Learning and teaching in context: disciplinary identity in university academic staff

Beaton, Fran (2007) Learning and teaching in context: disciplinary identity in university academic staff. In: Perspectives and Limits of Dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin: applications in Psychology, Art and Education, May 2007, University of Crete. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Since the mid 1990s, most British universities have run formalized and nationally accredited teacher education programmes for academic staff in their early years as Higher Education practitioners. Such programmes - typically Postgraduate Certificates in Academic Practice/ Higher Education - are frequently criticized for being generic in nature, focusing on general principles of learning and teaching. Furthermore, the literature surrounding adult and HE learning draws on concepts located in several academic disciplines: educational psychology, anthropology, linguistics, organizational behaviour. While many would argue that this interdisciplinarity is a strength, it can appear worryingly generalist. It raises the question of where professional learning is situated in relation to disciplinary practice and how the process of dialogue creates new communities of practice. The theoretical framework is sociocultural and draws on Bakhtin’s notion of semiotic mediation; Wenger’s work on communities of practice; and concepts of disciplinary commons (Tenenberg, Fincher et al). This paper focuses on the impact of restructuring a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programme so that Faculty-specific dialogue complements educational discourse. The shift of emphasis aims to create meaningful spaces to explore the nature of learning in different disciplinary areas. The process of debate created a need for participants to explore and articulate their understanding: conceptions of their subject area and their own role. This included disciplinary groups establishing their own understanding of learning processes, and exploring a model in which the more experienced academic is not necessarily the expert. This project is in its early stages, but initial feedback suggests that this approach is fruitful for new and more experienced academics (including PGCHE lecturing staff) attempting to articulate the nature of language and core concepts; and for students. Examples and case studies will illustrate the extent to which the process of engagement helps develop academic identity.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Faculties > University wide - Teaching/Research Groups > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Alison Chapman
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2008 10:14
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 14:59
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4959 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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