The Role of Values in the Development of Academic Identity
The values held by academic developers are having an increasing influence on the "professional development" of inexperienced higher education teaching staff at a time when academic autonomy appears to be under threat. Those in higher education are facing a crisis of professional identity and understanding the potential influence of collective tribes and social roles on the development of an individual's values should not be underestimated. As the new academic begins to reconstruct their identity as part of their role, they draw from a range of different and sometimes competing values. Within higher education there are a number of potential collective values challenging for an individual's attention: the institutions'; their disciplines; and their own department. With the increasing emphasis on the development of national professional standards for teaching in the UK a key response has been the development of programmes aimed at enhancing learning and teaching within higher education and these may add a new collective set of values: those of the academic developer. Despite increased knowledge about the work of the units academic developers belong to, relatively little is known about their individual or collective values. As standards relating to teaching are developed within higher education, it is likely that these units will play a key role in implementing these. The influence of these units and those from them on inexperienced academics is likely to increase. Subsequently it is important to understand what values the academic developers share and how these are developed so that we can judge the influence they may have upon new members of the academy. This research attempts to examine whether values are shared by academic developers and if so what are they?
Keywords: Academic Identity, Values, Value Development, Professional Development
Lecturer in Higher Education, King's Institute of Learning and Teaching, King's College London