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ERIC Number: EJ1127873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
The Wicked Problem of Embedding Academic Literacies: Exploring Rhizomatic Ways of Working through an Adaptive Leadership Approach
Benzie, Helen Joy; Pryce, Alison; Smith, Keith
Higher Education Research and Development, v36 n2 p227-240 2017
Embedding academic literacies in higher education courses has been a major focus of the work of learning advisers. A number of studies present the results of embedding in specific courses without discussing the processes of negotiation or the different people involved. This paper is about embedding academic literacies in the Business faculty as part of an English language proficiency model at an Australian university. After initial slow progress, a team of learning advisers began to evaluate the process by reflecting on practice. This reflection focused on the space between the top-down process as planned and what actually happened in the complex academic environment. There were tensions between the proposed plan and the expectations and understandings of the disciplinary academics. These were used as a starting point to explore the issues in more detail. This paper argues that the task of embedding academic literacies bears all the hallmarks of a "wicked problem" which eludes a linear formulation and is open to multiple framings. The botanical metaphor of the rhizome from the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari and an adaptive leadership approach offer ways of responding to this problem. This paper reinterprets the team's experiences using these theories and suggests alternative work practices. By moving away from the concept of a model, more opportunities to bring about attitudinal and curriculum change can be created to make academic literacies explicit for students.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A