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Open Access Developing academic literacies through understanding the nature of disciplinary knowledge

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Much academic development work that is framed by academic literacies, especially that focused on writing, is concerned with disciplinary conventions and knowledges: conceptual, practical, and procedural. This paper argues, however, that academic literacies work tends to conflate literacy practices with disciplinary knowledge structures, thus obscuring the structures from which these practices emanate. This paper demonstrates how theoretical and analytical tools for conceptualizing disciplinary knowledge structures can connect these with academic literacies development work. Using recent studies that combine academic literacies and theories of knowledge in novel ways, this paper will show that understanding the knowledge structures of different disciplines can enable academic developers to build a stronger body of practice. This will enable academic developers working within disciplinary contexts to more ably speak to the nature of coming to know in higher education.

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Keywords: ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT; ACADEMIC LITERACIES; DISCIPLINES; HIGHER EDUCATION; KNOWERS; KNOWLEDGE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2017

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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