Research and the academic developer: A new agenda

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This paper argues that there is a need for academic developers to reassess their relationship to research, and suggests that research has to come centre stage in the practice of staff, educational and∧or academic development. The paper discusses the reasons for this and considers the implications for academic development practice. It begins with a discussion of some trends that signal the growing importance of inquiry for higher education. It highlights the important role that research and scholarship are coming to have in preparing students for a society characterized by uncertainty, complexity and plurality. It is argued that developers must become involved in this and that, if they are to be taken seriously in the future, they must become credible as researchers. Different models of the relationship between research and teaching highlight the role of developers in moving teaching and learning forward in a higher education context where teaching and research are more closely allied. Finally, the paper considers what developers need to do to prepare for the challenges lying ahead. In the argument, examples from the author's own practice are used to illustrate developers' changing agendas.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute for Teaching and Learning, The University of Sydney, Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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