The site for research is the transforming and emerging economy of South African where the education sector is host to schools in scarce resource areas with high need (because of multiple risk factors, one of which is HIV&AIDS). Knowledge generated in ERA therefore explains how education systems (teachers, children, policymakers and curriculum developers) respond to these variables in terms of both positive adaptation (resilience), as well as negative adjustment (distress). As research in education often imply school-based and community-based research where participant variables hold methodological challenges (i.e. diversity related to multiple languages, literacy levels), ERA has also generated methodological knowledge pertaining to education research, including participatory methodologies, visual methodologies, community-based methodologies, intervention research.
ERA articulates a Faculty of Education research focus and gives supplementary form and purpose to it. ERA formalises standing links between the Centre for the Study of AIDS (CSA) and AIDS-focused studies and projects within the Faculty of Education. ERA supports the Faculty of Education vision and mission to increase research output in terms of scholarly articles, funded projects and supervised postgraduate studies. ERA also reinforces the Faculty Plan for self-generated research funding of staff members. Furthermore, ERA aids the initiative for national and international research partnerships, as outlined in the Faculty Plan. ERA endorses research-based activities initiated under the Faculty of Education Research Focus Area: HIV&AIDS – as such also sanctioning research activities between CSA and the Faculty of Education Research Focus Area: HIV&AIDS
is involved in education research within the multifarious context of HIV&AIDS, converging on the generation of primary data and the increase of new knowledge pertaining to education and significant risk (specifically HIV&AIDS);
reinforces existing research activities of the Faculty Research Focus: HIV&AIDS in the Faculty of Education;
supports and promotes research collaboration in the Faculty of Education between individuals, with the Centre for Studies in AIDS (CSA), and with regional, national and international partners in the case of relevant research projects; and
is the face of education research in AIDS in the Faculty of Education (University of Pretoria) and facilitates coordination at Faculty level.
ERA mission statement
ERA achieves its vision by
engaging in education research that reflects the complexity of adversity and response related to HIV&AIDS in order to augment relevant bodies of knowledge;
solidifying and developing the strengths of education research and adversity (AIDS) within the Faculty of Education, UP;
signifying a definitive research focus area for project funding, as well as capacity development in line with the Faculty Plan;
supporting the generation of funding for projects merging education with resilience and risk (HIV&AIDS);
cultivating human capital by skills transference and capacity growth amongst especially postgraduate students;
disseminating knowledge through monthly research reports to the Faculty research Committee and UP Research Committee, seminars, conferences, publications and other suitable processes;
building up collaborative partnerships for the purposes of research project funding; and
networking with relevant partners regionally, nationally and internationally to facilitate pertinent research in education and adversity (HIV&AIDS).