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ERIC Number: ED548515
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 233
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-1585-1
Faculty Flourishing: Toward Improved Conceptions of Pre-Tenure Professors' Career Construction in the American Research University
Conway, Katharine Griffin
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Based on interviews with thirty recently tenured professors at two universities, this study examines what "flourishing" might look like in the early faculty career. Drawing on classical philosophical conceptions of eudaimonia as well as professors' own narratives of their careers, the study considers whether the idea of flourishing might provide a welcome alternative to traditional narratives of the early faculty career that often focus on the experience of struggle. It also suggests a number of things that junior faculty who flourish--that is, those who are attentive to their own scholarly passions and to the communities that matter to them, and who do not experience their careers as primarily a struggle but as joyous--do differently than their peers. The study addresses: (1) how flourishing faculty members maintain focus on their scholarly work in the face of competing demands, (2) the role of family in the early faculty career, (3) how flourishing faculty members utilize resources to support their work, and (4) how flourishing faculty members define their own success. It also suggests that flourishing faculty members strive to "remain present" for their work and to be faithful to their passions throughout their early careers. The study's findings suggest that flourishing faculty members: (1) maintain focus on--and work to be present for--the scholarly work about which they are passionate, (2) aim to be faithful to themselves in terms of what they need to get this work done, drawing on those resources that they view as important and setting aside those that they view as not applying to them, and (3) articulate their own standards for success that are anchored in their scholarly work rather than in external indicators of the quality of that work. The study concludes with implications for policy, practice, and future research emphasizing the desirability of situating ideas about faculty development not, as they often are, in the experiences of professors who are struggling, but rather in the experience of those who flourish in their careers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A