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Communities and scholarship in supporting early-career academics at the University of the Witwatersrand

Osman, R; Hornsby, DJ; (2016) Communities and scholarship in supporting early-career academics at the University of the Witwatersrand. Studies in Higher Education , 41 (10) pp. 1835-1853. 10.1080/03075079.2016.1221659. Green open access

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Abstract

The present paper reports on early-career academics’ (ECAs) experiences of support for teaching in a research-intensive university in Africa. Through conducting a questionnaire and follow up in-depth interviews greater insight into how ECAs perceive and experience support for developing their teaching practice, is gained. Our analysis suggests that most academics interviewed began their first teaching position with no preparation for all that teaching involves. Many struggled to balance the demands associated with teaching and research, in addition to familiarizing oneself with institutional teaching norms and cultures. Almost all found support from within their discipline, although such support was incidental and spontaneous rather than planned. We offer the idea of communities of practice as an approach to institutionalize support for ECAs and draw on the scholarship of teaching and learning as the theoretical framing for this study and experience from a South African institution.

Type: Article
Title: Communities and scholarship in supporting early-career academics at the University of the Witwatersrand
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2016.1221659
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1221659
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: ECAs, higher education, Africa, South Africa, communities of practice, scholarship of teaching and learning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039198
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