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Title: The assumptive worlds of academics and policy-makers in relation to teaching in a higher education humanities context
Author: Sabri, Duna
ISNI:       0000 0000 5154 640X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis seeks to make sense of how academics and policy-makers think and act in relation to teaching in higher education. It pursues this inquiry using the concept of assumptive worlds in three contexts - the University of Oxford's History Faculty, the University of Oxford, and the national policy environment - and explores the relationship between them. The concept of assumptive worlds (Young, 1979) Is situated within a new theoretical framework predicated on Giddens' structuration theory. This framework is utilised to analyse assumptive worlds in terms of individuals' knowledgeability which is· expressed in discursive and other kinds of social practice. Assumptive worlds also encompass the meso and macro structures that shape individuals' knowledgeability, and are shaped by it in day-to-day practice at a micro level. An ethnographically-informed case study was conducted over two years in the History Faculty. Its selection is based upon its uniqueness and its potential for illuminating our understanding of the relationship between higher education policy and an extreme end of the spectrum of higher education institutions In England. The i University of Oxford and the national higher education policy environment are investigated as contexts within which the Faculty operates. Interviews with university officers and policy-makers In a range of national agencies, and documentary evidence proVide the data for this investigation. Findings from all three arenas (faculty, university and national) culminate In an analysis of the interplay between their assumptive worlds. The thesis argues that an analysis of the characteristics and formation of assumptive worlds in academia and policy-making throws new light on taken-forgranted practices in teaching and poli~y related to teaching in HE. The concept extends our understanding of each arena within its own terms, and when each is viewed in relation to the others. Engagement, in relation to teaching in higher education, between policymakers, and university officers and academics is rare. An understanding of the assumptive worlds within the three contexts helps to explain why this lack of engagement is recursively produced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: University of Oxford, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.487521  DOI: Not available
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