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Educator’s Role 4 of 7: Enough is Never Enough

Compiled by: Dr G. Wolvaardt and Dr C.J. Henley-Smith

Ever had someone say to you “When are you going to stop studying?” or “Don’t you think you know enough by now?” For a lecturer there is never enough knowledge. A lecturer should continuously strive to improve themselves and their knowledge, else Google may end up being a better lecturer.

One of the seven roles of an educator is that of being a scholar, researcher and lifelong learner. Embracing scholarship requires an active development of critical attributes and habits such as:

Critical thinking – a scholar questions the validity of everything they read and hear.

Curiosity – a scholar needs to continuously expose themselves to new ideas, knowledge and experiences. Drawing on their research expertise they use their curiosity to expand the knowledge in their discipline.

Competence – scholarly competence embraces subject matter expertise, research competency, teaching and learning competence and leadership/management competency.

Flexibility – true scholars often change their mind. Embracing an evidence-based approach to forming opinions requires the flexibility of acknowledging mistakes and forming new opinions based on new knowledge.

Objectivity – a scholar needs to be able to distance themselves from their own prejudice, conditioning and preferences by developing an in-depth appreciation of diversity especially amongst their colleagues and students. By embracing the “other”, scholars develop their own objectivity.

Immersion – a scholar needs to stay abreast of the latest developments in their field while appreciating that new development often upends the established wisdom of their field.

Passion – a scholar must be devoted to their area of expertise and pursue knowledge within this field with passion. This passion will serve to inspire their students for their discipline.

Visibility – a scholar actively contributes to journals and conferences and is known to the other experts in their field.

Show that you are indeed a scholar, researcher and lifelong learner, with the motto ‘Enough is Never Enough’ by conducting, implementing and evaluating an education innovation research project with the Postgraduate Diploma in Health  Processions Education and  Leadership programme. Learn to teach like a boss!


  • Open Education Resources Africa. The seven roles. Viewed on 25 March 2019.
  • Rook, D. & Torbert, W.D. 2004. Seven Transformations of Leadership. The Harvard Business Review, April, 1-13.

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