Academic development as a discipline is still marked by a lack of professional identity (Grant, 2007; Rowland, 2007) due in part to its ‘newness’ as a profession and to a suggested lack of coherence in what we do in the UK (Eggins and Macdonald, 2003). The ramifications of this are that it has proved difficult for us to create a community of expert teaching practitioners or high-quality researchers within higher education as we are still grappling with this idea of knowing which values and belief systems ought to be adopted to inform our sense of community. According to Land (2004), we could assume any one of twelve different identities including the romantic and the provocateur so clearly there is some degree of confusion. Using Land’s twelve orientations, research was conducted with nine academic developers, through semi-structured interviews, (Cohen et al. 2007) to establish whether we are any closer to forming a shared identity and therefore a collegial sense of purpose and community. The findings reveal that even though there were differences amongst the academic developers in terms of prioritising the orientations, the ensuing commentary suggested that malleability and sustainability are key aspects in the formation of identity amongst academic developers.
|Keywords:||Academic Development, Professional Identity, Community|
Lecturer in Higher Education, King's Learning Institute, King's College, London, UK