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ERIC Number: EJ914510
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0158-037X
New Lecturers and the Myth of "Communities of Practice"
Gourlay, Lesley
Studies in Continuing Education, v33 n1 p67-77 Mar 2011
How novice lecturers learn to be successful in their role is relatively under-researched, although the assumption may be made that the newcomer has learned the fundamentals how to engage in academic practice--at least in terms of research and scholarship--via the PhD process. However, although many lecturers now enter from a professional or practice background, the transition experiences of this group have received little attention in the research literature. Drawing on an interview study in a post-1992 setting, this paper looks at the experiences of a small group of new lecturers from "practice" (as opposed to academic) backgrounds, focusing on their general transition experiences, and their orientations towards academic reading and writing practices. Their accounts suggest that they did not feel part of a "community" and that they experienced a degree of confusion regarding the role, in addition to a sense of inauthenticity and isolation. In the light of these findings, this paper will critically examine the rather unquestioned acceptance of the "communities of practice" model in higher education discourse and research, arguing that its applicability to the private, tacit, and largely text-based academic world may be called into question. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A