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Title: Perceptions of role and identity among learning and teaching support staff in higher education : an institutional case study
Author: Gresham, Jacqueline
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 5231
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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The thesis is a study of the perceptions of role and identity among learning and teaching support staff in a higher education institution in the UK. It considers how these perceptions are shaped and constructed. The constructs are considered in relation to concepts of social and professional identity and postcolonialism, including the concept of 'third space' working. Policy changes in the higher education sector and their impact on academic and professional services staff identity are also explored. Designed as a case study, the research analyses a range of qualitative data obtained from institutional documentation, a short survey and interviews with staff members. Issues of methodology and method, including the 'insider-outsider' position of the researcher are discussed. The data demonstrate that role and identity are closely connected and that they are experienced emotionally, the main conclusion being that professional identity of this group of staff is comparatively weak. This is a source of some negativity for learning and teaching support staff and is contrary to institutional intentions in respect of its professional services staff. The range and variety of role undertaken by this staff group and the expectations of the institution contribute to identity formation, as do the recruitment and training of staff and the way in which they are presented in institutional documentation. Institutional structures, cultures and working practices influence relationships between academic and support staff which in turn shape identity, which is perceived as constrained or limited by boundaries between staff groups. The persistence of these boundaries is one factor in the lack of the emergence of 'third space' working. A related conclusion is that deliberate actions by the institution would be needed to achieve significant changes in perceptions relating to both role and identity.
Supervisor: Parry, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available