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ERIC Number: EJ1161506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1366-5626
Learning Academic Work Practices in Discipline, Department and University
Zukas, Miriam; Malcolm, Janice
Journal of Workplace Learning, v29 n7-8 p512-523 2017
Purpose: This paper aims to examine the everyday practices of academic work in social science to understand better academics' learning. It also asks how academic work is enacted in relation to the discipline, department and university, taking temporality as its starting point. Design/methodology/approach: The study sought to trace academic activities in practice. Within three universities, 14 academics were work-shadowed; social, material, technological, pedagogic and symbolic actors were observed and where possible connections and interactions were traced (including beyond the institution). This paper reports on a subset of the study: the academic practices of four early-career academics in one discipline are analysed. Findings: Email emerges as a core academic practice and an important pedagogic actor for early career academics in relation to the department and university. Much academic work is "work about the work", both in and outside official work time. Other pedagogic actors include conferences, networks and external Web identities. Disciplinary work happens outside official work time for the most part and requires time to be available. Disciplinary learning is therefore only afforded to some, resulting in structural disadvantage. Originality/value: By tracing non-human and human actors, it has emerged that the department and university, rather than the discipline, are most important in composing everyday work practices. A sociomaterial approach enables researchers to better understand the "black box" of everyday academic practice. Such an approach holds the promise of better support for academics in negotiating the demands of discipline, department and university without overwork and systemic exploitation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A