Challenging perspectives on learning and teaching in the disciplines: The academic voice
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This paper reports on a study of how disciplinary cultures shape academic staff perspectives on pedagogy, curriculum design and skill development. Fifty-five academic staff were interviewed across eight disciplines and four Australian universities. A socio-constructivist epistemological framework informed analysis of academics' views and beliefs about: disciplinary cultures and knowledge; approaches to inducting students into the discipline; and perspectives on generic skills in a disciplinary context. Findings highlight challenges for academic staff seeking to balance their commitment to induct undergraduates into their respective disciplines with such factors as increased student numbers, changing student expectations, sociopolitical changes influencing the differential valuing of knowledge types, and a perceived lack of support for teaching. The paper has implications for policymakers and academic practitioners as it highlights challenges for understanding the role and purpose of disciplinary knowledge and cultures and their relationship to generic skill development in changing and challenging times.
Challenging Higher Education: knowledge, policy and practice: 2009 SRHE Annual Conference
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