22 SES 11 A, Where Does Theory Come from in Higher Education? Tales from the Field.
This paper will present the contextualising data for the symposium. It will describe an empirical study in which higher education practitioners from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, fields of professional practice and stages of professional development were invited to consider the question of ‘theory’ and its relation to their research practices. The paper will summarise how the study was constructed and developed, and will illustrate the findings of the study when comparing participants’ individual responses. These include researchers in seven different countries representing diverse disciplinary foci which range from engineering and business studies to physiotherapy education and academic development. Whilst each of these autobiographical narratives are singular and distinctive in terms of their research focus and authorial ‘voice’, particular themes emerged from the study as a totality that give strong indications of how practitioners are responding to changing needs, demands and expectations of higher education at this time. In particular, the studies illustrate the phenomenon of ‘transmigration’, that is when a subject domain or theme is held in productive tension by creatively conjoining two (or more) elements of practice in non-compromising ways, whether as curricular, disciplinary or professional knowledge, or alternatively educational knowledge, through a distinct theoretical and methodological positioning. Whilst familiar tropes of educational research (journey, transition, transformation, threshold, gateway, change) were evidenced in the narratives, these are likewise finely differentiated and (re)problematized by the individual actors in ways that indicate the complex interior life of the researcher in the act of doing research. The ensuing papers constitute two of the narratives from the study which neatly illustrate the kinds of tensions and dilemmas that emerged and the ways and means by which their authors navigate their theoretical standpoints in these contexts.
Cherryholmes, C. (1999) Reading Pragmatism. New York: Teachers College Press Groundwater-Smith, S. & Sachs, J. (2002) 'The Activist Professional and the Reinstatement of Trust. (cover story)'. Cambridge Journal of Education, 32 (3), pp. 341-358 Harris, S. (2007) The Governance of education: How neo-liberalism is transforming policy and practice. London: Continuum Press. Harvey, D. (2005) A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Morely, L. (2003) Quality and power in higher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press Quinn, J. (2010) Learning communities and imagined social capital: Learning to belong. London: Continuum. Rowland, S. (2007) Academic development: A site of creative doubt and contestation. International Journal for Academic Development, 12(1), 9-14. S. Steinberg & G. Canella (Eds) Critical Qualitative Research (QCR) Reader. USA: Peter Lang Trowler, P. (2008) Cultures and change in higher education: Theories and practices. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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