Dr Yonah Matemba

Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences Education

Tel 01292 886354


I am from Malawi (‘warm heart of Africa’) and joined the School of Education, University of the West of Scotland (UWS), UK, in January 2011 as a full-time lecturer in education before becoming a senior lecturer in social sciences education in February 2015. I have undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from Zimbabwe, USA, Botswana, Malawi and UK. I am a qualified school teacher with full professional status by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  Previously I have worked as a secondary school teacher in Malawi (1991-1994), Botswana (1995-2000) and Scotland (2004-2007), and also lectured at the University of Botswana (part-time 1998-2000), Molepolole College of Education (full-time 2001-2003), Catholic University of Malawi (part-time 2009) and University of Glasgow (part-time 2007-2010). In my current role at UWS I teach on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including on the one year Professional Diploma in Education (PGDE). I am the subject specialist for Health & Wellbeing Education and Religious & Moral Education. I am a module coordinator for a number of modules and also programme leader of an innovative (online only) MSc Mental Health and Education programme. I supervise honours, Masters and MPhil/PhD dissertation/research students.

I peer-review conference papers for the “Religion and Education” Special Interest Groups (SIG) within the influential Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) of North America and have also peer-reviewed papers for many academic journals such as African Affairs (Oxford), Journal of Curriculum Studies, Journal of Moral Education, South African Historical Journal and currently I am on the editorial boards of two journals: Malawi Journal of Education and Development and International Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL). I have published widely, particularly in religion and education and my publications include books, book reviews, book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as British Journal of Religious Education; Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education; Journal of Moral Education; History of Education; Journal of Beliefs & Values; Religious Education; Religious Education of Australia; Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. I have presented many peer-reviewed research papers at conferences in countries such as the Netherlands, Malawi, USA, Kenya, Lesotho, United Kingdom, Canada, Botswana, Australia and Spain.

In 2007 I re-voiced two BBC documentaries “From Congo to Motherwell” (21st August 2007) and “Malawi Millions” (21st February 2007). In 2014 I contributed to the development of Malta’s outcomes-based school curriculum as the sole specialist for the new Religion and Ethics Education school curriculum.  I welcome postgraduate research students interested in one or a combination of the following research areas of my research interest: (a) Teacher Education, (b) Religion/Multicultural Issues in Education, (c) Health and Wellbeing Education, (d) Religion/Spirituality of Incarcerated Adults and Youth, (e) Chaplaincy in Sacred and Secular Spaces, (f) Indigenous Knowledge and Education, (g) Comparative and International Education and (h) prison education.

  • Qualifications

    Academic Qualifications

    2013    PGCertTLHE, University of the West of Scotland, UK

    2011    PhD, University of Glasgow, UK.

    2000    MA (Theology & Religious Studies), Cum Laude, University of Malawi, Malawi.

    2000    MA (History), University of Botswana, Botswana.

    1991    BA, Andrews University, Michigan, USA.

    1991    Cert. Ed. (Professional Education), Solusi University, Zimbabwe



  • Teaching Interests

    Current Teaching Responsibilities

    ·         Religious and Moral Education            (PGDE Primary)

    ·         Health and Wellbeing Education (PDGE Primary)

    ·         Multi-faith Society (PGDE (Primary/Secondary)

    ·         Honours Dissertation (BA/B.Ed.4)

    ·         Informed Professionalism: Religious & Moral Education (B.Ed.3)

    ·         Informed Professionalism: Health & Wellbeing Education (B.Ed.3)

    ·         Educational Policy and Practice (B.Ed.4)

    ·         Community Education: Citizenship (BA)

    ·         School Experience Supervision (BA/PDGE programmes – all years)

    ·         Society and Lifestyles (BA 1)

    ·         Mental Health in Education (MSc)

    ·         Research Supervision (Masters/MPhil/PhD


    Academic Responsibilities

    Programme Leader for the programme: ‘Mental Health and Education’ (MSc)

    Module Coordinator for the module: ‘Society and Lifestyles’ (BA)

