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ERIC Number: EJ858166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1356-2517
People Who Study Higher Education
Harland, Tony
Teaching in Higher Education, v14 n5 p579-582 Oct 2009
The study of higher education can seem extraordinarily complex because what counts as knowledge is contestable and the higher education research community is, like Hemingway's Paris, a moveable feast. A lack of epistemological precision and field uncertainty is partly due to the fact that those who study higher education tend to work in higher education and effectively study their own social situations. They may do this with years of research training or as novices, and they may be from the field of higher education or from another discipline or even from outside the typical disciplinary structures found in our institutions. In the author's role as an academic developer, he finds himself mentoring colleagues who want to study higher education but have no background in this area and this experience has led him to question who his fellow researchers are, what he is trying to achieve with his research and whether or not an inclusive higher education community undermines its own disciplinary status. To help him make sense of such a diverse community, he divides his world into three. There are those who make their living from researching in higher education and who regard this as their primary subject, there are others who are part-time researchers and there are those who simply have an interest in the field. If a research community is difficult to identify, then it must be difficult to know the audience for one's work. When he writes, he does this with his university colleagues in mind and they can be from any discipline and may or may not be researchers in higher education. He makes this choice because he is an academic developer who regards research simply as another form of teaching. This utilitarian value guides his practice and in particular his writing.
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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