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Staff Profile

Associate Professor Lee Rusznyak

QualificationsBSc, BPrimEd, BScHons, PhD
Phone 0117173004
Organisational Unit Curriculum
ORCID 0000-0002-6835-8215


Research Interests:

  • Initial teacher education
  • Mentoring of newly qualified teachers
  • Professional knowledge base and skills of teaching
  • Teaching and learning in Higher Education
  • Studies in Legitimation Code Theory

Dr Lee Rusznyak’s research investigates the knowledge bases that support pre-service teachers and novice teachers as they learn to teach. Her present focus is on how different types of teacher knowledge are best taught and assessed, so that they can be used by novice teachers as a basis for pedagogic decision making in their developing practice. This research focus therefore spans the theoretical and practical learning of prospective teachers as they move into and through pre-service teacher education programmes, and into diverse schooling contexts as beginner teachers.

Lee is a member of the forum of the Unesco Chair in Teacher Education for Diversity and Development at the Wits School of Education. She convenes the special interest group in initial teacher education at SAERA, the South African Education Researchers Association. She was a researcher on the Initial Teacher Education Research Project coordinated by JET Education Services. She is a member of the International Advisory Board for the Centre of Knowledge Building, University of Sydney and regularly acts as a peer reviewer for a range of international and national journals. She is currently working with the South African Council of Educators to develop a set of national standards for Professional Teachers in South Africa.


  • Rusznyak, L. & Walton, E. (forthcoming). Could practicum placements in contrasting contexts support the preparation of pre-service teachers for an envisaged inclusive education system? A South African study. International Journal in Disability, Development and Education.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2016). Knowledge selection in Initial Teacher Education: A cross-institutional comparison of Education coursework. South African Journal of Higher Education. 30(2) 205-225.
  • Walton, E. & Rusznyak, L. (2016). Approaches to assessing pre-service teachers’ learning in authentic and rigorous ways: The case of an Inclusive Education module. Perspectives in Education. 34(1). 84-101.
  • Walton, E. & Rusznyak, L. (2016). Choices in the design of Inclusive Education courses for pre-service teachers: The Case of a South African university. International Journal in Disability, Development and Education. 1-18.
  • Rusznyak, L., Balfour, R., von Vollenhoven, W. & Sosibo, L. (2016). Why academic depth and rigour in university-based coursework matters for prospective teachers. Perspectives in Education. 34(1). 1-9.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2015). Knowledge selection in initial teacher education programmes and its implications for curricular coherence. Journal of Education, 60, 7-29.
  • Rusznyak, L. & Bertram, C. (2015). Knowledge and judgement for assessing student teaching: A cross-institutional analysis of teaching practicum assessment instruments. Journal of Education, 60, 31-61.
  • Rusznyak, L. & Walton, E. (2014). Using metaphors to gain insight into South African student teachers’ initial and developing conceptions of ‘Being a teacher’. Education as Change. 18(2). 1-21.
  • Rusznyak, L. & Moosa. M. (2014). Supporting student teachers through their first attempts at teaching: Possibilities and limitations afforded by school-based and campus based models of support. Education as Change. 18(S1), S91-S105.
  • Walton, E., & Rusznyak, L. (2014). Affordances and limitations of a special school practicum as a means to prepare pre-service teachers for inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(9), 957-974.
  • Walton, E., & Rusznyak, L. (2013). Pre-service teachers' pedagogical learning during practicum placements in special schools. Teaching and Teacher Education, 36, 112-120.
  • Shalem, Y. & Rusznyak, L. (2013). Theory for teacher practice: a typology of application tasks in teacher education. South African Journal of higher Education. 27 (5). 1118 – 1134.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2012). Summative Assessment of student teaching: A proposed approach for quantifying practice. Journal of Education. 56. 91-115.
  • Rusznyak, L. & Walton, E. (2011). Lesson Planning Guidelines: A scaffold for developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Education as Change. 15(2). 271-285.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2011). Assessing student teaching: Potential and pitfalls for promoting their professional development. Journal of Education. 51. 115-136.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2011). Learning to Explain: How student teachers organize and present content knowledge in lessons they teach. Education as Change. 15(2.1). S95-S109.
  • Rusznyak, L. (2009). Confronting the ‘pedagogical immunity’ of student teachers. Education as Change. 13(2), 263- 276.