    Module Coordinator for the module: ‘Mental Health in Education’ (MSc)



  • Research Interests

    Dr. Matemba’s research interests are in:  

    • Religion, Morality and Multicultural Issues in Education
    • Health and Wellbeing in Learning Environments
    • Comparative and International Education
    • Spirituality and Institutionalised Young Offenders  
  • Research activity output book
    Matemba, Y. H. (2011) Religious Education in Comparative Perspectives: Curriculum Developments in the Secondary School Sectors of Scotland and Malawi, 1970-2010, Saarbrucken: Lambert, pp.208.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2004). Matandani: The Second Adventist Mission in Malawi, Blantyre: Kachere Series, 150 pp.

    Book Review
    Matemba, Y.H. (2014) James C. Conroy, David Lundie, Robert A. Davis, Vivienne Baumfield, L. Philip Barnes, Tony Gallagher, Kevin Lowden, Nicole Bourque, and Karen Wenell, Does Religious Education Work? A Multi-dimensional Investigation (London: Bloomsbury, 2013, 270pp) in British Journal of Religious Education, 36:3 (In Press).

    Matemba, Y. H. (2002). James Nathaniel Amanze, African Traditional Religions and Culture in Botswana, Gaborone: Pula Press, 459, pp. in Mosenodi: Journal of the Botswana Educational Research Association, 10 (2), pp. 53-54.
  • Research activity output chapters

    Matemba, Y. H. & Grant, L. (2012) "Stakeholders and Educational Readjustment in Scotland," in Boufoy-Batsick, Beatrice (ed.) The International Handbook of Cultures of Professional Development for Teachers: Comparative International Issues in Collaboration, Reflection, Management and Policy, Strasbourg, France: Analytrics, pp.183-200.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2011) "Challenges Facing Inter-Religious Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Malawi Case" in Avest, I. (ed.) Contrasting Colours: European and African Perspectives on Education in a Context of Diversity, Amsterdam: Gopher, pp. 194-218.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2011). “Continuity and change in the development of moral education Botswana,” in Swartz, S. and Taylor, M. (eds.) Moral Education in sub-Saharan Africa: Culture, Economics, Conflict and AIDS, London: Routledge, pp. 63-77.

  • Research activity output journals

    Matemba, Y.H. and Lilemba, J.M. (2015) “Challenging the status quo: Reclaiming Indigenous Knowledge through Namibia’s post-colonial education system”, Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 9(3), pp. (forthcoming) (DOI:10.1080/15595692.2014.997382).

     Matemba, Y.H. (2015) “Mismatches between legislative policy and school practice in religious education: the Scottish case,” Religious Education (Forthcoming).

    Matemba, Y.H. (2014) “Problems, survival and transformation: religious education in Scotland – a historical review, 1962-1992,” History of Education (In Press).

    Matemba, Y.H. (2014) “Slipping backwards?: State and status of contemporary Scottish religious education (part 2),” Religious Education Journal of Australia, 30(1), pp. 10-16. 

    Matemba, Y.H. (2013) “Slipping backwards?: State and status of contemporary Scottish religious education (part 1) ,” Religious Education Journal of Australia, 29(2), pp. 29-35.

