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Title: Capturing Bigfoot : the search for good practice in learning and teaching in one specific higher education institution in England
Author: Allsopp, Nicholas J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 3068
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis considers the issue of good practice in learning and teaching within one higher education institution in England and links it to the development of academic professional identity. The research examines the extent to which it is possible to identify such practice and whether this has implications for the importance of the subject, the notion of academic identity or the professionalism of the academic. The thesis suggests a model for the way in which an academic's professional identity, comprising both research and teaching, develops. The relationship between academics and Quality Assurance systems is considered, raising issues around pedagogic practices within academic disciplines and the notion of communities of practice. The changing nature of academic work in higher education, including the development of "Quality" systems as responses to policy initiatives (especially the move from Assurance towards Enhancement), are discussed in relation to their impact upon academic identity. The thesis considers the methods used to conduct the primary research and the ontological issues surrounding the choice of research tools. Three key foci are identified from the data: A Staff focus where academics work independently, improving their knowledge and delivery to their students, with potential promotion prospects. A Subject focus where academics' professional identities are defined by their discipline, although some develop multiple identities including working collegially with non-specialists. A Student focus where the academic is a subject advocate and student facilitator, developing their practice accordingly. Finally the limitations, applications and implications of the primary research are considered. Conclusions surrounding the research and field questions are made, as are connections back into the relevant literature especially the policy drivers behind the rise of the Quality movement, the contested notion of good practice, the changing power relationships within the teaching-research nexus and the challenge to academic identity and allegiance to the subject.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available