Finding the right track: Enabling early career academic management of career, teaching and research

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship Vol. 30

July, 2007, 651 pages
Published by
Geoffrey Crisp & Margaret Hicks
ISBN
0 908557 72 8
Abstract 

The higher education context has grown increasingly complex in recent times as academic work demands have escalated. Unfortunately, the preparatory practices for new academics have failed to match the increasing requirements of university staff. Existing programmes for teaching and learning address some elements of academic work, but generally fail to provide sufficient guidance on other elements of their roles. This can reduce organisational effectiveness and limit the capacity of early career academics to rapidly acculturate into complex university work. In particular, the capacity to develop effective networks, models of university practice and to identify significant university individuals can be very challenging when one is new to academe. The process of identifying priority goals and areas of critical endeavour can also be daunting where an understanding of academic context is lacking. This paper reports on the pilot of an early career academic development programme at the University of Western Australia. A faculty-based programme, it explored teaching, research and academic work within a disciplinary frame of reference. The results of the pilot programme are reviewed, along with some reflections on the benefits of reframing support for academic staff to provide more contextually driven support.

Keywords: academic development; early career academics; career management

Finding the right track: Enabling early career academic management of career, teaching and research

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Debowski, S.