    Matemba, Y.H. & Grant, L. (2013), “Problems of assessment in religious and moral education: the Scottish case,” Journal of Beliefs & Values: Studies in Religion & Education, 34(1), pp. 1-13.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2013), “Spaces of contest for religious education reform in comparative perspectives: Scotland and Malawi as cases,” Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 43(3), pp. 366-386.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2011) "Perspectives on theological education in Malawi," Arts: and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 10(3) pp. 329-347.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2010) “Continuity and change in the development of moral education in Botswana,” Journal of Moral Education, 39(3), pp. 329-343.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2009) “Religious education in the context of sub-Saharan Africa: the Malawian example,” British Journal of Religious Education, 31(1), pp. 41-51.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2006). “Recent developments in religious education in Botswana with special reference to the Junior Certificate Syllabus,” Panorama: Intercultural Journal of Contemporary Religious Education and Values, 18(1/2), pp. 81-95.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2005). “A Chief Called ‘Woman’: Historical Perspectives on the Changing Face of Bogosi (Chieftainship) in Botswana, 1834-2004,” Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies, 7, pp. 18-29.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2005). “Multi-faith Religious Education in Botswana,” Journal of Religious Education, 100(4), pp. 404-424.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2004). Multi-faith Pedagogy in Botswana: Response to James Awino’s, ‘Defusing Indoctrination and Fundamentalism Through [A] Phenomenological Approach to Religious Education: A Global Polemic with Special to Botswana, Mosenodi: Journal of the Botswana Educational Research Association, 12(1&2), pp.108-114.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2003). “The Pre-colonial Political History of BaKgatla ba ga Mmanaana of Botswana, c.1600-1880,” Botswana Notes and Records, 35, pp. 53-67.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2002). “The Assassination of Kgosi Seepapitso Gaseitsiwe of BaNgwaketse, 1916-17,” Botswana Notes and Records, 34, pp. 25-36.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2001). “The BaKgatla ba ga Mmanaana Split, 1934-36: The Impact of British Sub-imperial Rule in Botswana,” Botswana Notes and Records, 32, pp. 39.57.

    Matemba, Y. H. (1997). “Some Aspects of the History of Seventh-day Adventists in Botswana from 1922 to 1970,” Botswana Notes and Records, 29, pp. 21-43.

  • Research activity output abstracts


    Magazine Articles

    Matemba, Y.H. (2015) “Philosophy as a frame of reference for Religious Education,” REtoday, Magazine for the Religious Education Community, (forthcoming).

    Matemba, Y. H. (2002) “Notes on the Religious Education National Fair,” Bareng, Newsletter for the Botswana Ministry of Education, pp. 7-9.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2001) “Item writing: The Case for Assessment in Religious Education in Botswana,” Thuto, Magazine of the Botswana Ministry of Education, pp. 6-9.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2002) Aspects of the Centenary History of Malamulo Seventh-day Adventist Mission, Makwasa, Malawi 1902-2002, Zomba: University of Malawi (ISBN 978-99908-87-54-9).

    Matemba, Y. H. et al (2000). Religious Education Teachers’ Guide for Three-Year Junior Secondary Education, Gaborone: Botswana Ministry of Educatio


  • Research activity output conference presentations


    Matemba, Y.H.  (2015) “Legislative policy and school practice in Scottish religious education: to what extent is there a mismatch?” 59th Comparative and International Education Society Conference (CIES), Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC, USA, 8-13th March.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2014) “Constraints, survival and change: Scottish religious education in historical perspective, 1962-1992,” Australian & New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES) conference, 1888 Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia, 6-8th December.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2014) “Different contexts, same problems? Structural issues for religious education in transnational contexts: Scotland and Malawi as cases,” 58th Comparative and International Education Society Conference (CIES), Sheraton Hotel, Toronto, Canada, 10-15th March.

    Matemba, Y.H.  (2013) “Religious Literacy in Teacher Education: An Initial Scottish Study,” 8th Pan-African Reading for All Conference, University of Nairobi, 12th-16th August.

    Matemba, Y.H. & Grant, L. (2012) “Assessment in Religious and Moral Education with Particular Reference to Scotland,” European Conference on Educational Research (ECER): The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All, University of Cádiz, Spain, 18-21st September.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2012) "Slipping into Obscurity? The Crisis in Initial Teacher Religious Education in Malawi," Educational Reforms and Innovation in Enhancing Quality and Equity Conference, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, 20th-22nd February.         

    Matemba, Y.H.  (2011) “Alternatives: the bane for Religious Education in Scotland,” Association of Lecturers in Religious Education (AULRE) Conference, University of Glasgow, 4th July.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2011) “Constraints for Religious and Moral Education in Scotland,” Scottish Education Research Association (SERA) Conference, Stirling, 25th November.

