Negotiating professional identities in higher education: dilemmas and priorities of academic staff

Calvert, Mike, Lewis, Therese and Spindler, John (2011) Negotiating professional identities in higher education: dilemmas and priorities of academic staff. Research in Education, 86 (1). pp. 25-38. ISSN 0034-5237

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The project offers a case study of academic staff from one faculty in an English Higher Education Institution. What started out as a management exercise in identifying how staff spent their time, was re-conceptualised as practitioner research exploring the complexities of how academic staff sustain professional identities and the implications for how they prioritised the various aspects of their work. The aim of the project was, therefore, to investigate the work patterns of academic staff and, with particular reference to professional identity, to illuminate how they prioritise competing demands. An additional ‘development dimension’ was intended to promote discussion and debate amongst academic staff to generate new perspectives and new ways to address dilemmas inherent in the competing demands on their time.

First, we briefly outline the context for the case study in terms of the University, Faculty, staff background and composition. Secondly, there is a short summary of key elements of the methodology and of the methods used for the collection and analysis of data. Thirdly, we outline some theoretical resources that we have found helpful in our efforts to construct meaning from the data. Fourthly, we present our account of how participants have experienced dilemmas in their day-to-day work. This involves an exploration of tensions between what academic staff feel they ought to do, what they feel obliged to do and what they feel is possible. Finally, we summarise the paper by drawing out some of the key strands that have emerged from the project so far.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher Education, time, service, professionalism
Subjects: L300 Sociology
X300 Academic studies in Education
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Therese Lewis
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2012 08:15
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 15:25

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