. Currently I am principal investigator of ‘Transforming Journeys’, a research project which considers forms of support for postgraduate research writing.

My PhD in Psychology was an analysis of narrative reflections towards the development of critical reflective thinking by mature students in a classroom of wider access. The transitions undergone by these students relate to their senses of self, their understandings of (socially constructed) allowances within the higher educational institution, their understandings of what constitutes learning, knowledge and meaning making, and their own roles in these processes, including the agency they take on in the process. In examining how agency is adopted, I considered the development of, and changes in the ‘voice’ of the adult student learner/writer, as reported by them and evident in their own writing, both formal and informal.

I have supervised students in the Humanities and Health Science faculties.

My research interests include the teaching of academic literacy and research writing in higher education, and the understanding of transitions in higher education, such as those of school to university and of undergrad into postgrad. Within these, I am interested in identity development, narrative and reflective practices in the acquisition of academic literacy, online mentoring support in academic literacy, transformative academic literacy pedagogy and writing support, and language education.

My publications include articles on students’ experiences with academic literacy, academic literacy pedagogy in HE, online mentoring during the acquisition of academic literacy and critical thinking, and the development of voice and agency in writing in HE.

My research publications can be found at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Catherine-Hutchings

Contact: Catherine.hutchings@uct.ac.za