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Title: Unpacking faculty development in Japan : an ethnography of faculty development practitioners
Author: Machi, Sato
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis provides an ethnographic account of the lived experiences of faculty development practitioners in Japan. Through participatory observation and ethnographic interviews, it seeks to understand the following research question: 'How do faculty development practitioners make sense of the concept of faculty development as a professional identity and a lived experience in Japan?' The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, MEXT, introduced and recommended institutional ‘fakaruthī diberoppumento (faculty development)’ or ‘FD’ in 1999 and later mandated it in 2008. As a result, universities created the role and position of FD practitioner. Those FD practitioners have been involved in crafting a genre of faculty development that reconcile policy requirements, university’s requirements, and their personal understanding. This leads to a daily struggle between acting as FD practitioner according to external requirements and sustaining or constructing one’s own professional identity and values especially as an academic. By incorporating notions of ‘identity’ and ‘community’, I describe practitioners’ constant negotiation of their position between an academic and a FD practitioner. I have three arguments. First, the title of ‘FD tantōsha’ that is most commonly used in Japan creates a semantic space for negotiations to take place between different types of identities, both practiced and/or idealized. ‘Tantōsha’ literally means the person in charge and it is relatively 7 neutral label to describe the position. Second, alphabetically written ‘FD’ prevents the evolution of the concept. The term ‘FD’ is just a symbolic noun therefore it allows various interpretations but it does not allow evolution of the concept like in the USA and the UK. As an English term, ‘faculty development’ means ‘to develop’ ‘faculty’. As the focus of faculty development shifted, the term also changed, leading to terms such as ‘educational development’. Third, the temporariness of the position prevents practitioners to engage with the community for faculty development practitioners in Japan and in other countries. Therefore interpretation of the concept of faculty development, creation of the common language and knowledge base as a field, and construction of professional identity have yet to be observed.
Supervisor: Mills, David; Kariya, Takehiko Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education ; higher education ; ethnography ; academic development ; faculty development ; Japan