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Title: Transgressing disciplinary boundaries: constructing alternate academic identities through collaboration with ‘the other’
Authors: Jacobs, Cecilia 
Keywords: Academic identities;Disciplinary identities;Academic discourses;Disciplinary literacies
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Source: Jacobs, C. 2010. Transgressing disciplinary boundaries: constructing alternate academic identities through collaboration with ‘the other’. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 14 (2), 110-120
Abstract: Much of the literature around the notions of discourse and identity explores how education (particularly higher education) might develop academic discourses and identities in students. There is however a dearth of work relating to what the development of academic discourses and identities in students might mean for the lecturers who teach them. The identities of lecturers, especially those in applied science/engineering fields, are generally framed in terms of their disciplinary affiliation rather than their role as professional educators. This construction of a science/engineering-based identity in many ways militates against the incorporation of an identity as a professional educator. Using narrative methodology, life history approaches and discourse analysis to trace twenty lecturers' perceptions of their changing roles and identities as academics, this paper argues that the incorporation of a professional educator identity would enable the explicit teaching of academic discourses. The findings show that the identity of professional educator can be developed in science/engineering lecturers through their interaction with academic developers from ‘other’ disciplines such as Education and Language/Linguistics. Bringing academic developers and science/engineering lecturers into dialogue with each other facilitated the development of an alternate identity, that of professional educator, in science/engineering lecturers. The paper concludes that academic developers, through the generic academic literacy courses offered at most tertiary institutions, occupy a space that science/engineering lecturers should be filling, that of inducting students into the discourses of science and engineering. Finally the paper recommends that sustained interaction between academic developers and science/engineering lecturers facilitates a shift in the academic identities of the science/engineering lecturers, towards incorporating an ‘otherness’ as discourse teachers.
ISSN: 1028-8457
Appears in Collections:Eng - Journal articles (DHET subsidised)

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