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ERIC Number: EJ816754
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1356-2517
A Family of Strangers: The Fragmented Nature of Academic Development
Harland, Tony; Staniforth, David
Teaching in Higher Education, v13 n6 p669-678 Dec 2008
This paper draws on the experiences of 20 academic developers as they examine the proposition that the organisation and work of academic development in higher education is fragmented. Academic development was seen to have neither the status of a field nor a profession, and there was recognised tension between an institutionally focused service model that could be everything to everyone and one that could be distinguished as more conventionally "academic" with theoretical knowledge as the basis for practice. Against the proposition, there was evidence of shared values and acceptance of diversity of purpose. We conclude that academic development has been fragmented since its inception and it remains resistant to cohesive change. Data suggest that to develop a unified community, academic development could seek field-status by encouraging all staff to provide their services by way of research-led teaching with each developer using their research knowledge and experiences of academic life to underpin practice. Only then will it have the necessary credibility and foundation from which it can work out its broader purposes and provide a quality service.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; New Zealand