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Academic development and educational developers: perspectives from different European higher education contexts

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This paper reports research in five European universities, in four countries between 2004 and 2008. The research explored and compared institutional contexts for academic development and the interpretations and reflections of a number of academic developers on the organizational position and role of academic development, and of 'developers'. A nuanced notion of 'service', commitment to scholarship, (inter)disciplinary flexibility, a strong ethos of learner-centredness and care for and support of both students and academics come to the fore across national and institutional boundaries. Evident, too, is the idea of a diversified profession in development, emergence and consolidation. Cet article rend compte d'une recherche ayant ete entreprise au sein de cinq universites europeennes, dans quatre pays, entre les annees 2004 et 2008. La recherche a explore et compare les contextes institutionnels de developpement pedagogique ainsi que les interpretations et reflexions de conseillers pedagogiques au sujet de la position organisationnelle et du role du developpement pedagogique, de meme que des 'conseillers' eux-memes. La notion nuancee de 'service', l'engagement a l'egard d'une demarche erudite (commitment to scholarship), la flexibilite (inter)disciplinaire, une forte ethique de centration sur l'apprenant ainsi qu'un souci et un soutien a l'egard des etudiants et des universitaires se degagent de la recherche, independamment des frontieres nationales et institutionnelles. L'idee d'une profession diversifiee en developpement, en emergence et en consolidation se degage aussi de la recherche.

Keywords: European Area of Higher Education; academic development; comparative perspective; educational development; professional identity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK 2: Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK,Higher Education Funding Council for England, UK 3: Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium 4: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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