A key place for Academic Development in Higher Education Scholarship

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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
0 908557 72 8

Academics in Higher Education generally work in polarised sectors of research or teaching, frequently having to oscillate between the two. Relationships between these spaces of activity and the neglected area of personal development and the relatively new area of academic development are currently contested and require clarification. However, it is argued here that the three themes of research, learning and teaching, individual and academic development have such fundamental differences of background, aims and objectives that they do represent autonomous paradigms which result in different functioning spaces. Polar differences in culture and priorities produce a strained dialogue between research and teaching when considered alone. It is only when the activities of development are considered in combination with research and learning and teaching that a more global pattern appears with border relationships. Borders, referred to here, are subjects and processes that do not hold primary autonomy but appear situated, relying on adjacent operating spaces for their being. Understanding the nature of the borders that make up curriculum, reflection, ethics and evaluation, is seen here as fundamental, if the activity within different spaces, such as learning and teaching with research, can be reconciled. This paper considers "academic development" as an autonomous activity space in Higher Education, its relationship to the proposed border topics of curriculum and evaluation and its contribution towards a nexus placed at the centre of Higher Education. The scholarship model is developed and grounded with reference to the spaces or on borders defined above.

Keywords: scholarship, academic development, border topics

A key place for Academic Development in Higher Education Scholarship

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Sweet, J.