Associate professor: North West university

Petro du Preez

Petro du Preez is described by colleagues as a “courageous thinker” and “scholar of international reputation” in the fields of human rights education and curriculum studies. Approaching the area from a feminist perspective, Du Preez focuses on conceptualising a “curriculum for social justice” by the infusion of human rights into every aspect of school life — as opposed to teaching human rights as a formal segment of the syllabus.

When she calls the national curriculum “the only document with revolutionary potential”, the political implications of her work become clear too. But despite her lauded publications and the higher-order principles at play, Du Preez is content to make her mark leading from the back. Once motivated by the guidance of a wise teacher to think outside the box, it is the capacity to influence teachers, and all the people they’ll educate in turn, that sustains Du Preez.

— Ian Macleod