All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2009: Valuing Complexity

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Plus ça change, plus ça devient la même chose – the convergence of academic professional identities in the Institute of Technology sector and the implications for teaching and learning.
Carol O'Byrne

Last modified: 2009-09-28

Abstract


This paper draws on life history research into the nature of academic professional identities in the Institute of Technology sector of the Irish higher education system.  The research, which was carried out with lecturers with differing lengths of service from four broad discipline areas in one institution, suggests that the heterogeneity that characterised the academic staff in the technological sector in the early days of its existence is gradually disappearing.   The profiles of those recruited to lecturing posts have come to resemble those of candidates for lecturerships in universities and the academic professional identities developed by newer Institute of Technology lecturers, while more complex than those of their predecessors, are also converging around the research-focused model of identity more commonly found in university settings.  The paper discusses this trend and reflects on its possible implications for the sector, its staff and most importantly for its students.


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