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Creative arts technicians in academia: To transition or not to transition?

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This article reports on a small-scale study undertaken at a leading UK arts university. The study aims to explore the increasing trend of ‘technicians’ transitioning their careers into ‘academia’. Studies that focus on technicians are scarce. Those few existing studies describe the growth of practiced-based teaching in the creative arts, the sector’s increasing reliance on technicians and technicians’ greater involvement in shaping the learning experiences of students. Conversely, there is a rich literature that describes the unbundling and devaluation of traditional academic roles. This article employs a phenomenographic methodology to explore the experiences of three members of staff who have recently transitioned from technician roles into academia, considering whether the factors that have elevated the status of technicians have also eroded traditional academic roles, and whether this enables individuals to transition between what many experience as disparate camps.
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Keywords: non-academic; para-academic; phenomenography; technical teaching; technicians; third space

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University for the Creative Arts

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.

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