    Matemba, Y. H.  (2011) “Exploring the Impact of an Interdisciplinary Curriculum on Religious Education: the Scottish Case,” School of Education seminar, University of the West of Scotland, 27th September.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2011) “Staff, State and Status: the Situation for Religious Education in Contemporary Scotland” Scottish Education Research Association (SERA) conference, Stirling, 25th November.

    Matemba, Y.H. (2010) “Religious and Moral Education at the Crossroads: the Malawian Example,” Economic and Social Research Council (ESCR) Conference, University of Glasgow, 24th September.

    Matemba, Y. H.  (2010) “Constraints for Curriculum Reform in Malawi: the Case of Secondary Religious Education,” Economic and Social Research Council (ESCR) seminar, The University of Glasgow, 23rd June.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2009) “Reform, rejection and compromise: politics of reconstructing religious education for sustainable democracy in Botswana and Malawi—a comparative analysis,” 13th Biennial international symposium on educational research, University of Botswana, 24-25th July.

    Matemba, Y.H.  (2007) “What role can Religious Education have in the Millennium Development agenda?” 12th Biennial International Symposium on Educational Research, National University of Lesotho, 23-25th July.

    Matemba, Y. H. (2006) “Inter-Religious Education in Africa at the Crossroads with Perspectives from the Malawi Context,” Inter-Religious Education, Diversity and Dialogue (IRED) Conference, CHN University, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, 27-29th July.



  • Membership of Research Groups / Centres / Institutes


    Royal Historical Society (RHS) joined 2014.

    Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) joined 2013.

    Higher Education Academy (HEA) joined 2013.

    Association of University Lecturers in Religious Education (AULRE) joined 2011.

    Association of Teachers in Religious Education in Scotland (ATRES) joined 2007.

    Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) joined 2004.

    General Teaching council for Scotland (GTCS) joined 2003.



  • Professional Membership(s)

      Professional Update

      2015: Cert. Philosophy and Psychiatry: Mind, Value & Mental Health, St. Hilda’s College, University

      of Oxford, UK

      2013: Cert. Holocaust Education, International School of Holocaust Studies, Jerusalem, Israel.


      Professional Registration

      2013: FHEA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK

      2004: General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), Professional Registration Secondary School


      2003: General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), Professional Registration Secondary School

      Religious and Moral Education.


      Achievements and Professional Recognition

      2014: Research included in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).  

      2013: Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA), UK, (Number PR062425)

      2007-2010: Won a fully paid competitive PhD studentship, University of Glasgow

      2004: GTCS (Number 039355), Professional Scottish Registration, Teacher of Secondary School History.

      2003: GTCS (Number 039355), Professional Scottish Registration, Teacher of Secondary School Religious and Moral Education.


      Professional Membership

      2014 (Joined): Royal Historical Society (RHS).

      2013 (Joined): Comparative and International Education Society (CIES).

      2013 (Joined): Higher Education Academy (HEA).

      2011 (Joined): Association of University Lecturers in Religious Education (AULRE).

      2007 (Joined): Association of Teachers in Religious Education in Scotland (ATRES).

      2004 (Joined): Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS).

      2003 (Joined): General Teaching council for Scotland (GTCS).

  • Useful information


    Online Presence

    Skype: chigaru2014

    University webpage: http://www.uws.ac.uk/staff-profiles/education/yonah-matemba/

    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/yonah-hisbon-matemba-fhea/34/a0b/190

    ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yonah_Matemba

    Twitter:@YonahMatemba:  https://mobile.twitter.com/YonahMatemba

    Academia.edu: https://westscotland.academia.edu/YonahMatemba

     Yonah Matemba LinkedIn Profile


    Peer Reviewer for Journals:

    • Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica - Journal of Theories and Research in Education (2014)
    • South African Historical Journal (2013)
    • Brokenshire College Journal, Philippines (2013)
    • African Affairs, Oxford, UK (2012)
    • Journal of Moral Education (2010)
    • eSharp (Glasgow University Student Journal), UK (2008-2010)