Looking over our shoulders: critical thinking and ontological insecurity in higher education
This paper examines the changing landscape of higher education from the perspective of teaching academics. Critical thinking has been seen as one of the central facets of the academic identity and so this paper uses the notion of critical thinking as a lens through which to explore this changing identity. It argues that the professional identity of the academic is in a state of flux, which has caused uncertainty regarding the academic role, its freedoms and responsibilities. The particular focus here is on teaching and the changes occurring in this arena. The paper reports the findings of a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with academic staff across five disciplines from two Australian universities. In the modern university, the pressures of accountability to a range of stakeholders, both internal and external, are changing the face of university teaching.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2007
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- Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.
Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.
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